Sydney, Australia has long been on the traveller radar. In fact I’d go so far as to say it’s legendary. Some people swing by for a few whirlwind days, some swing by for a few days and stay forever.
There’s something for everyone, beautiful beaches, a wealth of culture in the form of theatre, music and art, crazy good shopping to suit all budgets and a host of cute critters waiting to say g’day.
Of course, going to Sydney and leaving out the ‘must see’s’ like the Opera House, Bondi Beach, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Zoo is unthinkable. But how can you fill your time later, once you’ve been there, done that, and you feel like you want to get under the skin of this dynamic city and experience it in a way like only a local really can?
Look no further, below are 6 pieces of insider knowledge to help you explore the very best of your home away from home.
A traditional sight on ravellers photos from Sydney. But what can you do that’s a little bit different? Image by albertofarzas
Get off the tourist trail in Sydney
Shark Island, Cronulla Point
It may not be as much of a secret to hardcore surfing fans but when the swell is big, this lump of rock produces some of the meanest, heaviest waves in the world. When it’s ‘on it’ it has been known to attract some of the worlds top pro surfers as well as a die-hard groups of fearless locals. It sits just off a grassy point so if you’re more of a watcher than a ‘doer’ you can picnic with friends above the cliff face in comfort while watching the worlds best surfers & bodyboarders risk their lives taking on the island.
Cronulla point is a great place to surf but also for chilling out and watching with a cold stubbie and friends. Image by genericitis
The Glenmore Hotel
Who needs the Opera Bar, when you have the Glenmore Hotel – stunning views of the Opera House & Sydney Harbour Bridge from this roof-top bar, at a fraction of the price (even more so during happy hour). The bar is particularly lively during St Patrick’s Day but make sure you get there early if you want to take part in the shannanigans!
Cheap food, cold beer and a great view of the Opera House thrown in for free from the top of the Glenmore Hotel. Image by kevwhelan
Fairlight Beach, Manly
Away from the crowds, this little known beach has some of the best snorkelling in Sydney and never ever gets crowded. STA Travel’s very own Marketing Exec Neil used to live next to this beach ‘It’s amazing, a quieter but equally good alternative to Bondi. There’s also a salt-water pool to laze in if the sea is choppy. Follow Manly Scenic Walkway from Sydney Harbour for a few Kilometers and there you have it.
Fairlight beach is a quieter but equally good alternative to Bondi Beach. Image by sydneydawg2006
Sydney Metro Theatre, George Street
This converted theatre now plays host to some great indie bands, Biffy Clyro used to gig there before they hit the big-time and Jeff Buckley one held a record breaking run 7 sold out shows in 6 days there in 1996 so it’s a bit legendary down under. It’s a great place to drink dance and maybe be one of the first to witness the next big thing in indie music.
A great place to drink in Sydney, it’s near to the uni with a cool bohemian vibe, and some amazing restaurants and lots of little ethnic cafes with tasty food at good prices. With few tourists around you can live like an Aussie while chilling in open top bars and little cafes. Check out the May Lane Art Project in St Peters while you’re there; artists are invited use the 5 wall panels that surround an office building as their canvas to create street art, the artwork is changed monthly with the previous pieces kept afterwards to form part of a larger documentation project, very cool.
Street art like this is a frequent sight in Newtown. Image by baddogwhiskas
Andrew (Boy) Chorlton Pool
A little known, but must visit, local swimming pool, Andrew (Boy) Chorlton swimming pool is where all the cool, good looking people hang out (so it would be rude not to show your face obvs) set on an open air terrace with panoramic views over Sydney Harbour it’s a great place to chillout with a cold drink, top up your tan and generally live the high life during the summer months. Alternatively, North Sydney Olympic Pool is huge outdoor pool in the shadow of Luna Park placed on a roof top with great views, a gym, spa and sauna perfect for a bit of pampering.