Sydney living can come with its fair share of liberties. But like any capital city, Sydney also boasts its own quirks and challenges. For starters, Sydney can be hard to navigate for visitors and new residents. And for those who’ve moved from overseas, getting to grips with the intricacies of living in Sydney – from shopping to driving to managing your household – can naturally come with a bit of a learning curve. So why not use technology to help smooth the acclimation process?
Whether you’re a Sydney native through and through, a new resident, or a tourist that’s eager to explore, using any of the ten mobile apps that we’ve outlined below is sure to enhance your experience of living, working, and wandering through this sunny city.
1. Recycle Mate
A collaboration by Brisbane developer DreamWalk Apps and the Australian Council of Recycling, the Recycle Mate app has been designed to be the most reputable source for all things recycling in Australia. Simply pop your location into the app and the items you’re looking to recycle to receive up-to-date information on just how to dispose of those items responsibly.
Recycle Mate will identify which household bin you should be placing your refuse in to ensure that it’s disposed of suitably and in a manner that can help conserve resources and limit waste from being sent directly to landfill. If no curbside bin is suitable, then Recycle Mate can even recommend specialist recycling plants and resource recovery centres near you, allowing Sydney consumers to practice ethical waste disposal and keep their city beautiful!
2. NSW National Parks
Although it can be tricky to tear your eyes away from the picture-perfect Sydney Harbour, rest assured that there is plenty more to see and do in Greater Sydney. New South Wales is home to some of Australia’s most breath-taking national parks, meaning that avid campers and hikers should find themselves with no shortage of trails to trek, rivers to swim in, and camping grounds to settle in to.
But how do you find all these outdoor activities? By using the NSW National Parks app, of course! With profiles and visitor information on all of the state’s national parks, this particular mobile app is an absolute must-have for all Sydney natives and tourists who want to experience the wild NSW landscape in all its glory, and perhaps spend every single one of their weekends at a different campsite.
Sydney is also renowned for its many sun-soaked beaches, including the internationally renowned Bondi Beach as well as Manly Beach, located in the suburb of Manly and just to the north of the city centre. If you’re looking to do plenty of seaside swimming, surfing, and other activities during your time in Sydney, then the Beachsafe app by Surf Life Saving Australia is yet another must-have that deserves a position of honour in your phone’s app menu.
The Beachsafe app has been developed to provide beachgoers with all the information they need to enjoy a safe and secure swimming or surfing experience. You can use the Beachsafe app to get insights into weather and daily UV conditions, as well as forecasted surfing conditions, and to top it all off, patrol schedules to ensure that you can always swim between the flags wherever you go for a dip.
4. Opal Travel
Developed by Transport for NSW themselves, the Opal Travel app offers so many more features than just topping up your Opal Travel card alone. Sydney commuters can even find daily schedules for both metro and regional services directly through the Opal Travel app, allowing you to plan your journey with absolute ease and certainty.
The Opal Travel app also outlines accessibility information for people with disabilities. Although Sydney is generally a pretty accessible city, visitors or tourists that are using mobility aids will be sure to find the accessibility info on the Opal Travel app to be quite helpful during their stay.
Yes, there are an abundance of delightful diners, restaurants, and fast food and casual eateries to enjoy all over Sydney, but how exactly do you know where to eat if you’re maintaining a vegan diet? That’s where the HappyCow app comes into play.
HappyCow is essentially a community-run directory of local cafes and restaurants that serve vegan dishes or even maintain a fully vegan menu, for those who are looking to avoid meat contamination. Since HappyCow was founded in 1999, the community has expanded across the globe, with HappyCow contributors busily at work in virtually every major city on the planet. You can find vegan restaurants in Sydney easily through using either the HappyCow website or their streamlined mobile app.
What do you do after a nice dinner in town? Well, you must catch a show at some of Sydney’s many theatre and event venues. For those who want to explore Sydney’s arts and cultural scene, downloading the Fever events app should be your first move. This innovative mobile application provides a range of activities and events at a variety of different price points, so that users of all walks of life can find something enriching to do after a long day at work.
Whether you’re looking to do something sporty and outdoorsy or would prefer to enjoy a foodie experience, a candlelit concert, or even a themed cruise of the Sydney Harbour, you’ll be sure to find events that appeal to you directly on the Fever app.
7. Sydney Opera House – Stream
What if you want to catch a show at one of Sydney’s most iconic entertainment venues? It’s no secret that the Sydney Opera House attracts millions of visitors every year, even if just to walk around the perimeter of the House and take in the architectural marvel in full. For those who want to catch a show at the Opera House, tickets can be purchased directly from the box office or online.
But there are more ways to catch a show at the Opera House than dressing up and traipsing over to the venue itself. Thanks to Stream, the Sydney Opera House’s streaming platform, theophiles can catch full performances directly on their phones and other personal devices. The Stream app is free to download and to use, with options to pay for exclusive content that’s recorded from previous shows as well as current productions.
8. Sydney Culture Walks
Want to trade in the train or light rail for a stroll around the city? Thankfully, Sydney is a highly pedestrian-friendly travel destination, and there’s plenty to see and do when travelling foot through the city. In fact, you can access an abundance of walks and self-guided tour trails located in and around the city simply by using the Sydney Culture Walks app.
Those who are travelling to Sydney for the first time are encouraged to download this particular app before they map out their trip itinerary. That way, you’ll be able to fit in all the walks and tours that appeal to you most!
9. Petrol Spy
And what if you’re looking to drive during your time in Sydney? Sydney highways can be the perfect setting for some pretty fun road trips, especially for those looking to travel across the coast and explore points of interest along Sydney Harbour. But like most Australian city centres at the moment, the costs of petrol are slightly higher than average.
For this reason, it can certainly pay to have the Petrol Spy app on your phone. The Petrol Spy app provides users with up-to-date fuel pricing advertised by all the petrol stations (or ‘servos’, as we Aussies say) near you. Petrol Spy also provides historical data, allowing you to see trends in petrol prices over time for select regions or even select petrol stations.
Speaking of the challenges that come with driving in Sydney, as New South Wales is well-known for handing out double demerits during the summer months and around other holiday periods during the year, it certainly pays to have access to speed camera alerts. Thankfully, Waze offers this and a few other pretty handy features for Sydney drivers to use.
Waze users can enjoy live traffic updates detailing events like collisions, heavy congestion, construction or road works, and other road conditions that may push your ETA back. Map editor settings in the app can also allow you to add your own alerts to other drivers, who can then verify your event with a simple one-touch command when driving. This ability to make easy community contributions is what sets Waze apart from other big-name map and GPS applications.
For tourists looking to make the most of their time in Australia’s commercial capital, be sure to download any or all of these 10 apps in the lead-up to your Sydney holiday. And as for any Sydney natives who’ve gone scrolling through this list, we hope that some of these nifty apps help enrich your own experience living and working in Sydney.