Sydney on show: Host city of FDI World Dental Congress 2023

Preparations are gaining pace for September’s FDI World Dental Congress 2023 (FDIWDC23), and as we get ready to host the Southern Hemisphere’s biggest dental event ever conceived, we imagine our delegates are also locking in arrangements to make the most of this unprecedented event. As we welcome practitioners from not only around Australia but across the globe, the city of Sydney offers a fabulous backdrop to the event and, if you can spare another day or three, a destination to be savoured in its own right; the following eight ways are just a taste.

Explore the iconic Sydney Opera House

Approaching the Sydney Opera House, be prepared for your jaw to drop as you take in the sight of the unique white ‘shells’ standing out against the backdrop of the deep blue harbour. Ascend the banked front stairs, which have served as a stage for numerous artists throughout the years, and enter the world-renowned performing arts centre that hosts a diverse range of shows including opera, ballet, comedy, and rock. You can delve into the backstage workings of this bustling venue on an early-morning tour, sip cocktails while enjoying stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at the Opera Bar in the late afternoon, or indulge in fine dining while taking in the panoramic views at the Bennelong restaurant located within the Sydney Opera House.

Cross the water to Taronga Zoo

Experience the thrill of observing Australia’s distinctive wildlife against the stunning backdrop of Sydney Harbour, including views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge at Taronga Zoo Sydney. Take a mini-harbour cruise on a 12-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, located in central Sydney, to the wharf located below the hillside zoo. Encounter an incredible range of animals, including iconic native species such as koalas and kangaroos, as well as creatures from around the world. With more than 5,000 animals representing around 350 species, there is much to discover. For a truly immersive experience, spend the night at the luxurious Wildlife Retreat at Taronga and engage with the animal world like never before. Alternatively, spend the night in a safari-style tent and drift off to sleep to the sounds of the animals on the Roar and Snore experience.

Climb atop Sydney Harbour Bridge

Take in the stunning panoramic views of the harbour city from the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, fondly referred to as the ‘coathanger’. Join a guided climb with BridgeClimb Sydney to scale the heights of the towering steel arches and enjoy an unparalleled view. Enrich your experience by learning about the city’s rich Aboriginal history and culture from an Indigenous Storyteller guide on BridgeClimb’s Burrawa Indigenous Experience. Alternatively, feel the cool sea breeze on your face as you stroll along the protected pedestrian path linking the city centre to North Sydney.

Unwind in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Relax and reconnect with the incredible diversity of nature as you take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque Royal Botanic Garden, located adjacent to the Sydney Opera House. Lose yourself in the serene beauty of Australia’s oldest botanic garden, home to over 27,000 plants from around the world, including a substantial collection of native Australian species. Gain a new perspective of the harbour foreshore by embarking on an Aboriginal Harbour Heritage Tour, or explore new flavours on a traditional bush tucker tour. To satisfy your taste buds, indulge in modern Asian cuisine at the acclaimed Botanic House restaurant, headed by celebrity chef Luke Nguyen.

Go glamping on Cockatoo Island

Unleash your imagination on UNESCO World Heritage- listed Cockatoo Island, a brief ferry ride from Circular Quay. Roam through the remnants of the island’s past as a convict prison and naval dockyard, and savour the harbour views with a refreshing drink at the Societé Overboard bar. For an eerie experience, take an adults-only after-dark ghost tour to discover the island’s grim history. Stay overnight to immerse yourself in the island’s unique atmosphere, with options to stay in a charming heritage cottage or glamp in the waterfront camping ground, all set against the view of the stunning Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Be stirred by Bangarra Dance Theatre

Both locals and visitors are constantly captivated by the compelling storytelling and dynamic contemporary choreography of highly acclaimed Aboriginal dance company, Bangarra Dance Theatre. Immerse yourself in a world brought to life by a team of classically trained artists and choreographers with a rich Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage, drawing on tens of thousands of years of Indigenous culture. Join the vibrant audience at the Sydney Opera House for Bangarra’s premieres or venture to the company’s intimate Studio Theatre located in the Walsh Bay arts precinct for occasional emerging works.

Learn to surf at Bondi Beach

Become a part of a unique community as you grab a surfboard and paddle out through the crystalline water at Bondi, Sydney’s most famous beach. Rent a board and join the locals riding the waves before they head off to work in the morning. After surfing, follow the sandy footprints to the tribe’s favourite cafes for a delicious post-surf breakfast. Alternatively, learn the sport’s essential safety rules and get tips on paddling, catching waves, and maintaining balance from experienced instructors at Let’s Go Surfing, and you’ll be chasing the breaks in no time.

Cruise the coast on foot

Sydney’s breathtaking coastal walks allow visitors to soak up uninterrupted views of the ocean and harbour as you stroll from rugged headlands to secluded bays and beaches. Traverse charming trails through national parks and along clifftops close to the city. Join the locals on the 6km Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, snaking from the famed Bondi Icebergs ocean pool to the sands of Coogee in the eastern suburbs. Closer to the city, take a refreshing dip in the netted harbour pool at Vaucluse’s Nielsen Park after tackling the Hermitage Foreshore Track, a hidden treasure offering spectacular views of Shark Island and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Wind through rainforest and past lighthouses with panoramic harbour views on the 10km Spit Bridge to Manly Walk on the North Shore. Alternatively, take on a steep but satisfying hike to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach, on the northernmost tip of the Sydney coastline.