The fantastical city of Sydney would be nothing without its globally-acclaimed views and landmarks adorned with tourists and locals alike. The likes of Circular Quay, The Rocks and The Royal Botanic Gardens are hotspots for tens of thousands of visitors each day and, when you’re wandering around the city, it’s hard to miss them. However, sometimes the hustle and bustle of these incredible monuments can get pretty tiresome. There are times when we just want to hide away and bask in the glory of Sydney, without the stampede of people.
Here are my top 6 beautiful hidden places in Sydney, where you can escape the crowds and create your own quiet sanctuary.
1. Milk Beach
The likes of Bondi and Coogee are amongst those stamped at the top of the list for the must-see beaches in Sydney. However, they are usually teeming with crowds and finding yourself a spot on the sand can be a laborious effort. Get yourself down to Milk Beach if you’re looking for somewhere quieter with a view to die for. West-facing Milk Beach is just a short bus ride away from the CBD and frames the city skyline, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House directly in front of view.
2. Angel Place
Nestled in a quiet laneway between Pitt and George Street is the pleasant and quiet Angel Place. Most visitors and even locals are unaware of Angel Place’s existence, or it’s exquisite Forgotten Songs art installation. The installation is to commemorate the forgotten sounds of fifty birds that once called Sydney home. You’ll be greeted with the eerie tune of bird song, as the tweets and caws filter down from delightfully arranged hanging bird cages. The bird-song varies depending on which time of day you get there, alternating from daytime to nocturnal birds. The perfect hidden refuge from the hubbub of the city centre.
3. Crater Cove
You’ll come across Crater Cove along the historic 12k Spit to Manly coastal walk. Here, you’ll find an array of ramshackle huts nestled along the rocky cliffside. Fisherman built the huts originally to serve as weekend shelters in the 1920s and they were subsequently taken over by a group of hippies in the 1960s. The huts are now abandoned but you can still admire them and the stunning view from the lookout. The walk to Crater Cove feels more like an adventure trail than anything and you’ll feel worlds away from Sydney’s concrete jungle.
4. Wendy’s Secret Garden
A charming city hideaway with a view of one of Sydney’s most admired monuments, The Harbour Bridge. Situated just a little bit further along the harbour from Luna Park, this wonderful little garden offers up a quiet oasis where you can soak up the Sydney atmosphere sans crowds. Easily accessible from Lavender Bay Wharf or the North Sydney train line. You will find yourself transported into a lush green haven where you can truly kickback. You can learn more about the origins of Wendy’s Secret Garden here.
5. Bare Island
Bare Island is a small heritage-listed island located in La Perouse, Southeastern Sydney. You’ll be treated to stunning views of Botany Bay and ample places to settle for a picnic. Bare Island is the perfect set up to put your feet up and breath in the relaxing sea air. The best part? You will have front-row seats to watch planes arriving and departing from Sydney Kingsford Smith. The perfect hidden place in Sydney for the plane-spotter inside us.
6. Paddington Reservoir Gardens
Stationed smack bang In the middle of Oxford Street, it’s hard to believe this beautiful little retreat is classed as a “hidden” gem. However, Paddington Reservoir Gardens can’t be seen from the busy street as it is, quite literally, underground. Originally built to pump Sydney’s water supply, it was converted into a lush public space in 2006. Eerily quiet despite it’s close proximity to one of Sydney’s busiest neighbourhoods, the gardens boast a beautiful array of late 19th-century architecture including archways and iron structures. This, combined with the lush greenery and hanging gardens, makes the gardens a gorgeous hidden place in Sydney.