So you’re coming to Sydney with teenagers, let me and mine show you some cool things to do! There are dozens of fun activities for teenagers to enjoy in and around Sydney, including some very adventurous things to do.
So, if you are looking for teenage holiday ideas, Sydney has plenty on offer. This article is written for families who are visiting Sydney, rather than for families living already in Sydney, by the way. It focuses on the things teenage visitors will enjoy that are mainly in the city centre.
For Sydney families, or those with more time to explore the suburbs, have a look at this article: Sydney Teenagers’ Activities: Gets The Teens Off Their Screens.
20 Things For Teenagers To Do in Sydney
Table of Contents
Contents of this post
- 20 Things For Teenagers To Do in Sydney
- Luna Park Sydney
- Taronga Zoo: do the Wild Ropes course
- Sydney Aquarium: do the Shark Dive
- Sydney Tower Eye
- Wild Life Sydney
- Madame Tussauds
- Jet Boat Ride on Sydney Harbour
- Tall Ships Sydney Harbour Cruise
- Sydney Convicts, History and The Rocks Walking Tour
- Sydney + Bondi Hop On Hop Off Bus
- Sydney Bike Tours
- Sydney Helicopter Tours
- Learn to Surf
- Manly and Shelly Beach Snorkelling
- Escape To The Blue Mountains
- Sydney’s Best Shopping
- Cool Sydney Markets
- Central Sydney Cinemas
- Shows: Music, Theatre and the Arts
Luna Park Sydney
Luna Park is Sydney’s vintage entertainment hub, a theme park with lots of rides and thrills, all set beside the glittering Harbour. Luna Park is not to be missed if you enjoy thrilling rides. Visit early or late to avoid huge crowds in peak season though. You can visit after a walk across the harbour Bridge or take a ferry to Milsons Point from Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. Have a swim at North Sydney Olympic Pool afterwards!
Climbing the Harbour Bridge is an iconic Sydney adventure, read about my visit to celebrate a son’s 16th birthday here.
There are several different options for climbing the bridge, including a short ‘taster’ trip. It is an amzing experience to be right up on the top, 134 metres above the water. It’s an adventurous climb too, up ladders and catwalks, really quite a thrill and just a bit scary. But it’s safe and well organised. However, BridgeClimb is expensive ++, so you might prefer just to walk over the Bridge and visit the Pylon Lookout instead.
Taronga Zoo: do the Wild Ropes course
Taronga Zoo is famous for all the right reasons. The animal exhibits are modern, the setting is sublime. You can easily spend a half day here or a full day if you are a keen animal lover. There’s a high ropes course within the Zoo at an additional cost. that’s something that active teenagers will enjoy.
NB If you think your teenagers might be interested in Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower Eye, Wild Life Sydney or Madame Tussauds, I recommend looking at the Sydney Attraction Pass, this will save you $$$. You can buy a two, three or four venue pass.
Sydney Aquarium: do the Shark Dive
The Aquarium is hugely popular with families and it does have some amazing sea creatures to stare at. The Sydney Harbour tanks with sharks and rays really are stunning as if the Great Barrier Reef tank. If your teen has been to lots of aquariums previously though, this may not appeal. But the Shark Dive Xtreme might! It’s available for anyone aged 14+ and no previous dive experience is necessary.
Read more and buy (expensive ) Shark Dive tickets here.
Sydney Tower Eye
Sydneysiders generally still refer to this attraction as Centrepoint Tower, many years after the name officially changed. Anyway, the golden turret of the Sydney Tower Eye is a much-loved feature of the Sydney skyline and is the tallest building in the city. View the city spread out 250 metres below you from the Observation Deck.
Sydney Tower Eye is open seven days a week, 365 days a year from 9am – 9pm, last entry is 8pm. Sunset is the most popular time to visit, for good reason!
A visit to see the views is often done after some serious shopping at Pitt Street Mall and the shopping centre it is a part of. It is fairly cheap to visit the Sydney Tower Eye, but I do also recommend a meal in the revolving restaurant up there, it’s fun.
Wild Life Sydney
Wild Life Sydney is a zoo featuring mainly Australian animals, centrally located at darling harbour. It is a much smaller zoo than Taronga Zoo, however a good spot to see native Australia fauna iif you choose not to go to Taronga. Wild Life Sydney is right beside the Aquarium and they are often visited together.
Meet Australian and international stars and celebraities in
the flesh wax at Madame Tussauds. A great way to learn about our Aussie heroes and a fun experience in itself. It takes about two hours to tour this Sydney attraction.
Jet Boat Ride on Sydney Harbour
A 45 minute adrenaline pumping ride around the Harbour is pretty thrilling… my kids really loved this and their excitement and enjoyment made it worth the cost. The rides last 45 minutes, and they genuinely are hair raising, especially for we parents! You do get to see a bit of the Harbour and hear from interesting things too. But mainly it’s a white knuckly ride.
