Cap­i­tal Ex­pe­ri­ences

Our eight main cities and the five best ways to ex­plore them

Qantas - - CONTENTS - ALEXAN­DRA CARL­TON

01. Soak up Syd­ney Har­bour

The land­mark views from Quay restau­rant (quay.com.au) are post­cards come to life, while an af­ter­noon watch­ing sea­planes take off from Catalina (catali­narose­bay.com.au) will make you for­get that any­thing ex­ists be­yond leisure and lunch­ing. But to re­ally im­merse your­self in one of the world’s most fa­mous wa­ter­ways, spend time on it, not just be­side it, with a ferry ride to the UN­ESCO World Her­itage-listed Cock­a­too Is­land (cock­a­toois­land.gov.au). Take a self-guided au­dio tour to learn about the re­mains of con­vict bar­racks, World War II ship­yards and the chil­dren’s re­form school. Stay overnight in one of the com­fort­able tents, which come with bed­ding, toi­letries and ac­cess to shared bath­rooms, or a re­fur­bished Fed­er­a­tion-era house, and wake to a view that ri­vals any from the city’s top ho­tels.

02. Go out for Sun­day brunch

The scram­bled eggs and av­o­cado toast at Bills (bills.com.au) trig­gered Syd­ney’s brunch ob­ses­sion in the 1990s. Then The Grounds of Alexan­dria (the­grounds.com.au), with its on­site farm and ram­bling gar­dens, made break­fast feel like you’re hav­ing a week­end away. Syd­ney’s ap­petite for brunch con­tin­ues to be sated by new tastes. Corner­smith (corner­smith.com.au) in Mar­rickville teaches you to em­brace pick­les and rel­ish on pretty much ev­ery­thing, while Saint Pe­ter (saint­peter.com.au) in Padding­ton makes a strong case for eat­ing oys­ters, oc­to­pus and prawns be­fore noon.

03. SPEND A DAY AT THE BEACH

The crowds are a con­stant re­minder that Bondi is the city’s sig­na­ture beach and you might know nearby Ta­ma­rama as Gla­ma­rama, named for its im­pos­si­bly stylish reg­u­lars. True beach bums make the drive north, where life is more low-key. Whale Beach is the pick of the penin­sula, with its pris­tine sand, ocean pool and bare­foot vibe. Dry off and have a sausage sanger at the Whale Beach Deli (whale­beachdeli.com.au).

04. Me­an­der around a morn­ing mar­ket

If you don’t have a favourite week­end mar­ket then you’re sim­ply not a Syd­neysider. For art, head to The Rocks Mar­kets (the­rocks.com) and for unique threads it’s all about Bondi (bondi­mar­kets. com.au). Lo­cals into food flock to mar­kets such as Car­riage­works (car­riage­works. com.au) at Eveleigh, which hosts cook­ing demon­stra­tions and pop-ups by top chefs in­clud­ing The Bridge Room’s Ross Lusted and Lankan Fill­ing Sta­tion’s O Tama Carey. Or head to Or­ange Grove Mar­ket at Or­ange Grove Pub­lic School in Le­ich­hardt (or­gan­ic­food­mar­kets.com.au), where you’ll find one of Syd­ney’s best ba­con and egg rolls.

05.

Fol­low the fore­shore

The spec­tac­u­lar Bondi to Bronte path is a favourite way for lo­cals to clock up the num­bers on their step apps. But the four-hour, 10-kilo­me­tre Har­bour Bridge to Taronga Zoo walk that weaves be­tween the har­bour shore, park­lands and sub­ur­ban foot­paths – from the Bridge’s base in Mil­sons Point to the Zoo’s wharf and be­yond – is a road less trav­elled full of scenic sur­prises. Have a stick­y­beak at Kir­ri­billi House where the prime min­is­ter lives, ad­mire the trop­i­cal Lex and Ruby Gra­ham Gar­den and pack your cossie for a dip in Maccal­lum Sea­wa­ter Pool, a lesser-known har­bour­side swim­ming spot.

Com­bine the twin Syd­ney pas­sions of eat­ing and sand-dwelling at Whale Beach

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