Sunny Side Up: A Local’s Guide To Sydney, Australia

There’s no point in denying it; life really is better down under. Sun, sea, and stretches of sandy beaches all contribute to the good life in Australia, but really, there’s more to the locals’ happiness than meets the eye. Quality of life is all round better on the southern continent, and if you’re looking for proof, let Sydney be your poster child. Surrounded by national parks, covered in beaches, and boasting a great spot or two serving up flat whites, the Australian city is more than worth a visit. Looking for your next adventure? Let Sydney show you the sunnier side of life.

WHERE TO STAY

Bagging yourself a great hotel spot might be a tricky process in Sydney, but if you get in there early enough, there are some seriously enviable spots to be had. One of the best is the Bondi Beach House, a secluded suntrap that offers the perfect respite from hectic city life. Each of the nine private rooms is finished off with antique and vintage furniture, selected with care. The front terrace and back garden are perfect places in which to catch a few rays, but we’re guessing you’ll make a beeline for Bondi Beach, just a few steps away.

SUN & SWIM

One of the best times in which to get to know the city is sunrise, when first light hits the shores. Early mornings are best enjoyed from the beach, of course, so make sure you pick your spot with care. Bondi Beach is one of the best areas around, and whether you’re there for the surf, the swim, or the sun itself, it’s not likely to disappoint. Try signing yourself up for a Yoga By The Sea class or a swimming session at Icebergs. Taking place before the first tourists hit the shores, they’re a great way in which to experience Bondi at its finest.

A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

Coastal walks are a dime a dozen in Sydney; your biggest problem might well be selecting where exactly you want to go. One of your best bets is the Hermitage Foreshore walk, a coastal stroll that takes in two kilometres of wild gum trees and jagged rocks. While you might be tempted to join the cliff jumpers along the way, it’s worth holding out for the path’s destination, Milk Beach. Reward yourself with a spot of tea and scones at Vaucluse House Tearooms, an absolute must.

Hermitage Reserve (placestogo.net.au)

HEADING INLAND

Heading slightly further inland? Make a beeline for Centennial Park, one of the most picturesque places in the city. Spanning a whopping two hundred hectares, the park boasts playgrounds, ponds, and individual gardens that are bound to leave you breathless. Take your binoculars with you and try spotting yourself a sulphur-crested cockatoo, purple swamp hen, or a giant fruit bat. More of a foodie? You should check out Queens Park Shed, a local favorite that serves up killer breakfasts and lunches. Rustic and rural, the café is the ultimate place from which to get a load of the local wildlife, without getting your hands dirty.

A TOUCH OF HISTORY

It might be among the most popular tourist attractions out there, but The Rocks remains top of its class for good reason. Sydney’s oldest neighborhood, The Rocks is dotted with cobbled streets and historical buildings that are just begging to be seen up close. Local pubs like Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel are always a good idea if you’re in the mood for an aperitif or two, but if you’re looking for the créme de la créme, take your place at the Henry Deane rooftop bar. Standing atop the Hotel Palisade, the rooftop bar is the perfect place in which to take in the harbour and watch the sun go down. Order yourself a frozen rosé and take in the city.

 

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.