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Published August 29th 2019
Cure the Usual Ills with another Dose of the Unusual
Floating High (by Sydney Float Centres)
Sydney's Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Royal National Park and Bondi Beach are jaw-dropping for first-time visitors. Locals love the landmarks too, but to feel that awe from something new and novel, step off the tourist trail.
We've all heard the usual healthy living advice - eat more fruit and veg, exercise, sleep, meditate, spend quality time with loved ones, watch cat videos (but not too many).
Once you've mastered those, float into a stress-free, creative wonderland. nootropics? In the pitch-black darkness of a flotation chamber, you're immersed in a bath of saltwater, warmed to match your body temperature. As you float on the still, silent surface, you relax in a world without constant stimulus, drifting into a deep meditative relaxation and encouraging spiritual awakening.
As backpackers snooze in the Rocks Youth Hostel, archaeologists are digging under them to uncover our origins at the Big Dig. Hundreds of artefacts and photographs are on display, revealing our ancestor's histories.
The site at Cumberland St, The Rocks, was first inhabited by the Gadigal people. Europeans arrived in 1788, constructing tenements, then terraces and iron sheds. Rats brought the bubonic plague, but the residents kept spirits high with an illegal stash of liquor in the water well.
During the annual History Week, you can get your hands dirty with a day of amateur archaeology.
Sleepover at Taronga Zoo
Cure your flatmate's snoring with a night beside lions and elephants at Taronga Zoo's "Roar and Snore".
There haven't been any Jurassic Park incidents yet. Instead, you'll enjoy crisp linen, modern tents, warm showers and an all-you-can-eat buffet. If you're frightened about upsetting the locals, there are plenty of vegan options on the menu.
Books, TV shows, console games and virtual reality invite us to escape into fantasy fictional worlds. Become the hero of your own adventure story on an Escape Hunt.
Switch off your smart phone, invite your smartest friends, choose your challenge, including a wartime spy mission, catching a serial killer, and a film noir adventure, and solve the puzzles.
Plan your escape at Level 4, 393 George Street, 7 days a week, 10am – 10pm.
Haunted Supper at Old Government House
The Old Government House in Parramatta Park is a 2 centuries-old Georgian mansion, home to Sydney's governor until 1855.
After dark, take a haunted tour by candlelight through these eerie halls for paranormal encounters in its mysterious rooms.
Debrief with a friendly supper of sandwiches and wine in the dining room, as a few spooky guests lurk over your shoulder. Get scared on the 3rd Friday of each month and Halloween at 7.30pm.
Enter the Sleeping City
Rookwood Necropolis hosts the Sleeping City Walk – a stroll to the artwork exploring our relationship with death.
Walk amongst the memorials, crypts and graves of Sydney's famous and infamous collection of characters. The Necropolis is the resting place for the rich, poor, loved and feared.
Dig up their stories to learn about Lilian Fowler, Australia's first female mayor, the outlaw Jimmy Governor, the eccentric Bea Miles, 17th century shorthand advocate (popular before texting), Jacob Pitman, and John Paton, awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry during the 1857 Indian Rebellion.
Visit Rookwood at Hawthorne Ave, but don't linger after sunset.
Escape Sydney (by the Cipher Room)
Turn a Sunday stroll into a learning experience with a cultural guide. Local experts tell the hidden stories in Sydney's streets, with personal insights into the history, food, art and people.
They'll help you find the best local cafes, galleries, restaurants and shops.
4 themed walked are on offer - Sydney street art, Chippendale and Redfern industrial imagination, Ultimo and Chinatown, and Dark Mofo. Click Culture Scouts to book a tour.
Sydney's cafe culture is missing something. We have great coffee, but we need more cats.
In Surry Hills, settle in with a warm beverage and a collection of the cutest cats and kittens in Sydney. As you sip your coffee, watch a film in the Catflix Cinema, and stroke the purring felines, you'll be supporting the rescue of displaced cats. You can even adopt one of the orphaned kittens.
The cat cafe at 66 Foveaux St | Surry Hills is open 10am - 6pm Mon and Wed, and 10am - 8pm Thur - Sun. Click Catmosphere for info.
Get out on the highway (Troll Tours)
Head Out on the Highway
Grab your sunnies, leather jacket and 'Rebel Without a Cause' attitude as you roar around town on the back of a Harley Davidson.
Choose to ride a three-wheeler, a classic chopper or in the sidecar. A biker will guide you through the city on one of 8 scenery routes.
You'll ride around Sydney Harbour, visiting beaches, bridges and the best beauty spots on the waterfront. Create a unique experience with your own custom tour, wedding package, or take a longer ride with the Blue Mountains or Hunter Valley excursions.
Tucked behind the old air-traffic control site, drive onto the exit ramp just south of the airport tunnel on General Holmes Drive, walk north along the coastline and through a sandy bushland to emerge beside Sydney Airport. You'll be close enough to wave to the pilots as they take off and land.
You can also take a 10-minute walk north from Brighton Le Sands along the beach to reach the site.
What's been your most unusual experience in Sydney? Please let us know with a comment.