As the most bustling city in the country, Sydney is home to a multitude of restaurants, beaches, historic landmarks, cultural institutions and other attractions waiting to be explored during your getaway. Try some of these nighttime holiday ideas for both kids and adults in Sydney.
Explore the Skies at the Sydney Observatory
Take advantage of the dark sky by peering up at the stars at the Sydney Observatory, the oldest in Australia. Situated atop Observatory Hill, this museum and educational centre houses exhibits and hosts events that teach you about the history of the site and the mysteries of the universe. Use one of the state-of-the-art telescopes to get a close look at the stars and planets and watch an educational 3D film in the space theatre. The observatory is open evenings Monday through Saturday. Keep in mind that you have to make a reservation in advance for night sessions.
Go to the Top of the Sydney Tower
Looking out over the city from the top of the Sydney Tower at any time of day is a delightful experience, but the nighttime view is truly breathtaking. Hop on the express lift, which will take you to the Sydney Tower Eye, which sits more than 800 feet above the ground. You'll be mesmerized by the city lights that reflect off the shimmering harbour waters, and off in the distance, you'll catch a peek of the Blue Mountains. There are also high-powered binoculars to help you see further and digital displays that provide you with information about the sites you're viewing. Those who dare can upgrade their visit to include the SKYWALK, which lets you step out onto a glass platform that's entirely safe - but a heart-pounding experience. Afterward, stop by one of the restaurants for a pleasant family meal - 360 Bar and Dining and Sydney Tower Dining are both revolving establishments that give you a spectacular view while you chow down.
Take a Twilight Sailing Adventure
To explore the waters surrounding the city by night, sign up for Twilight Sailing through Sydney By Sail. This company, located at the National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour, lets you board a ship at Port Jackson and traverse the waters and watch the sun go down behind the city. You'll be led by an experienced captain, who will navigate the waterways in the Hunter 33, the Hunter 38 and the Hunter 45 yachts. Feel free to sit back and relax while the kids get excited by the views as you pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, alongside the Sydney Opera House and by the Fort Denison, among other sites. Twilight Sailing is available from October through March.
Visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney has a vibrant arts community, thanks in part to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which showcases the works of Australian creators from the past and modern day. In fact, it houses one of the biggest collections of Aboriginal art in the nation, not to mention a plethora of works by European, Asian and other international masters. It also hosts the Art After Hours series. It's usually held on Wednesday evenings and, unlike the typical gallery event, is ideal for the whole family. They often take on fun themes, such as Wild West night that features country music, dancing and American artwork and welcomes people to dress up as cowboys to celebrate Frontier culture.
Have Fun at Luna Park
While a visit to an amusement park seems more like a daytime activity, Luna Park is just as fun after dark. It's situated on Milsons Point and looks out over the waters of the Sydney Harbour, but the stunning views aren't what will catch the kids' eyes - they'll be dazzled by the display of lights, exciting rides and wide array of games. Start with the Ferris wheel, which takes you 40 metres into the air where you can look down at the gorgeous park and enjoy a panoramic of the city. Then, let the kids walk through Coney Island, a fun house that dates back to the 1930s and lets the young ones go down a series of slides. Another highlight is the Ranger, a pirate ship from the future that takes you on a bumpy ride and even spins completely around 360 degrees. Entry to the park is free, though you'll have to pay for rides and games.