On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Sydney is a seaside city, so pack your beach essentials including a bathing suit, flip-flops and towel. Also, while you spend your days in the sun, make sure you packed proper skin protection in the form of sunscreen, hats, beach covers and sunglasses, because the sun in Australia is very strong. You don’t want to ruin your trip with a painful sunburn. Lastly, during the summer months, don’t forget mosquito repellant. These little pests quickly become a nuisance, and no one wants to be itching for an entire vacation.
In contrast to what people wear during the day when they’re on the beach or at the local café, Sydneysiders really dress up when they go out. So, besides beachwear, you will want to have something nice for wining and dining at night.
On a final note, don’t leave your camera at home. Sydney is so beautiful from its water views to lush greenery; you will want to have these images as a souvenir!
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Sydney isn’t just for adults. With all its wildlife wonder and outdoor entertainment, the city is a great place for kids to have some fun too. Head to one of these top spots for a day full of family fun.
You may not see kangaroos hopping around the city, but you can still see them in Sydney. Grab a ferry at Circular Quay, and head to the Taronga Zoo to see kangaroos, koalas, dingoes and 350 other animal species. Book in advance for one of the daily encounters where the kids can meet koalas, hold snakes and even feed giraffes.
Sydney Sea Life Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney
In Darling Harbour you’ll find two great attractions for kids: the Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Zoo. Purchase combo passes for entry to these attractions and others at a reduced price, so the kids can venture over shark infested waters on the Shark Walk one day, and have breakfast with koalas the next.
Sydney is known for its surf culture, so why not bring the kids in on the fun? Manly Surf School offers lessons for kids from as young as 5 years old. Located on specially selected beaches to ensure total safety, the school teaches the little ones not only how to stand up on the board, but also the importance of surf safety. Book lessons for yourself and the little ones, and spend a day at the beach.
Bonus Tip: On Sundays, Sydney offers the Family Funday Sunday special where families can enjoy unlimited travel by bus, train or ferry throughout Sydney and its suburbs for only $2.50 per person.
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Renting a car in Sydney won’t be necessary, which can save you a lot of hassle, as parking can be nightmarish and expensive. Instead, you have several options of getting around thanks to the city’s public transportation system and taxis.
Depending on your location, you can easily travel between Sydney’s suburbs by bus, train or ferry. And if all else fails, there are numerous ways to hail a cab in the city.
Most likely, you will mainly travel by bus since they extensively cover Sydney’s metropolitan area, as well as extended areas to the North, South, East and West. Along with the standard city buses, there are Metrobuses that link suburbs and run every 10 to 20 minutes. There is also a free shuttle service offered in Sydney’s CBD which takes you from Central Station to Circular Quay and back. Buses also provide a way to see the city while traveling to different destinations.
Trains are mostly for getting to and from city center, and offer easy access to specific spots like the airport, Bondi Beach and Circular Quay. Although faster than their above ground counterparts, trains don't have as comprehensive of a network.
Ferries are a slower, yet simpler way of getting to certain locations. They offer a unique and pleasant form of transportation combined with sightseeing. For exmaple, the route from Circular Quay to Manly is particularly nice as it goes through the harbor and out past the headlands, providing great views along the way.
City taxis are reliable and can be hired. There are also maxi-cabs available for parties of 5 or more.
Nevertheless, if you are stuck in a situation with no cab to be found, download the goCatch app, which conveniently connects you to their fleet of taxis. It’s easy to book your cab through the app and watch as it travels to your GPS location. Once you’ve reached your destination, just hop out, as your credit card is already linked to your account and automatically charged at the end of your journey.
Uber provides a similar service but with a luxurious twist on traveling around the city, sending out a fleet of private high-end sedans and luxury BMW, Mercedes or Audi cars. Uber also offers flat rates for trips to and from the airport.
Check out this site for transportation times and information, and an easy way to plan your trips through the city.
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Sydney has some stunning coastal sights, in which locals and visitors should indulge while dining at one of these restaurants with a view.
