Sydney's Five Best Secret Selfie Sensations
Our guide to great Sydney locations that offer a selfie opportunity like no other.
If you want to impress your Instagram followers (or just friends and family) on your trip to Sydney, avoid the standard selfie backgrounds - the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge - and opt for these five lesser-known but equally spectacular locales.
WYLIE'S BATHS, COOGEE
Don’t let the “baths” in the name fool you. This is not some genteel English swimming spot: it’s one of the city’s most stunning tidal ocean pools, carved out of rocks at the southern end of Coogee Beach in the eastern suburbs. Established in 1907 by long-distance swimmer Henry Wylie, the baths were thoughtfully renovated in the 1990s, with the pool itself reached by a steep series of stairs from the jaunty deck and entry area. When the ocean is heaving and the sky is blue, sit on the cracked cement, feet dangling in the pool while fish swim by, and get the camera ready.
OBSERVATORY HILL, THE ROCKS
This elevated park sits between heritage-heavy suburbs Millers Point and The Rocks in the CBD’s northern tip. In fact, at 40m above sea level, it’s the city’s highest natural point. It’s an unexpected oasis of quiet, green and calm – and has spectacular views of both the harbour and the Harbour Bridge. A 100-year-old rotunda and a quartet of historic Moreton Bay fig tree clusters make Observatory Hill a divine spot for a photograph. Make sure to include at least one as you take a selfie with the bridge in the background.
NIELSEN PARK, VAUCLUSE
A park, a beach, a café and oodles of picnic spots – there’s nothing not to love about this divine patch of green in the exclusive harbourside suburb of Vaucluse in the city’s east. But it’s the beach here that is particularly lovely: a sublime strip of blue (including a netted swimming area) with beautiful views of the harbour, and bookended by rocks, where Sydneysiders love to bake like lizards in the summer. Scramble up one of those rocks and take a shot back over the beach for Instagram swoonworthiness.
DARLING HARBOUR, CITY
Once you’ve eaten at one of the fabulous restaurants and indulged in some retail therapy at the Harbourside Shopping Centre, discover what this precinct on the edge of the city offers the keen selfie aficionado. Stroll down to the walled Chinese Garden of Friendship, for a postcard-pretty shot with its beautiful weeping willows. The 19th-century carousel provides another whimsical backdrop, or cross over Pyrmont Bridge, a heritage “swing-span” bridge that provides the perfect locale for a shot back across sparkling Cockle Bay.
MANLY TO SPIT BRIDGE WALK, NORTHERN SYDNEY
This 10km walk weaves its way on a series of trails from the Spit Bridge on Middle Harbour to the harbour/ocean suburb of Manly (or vice versa), itself one of the prettiest areas of the city. It passes through national park, bush reserves, harbourside trails and residential streets, offering endless opportunities for selfies with bays, inlets and beaches as the backdrop. Particularly great photography spots in the area include Arabanoo Lookout, Castle Rock Beach and Grotto Point Lighthouse.