Tall Ships Sydney Harbour Cruise
If you’d like a slower Harbour tour then can our family highly recommend the Tall Ships cruises, you spend two hours aboard a historic tall ship and can even climb the rat lines. The crew members are very entertaining and you sail along to interesting parts of the Harbour.
Sydney Convicts, History and The Rocks Walking Tour
The early history of colonial Sydney, and all the bloodthirsty stories that went along with early settlement are told on this fascinating walk back through time. The walk takes two and a half hours and will give you a great overview of Sydney’s history plus a good knowledge of The Rocks, one of Sydney’s most interesting and attractive locations.
Sydney + Bondi Hop On Hop Off Bus
Travelling around Sydney on the Big Bus Hop On Hop Off service is a really worthwhile experience and a great way to get to know the city overall. It’s also a good way to get to and from Bondi, which is a must-visit of course.
(If you love swimming do have a dip in the iconic Bondi Icebergs pool as well as a surf or a splash in the ocean.)
The HOHO bus has two routes and 33 stops, with a commentary in various languages. The routes take about 90 minutes each without stops, and tickets can last one or two days. This makes a great way to get around the main city sights quickly and easily.
Sydney Bike Tours
Bike with a guide and safely enjoy a fresh air way to see the Sydney sights, with expert commentary. There are many different bike tour options available including cycling at Manly, across the Harbour Bridge, a city highlights tour and even tours by electric bikes. Bike tours are a big hit with teenagers and c ool way to see the city.
Sydney Helicopter Tours
One of the more expensive things to do in Sydney for teens, yet absolutely the most exhilerating. Plus a helicopter ride is an amazing way to see Sydney and soak in all the views over the city, ocean, Harbour and mountains too.
Helicopters are expensive of course, around $190 for a 20 minute tour. But a huge special treat!
Of all the most awesome things for teenagers in Sydney, surely learning to surf comes way high up the list. Sydney is SO famous for its surf, and surfing is a real rite of passage for Sydney teens.
So join in the Sydney surf lifestyle and get the teens out on their surfboards. Surf lessons are de rigeur for summer visitors, but you will find surf lessons are available all year round.
Manly and Shelly Beach Snorkelling
There are many wonderful places to snorkel around Sydney, both on the ocean beaches and in Sydney Harbour. Lots of teens would really enjoy a guided snorkelling tour of the aquatic reserve at Shelly Beach. There are heaps of fish to see, and even rays and sometimes wobbegongs (harmless but large fish). If you do the tour then all equipment is provided and you will be in the safe hands of an instructor. This makes a day out at Manly very appealing to teens. You can then surf and swim and walk, enjoying all the fun things to do in Manly.
If you don’t have time for a few days in the Blue Mountains then a day trip will have to do. There are day tours which take in Featherdale Wildlife Park and a river cruise on the way home. Others visit the Blue Mountains and the amazing Jenolan Caves beyond. The Blue Mountains is a really stunning and scenic World Heritage area and well worth visiting.
You can easily take a train up to Katoomba and do a Hop On Hop Off bus tour around the sites, or find a bush walk to do by yourself.
However for ease, a day trip which picks you up early and then spends 10 – 12 hours touring you around is an easy option too.
Sydney’s Best Shopping
Of course for many kids, shopping is one of the most important things for teenagers to do in Sydney. Here’s a list of places to explore if shopping is your thing.
- The Queen Victoria Building – deluxe boutiques
- Birkenhead Point, huge centre full of outlet stores, catch the Shopper Hopper ferry from the city.
- The Strand Arcade – high end fashion
- Pitt Street Mall – the big stores
- King Street, Newtown – edgy, groovy bars, cafes and shops
- Glebe Point Road – same
- Darling Street, Balmain – trendy and groovy shops and cafes
- Oxford Street, Paddington – upmarket boutiques and stores
Cool Sydney Markets
Another very popular and appealing item on the list of things to do for teens in Sydney has to be visiting our unique markets. Here’s a list to get young shoppers started.
- Paddington on a Saturday for clothes and creative stuff
- Bondi on a Sunday
- Carriageworks Farmers Market on a Saturday
- Rozelle Markets
- Weekly Organic Food Market list here
Central Sydney Cinemas
- The Event Cinemas multiplex is on George Street just down from Town Hall.
- The Dendy Opera Quays is the best city cinema for arthouse films.
- In January and February the St George Open Air Cinema at the Botanic Gardens is a must
Shows: Music, Theatre and the Arts
Check Time Out Sydney What’s On This Week to see who’s playing where, when and with whom.
It’s always great to know what’s on at Sydney Opera House too, click here.
So there you have it, all the best things to do in Sydney for teenagers have been gathered together here in one place for you.
If you know any more great fun things to do in Sydney for teens, please do use the Contact page to send us a message, we are always keen to add more.
PS This post contains some affiliate links meaning that, if you book an activity using the link, a small commission is paid to support Hello Sydney Kids, at no cost to you. Read my full disclosure policy here.