You have probably all seen the lists of things to do and places to visit that crop up regularly on websites like Concrete Playground and Time Out. They do a good job in promoting the cultural and geographic diversity of Sydney as well as highlighting some of our least known attractions. Time Out, for example, recently listed 50 things that everyone in Sydney should experience once in their life. Apart from the obvious like climbing the Harbour Bridge they included “Go On A Bush Foods Tour Of The Botanic Gardens” and “Dare To Bare All At Obelisk Beach”.
Many of their suggested activities cost money and it occurred to me that there’s lots to do in this city if you are on a very tight budget and prepared to think totally outside the square. Not everybody can afford to swim with the sharks at Sydney Aquarium but here’s a list of the cheapest, most creative, off the wall, daringly innovative things you can enjoy in Sydney over the coming months.
COMMUNITY SINGING IN THE DEVONSHIRE STREET TUNNEL: The acoustics are great so why not join an impromptu yodelling group in this popular commuter thoroughfare. Swiss alpine gear is optional but face masks recommended if the vocalising becomes too enthusiastic.
FEED THE POSSUMS IN HYDE PARK: Nocturnal fun for all the family as you tempt these loveable furry critters with all manner of taboo treats like sugary donuts and Allens Snakes Alive.
TRAIN SPOTTING ON MACDONALDTOWN STATION: Pack a picnic lunch and spend three hours of relatively mindless but highly therapeutic observation on one of this city’s loneliest train stations. Ideal for a bit of meditation as well, with yoga fans encouraged to assume the lotus position as the Indian Pacific passes by.
WINE TASTING ON GILLIGANS ISLAND: It’s an old favourite of course but definitely worth revisiting as you play sommelier and organise a lazy apres lunch wine tasting on Gilligans grassy oasis in Taylor Square. A bottle of Royal Reserve Port or a cask of Coolabah is always well received and within minutes you will be joined by a merry bunch of colourful locals.
WALK BACKWARDS ACROSS THE HARBOUR BRIDGE: The Bridge climb costs an arm and a leg but a backward perambulation across the footway will stay in your memory for ever. Inspired by the Goons’ I’m Walking Backwards For Christmas, this unique feat of individualism is bound to excite other sightseers and possibly raise the suspicion of security guards.
SPRUIK CONSPIRACY THEORIES IN THE DOMAIN: It took a hiatus during 2020 but speakers are slowly returning to the eastern end of the Domain on a Sunday afternoon. You will need a milk crate, a short course in voice projection and Facebook friends Craig Kelly and Pete Evans. Be prepared for the hecklers as you play agent provocateur and promote the latest QAnon intrigue.
And finally, for that totally unique transportation experience:
RIDE THE MIGHTY BATHURST BULLET: Step back in time and take a scenic three hour trip to Bathurst on this vintage two-carriage Endeavour railcar. Sink deep into the refurbished splendour of your ergonomic seat and with your eyes closed, drift back some 25 years to when these carriages were first built. You will probably be stranded in Bathurst for the night prior to the return journey the next morning, but the experience will stay with you forever.