Tr avel report SYDNEY
OME city skylines are so iconic you fear they won’t possibly live up to your expectations when you finally see them up close. As I walked through Sydney on my way to the harbour for the first time, the thought played on my mind.
So many words have been written about the grandeur of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House that it’s hard to think of any new ones without veering into cliche territory.
As it turned out, words wouldn’t have been enough to do it justice anyway.
The experience of seeing those world renowned landmarks, so synonymous with this city and the centrepiece of its skyline, with my own eyes for the first time was everything I hoped it would be.
Expectations exceeded, it was, quite simply, epic.
As we boarded the Manly ferry at Circular Quay and looked back, the view was our reward after spending 24 hours on a plane to get here.
And as we travelled further out across the bay, it only got better and better.
What did come as a surprise was the slight chill in the air as we crossed the water.
I’d somehow forgotten that our visit was taking place in the middle of Australian winter, until I found myself wrapping my flimsy jacket around me to keep out the light winter breeze.
Perhaps it was because we’d already paid a visit to Bondi Beach (In Sydney, you’re never more than about three feet away from an iconic destination).
Watching the hardy surfers and swimmers still happily doing their thing had lulled me into believing that this city existed in permanent state of summer.
There was something about the way the metropolis sat side by side with those beautiful beaches and the stunning coastline that had me enthralled.
Why would you ever choose between a beach holiday and a city break every again, when you could come to Sydney and have the best of both in one? I thought.
And by the end of our trip I was utterly convinced that winter, with its somewhat milder climate, was actually the perfect time of year to explore the city. FOR the cost of a bottle of sun cream and a pair of decent hiking boots, you could find all the entertainment you’d ever need in Sydney, courtesy of its coastal walks.
On the Bondi to Bronte walk, we people-watched at Bondi Icebergs - the famous outdoor pool -keeping one eye on the ocean in case any marine life made an appearance.
We were so keen for our own meet and greet with the city’s aquatic inhabitants that we decided it was worth taking a dip in the into the tepid ocean. We headed to Manly for a snorkeling tour with the director of Eco Treasures, Damien McClellan, where the pay off for braving the cold water was the chance to swim among the intriguing looking fish and even a very tiny (reportedly harmless) baby shark, in the waters off Shelly
Back on dry land there were more coastal paths to explore in Manly, this time by bike.
Under the guidance of Manly Bike Tours, we explored the stunning headlands before taking a slightly nerve-shredding route back into town via some very steep roads. FOR a hearty breakfast with a secret garden vibe you can’t go wrong with The Grounds of Alexandria, which set us up for the day perfectly.
When it comes to seafood, the city bears the heavy weight of expectation thanks to its miles of coastline, but if the venues we visited are anything to go by,it was certainly living up to it.
North Bondi Fish, which looks right out over the famous beach and Boathouse Shelly Beach both boast incredible views and are absolute havens for seafood lovers.
Meanwhile, in Chippendale, the much lauded Ester was offering up some seriously inventive, contemporary food, with menus heavily inspired by its New South Wales home.
Chef Mat Lindsay was certainly not averse to taking risks in an a bid to impress, an approach which extended to the wine list, which included the region’s delicious orange wine.
Elsewhere, the more touristy option of 360 Bar and Dining is a
Sydney Opera House
The grounds of Alexandria, Sydney
Lunch at North Bondi Fish, Sydney