the water, eclectic cuisine and a cosmopolitan flair while retaining a
small-town feel with the varied neighborhoods.
Throw in some iconic buildings and bridges, a few hills and compact
business district, and it almost seems like the two were twins separated at
birth by a vast ocean.
I recently spent a week in
I met a few people who had only planned on spending a few months or a
year in the city, and there they were 5 years on. I can see why. Yes, there are spectacular sights to see,
particularly the Harbour, with the bridge and Sydney Opera House making for a
dramatic cityscape. But it’s the
ample opportunities for outdoor activities fostered by the pleasant climate,
that most appeals.
able to return time and again.
In terms of recommendations:
Bondi to Bronte cliff-walk: The world-famous Bondi beach is about
a half-hour bus ride from the city center from where you can do the coastal
walk to Bronte and on to Coogee. Work up
an appetite before having lunch at one of the many cafes along the
beaches. It was on this walk that I came
upon the cemetery and bowling club with spectacular views of the ocean.
neighborhoods: from the touristy-yet-atmospheric Rocks – where the first
settlers landed, to the hip bars of Darlinghurst, the buzzy restaurants of
Surry Hills and boutiques of Paddington, they’re easily navigated and fun to
explore. I loved some of the
architecture of the houses with their colors and wrought iron railings.
Manly Ferry: Manly beach is a half-hour ferry ride from
famous. It was packed on the Sunday I
went but I was able to find a secluded spot past the southern end of the beach
in the nature preserve. Clambering on to
some rocks will reward you with a great view of Manly beach and the ocean.
Even if you forgo Manly, riding a ferry to check out the
Harbour is a must. Try and time it with
sunset for views like this:
Bars and restaurants to recommend:
Grasshopper Bar: Nice watering hole in the heart of the CBD
(the business district) but tucked into an alley so full of ‘in the know’
Café Mint: Friendly,
mid-ranged resto in Surry Hills serving Mediterranean/North African fare owned
by my friend Yoni. Tell him I sent you.
Toko: High-end Japanese robata grill and sushi resto with pricey but tasty food and buzzy
Chingalings: Fun slightly divey but underground bar/club on the border of Darlinghurst and
Surry Hills playing eclectic music.
The Basement: Cool jazz club in the middle of the CBD.
Menya Noodle Bar: They specialize in authentic ramen and a
steaming bowl of noodles made for a perfect meal during one cold, rainy night.