Worldwide icon-chevron-right South Pacific icon-chevron-right Australia icon-chevron-right Sydney icon-chevron-right The most overrated places to pash in Sydney

The most overrated places to pash in Sydney

Does your next romantic excursion need a rethink?

Advertising
Don't get caught kissing at these Sydney hotspots

Gaze out on the sapphire waters of the Sydney Harbour, at the majestic steel arches soaring over them, at the pearly crescents of the Opera House’s sails as they catch the dappled sun. Take it in, take it all in and tell me you don’t feel romantic.

What’s that? You don’t feel romantic? In fact, you feel the opposite of romantic? Because you’re currently surrounded by 3,000 tourists and an aggressive seagull is giving you the stink eye?

Between its iconic landmarks, its natural wonders and its glorious weather, Sydney seems like the perfect setting for some Hollywood-esque loved-up magic; that quintessential movie moment when the romantic leads finally lock lips. The reality, however, does not always live up to the hype. Here are the most overrated places to pash in Sydney (and where you should really be doing your canoodling).

Willing to keep your lips to yourself? Then you have nothing to fear at these 50 things to do in Sydney at least once in your life or at these top-rated attractions.

Where to kiss and where to miss

Sydney Opera House at Aria
Photograph: Anna Kucera

On the Opera House steps

The expectation:
As you approach Bennelong Point from the CBD, the hustle and bustle of Circular Quay gives way to the wide expanse of the cobbled forecourt and beyond, the sweeping steps ascending to the world’s most iconic building. With such an architectural wonder as your backdrop, this will be romance on an epic scale. 

The reality:
The Sydney Opera House is famous. Like, really famous: more than 8 million people flock to see Sydney’s signature landmark every year. Between the selfie sticks, the hordes of tourists and the aforementioned angry seagulls, your romantic mission might end up more tragic than magic.

Where you should actually go:
If you’re determined to have that famous Sydney backdrop, we suggest a less crowded vista. Take a romantic stroll with your significant other along Hickson Road till you reach the Reserve, or else explore a quiet, leafy corner of the Botanic Gardens. Gorgeous views sans tourist throng guaranteed.

Ocean at Bondi Beach
Photograph: Anna Kucera

In the surf at Bondi

The expectation:

There are bronzed and brawny bodies in all directions, but you’ll only have eyes for bae as you saunter across Australia’s most famous stretch of sand. The sun beats down as the deep azure of the Tasman Sea beckons. Hey, that salty spray sure looks like the perfect place to frolic, fawn, and maybe get a little frisky.

The reality:

While Bondi has some awesome waves for surfers, we wouldn’t recommend wading into the breakers for a sea-snog, not unless you want a mouthful of sand and a fellow beachgoer's foot in your eye. Plus, this beach is a family favourite for tourists and Sydneysiders alike, so you better keep your thirst quest PG, you dirtbags.

Where you should actually go:

There are more than 100 beaches in Sydney, many of them beautifully secluded, so if nautical nookie is your aim, Sydney’s most well-known shore should be a hard pass. Beaches facing the open ocean are rough, but within the harbour the waters are calmer so your tryst won’t be disturbed by an unexpected wipeout.

Advertising
Generic couple in front of Harbour Bridge
Photograph: Creative Commons

On top of the Harbour Bridge

The expectation:
You’ll be on top of the world – or at least on top of Sydney – as you climb one of the true marvels of the industrial age. As Sydney’s skyline unfolds before you, at the apex of the bridge’s mighty arch, you can pull your special someone close with the whole city at your feet.

The reality:
Nothing says “kiss me” like a shapeless jumpsuit and a harness wedgie. Climbing the bridge is an awesome thrill (which we highly recommend), but they take safety very seriously at the BridgeClimb and its many precautions don’t really make for a romantic ambiance. Plus, you’ll be lashed to a safety wire with a large group of fellow climbers who might not thank you for holding up proceedings with your tonsil tennis.

Where you should actually go:
There are plenty of places you can get in the mood for love while taking in the engineering genius of the Harbour Bridge. Our top pick would be the gentle slope of well-tended lawn at Milsons Point, just north of the Harbour. If you’re feeling fancy, why not book an intimate meal for two on Luna Park’s famous Ferris wheel? You'll have views of the bridge that can't be beat.

Sydney Ferry
Photograph: Daniel Boud

At the bow of a Sydney Ferry

The expectation:
If you haven’t daydreamed about living your best Rose-and-Jack-on-the-bow-of-the-Titanic fantasy, you have no business being on a boat. Make your way to the front of one of those beige and emerald workhorses of the Harbour, the noble Sydney ferry, and you can finally have your “I’m flying” moment.

The reality:
These vessels are largely a commuter service and therefore pretty speedy when at full throttle. Standing on the prow is a wild and windswept experience, to say the least. Prepare to get a faceful of salty sea air as well as your other half.

Where you should actually go:
Private boat hire puts you in control and lets you moor in safe locations so you can enjoy the harbour in ways more conducive to smooching. Services like Flotespace – an Uber-style way to hire privately owned boats – have made self-charters effortless. Alternatively, why not board the 1800s rigged tall ship for a twilight dinner cruise? Simply set sail and pucker up.

Advertising
People walking around Central Station Grand Concourse
Photograph: Creative Commons

On the Grand Concourse of Central Station

The expectation:
It’s an evergreen movie trope: a couple locked in a passionate embrace at the centre of busy train station. As the world whizzes by, time stops for our lovers. It may be one of our city’s less storied buildings, but Sydney’s Central Station boasts an impressive concourse where you can recreate this classic staple of Hollywood for yourself.

The reality:
As Central Station is the main transport hub of Sydney’s complex rail network, thousands of rushed, harried, irate commuters pass through it every day. And they have no time for your kissy-kissy shenanigans.

Where you should actually go:
New South Wales is your oyster, my friend! From Central Station, you can catch trains heading statewide in every direction. If you’re in need of some inspo, check out our guides to day trips and getaways for suggestions of where to take your love on a romantic jaunt.

The city skyline view from Darling Harbour with fireworks.
Photograph: Anna Kucera

At Darling Harbour’s weekly fireworks

The expectation:
Sure it’s a cliché, but what isn’t these days? Experience fireworks both literal and proverbial at Darling Harbour’s weekly display. Hold your darling close and plant one on them as the Saturday night sky erupts in a symphony of sparks. 

The reality:
Everyone loves fireworks, right? Yes, right – as the deluge of humanity that pours into Darling Harbour every weekend proves. And not everyone’s there for the whizz-bangs. Tourists, buskers, pissed-up clubbers, hotel guests, and other miscellaneous weekend revellers; your romantic night of sky-gazing just turned into a wrestling match.

Where you should actually go:
Darling Harbour has spent the better part of a decade undergoing a huge $1 billion transformation. In addition to the new Sydney Convention Centre, several luxury hotels are coming to the area. The five-star Sofitel is already in operation, with the five-star W Hotel due to be finished next year. So why not have a romantic staycation and pash under the fireworks from the comfort of a plush hotel suite?

Attractions you shouldn't miss

Advertising