Sun, sea and fabulous food are defining elements of the largest city in Australia. As the capital of New South Wales, this popular port makes a lasting impression…and since round-trip flights to Sydney are more affordable than ever, you’ll want to go back for seconds!
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My friends at Mr. & Mrs. Smith highly recommend Establishment Hotel (pictured below), calling it “an achingly hip everything-under-one-roof design destination in the heart of Sydney’s buzzy business district.” Yup, I figure that (and the photos of the hotel) do it for me.
If you’re the sort that likes to party hard, The Kirketon boutique hotel in Darlinghurst would be prove to be a good bet. From there you can easily skip to trendy Oxford Street to shop and eat, or catch the bus to Bondi Beach.
To up the luxe, look no further than Shangri-La, loacted in the historic Rocks district. With its stunning views of Sydney Harbour, proximity to the Opera House, sumptuous cuisine and brand new CHI Spa, there will be no trouble finding your bliss.
While there are many reasonable restos to choose from on Victoria Street in Darlinghurst (frozen yogurt at Wow Cow is a must!), the inner-city suburbs of Surry Hills and Paddington served up unforgettable Japanese, Spanish and French fare. And thanks to cheery Sydneysiders (as city dwellers are called), I was treated to a range of flavours at popular local hot spots.
Wasavie – located in the Five Ways junction in the heart of Paddington slices the freshest sushi and sashimi, but we flipped over the tasty grilled eggplant.
Bodega– in Surry Hills has a cozy, inspired atmosphere that hosts a bustling crowd and vivacious waitresses styled in 50s get-up.
But the views really can’t be beat from Altitude (top photo) – this restaurant at the Shangri-La hotel overlooks Sydney Harbour.
Of course, one can’t go to Sydney without hitting one of the world’s most famous beaches. Bondi (pronounced Bon-die) is easy to get to via public transport and there are loads of things to do in and around. If something more private is preferred, check out Tamarama Beach that is just a short bus ride away.
Back on Bondi, don’t miss the eclectic mix of vintage purveyors and new designers who set up shop every Sunday (10AM – 4PM) at Bondi Markets; I found original jewellery and unique clothing to spice up my summer wardrobe (remember it’s their Spring right now). More sensational shopping can be also be had at downtown’s charming QVB centre, as well as along the inner-city suburb streets of Paddington.
Located just 12 minutes from the city by ferry, is the Taronga Zoo where I not only got up close and personal with Australia’s exotic wildlife, but also learned how captive breeding programs are revitalizing endangered species.
DAY TRIP TIP
After an education in conservation, hop in a taxi and indulge in a Sparkling Afternoon Tea at Gunners’ Barracks. Best enjoyed in their gorgeous outdoor setting that overlooks the Sydney Harbour so you can lounging with a glass of bubbly and watch the world sail by.
Air Canada is offering to triple Aeroplan points if you fly with them to Sydney before Jan 31, 2013.