Altitude in the Shangri-La Hotel
Set high over The Rocks on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, Altitude presents a breathtaking view of Sydney Harbour, and award-winning, modern Australian cuisine. This restaurant with a view is full of atmosphere, featuring 5-meter high windows overlooking the water, and dimmed lights ensuring an unmissable panoramic view. Order from the Epi-Curious menu, which pairs innovative dishes with wines from the restaurant’s boutique wine list. I suggest the venison with plum, walnut and bitter chocolate, paired with a 2008 sangiovese/cabernet from South Australia.
Cuisine: Modern Australian; Price: $$
Iceberg’s Bar and Restaurant
Iceberg’s has prime beachfront property with a dining room bathed in sunlight. Positioned above Bondi Beach, diners are welcomed with crisp, aqua and sandy décor mirroring the shores below. Chef Maurizio Terzini serves up a delicious spread of Italian plates with seaside inspirations, including the tagliatelle alle alghe – house made seaweed tagliatelle with crab meat, tomato and basil – as a primi, and the carre d’agnello – whole lamb rack for two smeared with peppercorn mustard and served with mixed mushrooms in a red wine reduction – as a secondi.
Cuisine: Italian; Price: $$$
The restaurant headed by world renowned chef, Serge Dansereau, sits right on Balmoral Beach and looks out over the quiet, sparkling bay. With French influences, Bathers' Pavilion is split into a café and a restaurant. The café’s breakfast menu is sublime, offering everything and anything you could want in a breakfast from cinnamon ricotta French toast with caramelized banana jam, to eggs on rye served with roast sea salt thyme tomatoes. Head to the restaurant for dinner and order Dansereau’s Dégustation eight course menu, which begins with cured salmon served with a radish and pickled melon squid ink crumble and curry leaf vinaigrette, and ends with a chocolate croquante with raspberry and roast pepper sorbet and orange and passion fruit curd.
Cuisine: French; Price: $$$
Sitting on the edge of Sydney Harbour, this restaurant headed by chef Matt Moran and restaurateur Peter Sullivan offers a spectacular view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge along with a just as spectacular menu. The dining area with floor-to-ceiling windows is elegant and luxurious, reflecting the cuisine served and the impressive wine list. You can reserve for lunch, dinner and even for their special pre- or post-theatre dinner seating.
Cuisine: Modern Australian; Price: $$$$
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Almost anytime is a good time to come to Sydney, but the very best season to visit begins in October for the Southern Hemisphere’s spring and lasts until early June. As Sydney’s flora and fauna shake their winter chill, the city blooms with activities and events. You will want to spend most of your time outdoors when visiting. So, as the days grow longer and warmer, head to one of the many beaches to bask in the rays and catch a wave or two, hit the pavement and settle into a café with a sun-soaked terrace, or lay in the grass and have a picnic in one of the gorgeous parks located throughout Sydney.
Below are the top events and activities not to miss while you visit the “Harbour City”:
- New Year’s Eve on the Harbor: Pick a spot overlooking the water and enjoy the awe-inspiring fireworks display.
- Sydney Festival: Every January, Sydney culture is celebrated through live music, theatre, dance and art events found all around town.
- St.George OpenAir Cinema: In January and February, see a film on the lawn overlooking Sydney Harbour at the Royal Botanical Gardens.
- The Archibald Prize: Awarded in March, the winners’ and finalists’ entries for the prestigious portraiture prize can be viewed at the Art Gallery of NSW up until June, and are not to miss.
- Vivid Light Festival: From the end of May to early June, this festival of color and light illuminates Sydney and hosts many light installations throughout the city.
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:No matter what your shopping style, Sydney is sure to hold a store that tickles every fancy.
Vintage in Surry Hills
Surry Hills is the suburb where creatives come to meet, greet, eat and shop. Among the cool bars and hip cafes sits an excellent selection of vintage stores. Head to Ici et La for a cabinet of curiosities filled with retro furniture, a collection of vintage fabrics and other interesting finds with an added French flair. If vintage duds are your thing, Grandma Takes A Trip is THE Sydney vintage establishment to find amazing pieces dating from the 40s to the 80s. Cream is another great spot with a unique selection. And to bring it all together, hit the Sydney Antique Centre where you’ll discover 60 vintage shops housing everything from furniture and glassware, to a huddle of stalls with some of the best vintage clothes around.
