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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 09 November, 2022
Expert travel writer: Mark Chipperfield

There are helicopter rides in most cities, and if you’ve done one, there’s an instinctive tendency to think ‘done them all’. In Sydney’s case, it’s definitely worth another outing. If you’ve never done one, then it’s a must. The views really are that special.

What other city has such a beautiful harbour, and such unique and compelling landmarks as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House?

Flights range from a 20-minute scenic flight over the city and beaches, to longer trips to nearby regional attractions. You can take flight to go hiking in the Blue Mountains wine tasting in the Hunter Valley, or whale-watching in the Kangaroo Valley.

Another option to consider is booking your scenic flight upon arrival as your airport transfer – as well as instantly ticking off one bucket list experience, seeing the city and coastline from above is a great way to get your bearings.

Price from: £115
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 10+
When: All year around
Duration: 20 minutes

Getting there & doing it

Take-off is from Sydney Airport, a 20-minute cab ride from the city. There’s no minimum age as such, but children may find it frightening.

When to do it

Flights operate all year round, seven days a week, dawn until dusk on request. Obviously, the experience is weather-dependent, so plan to go early in your trip to allow you time to reschedule if the weather is poor.

Recommended itineraries by our writers that include this experience

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Crystalbrook Albion

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[6.8 miles]

Located in trendy Surry Hills, this cheerful little hotel is an ideal base for exploring the city, and for those who prefer an edgy, local vibe.

Official star rating:

The Hughenden

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[7 miles]

Delightfully eccentric, this Victorian villa oozes old school charm and offers one of the handiest addresses in Sydney.

Official star rating:

Mrs Banks Hotel

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[7.1 miles]

Berthed in the heart of Paddington, this 30-room property is a pleasant alternative to the city’s big brand hotels and offers easy access to most of the major attractions.

Official star rating:

Larmont Sydney

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[7.9 miles]

A contemporary hotel with affordable rooms in the heart of trendy Kings Cross, close to the city centre and good transport links. An ideal base for sightseeing away from the crowds.

Official star rating:

Destination guides including or relevant to this experience


New South Wales, Australia

One of the world’s most dynamic and glamorous cities, with golden beaches, world-class eating and dining and effervescent, friendly people.

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Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Sydney Mardi Gras Parade

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[7.2 miles]

An extraordinary and unique cultural spectacular – Sydney’s world-famous Mardi Gras parade sees 65,000 glammed-up marchers, 160 outrageous floats and tens of thousands lining the streets.

Best for ages: Any | Free | 2-3 hours

Australian Museum

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[7.7 miles]

The Australian Museum, fresh from a two-year refit, is a dynamic, interactive and multi-faceted learning space for people of all ages and interests.

Best for ages: 4+ | Free

Kayaking on Sydney Harbour

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[9 miles]

See some of Sydney’s most famous landmarks – including the Opera House – from the water, with a kayak tour around the world’s most beautiful natural harbour.

Best for ages: 4+ | £70 | 2 hours

Other worthwhile experiences near this experience if you have time or interest..

Wylie’s Baths

Wylie’s Baths

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[6.6 miles]

This beautifully-restored Edwardian bathing facility, a short walk from Coogee Beach, offers a stunning ocean swimming pool, historic wooden changing sheds, a small café and wrap-around ocean views. Open daily.

Best for ages: 4+ | £3

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Overview >
Tramsheds Sydney

Tramsheds Sydney

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[7.2 miles]

A delightful piece of urban renewal, this unique industrial-style precinct, housed in a converted historic tram shed, is a slice of foodie heaven. Food stalls and trendy restaurants to satisfy any appetite.

Best for ages: 10+ | Free

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Australian National Maritime Museum

Australian National Maritime Museum

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia[8 miles]

Anyone interested in Australian history should head to this fascinating museum that showcases and explores Australia’s naval war history, Aboriginal history and its white settler history. Don’t miss the fully-restored, 19th-century tall ship the James Craig.

Best for ages: 8+ | £12

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