We recently went on an Australian adventure and our first stop was Sydney. After the longest flight of my life (15 hours from LAX), we arrived in Sydney two days after our departure from Denver and at 6:30 am local time. We threw jet lag to the wind and were ready to explore!
We stayed at the Pier One Marriott which is just under the Sydney Harbor Bridge and in a great location to explore all of the city’s major landmarks. On our first morning, we walked along the water with Luna Park across the harbor, headed to see the Opera House and in search of caffeine!
We stopped near the Circular Quay at Quay Bar for avocado toast (which is my favorite and ev-er-y-where in Australia) and coffee outdoors. Then we checked out all of the iconic sights of Sydney including the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens which are honestly pretty amazing.
After all of that we stopped for lunch at Metro St. James in Hyde Park, which had a lovely setting and delicious poke bowls. Then to really get our fill of touristy things, we had a pint at the 360 Bar which has a revolving view of Sydney’s skyline from the Sydney Tower. While you’re in the area make sure to enjoy Hyde Park, and stop in to St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Queen Victoria Building which has beautiful nineteenth-century architecture and is now brimming with shops and restaurants.
This rainbow striped dress with a pleated skirt puts out a preppy and polished vibe! Rainbow colors and stripes are both on trend and make for a bright and fun outfit. For walking around Sydney I paired it with a Zac Posen backpack and sneaker espadrilles. I also love these gold Soludos sneakers for everyday shoes, as well as these woven slip-ons and these woven leather sneakers.
This rainbow striped dress is still available in a few sizes here and I’ve found some similar options like this navy-based Milly knit, a breezy vertical striped maxi, and this tiered off-the-shoulder gingham mini which I absolutely love, and which they also have a beautiful strapless gingham maxi!
On Day #2 we ate brekky (breakfast if you’re not familiar with the Australian slang) in a very clean alley that was actually quite charming, technically considered a “laneway” in Australia! The Fine Food Store is a great stop for breakfast in The Rocks neighborhood. We powered up on coffee and avocado toast before climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge! BridgeClimb Sydney is a very cool experience where you literally put on a jumpsuit, strap into a harness and climb to the peak of the iconic landmark. Scott and I did the Express Climb which takes about two hours and the views are spectacular!
This lemon print jumpsuit is a new favorite of mine and I’m so excited to break it out all Spring and Summer. The fruit print is just so fun and sweet! This particular jumpsuit is sold out but For Love and Lemons has an adorable romper, sweet minidress, relaxed sundress, shorts and crop top all in this same print! I also found this tie-front jumpsuit (for $65!) with another cute lemon print.
That afternoon, we took a ferry to Manly Beach which was gave us awesome views of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. Luckily we were able to sit on the top of the ferry at the very back, which made for the perfect photo op! We strolled around Manly Beach and afterwards found the Manly Yacht Club which has a great view of the harbor and luckily for me, serves frosé.
Halfway through our stay in Sydney, we relocated to Bondi Beach which felt worlds apart from our stay near the Sydney Harbor Bridge! Scott and I always like to hop around so that we can see as much as possible when we travel, and switching neighborhoods is a great way to do just that. We stayed at the QT Bondi which honestly has the best location as it’s mid-point of Bondi Beach.
^ This cut-out Mara Hoffman swimsuit is definitely going to be one of my go-to’s this summer. It’s sold out in red online, but the same suit comes in pastel pink, black, a gorgeous floral and a bright abstract print.
Pictured above is the famous Bondi Beach Icebergs Club, which is a saltwater pool that’s open to the public. The waves crash against the corner of the Olympic-size swimming pool and are quite the sight to see.
Bondi Beach is a relaxed neighborhood with a beach-centric community. Restaurants and surf shops line Campbell Parade, the road adjacent to the beach. The boardwalk itself has some seriously incredible street art, as seen below.
Scott and I woke up early one day to hike the Bondi to Coogee Coastal walk. The cliff top coastal walk winds in and out of several bays and the views are absolutely breathtaking. The Bondi to Coogee stretch is just under four miles and includes beaches, rock swimming pools and parks. Along the way my husband found the Clovelly Lawn Bowling Club which he couldn’t pass up. We stopped to try our hand at outdoor bowling that somewhat resembles bocce ball. The bowling club is located on a cliff overlooking the ocean and we had a blast playing in the sunshine with a pint in hand and the ocean breeze cooling us off from our hike. At the end of the coastal walk, the Coogee Pavilion is a great place to stop for a refreshment or bite to eat.
^ Scott getting a few pull-ups in our our hike from Bondi Beach to Coogee. Sydney has lots of little work out stops along the coastal walk and we saw a lot of them being put to good use! We were actually really impressed with our fit all of the Aussies were, and it’s inspired us to be better about working out.
To wrap up our time in Sydney, we created our own little “pub crawl” just the two of us and set out to eat and drink our way through Bondi Beach. We started at Panama House with kangaroo tacos, then ventured down Hall Street to Bondi Hardware (a hotspot even on a Monday night) or our second round of appetizers, then sushi at Blanca, followed by burgers at Bonditony’s (yes, I know it’s ridiculous to follow sushi with burgers!) and a night cap at Neighbourhood Bondi. Changing locations from course-to-course is absolutely our favorite thing to do while we travel because it gives us a sampling of the food, nightlife, and culture of a neighborhood!
Other fun things to do in Sydney:
- Enjoy Cantonese cuisine at Mr. Wong’s. Word to the wise, order the King Crab fried rice.
- Grab a sunset cocktail at Henry Deane the 5th floor lounge in Hotel Palisade, with a hip vibe and great views of the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
- Search out Harry’s Cafe de Wheels for their famous meat pies, a local tradition for over 70 years. Visit the original location in Woolloomooloo!
- Visit Lush on Bondi for a great little beach bar. We loved it so much, we went back several times.
- Eat brekky at Speedo’s Cafe for the most Instagram-worthy food south of the equator and views of Bondi Beach.
- Make the trip over the Sydney Harbor Bridge and find your way to Celsius Coffee! It’s an amazing little hotspot for breakfast that literally hangs out over the water. You can find it through a walkway in the upscale neighborhood, or take a ferry to Kirribilli Wharf. Again, the avocado toast is amazing! (I swear I eat other things too.)
- Rent a car and head to Hunter Valley. Which is exactly what we did! Stay tuned for my next post about the wine region.