The concept store is a relatively new, well, concept to Australia, with Sydney’s first opened in 2012. The gallery-like store comes highly curated with fashion, accessories, cosmetics, housewares, art and other luxury trinkets often by lesser-known to obscure designers. The original Sydney concept store, Cara&Co, and the recently opened The AparTTment, are two covetable spots to shop. Discover the rare fashion finds at Cara&Co, then enjoy some Belgian fine dining at their in-store restaurant, or step into The AparTTment to find yourself inside a quintessential Parisian apartment chockfull of bohemian wonder.
In Sydney’s center you’ll find a plethora of stores as you head from the Queen Victoria Building to the Pitt Street Mall and on to The Strand. Within the beautiful, historic QVB shop around at the various high-end fashion, jewelry and housewares boutiques. Next make your way to the Pitt Street Mall for shopping in several flagship stores including Zara, Tag Heuer and Nespresso. End your shopping excursion at another spot full of history. The Strand, first established in 1891, holds an array of Australian fashion and specialty stores.
Founded in 1838, Australian department store David Jones is the oldest department store in Australia. The upmarket store is home to top Australian and international cosmetic, fashion, housewares and furniture brands, as well as electronics and foods.
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Eating out is a favorite activity for Sydneysiders. Packed with heaps of different cuisines, the city won’t let you down when your stomach starts to grumble.
Named “Restaurant of the Year 2013” by the Australian Gourmet Traveller 2013 Restaurant Guide and “Best Restaurant in Australasia” by the S.Pellegrino 2012 World’s Best 50 Restaurants, Quay boasts a beautifully cultivated, fresh and flavorful menu. Celebrated chef Peter Gilmore works with various textures and tastes to create his world-renowned dishes like fragrant poached chicken served with white radish, sea scallops, smoked eggplant cream and pea blossoms, or red claw yabbies (Australian crawfish) with garlic scented custard and yabby velvet.
Australians love their breakfasts. So, while in Sydney you must stop by bills for breakfast on their sunny terrace in Surry Hills. Chef Bill Granger earned his reputation here for making the world’s silkiest scrambled eggs and most mouth-watering corn fritters. Come early because these delectable dishes are no secret to locals or out-of-towners who line-up as soon as the café opens.
If you’ve never had the yum-cha experience, head to Marigold for a brunch time frenzy of delicious steamed dumplings, saucy noodles and scrumptious pork buns delivered to you by carts zooming through the restaurant. Each cart pusher will try to sell you on whatever goodies his or her bamboo steamers are coveting. Be sure to try the rice noodles in peanut sauce or steamed shrimp dumplings. And definitely don’t be afraid to wave down a cart if you’re lusting after those doughy pork buns you spotted from afar.
Tucked away in Sydney’s CBD hides Grasshopper. The restaurant and bar features an open kitchen where you can see your market fish, Jerusalem artichoke and piperade or scallops and cauliflower with curry balsamic prepared right before your eyes. Head below after dinner for a jam jar full of your favorite cocktail or choose one off their recipe-style menu.
Bourke Street Bakery
Another Australian must is the meat pie or sausage roll. Whichever you prefer, the pies and rolls over at Bourke Street Bakery are sure to please. Each flaky, golden crust holds an outstanding gourmet filler you'll have to taste to believe. Get your taste buds buzzing with a chicken, sweet potato, pea and lime pickle pie, a lamb, almond and harrisa sausage roll or try one of their daily specials.
On June 30, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Spending the day outdoors in Sydney is the number one thing to do while you're visiting. The city has so much to offer in terms of losing yourself in the different suburbs, basking in the sun while visiting Sydney's many sites, and beyond.
