On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Australia is culinary heaven, with food from all of Europe, Middle-East, South-East Asia, Africa and its own homegrown wonders ruling the menu at restaurants in its multicultural cities.
There're so many traditional meals you can eat here, from pizza to Thai, all with an Australian twist. But then there are some gourmet experiences that only a food-loving traveller will appreciate. Here's my list:
1) Have a toastie at Sydney's Eveleigh Market, made especially by from top chef Alex Herbert. The Crooked Madam is her take on the croque-madame - it's a toastie with ham, gruyere, fried egg, Dijon mustard and barbecue sauce.
2) Manage a 10-course degustation at Tetsuya's. It's a marriage of Japanese and French flavours and techniques. Their ocean trout dish is an icon enough to rival the Sydney Opera House.
3) Grab fish 'n' chips from Mongers at Bondi or Manly beach, head to the beach and eat it while battling with the seagulls. It's the most Australian thing you can do, trust me!
4) Learn how to shuck an oyster in a masterclass at Sydney's Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay with chef Colin Barker and progressive farmer Steve Feletti from Moonlight Flat Oysters. And then get to eat them, thereafter!
5) Have a late-night Tiger, (after a very messy night, if possible) a chunky-beef pie filled with mushy peas, mash and gravy, at Harry's Cafe de Wheels. He's a bona fide tourist hotspot, so tell him you're travelling and you'll make his day.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:if you're travelling with kids to Sydney, there are several cafes and restaurants in Sydney where you can take the entire family and dine.
1) Micky's Cafe - When the dessert menu has baked mars cheesecake and a hokey pokey spider sundae, both young and adult kids would want to settle at this Paddington cafe. There's a garden space at the back for kids to run around, after all the sugar rush, of course.
2) Sahra Restaurant - A lebanese delight located on the beachfront at Brighton-Le-Sands, and houses a play area for your kids. The seductive aroma of this authentic middle-eastern restaurant promise you and your kids a sensational dining experience.
3) Sydney Fish Market - Bring creatures of the ocean into equation and you have a whole new equation. The seagulls, almost-alive fishes, the strong stench of the ocean and the loud market noise will keep your kids entertained. And if all else fails, an impromtu fish 'n' chips picnic should help.
4) Our Place on Darling - There's a kids menu and there's also a kids' jumble puzzle in it, so while you're busy picking a modern Australian-themed meal, the children will be kept busy. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, this place is ideal for lazy lunches, located in Balmain.
5) Fratelli Paradiso - If you're one of those kale-munching and chia-chomping parent, this Potts Point spot is your safest bet. The bustling, posh atmosphere is energetic and the Italian-inspired menu is assuring.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:1) Australian Museum: From taxidermies to a life-size dinosaur, the Australian Museum has something for all the history buffs.
2) Nicholson Museum: This is home to the largest collection of antiquities in Australia and the Southern Hemisphere. The Victorian reserve includes mummified bodies and body parts amongst its other 25,000 ancient objects. Admission is free.
3) Australian National Maritime Museum: Head over to this museum if you're keen to jump on board a submarine and live your pirate dreams. The museum hosts boatbuilding workshops, the conservation laboratory, ship model workshop and display area.
4) Justice and Police Museum: Agatha Cristie fans, this old court house takes you to pokey cells, murderous mug-shots and weapons that will make your tummy hurt.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:1) Blue Mountains - 90 minutes west of Sydney, the Blue Mountains is one of the most popular day trip destinations for Sydneysiders and tourists. The name comes from a 'blue' haze hovering over the steep valleys and tree-covered mountains; the mist comes from the cloud of eucalyptus trees in the area. This World Heritage Site offers striking views of The Three Sisters, sandstone pillars, hiking trails, and an enormous gum tree forest.
2) Hunter Valley Vineyards - Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Muscato, Cabernet Sauvignon - are all locally produced in the Hunter region, just outside of Sydney. An hour and half drive north of Sydney, this is Australia's oldest and most commercial wine-producing and tasting region since the 1800s. With over a hundred vineyards spread across the towns of Cessnock and Pokolbin, the bushland landscape help create a rustic vibe for visitors. There are also helicopter tours available at the Hunter region.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:With its recent crowning of being the second most expensive city in the world, the dining scene in Sydney is just as varied, ranging from guerrilla, quirky fast-food, fine dining, high tea to bar food with a difference.
If fine dining is your cup of tea, watching the harbour city's award-winning chefs whip up an artwork on a plate one of these restaurants:
Tetsuya Wakuda's Tetsuya; Matt Moran and Peter Sullivan's Chiswick; Peter Gilmore's Quay; Guillaume Brahimi's Guillaume at Bennelong inside the Opera House; Otto Ristorante.
