What’s a trip to Sydney without heading over to the beach? The classic Sydney itinerary would point you to Manly beach or Bondi. I’d recommend turning that trip to Bondi Beach into a walking tour – starting from Coogee beach.
Coogee lies south east of the city center and public buses are frequent. Once you get to Coogee Beach, instead of lazing on a shore lapping up the sun, take a bit of walking first – marvelous rocky cliffs, hillside communities and seaside houses from the more affluent side of Sydney. The walk takes about an hour and a half, but you hardly notice with the stunning views around you.
If you get the timing right, you get to see some quirky and amazing art installations from Sculpture by the Sea (held every November) along the way. You can also check out the seaside hotel on the way, with its pool. But with a free beach right at your feet, why bother?
Don’t forget the Australian adage going for Slip Slop Slap! I got a pretty intense sunburn on a cloudy day. Bring a book if you’re keen on beach bumming and working on that tan, but if you want to go surfing, there are rentals for lockers and surf gear scattered along Bondi beach so that you don’t miss out on any of the summer fun the city has on deck. Also at the northern edge of Bondi, you can see cleverly put together mosaics at the children’s pool.
First a disclaimer – I didn’t go to Sydney on a business trip. It was my two vacations for that year combined and the plan was to travel Australia. Sydney was my first stop; missed out on New Year’s Eve celebrations (used up my all my holidays before January ended!), but just in time for Sydney festival. It’s September and summer is approaching the country’s party capital, so here are some easy tips to cover a lot of Aussie ground in a short span of time.
Sydney is the ostentatious cousin of Melbourne, as it has got more of the famous and well-known sights the country has to offer. Of course there is the much ballyhooed (10 years of construction delays) Sydney Opera house by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. But upon seeing the expansively complex structure it sure is bound to take the wind out of the sails of its critics. Right across the opera house is the Harbour Bridge where they have tours take make you climb all the way up one of the bridge towers. It’s pretty expensive, and takes about two hours. I think I’ll take the view from down here, thank you very much.
It is almost summer there, so take a good walk along Darling Harbour, relax your feet in one of their pools, or cross on over Pyrmont Bridge, a pedestrian bridge with a monorail built above it. If you get the timing right, you can watch the bridge swing – it’s the first swing bridge to be powered by electricity. I didn’t get to see it turn, but the control tower is photographed below.
Cap off your day with a good view of the city from its many harbours, then head over to The Rocks for a drink in Sydney’s oldest precinct.