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Sydney’s Secrets: Top Hidden Gems

Bastian Graf Portrait

Written by Bastian
Sales & Marketing Manager

Exploring Sydney can become overwhelming, with crowded spots like Bondi Beach and Circular Quay. If you’re looking for somewhere different to spend your day, we’ve created a list of our 4 top hidden spots in Sydney!

Whether you’re after a swim, or somewhere to set up a Sunday picnic, we have something for everyone.

Get away from the busy areas of Sydney and check out these hidden gems.

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  1. Freshwater Beach
  2. Wendy’s Secret Garden
  3. Shark Island
  4. Paddington Reservoir

Fresh Water Beach, Sydney

1. Freshwater Beach

Freshwater, NSW

Tucked away between rocky headlands near Manly, Freshwater Beach is the perfect hidden spot to spend the day. Freshwater Beach has something for everyone, with great swimming conditions for children, a beautiful coastal walk to Curl Curl beach, as well as perfect swell for beginner surfers!

There are endless things to do at this patrolled beach. Get some laps in at the 50 metre saltwater pool at the north end, or you can go exploring at the many rock pools. You can make a full day of it by setting up a picnic at the nearby reserve, which has a small playground for the kids, BBQs and also shaded tables. If you’re not in the mood to cook up your lunch, you can also stroll down to the nearby streets to check out several cafes and restaurants that overlook the beach!

Freshwater is the perfect beach to spend the day at, whether you’re a family with children, or a solo beach lover. There is parking for the beach nearby, but this can fill up over the summer period, so it’s advised you plan in advance.

Don’t forget your sunscreen and your boogie board!


Wendy's Hidden Garden, Sydney

2. Wendy’s Secret Garden

Lavender Bay, NSW

Hidden away in Lavender Bay, Wendy’s Secret Garden is the ultimate picnic spot in Sydney. The luscious gardens have been growing since the mid 90’s, creating one of the most beautiful gardens in Sydney.

Wendy’s Secret Garden is made up of a mix of beautiful flora and trees, and it also features artworks by different Australian sculptors. Although the short walk typically takes around 5-10 minutes, you will definitely end up taking your time as you stroll through the gardens and admire the sculptures! The gardens also make a perfect spot for a picnic, with picnic tables available over dazzling harbour views.

If you’re looking for something new to explore with free entry, Wendy’s Secret Garden is the perfect spot. Pack your lunch and spend some time admiring the gorgeous secret garden. Oh, be sure to bring your camera and don’t forget to take your rubbish with you to help preserve the beautiful gardens.


Shark Island, Sydney

3. Shark Island

Sydney, NSW

If you’re looking to do a summer day trip, Shark Island is the perfect location. Shark Island is located in the Sydney Harbour, and is a great small island to explore. Head over in the morning by a Ferry from Circular Quay, or Kayak over from the Point Piper Kayak Centre! There will be a $7 per person landing fee when you arrive, however children under 4 years old are free.

There is a lot to explore on this remote island. Stroll around the foreshore and grottos, which were hand built in the early 1900’s. If it’s a hot day, you can go for a swim or splash around in the tide pool – you may even spot a few small sea creatures!

Don’t forget to bring your lunch to set up a picnic under the beautiful hill top gazebo, or under the many picnic shelters. There’s nothing available to purchase at the island, so bring everything with you. Bookings are also essential, so book your trip in advance!


4. Paddington Reservoir

Paddington, NSW

The Paddington Reservoir will make you forget you’re in Sydney! Reminiscent of the ancient Baths of Caracalla in Rome, the Paddington Reservoir is a stunning garden to explore. This gem was built in 1899 and is set in a sunken garden, presenting heritage items and wide boardwalks. This immaculate piece of history is the perfect place to soak up some beautiful surroundings.

The reservoir includes shaded areas and seating areas, making it the ultimate spot for a picnic. You will definitely want to take your time strolling around the heritage site and capture some beautiful photos. The street level of the park is accessible at all times, however the lower level can only be accessed by an elevator during daylight hours, so make sure to time your trip to not miss out on the areas below!

The Paddington Reservoir is located closeby to public transport, and is free to explore. Don’t forget your sunscreen, water and take your rubbish with you when you leave.


If you’re looking for a change of scenery, these hidden gems are the perfect spots to spend your day. Cool down at Freshwater Beach, or soak up the view at Wendy’s Secret Garden. These are our 4 favourite spots for a cheap day trip to be secluded away from the busy city, let’s go explore Sydney!

After more travel tips around Sydney? Check out our Sydney Road Trips for more ideas.


About The Author

Bastian Graf Portrait

Bastian
Sales & Marketing Manager

Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.

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