Be prepared to be seduced by Sydney, warns MICHELLE WILDING. The city snaps, crackles, and sizzles unique appeal.
Sydney isn’t regarded as Australia’s largest city and culture capital for nothing. It benefits from a temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters—hands down the enviable ingredient that vying sister-city Melbourne in Victoria lacks. But the charming food, couture, natural attractions, and events are also waiting to supersede your expectations upon arrival. What are you waiting for?
Party ’til Quarter to Late
Like staying out well after sunrise? The good news is a number of Sydney hotels and nightclubs don’t shut their doors at midnight, so you can either go hard or go home.
Darlinghurst’s Colombian Hotel closes at 6 a.m. all week with no 2 a.m. lockout policy. This means that all you night owls can re-enter the club after 2 a.m. if you need to go outside for a quick breather. The World Bar also follows suit, staying open ’til 6 a.m. from Friday to Sunday.
Sydney is the only city Down Under that lays claim to its very own exclusive worldwide Marquee nightclub—brought to you all the way by internationally famed Tao Group, which owns venues in Las Vegas and New York. Enjoy the expected spectacle of gogo dancers, LED lights, a killer sound system, and European table service until 4 a.m.
Head to SPICE Club now located inside The Spice Cellar where the techno and deep house music will keep you moving right through to 10a.m. for a A$20 entry.
There are also a few 24/7 restaurants to satisfy your hunger cravings if quickie-marts can’t do the trick. Try Pancakes on the Rocks and order breakfast or an alcoholic drink at any time of the day.
One Word: Bondi!
Sydney undisputedly boasts Australia’s most famed stretch of sand, Bondi Beach. It’s a sight to behold and a thrill to experience. So Learn to Surf (www.letsgosurfing.com.au), ride the waves, tan with the body beautiful, or have a fish-and-chips picnic with the family on the beach and feel the sand between your toes, Sydney way. Need help planning to get there by bus or train? Try the Transport Infoline (www.131500.com.au).
Panache for Fashion
Sydney is home to some of the best Australian-grown designer labels seen on runways all over the world—Carla Zampatti in Surry Hills, the Zimmerman sisters, Akira Isogawa in Woollahra store, and Sydney-sider Collette Dinnigan (the first Aussie to launch a ready-to-wear collection in Paris in 1995).
Find these designer goods stocked in branded boutiques inside Westfield Sydney, the Queen Victoria Building and leading Myer and David Jones department stores. And if you don’t want Aussie-made, grab YSL, try Chanel, Cartier, Tiffany’s, and Dolce & Gabbana also inside the central business district’s recently built Westfield Shopping Center.
The Coat Hanger
Not one bridge in the world can match up to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately called by Sydney residents as the Coat Hanger. Climb it with Bridge Climb Sydney or peddle across on a Bike Buffs Cycle Tour to take in the majestic, picturesque view of the harbor and cityscape.
With Sydney being a melting pot of cultures, it takes no effort to find specific multicultural dishes that you’re craving here, thanks to a great combination of evolving immigrant recipes and fresh local produce.
Mizuya is Sydney’s most glamorous Japanese restaurant and karaoke bar featuring an easy-to-use touch-screen menu-ordering service with over 200 traditional and contemporary Japanese dishes.
La Bodeguita del Medio is a Cuban spot where the conversation-stopping fare is as grand as its vibrant salsa and mojito-filled atmosphere. Almustafa lures in Lebanese foodies with oil-drizzled lamb, tasty shish kebabs, vine leaves, homemade
hummus, soft breads, and Arguileh (flavored tobacco smoking pipes).
A 5-minute walk from Bondi Beach is Brown Sugar, known for its delectable Mediterranean-inspired modern Australian meals. Co-owner Neil Gottheiner has done wonders adding exotic flavor to the local favorites.
There’s Always Something On!
The city’s vibrant passion for arts and culture is the driving factor behind a sundry of frequently hosted events, including the upcoming annual Crave Sydney International Food Festival (www.cravesydney.com), which kicks off October 1 to 31. The festival praises Sydney as a global dining destination, providing families and friends an opportunity to sample first-rate local produce and wine.
Sports is also a dynamic part of Sydney culture. The city hosted the 2000 Summer Olympics and it is where the first matches of rugby football and cricket in Australia were played. Venues such as the ANZ Stadium and Allianz Stadium make it possible for live spectators to cheer on their favorite team and unleash their sporting spirit.