Do high airfare prices have you feeling down this festive season? Well, if you live in Sydney, holidaying at home this summer does have its benefits. From exploring the Northern Beaches to staying on Cockatoo Island, adventure is within easy reach for Sydneysiders these holidays.

5 things to do in Sydney this summer

We could have chosen so many activities but here are some of our favourites.

(Note all numbered paragraphs are H3 headings)

1. Enjoy a Manly staycation

Manly’s iconic slogan is “Seven miles from Sydney and a thousand miles from care”. So take a step back from the hustle and bustle and escape to Manly for a relaxing beachside staycation. Hop on the ferry to Manly from Circular Quay and you’ll be “on holiday” in 30 minutes. Stay the night or even longer, as there are plenty of accommodation options to choose from. Stay in a heritage room at the historic Q Station, directly on the beachfront at Manly Paradise or in a spacious apartment via Airbnb.

While in Manly, you can go snorkelling at Fairy Bower, learn to surf with Manly Surf School, complete the North Head circuit walk or the Spit to Manly walk, and spend the day at Shelly Beach. Along the Corso, there are several restaurants, bars and cafés to enjoy. Don’t miss Mexican fare at Chica Bonita and modern Australian dishes at The Pantry Manly, or slip into the side streets for authentic Swedish fare at Fika (5B Market Place). Holidaying at home has never looked so good!

2. See Sydney from a different angle

Enjoy an award-winning kayak tour with Sydney by Kayak. The most popular tour is Sunrise Kayak & Coffee, which allows you to explore Sydney Harbour at its most tranquil time before the breeze gets up and it’s too choppy for smooth kayaking. Enjoy a delicious cup of Sydney coffee as you watch the sunrise over two of Sydney’s most iconic sights: the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Make a beautiful memory.

3. Camp on Cockatoo Island

Have you always wondered what’s waiting for you on Cockatoo Island, the former convict penal settlement and naval shipyard in the heart of Sydney Harbour? Well, now’s your chance to see it with your own eyes. Waterfront camping on Cockatoo Island ranges from a simple tent with sleeping bags to a deluxe waterfront tent with single beds.

There’s no need to rough it, as all campers have access to toilets, hot showers and a communal kitchen. Cockatoo Island is also home to two cafés, a cinema and several tours, including a ghost tour if you dare. When you desire peace and quiet in the city centre, Cockatoo Island is the place for you.

4. Head to the Northern Beaches

Who needs a Bali beach when you have the Northern Beaches on your doorstep? Here are some suggestions, whether you spend the day exploring or stay overnight somewhere like Newport’s Metro Mirage Hotel:

  • Walk along the Curl Curl Boardwalk, which hugs the rugged coastline.
  • Swim at Dee Why Rockpool.
  • Indulge in dinner at Pilu at Freshwater.
  • Kayak along Narrabeen Lagoon.
  • Head to Palm Beach, where you might just become an extra in Home and Away.

5. Make a beeline for Bondi

Can you truly holiday at home in Sydney without making the pilgrimage to Bondi? While the beach’s wide sandy shore might be calling your name, the Bondi to Bronte walk is not to be missed. At just over two kilometres, along the way, you’ll pass Tamarama Beach and Mackenzie’s Bay and enjoy panoramic ocean views. Go one step further and continue to Coogee, which takes between two-and-a-half and three hours. Sounds like the ideal destination for a Sydney summer’s day.

Which adventure is calling your name? Fortunately, all of these Sydney activities are an easy drive or ferry ride from the Inner West.

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