Sydney Sightseeing Tours – The Best Ways to Explore Sydney for First Timers

Sydney is one of the most popular sightseeing destinations in the Southern hemisphere. It’s filled with incredible cultural attractions, inspiring art and architecture, gorgeous beaches, and amazing wildlife.

At the same time, there’s simply so much to see and do in Sydney that a trip to first-time visitors can seem overwhelming. Without guidance, it can be hard to know what to tackle, or where to go.

That’s where handy sightseeing tours come in! You’ll find them in a wide variety of styles and genres, from bus tours to cruises to bike rides. Choose one, or opt for a few, and get a good overview of the top sights and sounds of Sydney.

A few of our favorite Sydney sightseeing tours & activities and experiences include:

  • Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Sydney and Bondi: 1-Day Classic Tour
  • Blue Mountains Explorer Bus: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
  • Eco Hopper 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Pass
  • Magistic Cruisemart Harbour Sightseeing Cruise
  • BlueBananas Electric Bike Tours: The Mini Banana – Bike the Bridge Tour
  • BlueBananas Bike Hire
  • The Sydney Tower Eye with 4D Cinema Experience
  • Discover Bondi Coastal Walking Tour

Save on Popular Sydney Sightseeing Tours & More

Admission to many these attractions is included on The Sydney Pass.

Choose as you go from over 15 top attractions and save up to 45% on combined admission vs. paying at the gate.

See all available Sydney attractions and prices here.

Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Sydney and Bondi: 1-Day Classic Tour

Big Bus Sydney in Sydney Harbour Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

The best way to get a complete overview of Sydney is with this bus tour. It’s a comprehensive, yet not exhausting look at the city, from Darling Harbour to Bondi Beach. While you’re on board you’ll be treated to entertaining and informative commentary about the sites and neighborhoods you’re passing by.

Major highlights of this Sydney tour include: Darling Harbour, the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Tower Eye (more on that below), the Australian Museum, and many more.

You can opt to ride the whole loop, or get off at something that interests you. Buses run on a schedule of about every 15 minutes, so there’s little time to wait when you want to hop back on.

Getting In: Big Bus Sydney tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

Blue Mountains Explorer Bus: Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Tour the Blue Mountains on the Hop Off Hop On Bus

The Blue Mountains National Park is something truly special in New South Wales. Located west of Sydney, this expansive natural wonderland offers visitors access to the wild world of Australia.

Explore the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area on this looped bus tour. With more than 30 stops, there are plenty of places to get off, explore, and take photographs. Stops include Katoomba Falls, Scenic World, Leura Cascades, and many more.

If you ride the entire loop, it takes about an hour. Since there’s so much to see and do along the way, however, it’s worth spending an entire day at various stops.

Your pass is good for seven full days, too, so don’t worry if you can’t fit it all in one afternoon.

Getting In: Blue Mountains Explorer Bus tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

Eco Hopper 24-Hour Hop-On Hop-Off Pass

The Eco Hopper Boat in Sydney Harbor

Explore Sydney from a unique perspective with the Eco Hopper. Like a water taxi, it sails around the waterfront neighborhoods of Sydney escorting passengers between ten different stops.

You can choose to get off and on at any of those designated stops, including major hotspots like Darling Harbour, Circular Quay, Rose Bay, Taronga Zoo, Manly, and more. Or, choose to ride the loop to enjoy the guided narration about each of the stops you’re passing by.

Some combination of both is probably your best bet for getting a real feel for the Sydney waterfront.

Getting In: Eco Hopper Sydney Ferry tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

Magistic Cruisemart Harbour Sightseeing Cruise

Magistic Sydney Harbour Cruise complimentary beverage

If you really want to focus on waterfront sightseeing, then this cruise from Magistic Cruisemart makes a lot of sense. It’s a serene, two-hour excursion around Sydney Harbour and beyond.

Enjoy GPS-guided narration about the landmarks, neighborhoods, and other points of interest like lighthouses. You’ll also be treated to a complimentary beverage, with the freedom to purchase more if you’d like.

So sit back, sip your cocktail, and snap photos of the gorgeous Sydney skyline.

Getting In: Magistic Cruisemart Harbour Sightseeing Cruise tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

BlueBananas Electric Bike Tours: The Mini Banana – Bike the Bridge Tour

BlueBananas Bike Tour Sydney

Get out on two wheels and explore the city from a local’s perspective. This 1.5-hour guided bike excursion is a great way to see things you won’t come across by bus or cruise. You’ll get unique opportunities for photographs of the skyline and other major landmarks, too.

Enjoy a leisurely 8-mile route that takes you across the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and into local neighborhoods. See things like parks, landmarks, and other hidden gems as you enjoy your guide’s insider info.

Getting In: BlueBananas bike tour tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

BlueBananas Bike Hire

BlueBananas Bike Hire Rental in Sydney Australia

If you’d prefer a little bit more flexibility and freedom in your cycling excursions, then the bike hire option from BlueBananas is more your style.

You’ll get a full-day bike rental, complete with helmet, lock, and map, and can easily plan your adventure around downtown Sydney. Bike the beaches, waterfront trials, parks, or even just city streets.

This might be a better idea for those more familiar with the city, or after you’ve enjoyed the Big Bus tour to get a sense for the neighborhoods.

Getting In: Sydney bike hire / rentals are available on The Sydney Pass

The Sydney Tower Eye with 4D Cinema Experience

View from the Sydney Tower Eye

There’s no better way to see the Sydney from above than with a ride to the top of the Sydney Tower. The Sydney Tower Eye is a grand observation deck located 269 metres above ground level, providing stunning views of the cityscape below.

Due to its convenient location in the Central Business District, the Sydney Tower Eye has an unparalleled perspective on the parks, waterfront area, landmarks, and more. You’re sure to get stunning photos of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House from above.

Here is where you’ll get that ideal Instagram shot!

Getting In: Sydney Tower Eye tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

Discover Bondi Coastal Walking Tour

People on the Discover Bondi Walking Tour

A walking tour is a nice way to enjoy the great outdoors, especially Bondi Beach. Embark on a tour guided by real Bondi Lifesaver (local lifeguard), who can tell you all about contemporary surf culture, the history of Bondi, and more.

You’ll enjoy sweeping vistas of sandy beaches and crashing ocean waves alongside fascinating cultural elements. There’s the Black Sunday monument, aboriginal rock carvings, coastal pathways, marine wildlife, and much more.

Afterwards, sit on the beach for a while, work on your tan, go for a dip, and enjoy the vibes of Sydney’s coolest beach.

Getting In: Bondi Coast Walking Tour tickets are available on The Sydney Pass.

Remember to Save on Sightseeing Admission

However you decide to tackle sightseeing Sydney, we’re sure you’ll learn a lot and have a blast.

Keep your winning streak going by saving money on admission to these top tours and many other popular Sydney attractions. Pick up The Sydney Pass for your next trip and save up to 45% on combined admission prices.

Happy travels!

The information contained in this post, to the best of the author's knowledge, was accurate at time of publishing. We do our best to ensure and maintain the accuracy of this information.

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