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Australia Trip Itineraries

Live Love Sydney - the ultimate weekend

Destination(s): Sydney

All those those things you recognise from photos of Sydney? All the things you've heard of? They're all here in this mini guide to Sydney - and most of them are free. read more about Live Love Sydney - the ultimate weekend

Sheraton on the Park

Sheraton on the Park

  • 161 Elizabeth Street
  • tel:61 2 9286 6000
  • Visit website
  • Sydney, 2000
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

  • Start from Bondi Icebergs Club
  • Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach
  • tel:+61 (0)2 9130 5311
  • Visit website
  • Sydney

If one activity epitomizes Sydney, this could be it. A 4-mile walk on the wild side that literally traverses the rocky cliffs, golden beaches, pristine bays and grassy knolls between two iconic beaches. Doesn't cost a cent; just a few hours of free time. And it's not strenuous; more gently undulating than roller-coaster terrain, but highly exposed in windy weather because you're on the edge of the continent for much of the way.
Start at Bondi, behind the Icebergs Club, head south and keep the Pacific Ocean on your left. Joggers and all manner of humanity pass this way. After rounding MacKenzie's Point and Bay, the path rises towards Tamarama Beach. Look out for signs of ancient Aboriginal occupation, including rock carvings depicting migrating whales. Bronte Beach then beckons, with its 1880s ocean baths (Sundays and public holidays were originally reserved for men back then, but times have changed). Many café options along the way can turn the walk into a full day out.
After slicing through a sandstone cutting beyond Bronte, cross the Calga Reserve and tread carefully through Waverley Cemetery, where many notable literary luminaries were laid to rest.
Clovelly comes next. The very narrow inlet and concrete formwork on either side make it look more like a large swimming pool than a beach, though there is plenty of sand stretching inland. Great place to swim and perhaps catch a glimpse of the famous Clovelly Blue Groper that's made its home here for ages.
Finally (or sadly) you reach Coogee, one of the city's safest swimming beaches, and far more laid-back and down market compared to Bondi (which beach isn't, come to think of it?). read more about Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

  • Cumberland St
  • (or Milsons Point on the north shore)
  • tel:+61 (0)2 9255 1788
  • Visit website
  • Sydney, 2000

Building the Harbour Bridge was a big deal back in the 20s and 30s, when it was being planned - half of Sydney's oldest and most historic area, the Rocks, had to be bulldozed, and that was just a start. Sydney needed its bridge: up til then it had gotten by with the dozens of ferries to-ing and fro-ing from the populous northside over to Sydney proper. And what a bridge it got, the spectacular 'Coat Hanger' (as the locals know it), as seen on a billion postcards.

read more about Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House

Sydney Opera House

  • Off 2 Macquarie Street
  • (Circular Quay)
  • tel:61 2 9250 7111
  • Visit website
  • Sydney, 2000

Few cities have such an iconic building as Sydney's Opera House Sure, New York has the Empire State, Rome the Pantheon, Athens has the Acropolis, but for out and out modernity, mixed with breathtaking geography, those off-white billowing sails perched on Bennelong Point have to be one of the great studies of architecture in the 20th century.
Designed by the Danish architect, Jorn Utzon, after the NSW state government conducted a worldwide competition in the late 50s, the $10m original budget soon blew out to more than $100m when it finally opened in 1973. Utzon fell out with the political overseers of the day and quit the project, long before completion.
Though referred to as an opera house, it stages a host of different performance types, including, classical and pop concerts, drama, ballet, comedy, films, talks, and has an exhibition space.
Today it's the cities No 1 tourist draw card and probably the most photographed site in the country. Guided tours (in multiple languages) take you through the labyrinthine innards, including backstage glimpses of some of the theaters.
There are a host of fine eateries and outdoor bars along the forecourt. Twilight in summer, with the sun setting, the bridge in silhouette, and a cool cocktail in hand, is probably about as good as it gets in this lifetime. Seriously! read more about Sydney Opera House

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach

A visit to Bondi should be on every visitor to Sydney's itinerary. It's Austraila's most famous beach, and for a reason. Bondi is a massive quarter moon of sand, wedged between two rocky headlands, endlessly pounded by huge ocean waves, its sand draped with sun-lotion slick bodies in various states of undress, kids running around on the sand, the old guys in their speedos (trans: Australian for male swimming briefs).

When you're tired on the beach, then head in for the hippy cafes, cool kids, boho locals and tourists tourists tourists of the colourful and so, so Sydney streets immediately behind the beach. read more about Bondi Beach

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo

  • Bradley's Head Road
  • Mosman
  • tel:+61 (0)2 9969 2777
  • Visit website
  • Sydney, 2088

Catching the ferry over from Circular Quay for a day at the Zoo is one of the delights of living in Sydney. For surely there is no urban zoo with quite as spectacular a setting as this one, sited on a headland that juts out into the harbor. Catching that ferry can be one of the delights of visiting Sydney, too. For a starter, the collection of Australian animals here is great: all the critters you'd expect - kangaroos and koalas and so forth. And that's just to start, because the zoo also homes all the excellent international beasts a soul could hope for : the elephants and the zebras and the lions and the hippos and turtles and snakes and the weird legless lizards and lemurs and gorillas (they're SO big)...

It's simply a splendid place to bring kids. Or adults.
read more about Taronga Zoo

Longrain

Longrain

  • 85 Commonwealth Street
  • Surry Hills
  • tel:61 2 9280 2888
  • Visit website
  • Sydney, 2010

Longrain is seriously hip, located between happening Surry Hills and the CBD. With very modern decor, and long tables (don't expect private tete-a-tete!) it boasts some of the best Thai in Sydney. The food is not the cheapest that you will find, but it is impeccable – the best and freshest ingredients prepared expertly and with love; it is widely considered to be one of the best Thai restaurants outside of the Kingdom of Thailand itself. There are no dinner bookings, and diners are asked to wait at the bar. It all happens in a large airy renovated space and is as cool as Sydney comes. Bookings are available only for lunch. And if are in Melbourne and want a touch of Longrain, step in at 44 Little Bourke Street; yes it is yet another Longrain sibling for you! read more about Longrain