We’ve just spent the Easter hols showing off Sydney’s best sides to my parents who came from the UK for a visit. We also hosted my sister who came over at Christmas so now we’re feeling all cocky about our abilities as Sydney tour guides! For any Sydney-based readers who will be hosting guests in the future these are the places we found that went down a treat.
It’s taken me 3 years to have a spare Sunday that coincides with the dates of the Kirribilli Markets but I’m so pleased we finally got there during my parents visit. Situated directly under the Harbour Bridge, Kirribilli Markets feature a mixture of art, design and fashion with the spectacular harbour as a backdrop. The stalls changes throughout the month but I recommend going to the General Market if you like a car boot style rummage through other people’s cast offs. (We Brits love a car boot, don’t we?) There’s also live music and a range of international eats and afterwards you can…
Walk or Climb The Harbour Bridge
After our visit to the market we walked the Harbour Bridge and I have no idea why I haven’t done this before. The pedestrianised walkway has gorgeous views of the harbour below and steel beams above and it doesn’t cost a penny to access it. (We had to explain this to an American tourist who had heard the BridgeClimb was pricey and didn’t realise that was something completely different.)
If you are looking to treat your guests to a once in a lifetime experience (and they don’t have any problems with vertigo!) then the Sydney Bridge Climb is a fantastic experience. They’ll enjoy jaw-dropping views and learn a thing or two about Sydney along the way. You can find my full review of BridgeClimb Sydney here.
Afternoon Tea At Park Hyatt Sydney
For a more sedate experience with stunning views book yourself in for Afternoon Tea at the Park Hyatt Sydney. At $55 per head it’s one of the pricier afternoon tea experiences in Sydney but you really cannot beat those waterfront views, especially as the restaurant windows retract so you can hear the splash of the water as the ferries leave the harbour.
I treated Mum and I on Good Friday and the warm, fluffy scones accompanied by giant dollops of clotted cream passed our critical assessment. (Licks lips at the memory.)
Home & Away’s Summer Bay aka Palm Beach
I’m pretty certain that any Pommy visitors to Sydney will enjoy a visit to Palmy. We love taking guests to Palm Beach for a dip in the gorgeous waters and feast at The Boathouse but soap fans will get a kick out of recognising the beach better known as Summer Bay.
We took my parents during the Easter hols and, much to my surprise, found that they were shooting a scene for Home & Away down on the beach. (Something that didn’t happen on my official Home & Away tour!) We went for a closer look and saw them shoot (over and over again) a smooch between 2 characters who are not currently dating – so don’t look too closely if you don’t want any spoilers.
Watson’s is one of my favourite Sydney bays as it feels like a small coastal town which just happens to have incredible views of the Sydney skyline. We treated the rents to a night at the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel so they could wake up on the beach and enjoy a coastal walk before brunch. It’s a great daytrip too though, especially if you take the ferry and grab fish n’ chips at Doyles on the Wharf.
Brunch In Bondi
Speaking of brunch, any overseas visitor will be dying to see Bondi whilst in Sydney but rather than squish on the sand among all the other tourists we tend to book ourselves in for brunch near the beach and then walk it off along the seafront afterwards.
There are plenty of options when it comes to cool cafes in Bondi but my current favourites are Harry’s (who take online bookings and make these hotcakes) and Speedo’s Cafe (who do rainbow coloured dishes with ocean views).
Sydney-siders love a good coastal walk and that’s because Sydney has some really good ones. If your guests bought their walking shoes get them to strap them on and choose from the following walks:
South Head – from Watson’s you can take a nice easy walk past Camp Cove and Lady Bay Beach to the Hornby Lighthouse.
Spit Bridge to Manly – this 10km trek through beautiful bays and bushland takes approx. 4 hours to complete.
Bondi to Coogee – Sydney’s most iconic clifftop walk passes some of the city’s best beaches. It takes about 2 hours if you walk the 6km in a leisurely fashion. Grab some well-earned drinks at the Coogee Pavilion at the end of it.
Old Boozers in The Rocks
Speaking of drinks, don’t forget to show your guests some of Sydney’s pubs, especially the more old school ones in The Rocks. Head to The Glenmore for rooftop views and Fortune Of War, Sydney’s oldest pub, if they’d like to see a bit of nostalgia. You also can’t beat a glass of sparkling at Opera Bar, directly under the Opera House, especially if a massive cruise ship is trying to manoeuvre its way out of the harbour.
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