Best Spots to Witness Sunrise and Sunset in Sydney

By Aaditee Kulkarni on Dec 05, 2017
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Voted one of the most liveable cities in the world, Sydney is Australia’s harbour city that overlooks the infinite Pacific Ocean. Probably my most distinct memory of Sydney is the flashy and spectacular fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on a New Year Eve, year after year. One of the largest cities in Australia, Sydney is sun-kissed, seductive, contemporary, and state-of-the-art. 

Best known for its cutting-edge architecture, the list of things to do in Sydney include soaking up the sun on one of its beaches, visiting the ethnic museums, walking through the art galleries, tickling your taste buds at its restaurants and cafes, catching up on some of the best shows in its theatres, and the list goes on. 

On your next holiday to Sydney, why not chuck the regulars and go on to explore some of the best spots to witness sunrises and sunsets in Sydney? After all, seeing the sky painted in myriad of pinks, oranges and yellows is a sight to behold. 

Best Sunrise Spots in Sydney:

best places to watch sunrise in Sydney

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Sitting comfortably on the south-east coast of Australia, Sydney offers plenty of spots to witness the sunrise. Here is our list of best sunrise spots in Sydney: 

1. Mrs Macquarie's Chair

A sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, Mrs. Macquarie's Chair offers remarkable views of the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour bridge, and the city’s skyline, all in one frame. Visit pre-dawn and you will be greeted to an early and a brilliant sunrise. 

2. The Gap

One of the best spots in Sydney, The Gap offers gorgeous views of harbour and the sea. Walk up to the cliff and see the sky take various shades of oranges. Gaze at the illuminated sky and feel the warmth of tangerine surround you. 

3. Hornby Lighthouse

When you walk a little ahead of The Gap, you will reach the Hornby Lighthouse. Located at the tip of South Head, this place will treat you to radiant views as the sky illuminates with hues of pure scattered light.  

4. Coogee Beach

Bordering the Thompsons Bay, the Coogee Beach will ensure that you catch unobstructed views of the sun as its spears of light pierce through the clouds. One of the best places to watch sunrise in Sydney, Coogee Beach is located close to the famous Bondi Beach. 

5. Sydney Tower Eye

The tallest structure in Sydney, visit the Sydney Tower Eye and see the vast sea absorb the flickers of the early morning sun as the mighty sun peeks through the horizon. 

6. Turimetta Beach

Located at a short drive from Sydney, the Turimetta Beach is serene and placid. Drive through the deserted streets to reach the beach just in time as the gallant golden orb makes it way up and the sky fills with endless rays of yellow.  

7. Bondi Icebergs Club

You trip to Sydney would be incomplete without setting foot into this iconic landmark. And what better time to visit than catching up on the bright and mesmerising sunrise as the first slither of the sun peeks over the ocean.

A few handy tips to capture the sun in that perfect frame! 

  • Carry a tripod
  • Choose a wide-angle focal length (ranging between 24mm and 35mm)
  • Choose the lowest possible ISO setting
  • Choose the smallest possible aperture
  • Use aperture priority mode
  • Use exposure compensation to minimize exposure

TripHobo Recomendations for Sydney:

Best Sunset Spots in Sydney:

best places to watch sunset in Sydney

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Talking a romantic walk with your partner? Or catching up with your friends over a cup of coffee? It’s best to watch the sun set with the ones that matter. Here is our pick of best sunset spots in Sydney:  

1. Camp Cove

Situated at a short walk from the Watsons Bay, Camp Cove is one of the best places in Sydney to watch the sunset.  Overlooking the metropolitan skyline of Sydney, watch the sky as it changes its colour from yellow to pomegranate pink. 

2. Café Sydney

Downing a Ginger Beer while watching the sun set across the harbour, in a classic Aussie style, is like how we like to call it a day! 

3. Shangri-La Hotel

The $50 parking ticket is totally gonna be worth it when you reach the 36th floor. Order one a signature cocktails at the Blu Bar and see the sun sink beneath the horizon while dyeing the sky in a pinkish-orange hue.

4. Bondi - Bronte Coastal Walk 

This 3-kilometres trail is one of the most spectacular places to watch the sunset in Sydney. As the colour of the sky fades from orange to crimson red, watch the twinkly neon lights embrace the city. 

5. Royal Botanic Garden

Stroll through the legendary gardens that are located in the heart of Sydney and watch the sky turn into a purple-tinged grey as the sun sets and gives way to the dark of the night. 

6. Blues Point Reserve

Relax on the lush lawn of Blues Point Reserve and watch the sun dip behind the Walsh Bay. And do not forget to bring your picnic basket along.  

7. The Lookout Echo Point, Katoomba

This one is a little far from the city, but totally worth it. Watching the sky change colour from warm yellow, to scarlet, to amethyst that serves as a backdrop to the emblematic Three Sisters is one of the best life-experiences you will ever have. 

A few handy sunset photography tips:

  • As mentioned before, a tripod will ensure that your picture doesn’t come out shaky
  • Underexpose the shot
  • The foreground is equally important
  • The horizon (line) should never come in the centre of the frame
  • Choose aperture priority mode with exposure compensation
  • Shoot in HDR and RAW modes

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Also Read:

Best Places to Watch New Year Fireworks in Sydney

Weekend Getaways from Sydney

Best Coastal Walks in Sydney

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