If secret-dining at undetermined venues is your thing, then pre-purchase a ticket just a few hours before the dinner is scheduled to start, and rock up at the address you're sent via text or email. You arrive at the venue to dine and wine with strangers. Places to start at, Table Sessions, Table for 20, Minus 8, Secret Foodies to name a few.
Call it wannabe Hamptoms-like or just a new food trend, but brunch is the new thing in Sydney. Places like the warehouse space at Kitchen by Mike, the organic, raw food goodness at Bread & Circus, Bondi Icebergs and Reuben Hills in Surry Hills know just how to do it right.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:True to its name, Sydney Opera House is the prime location to watch an Opera performance in Sydney. Conceived and built by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, opened to public for the first time in 1973.
However contrary to its name, the Opera House houses multiple performance venues. It's among the busiest performing arts centres in the world, that hosts over 1,500 performances each year attended by over 1.2 million people. It provides a venue for many performing arts companies, including the four key resident companies Opera Australia, The Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
It is also one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, with more than seven million people visiting each year.
The first solo piano recital was held in the Concert Hall on 10 April 1973, played by Romola Costantino to an invited audience.
Check the website for more information and what's on.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Sydney might not be one of the biggest cities in the country, but it sure cannot be seen in one day. However, if you do have only 24-hours to see the city, get out of bed and follow this itinerary for the day.
- Check the sunrise hour, take a bus to Bondi Beach, settle on the rocks there and watch the sun emerge from the horizon.
- Have a Bondi-special breakfast at an organic cafe, About Life, while watching the locals (and a few celebrities) do their morning Pilates and boot camp sessions.
- Go back to the city and walk through the Botanical Gardens. Admire Australia's native flora, and get your space of tranquility in the middle of the city.
- Take a ferry across the harbour to Mosman and spend a few hours at Taronga Zoo.
- Then head to Manly for some downtime, at the beach, have a traditionally-Australian seafood lunch at Garfish with the view of the ocean.
- Spend a few hours at Manly SEA LIFE Sanctuary to experience Australia's underwater life - from Grey Nurse Sharks to Nemo! And if you're game, do the Xtreme Shark Dive with seven sharks, four sting rays and two turtles - yes, that's a thing!
- Come twilight hour, take the ferry back to Circular Quay and watch the spectacular candy-floss coloured sky overwhelm you.
- Have dinner by the harbour at one of Sydney's award-winning restaurant, Quay, with the well-lit view of the Opera House.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:1) Visit Luna Park - Martin Sharp's iconic smiling clown face has attracted kids and adults since 1935 and very successfully so. The rickery wooden rides and the nostalgic decor comes with the best view of the harbour, making it the most-visited tourist spot after Circular Quay in the city. Kids will love it for the rides, the fairy floss and the clown face!
2) A day trip to Taronga Zoo - An island full of animals and interesting ones too - lions, tigers, bears, elepants, giraffe, koala, kangaroo, chimps, the komoda dragon, pygmy hipos and oh so many - how can you not take your kids to this animal kingdom? Take a ferry from Circular Quay, pack a picnic along and spend the entire day giggling along with the kids.
3) Horse Riding at the park - The walking and cycling tracks at Centennial Parklands offers a little something extra for children. It's the only urban park to offer 210 stables and five riding schools - with each school catering to your age and level of experience. Double win!
4) Kids Tour at The Sydney Opera House - This Utzon-designed architectural marvel isn’t just for adult culture vultures. The Opera House offers a little history lesson in architecture and performance - a junior version of the ever-popular Opera House Essential Tour.
5) Surf Lessons - You can't come Down Under without riding the surf and playing with the 3ft high waves. The Manly Surf club offers a kids special - you can make the lessons private or join a small group of other kids. You will learn surf etiquette, the basic rules, how to stand up on the board, and, of course, how to actually stay up on the board.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:For those days when the sun is not beating down on you, and the heavens have opened up, there are still things you can do apart from sitting in your hotel room and watching back-to-back DVDs.
1) Australian Museum: The country's most deadliest creatures - red backs, funnel webs, scorpios, carpet snakes, salties - are all kept behind a glass here. This museum has been kept updated since 1827, being the forefront of Australian scientific research, collection and education.
2) Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel: If beer drinking is your thing, then this is your refuge. It's one of the oldest licensed pubs in Sydney - you can order six house beers from its very own brewery and have your own indoor party in its premises.
3) Murray's at Manly: The unpretentious interiors of this pub can accomodate 250 beer drinkers, with something for everyone - from refreshing light to the heady gem of Dark Knight. The views of the ocean aren't too bad either.
4) Rock Climbing: Sydney might not have the highest peaks of the world, but it does have pretty good indoor rock climbing facilities. Whether you're an amateur or an advanced climber, in this warehouse, you'll still get to experience the harness, belay and the post-climb sore muscles. What rain?
