What to do in Sydney?

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Tasclean 8 Nov 2017
at 05:31

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  • Neil

    My wife and I will be flying to Sydney in March and whilst we have family visits planned we want to relax for a week at a nice beach resort. Where would you recommend? We also plan to finish with 3 days in Sydney itself and are planning on booking the shangri-la. Is this the best choice in order to get around the sights and restaurants without having to rely on taxis all the time?


    Hi Neil I m unsure where you want to stay at a beach resort,near Sydney or anywhere on the way to Sydney. My favourite place is the tropical town of port douglas 1 hour north of cairns with access to the daintree rainforest mossman gorge and the northern tip of the barrier reef. You can fly via HKG on cx to cairns then continue to SYD a 3 hour flight on a local carrier.
    Otherwise noosa just north of brisbane or an air b&b in byron bay 2 hours south would make a good stop over.
    Sydney itself has 50 km of coastline full of beaches so you could just stay here and split your hotels. Say the Adina at Bondi Beach only 30 minutes from the cbd but a completely different relaxed surf culture atmosphere with many 5 star restaurants.
    I would split your stops in the country so as not to risk poor weather. 2 days ago in mid spring it was 33 c with no rain for months now the next week at least is torrential rain and mid winter temps. This can happen in march too.Very sad for visitors.
    Lastly I would recommend the Intercontinental for that style of Hotel. It s highly regarded good executive levels,includes an old colonial building with a grand lobby. Specfically George st out side the shangri la is a mess ,being ripped up at a snails pace to install the new light rail making access difficult. Our State Government’s incompetence is sure to have this disruption continue to your visit.


    If you’d chose not to stay at the Shangri-La do try to visit the top floor bar. Outstanding views and def worthy of a visit.

    The Langham and Four Seasons may also fit the bill.
    I enjoyed the Langham as it’s set back a bit but still a fairly easy walk.


    Since your question was about Sydney itself I’ll tell you what worked for me when I was there.

    I rented a very spacious and comfortable serviced apartment two minutes walk from Circular Quay and The Rocks, which is a pleasant and historic part of town with a few interesting places within walking distance, but the best was to walk down to the Quay and get the first ferry out, either east towards Watson’s Bay, Double Bay, Bondi, or across to Manley, or to Darling Harbour, or further up the Paramatta. Most enjoyable and even after a month I never got tired of doing it and seeing different places.

    I’d also recommend the Taronga zoo (and in general I don’t like zoos) and a trip out to the Blue Mountains.

    Of course I spent many evenings at the Opera House which offers a huge range of cultural events.


    Personally I choose to stay in Surry Hills or Potts Point when in Sydney. Both areas have fantastic restaurants, bars and shops and are a completely different vibe to the CBD, whilst still being in walking distance. I rented a great apartment through airbnb when in Sydney for 10 weeks earlier in the year; but stayed in a hotel when only there for a couple of days last month. I stayed at Spicers in Potts Point which was a great find. Very much a boutique hotel and an alternative to the larger chains There are so many good restaurants in town but Billy Kwong (Potts Point) and a Tavola (Darlinghurst) are my stand out favourites.
    Beach wise you really are spoilt for choice but I second Noosa, assuming you’ll miss the school holidays.


    All the advice so far is excellent. A pricey bucket list experience is to lunch at berowra waters inn on the Hawkesbury River to the north. Fly by sea plane from Rose Bay via Palm Beach. Amazing views en route to a great lunch.
    A cheap alternate is to head south west on the train ( an opal pass covers all public transport) through the multi cultural suburbs ranging from korean to sudanese and portuguese, stopping off for excellent cheap food from every nation ending up at Fairfield for fine middle eastern and vietnamese food. Any local will tell you their favourite place.
    The southern part of the cbd (liverpool street south to central station)has a huge range of east and south east asian food. Musts are taiwanese dumplings at din tai fung and uncle tetsu ‘s japanese cheesecake. These two,and messina gelato are the only places where Sydney people are prepared to queue.
    Avoid any restaurant that revolves on top of a building and any food on a Harbour cruise.Byo sandwich on a ferry much better. Enjoy your stay.


    Hi Neil
    It’s been a while since I’ve been down under, and yet my fellow contributors have brought back brilliant memories and I can’t disagree with anybody.

    Byron Bay is a definite if you want a taste of real Australia. Head to the local RSL to get a feel of local life and then onto the local pub. We had a great day playing pool whilst it chucked down outside, so much so that our jovial host presented us with a fresh basket of Byron Bay oysters as we continued our journey to Melbourne..
    Blue Mountains is a must, again we went very local and stayed at a B&B in Lithgow, apologies that I can’t remember its name, but I’m sure the Aussie hospitality can almost be guaranteed.regardless of where you book.

    In Sydney itself, and if you’re feeling brave head to Darlinghurst Road in Kings Cross.
    Not sure how much it’s changed since the last time I was there, but it is certainly was an eye opener and had a more vibrant edgy buzz to the area than the touristy bits. Bearing in mind I had the advantage of staying with my best mate and his family, so local knowledge definitely helped!!

    One tip I’d definitely advise, get an Opal card, Sydney’s equivalent of an Octopus card !


    Sydney – if you want ‘beach’ there are places to stay at Palm or Whale Beacehs, which are 40 min drive from the CBD. Barrenjoey House in one. Mid-week is the ideal time, busy on summer weekends. That’s as far as you can go beach resort-wise within the Syd area. Palm Cove, Pt Douglas, Noosa etc are hours away by plane up in Qld, and the Central COast (Gosford/Terrigal)is 2 hrs drive.

    Take a few ferry trips around Syd Harbour – Manly for the views and beach, Balmain for inner-city, Parramatta for a trip out west past the 2000 Olympic site. Once you have a rough idea of the city’s geography a ferry trip brings all that topography together. Ferry can take you to Rose Bay for touristic fish & chips at Doyles, and its simple to buy and top up a travel Oyster card at almost any newsagent/convenience store.

    Agree with various comments about nightlife around Surry Hills (the block around Clock/Dolphin Hotels was heaving last Fri night – great breakfast/lunch food at Gratia and Factory)- Paddington is slighty smoother with some great pubs and restaurants attached. if you want good accom but not the CBD then look around Potts Point (Challis Lodge I think?)- this area below Kings Cross is quite smart for coffee, lunch and shopping, and improving now that adjacent King X nightlife is basically gone. Wouldn’t recommend staying on the Nth Shore – the city and walking distances to the E and SE are where to go !

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