Wander the City
One of the best things about Sydney is how it’s broken up into different districts. Traveling between suburbs is often just a walk down the street or a bus ride away, so you can easily discover and explore. A few blocks from Town Hall, you’ll find Sydney’s Chinatown where you can dine on some of the best (some may say THE best) Asian cuisine outside of Asia. Or hit Sydney’s Inner West where the young, exciting Surry Hills, Darlinghurst and Newtown neighborhoods live. Here, the streets are dotted with cool cafes, hip bars and trendy shops.
Dive into Manly Beach
Travel even further into Sydney’s suburbs, and grab a ferry to the North Shore. Hop on at Circular Quay, direction Manly to indulge in a sightseeing trip of the coast as you head to gorgeous Manly Beach for a day. While there, explore The Corso, which features seaside restaurants, gourmet ice cream and bars with a view.
Picnic in the Botanical Gardens
The Royal Botanical Gardens just past Circular Quay are not to miss. From succulents to fragrant roses, wander the paths leading to a variety of gardens and ponds that attract extraordinary birds native to Australia like the cockatoo, ibis and lorikeet. Grab some eats and head to the enchanted gardens for a picnic in the sun.
Sydney has a great variety of bars, and some of the best restaurants in the world. Plan a night out on the town by reserving a table at Marque in Surry Hills or Quay in The Rocks – the top restaurants on the 2013 Australian Good Food and Travel Guide Chef Hat Award winners’ list – then head to the elegant Rockpool on George with its impressive wine list or to the speakeasy-style Palmer & Co. where you can sip on prohibition era cocktails.
On June 29, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Sydney has a fantastic variety of bars featuring views of the water, live music and cocktails created with unique ingredients.
For stunning panoramas of Sydney Harbour, settle into Sydney Theatre Company’s Bar at the End of the Wharf to admire the floor-to-ceiling view of Harbour Bridge over share plates, or head to The Glenmore Hotel’s rooftop bar set against a backdrop of the iconic opera house to soak in Sydney’s CBD and Circular Quay under the twinkling night sky.
If you’re looking for a night out filled with live music, The Cuban Place across from the Queen Victoria Building presents live Cuban jazz Thursday through Friday, while Soda Factory in Surry Hills hosts local musicians for the bar’s Folk Club on Wednesdays, live swing and jazz concerts on Thursdays, and guest musicians and DJs on Fridays and Saturdays.
Cocktails are the way to go in these sister bars located throughout the city. Whether at speakeasy Stitch Bar, arty Pocket Bar or pirate Button Bar, each spot offers a creative cocktail menu that’s not to miss. My personal favorite is the Morning Dew at Pocket Bar, a light, frothy cocktail made from Bombay Gin, St Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon and coconut.
On June 29, 2013Quinn Connors answered the question:Sydney is one of the world’s most beautiful harbor cities with great indoor and outdoor attractions.
Naturally, your first stop should be Circular Quay where you’ll find the iconic Sydney Opera House and a spectacular view of Harbour Bridge. At the end of the day, head to Opera Bar to watch the water sparkle at sunset.
Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art located in Sydney’s most historic quarter, The Rocks, introduces old to new with its dedication to today’s prolific artists. Newly renovated, the museum has a floor dedicated to its permanent collection, while the rest of the building holds temporary exhibitions year round. There’s always something new and exciting to see at the MCA.
Darling Harbour is a short walk from The Rocks and has heaps of things to do from viewing underwater life at the Sydney Aquarium, to discovering the stunning Chinese Garden of Friendship. Also, almost every Saturday night you can enjoy spectacular "harbourside" fireworks.
Sydney Tower Eye
It’s hard to miss Sydney Tower as it, well, towers over the rest of the city. Standing at 1,014ft (309m), the observation tower holds three floors of dining including the 360 Bar and Dining – a revolving restaurant with breathtaking cityscape views. The tower is also home to indoor and outdoor viewing platforms featuring 360° views of Sydney.
Catch a wave at one of the world’s most famous beaches. Bondi Beach is a great spot to enjoy Sydney’s surf and sand culture. The area offers a wide variety of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants. Discover the legendary Bondi Icebergs Club established in 1929 by a group of lifesavers committed to winter swimming and staying in shape. Grab a towel, take a dip in the Icebergs pool and soak up some sun in Bondi.