With not one, but two highly-recognisable landmarks, Sydney Harbour is one of the most famous sights in the world and you can (and I did!) spend hours just admiring these two icons.
However, there’s more to Sydney and here’s my pick of some of the other attractions.
- Beaches – everyone has heard of Bondi, of course. However, when I clapped eyes on it, I couldn’t help but be put in mind of Bournemouth and wondered why it’s internationally famous when there’s so much stunning coastline in this area.
We stayed near Maroubra beach and paid for a disastrous surfing lesson that must have been pretty entertaining for anyone that saw it. In between watching us inhale seawater and sand in equal quantities, our instructor assured us that Maroubra was, in fact, better than Bondi as it’s longer, its waves are more consistent and it’s quieter. Other top picks include Manly (although I was distracted by the opportunity that business names such as “Manly Nails” presented; plus Coogee and Clovelly.
2. Coastal walks
There’s an incredible walk from Maroubra along the coast, past beautiful beach houses, gorgeous beaches all the way to Bondi, passing Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Indeed, even the Virgin Mary is said to be a fan of Coogee, having made a miraculous appearance here in 2003.
Every turn of the path provides a jawdropping view and the five-mile walk just flies by in a blur of stunning rock formations, sea views and joggers.
3. North Sydney Olympic Pool
Swimming in this fantastic 50m pool is to immerse yourself in history itself. At $7.80, it’s cheaper than my local pool, and offers the most fabulous view of the harbour bridge and next door Luna Park. There’s also a children’s pool and an indoor pool, but the outdoor pool is fantastic and offers the chance to rub shoulders with Australian swimmers who are the best in the world.
When it was first built in 1936, it was actually longer, but was shortened in 1964 to fit in with international standards. Between the 1950s and 1970s, 86 world records were set here. I might have set one for the slowest lap ever – but to be fair, I was distracted by the view and also the salty taste of the water, plus the organised way in which people doing breast stroke were made to swim in a different lane from the front crawlers. I thought the pool was incredible and loved the historic feel of the changing rooms, but apparently it needs upgrading and views are currently being sought on its future.
I’m late to the party, but thoroughly enjoying this Sydney-based series recommended by my newly-Antipodean friend Pauline. It’s definitely one for the over 18s and is clever, hilarious and fast-moving. Richard Roxborough plays Cleaver Greene, a colourful, sleazy, complicated barrister – apparently based on a real person.