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Getting Off the Beaten Track in Sydney

Sydney offers so much more than a visit to the Opera House and a climb over the Harbour Bridge. Even though these postcard attractions are worth seeing, you can easily find a wealth of alternative destinations for a memorable escape to the most visited city in Australia and avoid having to deal with hordes of tourists. Whether it's a secluded beach or a free museum you are looking for, here are some of the top picks to check out when planning a trip to Sydney.
Port Stephens, Sydney

Port Stephens
Most people choose one of the popular beaches to enjoy the sand and waves in Sydney. If you are looking to try out some water sports and spend an entire day in the outdoors, forget about the crowded Bondi or Manly beaches and head off to Port Stephen. This is home to the biggest sand dunes in Australia and allows visitors to go on a dolphin cruise, explore the dunes in a 4x4, or try sand boarding for the first time. Located close to the city, Port Stephens is a good choice for those who would like a day trip without having to spend too much time or energy to get there. 
Secluded Beaches
If you are interested in hitting the beaches in the city after all, you have plenty of options available in the form of small and secluded beaches that allow you to enjoy a dip in the absence of the crowds. Some of the best choices are Milk Beach, which offers a great view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Lady Martins Beach, located in Point Piper, one of the poshest suburbs of the city, or Obelisk Beach, which is ideal for those who would like to try out a beach where clothing is optional. 

Free Museums and Art Galleries

Some of the finest museums and art galleries in Sydney are free, which means you can easily spend a couple of days visiting these instead of spending on popular tours that tend to be quite pricey. The NSW Art Gallery is a place where you could spend an entire day looking at European, Asian, and Aboriginal masterpieces. If contemporary art is your thing, you should not miss the Brett Whitley Studio and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum of the University of Sydney is an excellent, yet overlooked museum. The Australian Museum and the National Maritime Museum are two more free museums worth visiting in Sydney.

Escape into the Wilderness
If city life is not your thing and you would like to explore some of the world's most impressive landscapes, you've got a lot of choices nearby Sydney. You can starts with the inner islands of Sydney Harbour and explore the historic Woolwich Dry Dock. You can then venture into the pristine wilderness of the Colo River / Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The abundant wildlife and lush riverscape make this National Park ideal for those who are looking to try out kayaking or simply get their lunch on the banks of the river, enjoying some spectacular views. History buffs will enjoy a trip to Berowra Waters, where they can visit the remains of the famous San Souci hotel that was transported and reassembled block by block atop the cliffs more than a century ago. 
Paddington Markets
With more than 200 stalls featuring thousands of arts and crafts products, Paddington Markets is a good destination for those who would like to discover authentic gems created by locals. The market opens every Saturday at 10 a.m. and it is a place where you can also find original creations of Australian wannabe designers. 
Whether you are passionate about art and history or want to explore the wilderness around the big city, Sydney has something for anyone. You do not need to stick to the well-known attractions of the city to have a great time, so book those Sydney flights, broaden your horizons, and go off the beaten track.



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