Hidden Gems of Sydney and NSW 

Sydney and broader NSW are bursting at the seams with fun, interesting, and exciting things to do and see. But what about the unique experiences? The ones a little off the beaten path? We’re looking at some of our favourite hidden gems of the region so you can visit Sydney and travel NSW like a local.

Published Date

30 May 2024

Sydney and broader NSW are bursting at the seams with fun, interesting and exciting things to do and see. But what about the unique experiences – the ones a little off the beaten path? We’re looking at some of our favourite hidden gems of the region so you can visit Sydney and travel NSW like a local.

Hidden Gems in the Sydney CBD

Sydney has so much to offer locals and tourists. Great food, thriving nightlife, bustling shopping, inspiring galleries and museums – the list goes on. But amongst all that excitement, there are some hidden gems in Sydney you won’t want to miss.


Stay in the city to uncover the best of Sydney. You’re spoiled for choice, with accommodation options like the centrally-located and lively ibis Styles Central, the convenience and comfort of your own serviced apartment at Mantra 2 Bond Street, or the decadence of luxury accommodation at Swissôtel Sydney.


Bangarra Dance Theatre

Bangarra Dance Theatre is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander dance company focused on contemporary dance. Catch a live performance while you're in Sydney for a wholly unique experience that many miss when they visit the state’s capital.


Sydney Hermitage Foreshore track

The Sydney Hermitage Foreshore track is one of Sydney’s best coastal walks, and an absolute hidden gem for anyone who loves a light walk and hasn’t tried this one yet. Start at Nielsen Park and enjoy views of Shark Island, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the rugged beauty of the NSW coastline and natural flora to either side.


Art Gallery of NSW State of the Art Tour

Get to know the secrets of Sydney’s most exciting new architectural landmark – the Art Gallery’s SANAA-designed North Building with the State of the Art Tour. Encounter one-of-a-kind artworks created especially for the expanded campus and take in a new perspective on the iconic Art Gallery of NSW – a hidden gem for all art lovers.

Western Sydney hidden gems 

Sydney’s hidden gems extend further than the CBD – out in the west, adventure is calling! Western Sydney is ideal for a weekend trip and is more than deserving of a stop on your tour of Sydney or New South Wales. Get out of the hustle and bustle and explore all Western Sydney has to offer, including wildlife, outdoor activities and arts and culture. 


While you’re in the area, it’s a good idea to situate yourself in the Western Sydney hub of Parramatta. Stay close to the action at Novotel Sydney Parramatta, a stylish and modern option located right by the river, or in the heart of the city centre at Mantra Parramatta.


Treetops Adventure

There’s so much to see and do in Western Sydney Parklands, but if you’re up for something left-of-centre, make room in your itinerary for a visit to Treetops Adventure Western Sydney. You’ll get a unique aerial perspective on the parklands as you journey through over 100 obstacles in the trees, like wobbly bridges, tightropes and ziplines. 


Parramatta Farmer’s Market

Is there anything better than a chilled-out morning at a farmer’s market? Discover a kaleidoscope of local food and produce at Parramatta Farmer’s Market every Wednesday morning, including Summerland Honey’s artisanal honey, soaps and spreads; Serena's Finer Things sweets and snacks; and Hill-Lock Orchard’s fresh fruit and veggies.


Blacktown Drive-In Cinema

Blacktown Drive is a hidden gem that’ll appeal to visitors looking for a dose of nostalgia. For a unique and comfortable night out, this drive through cinema offers blockbuster flicks with diner style food on hand. Simply switch on your car radio and tune in! For those with smaller cars, you can get a front row seat, while larger vehicles will need to stay further in the back during the movie session. If you’re looking for convenient and comfortable accommodation nearby, venture over to Mercure Sydney Blacktown . 


Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre

Switch up your nature-inspired Western Sydney escape by paying a visit to Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre. The centre hosts diverse arts and cultural exhibitions, events, workshops and performances by local, emerging and established artists. There’s bound to be something intriguing happening there during your visit, so be sure to check what’s on.

Kingscliff hidden gems 

Kingscliff is an ideal destination to escape into coastal bliss. Book a stay at the Peppers Salt Resort & Spa or Mantra on Salt Beach Kingscliff and indulge in the peace and serenity of the Northern Rivers region of NSW. Explore the Tweed Heads region or try some of our favourite hidden gems while you enjoy the picturesque locale.


Snorkel with turtles

Try snorkelling with turtles with the Kingscliff Watersport Guru! With its tiny, volcanic rock islands, the region is home to a permanent population of Green, Hawksbill, and Loggerhead turtles that are more than happy to share their waters with visitors. Visit Kingscliff during migration season (June to November) and you might even spot a humpback whale.


Tropical Fruit World

When visiting Kingscliff with the family or anyone who loves a bite of fresh fruit, you can’t miss Tropical Fruit World. Visit the fruit market, grab a bite at the gourmet café, stop by the nursery or shop to find something to bring home, and treat yourself to a scoop of fruity ice cream at the ice creamery.


Catch a Crab

There’s no fresher seafood than the seafood you’ve caught yourself, and at Catch a Crab you can do just that. The oyster farm and lakeside café run crab catching tours where you can get hands-on and see what goes into this style of fishing. Just watch out for the hungry pelicans nearby!


Husk Distillers

The home of Australian cultivated rum, Husk Distillers showcases high-quality, small-batch spirits at their charming distillery. Australia’s first agricultural rum distillery, the unique distillery grows entirely their own sugar cane for a home-grown, one-of-a-kind drop you won’t find anywhere else.

Albury hidden gems

Hugging the impressive Murry River sits Albury, a meeting point of regional charm, peace and metropolitan convenience.  Albury has plenty to see and do, and is absolutely full of hidden gems of NSW. Stay in the bustling Riverina city CBD at the Mantra Albury and you’ll be just a short walk from cafés, bars, museums, galleries, and more – all with the Murry River sprawling out behind you.


Murray Art Museum Albury

The  Murray Art Museum Albury (MAMA) is one of the best art museums in the state, and yet it’s also one of the best-kept secrets, drawing far fewer crowds than museums and galleries in larger hubs. You’ll find yourself wandering through the space at your own leisure, taking in old and new works of art from local and international artists.


Albury Botanic Gardens

For plant lovers and families with little ones who have plenty of energy to burn, be sure to visit the Albury Botanic Gardens. For kids, the Children’s Garden is a space where they can run free and have their own adventures amongst the trees. And for anyone looking for a peaceful afternoon in the garden, the Heritage Walk takes you through the garden’s rich history as you enjoy the scent of blooming flowers.


Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk

Meander through riverside parks on foot or on a bicycle with the Wagirra Trail and Yindyamarra Sculpture Walk. The path features a series of eye-catching contemporary Aboriginal sculptures, including a Tiddalick (the frog who caused a flood) made of recycled materials, a representation of the Bogong Moth migration, and Vertical Message Sticks. The path is accessible, and perfect for a day out with friends and family.

Ready to discover a few NSW hidden gems of your own? Start planning your next holiday and find your new favourite attraction or activity in NSW.