Cities that can boast sterling beaches, harbour restaurants and attractions like the opera house are few and far between.
The Sydney Opera house is always a huge draw card. Positioned in the centre of the Sydney harbour there are restaurants like the prized fine dining restaurant, Bennelong and even the Opera bar below is a local hot spot. The cruise ships depart for pacific islands in the evening and are quite fun to watch.
After visiting the Opera House it isn’t always so easy to find where to head to next. Avoiding Darling Harbour, haymarket is a good idea as its more so a dead area in comparison. Instead there are many places down Angel place of George St to choose from. Further up there are shopping destinations like the Queen Victoria Building and Strand Arcade for a traditional Australian experience. More high street retailers are along the MLC centre and also at the department store David Jones. If you are short of time to go shopping, the Westfield off Pitt Street has a full selection.
Sydney siders are extremely active, group physical training in the park are popular things to do. When you are surround with beautiful outdoors right on your doorstep its easy to see why. The botanical gardens offer great run routes or more famously the Bondi to Coogee coastal track, if you want to join in with the local fun. Its perfectly acceptable to go to brunch at beachside cafe’s in your work out gear and feel free to wear your on trend off duty outfits. Mode Sportif has some inspiration.
A great favourite spot is Paddington, where the society terrace houses frame the streets and mark some of the best pubs and boutiques. There is nothing that Sydney siders like more is spending the afternoon and evening down at the local haunt with friends and acquaintances watching footy. This is either NRL or AFL, but ladies the Sydney Swans offer some glorious athletic abilities – not to be missed!
Other city hot spots include the Botanical Gardens which hosts a cinema under the stars with the Opera house in the backdrop. The best months to visit Sydney are November to May as that is when the rain and possible storms will desist. I have had a few friends come over in October and the wall to wall sunshine has been noticeably missing.
Stroll from there past the opera house to the rocks, where you will be seemingly be taken back to Sydney’s historical beginnings. Cobble stone streets are charming with the harbour views. On the other side as you walk under the bridge you will be in Walsh Bay. The Sydney Theatre Company has delightful restaurant and bar right on the wharf. Its a little tricky to find but ask the staff downstairs to help. You might see a famous Australian about, last time I walked past Hugo Weaving.
More so if you walk around to the end of the street you will be in Millers Point for Hotel Palisade. There you can enjoy scrumptious food, cocktails and panoramic views at the rooftop bar.
If you have some extra down time, head to Wooloomooloo Wharf for some exclusive restaurants that see the grammar squad snapping away at their phones each weekend.
If you go to one restaurant in Sydney that will have to be the local institution, Chiswick. Matt Moran and his team grow the green produce in a garden nearby and finds it way onto your plate. There is something satisfying with eating nutrient rich salads, lamb and being seen where you want to be.
The north shore may be known as the ‘nor snore’ but if a more relaxed pace is to be desired, then think again. The Egg of the Universe offers yoga classes and matching foods to make you feel in top shape in every way possible.
Balmoral beach is a Sydney treasure with gentle lapping waves and perfect restaurants. The Boathouse offers a casual dining experience where you can go from beach to table to beach again. Heading north to Freshwater or Curl Curl beaches are just a taste of some other other out-of-town trips that are on offer. Palm Beach, Jarviouis Bay along with wine country in the Hunter Valley or Mudgee are prime selections.
Pier One Sydney Harbour is close to all the action with water views ($250pn)
Harbour Rocks Hotel for a perfect city oasis ($200 pn)
QT Sydney has it all and won’t disappoint ($300 pn)
The Langham is a little off the beaten track but make up for it in supreme luxury ($600 pn)
Pullman Quay Grand for the best harbour views and close to the city action ($470 pn)
Park Hyatt for more luxury than you can imagine ($980 pn)
Adina bondi apartments to wake up near the ocean ($250 pn)
Ovolo Woolloomooloo has a plethora of converted restaurants underneath along with water views off the beaten track ($300 on)
Sepia had glorious fine dining appropriately as the 84th best restaurant in the world in 2015 $$$$
Glass for fine dining that you will want everyday $$$$
Bennelong for fine dining in the iconic Opera House $$$$
Rockpool is a sophisticated dining destination $$$$
Arras is the remnants of Bécasse, a former super star and offers an intimate dining experience $$$$
Aria spins textured dishes with just enough punch, a good lookout for celebrities and harbour alike $$$$
Cafe Sydney, unlike what the name suggest its a go-to place for harbour views and ambient dining $$$$
Automata delivers sculptured dishes with fresh zippy wines $$$$
The Bridge Room for precise, original and spectacular fine dining $$$
Longrain where spices, leaves and fruits are used to striking effect $$$
Chiswick sprouts greens from a garden 5 meters from your table, make sure to order the lamb and share $$$
Spice Temple has modern Chinese cuisine that doesn’t hold back on the chilli $$$
North Bondi Fish for what Australians do best with style $$$
Old favourites die hard and Annas is no exception $$$
A Tavola for exquisite Italian masterpieces $$$
Missy French for a charming dining experience with beautiful food to match $$$
Felix for a great atmosphere and enjoyable french food $$$
Bills for modern chic food in a relaxed atmosphere $$
BillyKwong for fragrant Chinese food with an Ozzy twist $$
The Grounds of Alexandria for a shabby chic restaurants and casual dining $
Egg of the Universe will renew your mind, body and soul with kombucha paired with unprocessed foods $
The Boathouse is waterside for relaxed breakfasts, lunches and all that is in-between $
O Bar and dining is a revolving bar and restaurant, perfect to take in the city as the sun goes down
Opera Bar for best of the opera house, bridge and harbour views
Baxters Inn is a popular underground hideout with great atmosphere
Lobo Plantation has great cocktails, try the liberty bell
Wait till you see the view at Hotel Palisade at the Henry Deane rooftop
Visit The Island for an exclusive bar on the water, just email them to get tickets
Gather your group and hire a luxury boat for $1500 per hour to live it up
Backstage tour of the Sydney Opera House to know more of its secrets
Put on a grey jumpsuit for a style test to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Hop on a ferry from circular quay and visit the Taronga Zoo for the view
Join the Glamarama in the Bondi to Coogee walk
Go to a local AFL football game at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) for some Swans action
Harbour side cinema under the stars with the opera house in the background
Bondi Beach along with eateries on Hall and Gould St