The crown jewel of Australia's vibrant coast, Sydney beckons the discerning traveller with its unparalleled blend of natural wonders, cosmopolitan allure, and a lavish lifestyle.
Famed for its sandy beaches, spectacular harbour and active lifestyle of its inhabitants, it's no surprise that Sydney is often a bucket list destination for any nomad. And now, with the new visa rules, journeying to Australia has never been easier. Follow our guide for the best restaurants, hotels and attractions for you to visit whilst you’re down under.
Where to stay?
A thriving hub nestled next to Darling harbour, Pyrmont is a chic suburb rich with culture due to its beautiful colonial heritage. The streets are lined with historic Victorian terraces, classic pubs and artisan wine bars, and with its central location, Pyrmont is only a 20 minute walk to Sydney’s CBD. There’s also a fish market, Australia’s 2nd largest casino, and the trendy nightlife of Darling harbour to keep you busy.
The Woolstore 1888
Looking for a boutique hotel that epitomises quiet luxury? The Woolstore 1888 is ‘heritage chic’, as the industrial history of the building is immortalised within the vibrant hotel. The juxtaposition of contemporary and vibrant rooms combined with the 19th-century woolstore legacy creates a splendour, yet homely atmosphere. Their in-house wine bar and restaurant, Mister Percy, is also a hit with locals, and we can see why! With a range of delicious sharing platters, including a mouth-wateringly good Wagyu Crudo, and a wine list to satisfy Dionysus, you should definitely book a table here for a night of delectable food and drink.
With access to a 24-hour gym, self-service laundry, a free mini bar and even a candy station in the lobby, we can guarantee an enhanced experience staying at this 5 star debonair hotel! We recommend booking a junior suite, starting at $519 AUD a night.
Another harbourside spot we couldn’t resist adding is Woolloomooloo. A 15 minute walk from Sydney Harbour, this ocean side suburb’s most enticing feature is the beautiful Finger Wharf (and also the longest timber-piled pier in the world). It’s now home to boujee restaurants, heritage pubs and Artspace exhibitions in the Gunnery. You’re also within walking distance to the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden, and the Old Fitzroy Theatre, an indie pub/theatre venue that hosts performances from Shakespeare, to Oscar Wilde.
The 5 star Ovolo Hotel Woolloomooloo offers a unique and opulent stay for any traveller. With exquisitely-designed spacious rooms and suites, you won’t want to leave once you check-in. Similar to The Woolstore 1888, Ovolo Woolloomooloo combines the rich industrial history of the wharf with contemporary, chic designs (such as the stunning glass roof preceding over the lobby). Their in-house restaurant and bar, Alibi, is a Mediterranean-inspired and plant-based dining spot. Each plate has been smoked and spiced to perfection, crafting an unforgettable dining experience designed to satisfy the appetites of both veggie and non-veggie lovers alike. We recommend the Padron & Parmesan Croquettes to start, and the divine Cacio E Pepe as your main to satisfy your carb cravings.
With access to a 24-hour gym and pool, self-service laundry, a free mini bar and even a candy station in the lobby, we can guarantee an enhanced, luxury experience at Ovolo Woolloomooloo! We recommend booking a Cityvoo King room, starting at $549 AUD a night.
Where to eat?
The Pines, Cronulla
Off the beaten track and 30 minutes south from the hustle and bustle of the CBD is Cronulla, a quaint beachside town known for its hip cafés, and laid-back surf culture. Home to Sydney’s longest continuous stretch of beach, perched just on its promenade is The Pines; an elegant restaurant inspired by The Hamptons.
The Executive Chef, James Metcalfe, has created a menu that emulates the overall vision of the The Pines restaurant; fresh, seasonal and local, with a focus on showcasing the finest produce available from some of Australia’s most celebrated producers. We were lucky enough to sample The Pines Experience, a 7-course tasting menu illustrating the best dishes the restaurant has to offer.
A menu highlight (and culinary highlight), was the Flank Steak with Creamed Potatoes. Words cannot describe how scrumptiously delicious this was, and, admittedly, I went to bed dreaming about the meal.
If you’re in Sydney and fancy venturing away from the touristy spots, The Pines is a restaurant you must visit! Book here.
What to do?
Spit Bridge to Manly Coastal Walk
As expected with any coastal location, Sydney is home to some epic walks and hikes. But if you want access to the BEST scenic ocean views, that take you through sandy beaches, ancient Aboriginal sites and incredible lookouts, look no further than this trail.
This 10km route begins at the Spit Bridge, weaving through to Clontarf Reserve (make sure you don't speed past the Aboriginal cave shelter). Use the toilets, grab a coffee and some food from Bosk Kiosk and fill up your water before heading off.
As you follow the Clontarf Track, you'll arrive at Castle Rock Beach. Secluded and quiet, the beach is also home to an ancient Aboriginal rock carving and, if there's been enough rainfall, a mini waterfall.
Sydney is home to hundreds of sites that preserve and celebrate Aboriginal culture. One of the finest examples is the Grotto Point Aboriginal Engraving Site. Located just a few hundred metres past the Grotto Point Lighthouse, this is an amazing place to see the sandstone carvings that are over 1,000 years old. Just after Grotto Point is Crater Cove, which offers up some delicious harbour scenery. This is an excellent spot to take a load off and refuel with some snacks and a view.
Dobroyd Head is the best lookout on the whole walk. Before you take the stairs down toward the sea, make sure you enjoy the spectacular views that serve up your first full look of Manly. As you continue on the walk, you'll have two more opportunities to stop and enjoy a spot of swimming. The first of these is Reef Beach, and another 5-10 minutes down the track you'll find Forty Baskets Beach.
The next beach you’ll reach is Fairlight Beach, home of a popular rockpool that offers a little something different for trekkers looking to splash around a bit. And at this point, you've just about made it. The final kilometre is straightforward, hugging the coastline as you make your way toward storied Manly Wharf!
Take the afternoon to explore all Manly has to offer, or hop onto a ferry and travel back into central Sydney!
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