Tr avel re­port SYD­NEY

Huddersfield Daily Examiner - - Gia Nts 56 Bradford Bulls 12 -

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

Beach.

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

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