Sydney is famous for its Harbour Bridge and Opera House, for Bondi Beach and photos with koalas. But if you really want to understand why Sydneysiders love living in this city so much, you’ll have to bypass the main attractions and do as the locals do. But trust me, it will be worth it…
Bondi is a fine-looking beach sure, but if you want to escape the crowds, head south along the Bondi-Coogee walk for your choice of 6 different beaches and bays that allow a little more room for stretching out. Bronte Beach is popular with local families, whilst Gordon Bay is a renowned snorkelling location. The 6km walk is babe central, with Bondi and the rest of the Eastern Beaches being the heart of Sydney’s fitness and wellness movement. Take a break from the stunning views with a cold pressed juice and an acai bowl to feel like one of the beautiful people.
Take a hike
The standing cliché of Sydneysiders is that they love to talk about the weather. And we’re not going to deny it because if you had that kind of quality nature in your backyard, you’d be praying for sun everyday too. Try Kuringai National Park to the north, or the Royal National Park to the south. Throughout the city you can wander the Harbour National Park that protects several islands and foreshores such as Cockatoo Island, the North Head walk near Watson’s Bay, or the South Head area around Manly. Tighten up those laces because you’ll want to see them all.
If there’s something that Sydneysider love almost as much as being in the outdoors, it’s going out for brunch. The city-wide obsession has resulted in some pretty stunning venues popping up that will have you seriously questioning the value of all other meals. The Grounds of Alexandria is the reigning queen of brunch locations, with their sprawling location encompassing several bars, a bakery, garden area, flower shop, and restaurant. Be there when they take Kevin Bacon, the resident pig, out on his walk among the patrons for the sheer novelty of it.
Ahh what would a Sunday be without a few sunset drinks at your favourite location. The Beresford in Surry Hills practically invented Sunday nights out, while Coogee Pavilion can’t be rivalled in terms of looks and location. Get a group of friends and settle in for a night of good vibes that will invariably be Monday’s regret.
Saturday and Sunday mornings are spent at the markets, buying fresh produce and haggling with stall holders for fun fashion buys. Glebe markets are best for a fashion fix, designer clothes can be found for less than $20 here, and young designers use the market to make a name for themselves. After you’ve finished brunching at the Grounds of Alexandria, wander into their weekend fair to browse cute craftwork and gifts. The Bondi markets are the real reason Sydneysiders head east, or for more distinctly Australian products, spend the day at the historical Rocks markets.
There’s heaps to do in Sydney beyond the typical tourist attractions, and if you start to experience the city as the locals do, you’ll understand why they can’t kick this addictove lifestyle.