5) The Lord Dudley: One favourite amidst the cold season, the warmth of this English-style pub (thanks to the fireplace) will make you want to fall in love and romance an English lad. The live music will help set the mood.
6) Lucio Pizzeria: A crowning glory amidst all the Italian masterpieces in the city, The Lucio is a date-night favourite. Or a family, whatever tickles your fancy. Here you can order a 'half 'n' half' pizza with half being a Margherita and the other being a meaty delight. Couples love it in here, mainly for its touch of Italian romance.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:1) QT Sydney - The flagship hotel of the QT brand, located in the buzzing heart of downtown Sydney, this modern and eclectic hotel is for boutique admirers. This 200-suite has been built within the historic Gowings and State theatre building. The interiors of this hotel are a blend of several periods like Gothic, Art Deco and Italianate influenced architecture. This contemporary hotel doesn't just come with quirkiness, but all guestrooms are equipped with luxurious bedding, high-speed internet, walk-in showers and most guest suites also offer an indulgent oversized soaking tub.
2) The Hilton City - The master suite is inspired by New York City; stylish, romantic, convinient and luxurious. This international hotel chain is ideal for either business or leisure, located opposite Hyde Park, with a stylish bar, a celebrity chef restaurant and an in-house spa to provide next level sensory experience.
3) Park Hyatt - This newly-renovated gem is located in the most luxurious and picturesque spot in Sydney. Ideal for honeymooners, their master suite take French windows to a whole new level with full floor to ceiling windows. Park Hyatt offers a full contemporary experience. down till the waterview of the Opera House and the iconic Harbour Bridge.
4) Observatory Hotel - This historic building will take you back to the colonial times with its white marble antique fireplaces and custom-made artwork. There is timeless sophistication oozing out of the walls of all the 96 bedrooms, rightly so.
5) The Shangri-La - The paranormal view of the city, harbour and beyond will make you feel loved at Shangri-La, Sydney. If you get access to the exclusive Horizon Floors Lounge, there is a possibility of a very unforgetful night (thanks to the unlimited cocktails provided here).
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:Before you head to the harbour city down under, here are some of the most important things you need to pack in your bagpack:
1) Electronics: Australia's electric voltage allowance is 230 V, 50 Hz. When carrying your charging devices for laptops, video cameras, cameras, hair appliances et al, check if they will work in the country. Put them in your carry-on, when travelling, just to be safe during transit. You can also check with your hotel if they have hair dryer or hair straighter available for guests to use.
2) Clothing: High summer season is from November to Februrary; Winter is from June to September. March and October are the most pleasant months of the year. Check the temperature before packing your bags, as there can be some unforeseen weather changes. In Winter - temperatures dip to 40F, but it doesn't snow in the city. In Summer, it can go as high as 120F.
3) Driver's License: In Sydney, driving is on the left side of the road, so carry your international driver's license, if you're interested in driving while your stay here.
4) Documents: Keep your flight tickets, passport and visa papers. Keep a photocopy of all these in your checked-in luggage, just in case you need them later in your trip.
For questions about a visa for Australia, call the Australian Visa Service - US number (888-990-8888).
5) Medicines: Sunscreen is vital in Australia; the sun is the strongest in this part of the world (because of the Ozone layer hole), so make sure you have an Australian-approved SPF 50+ sunscreen in your handbag. If you're travelling to Australian bushlands, you'll need a spray insect repellant and some ointment. Purchase all these first-aid kits after arriving in Australia from a pharmacy.
On June 30, 2013Shitika Anand answered the question:1) Currency: You need to understand the Australian Dollar before coming here, especially when the exchange rate is chaging. This is the best website to check the current rates on - http://au.finance.yahoo.com/currencies/converter/. Most shops, restaurants, hotels and tour organisers accept American express and traveller's cheques. ATMs around the city also accept international credit cards.
2) Weather: Australia is a huge country, and because of which the temperature around the country really varies - even when it's 'Summer' around the nation. The weather in Sydney is very constant - as per the season - so if it says 70F, you know you're up for blue skies and beaming sunshine. But if you're planning to travel around the country, i.e. go to Melbourne, Great Barrier Reef or the Northern Territory, then check the temperature and pack extra clothes. Chances are you'll be packing warm clothes along with a bikini!
3) Accomodation: There are various options available for where you can stay in Sydney. And because it's a tourist-heavy city, it's not advisable that you book after arriving in the city. So, do your research for where you want to stay - near the beach, in the heart of the city, in a five-star accomodation or a backpackers. There is something for every budget and taste, so don't fret. Check here for accomodation details - http://www.wotif.com/hotels/australia-sydney-hotels.html