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Travel guide Sydney City & East

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Sydney Style

 There’s no place in the world like Sydney for style

There’s no place in the world like Sydney. With sun-drenched beaches, a relaxed attitude and stylish spirit, it’s a vibrant and exciting city with a distinct personality. The city is renowned for its outdoor lifestyle, friendly residents, natural beauty and sophisticated nightlife. Indeed, Sydney is consistently voted the world’s best city to visit by international travellers. In 2006, it once again won the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, earning a highest overall rating of 87.7.  After all, where else can you relax on the beach in your swimsuit one minute, then dress up and dance the next; spot a whale or a movie star; ride a horse or cruise in a limo; surf waves or see a world-class live show?

One of Sydney’s triumphs lies in having many of its attributes – iconic beaches and national parks, restaurants, nightlife, shopping and dining, fine architecture and a thriving arts and culture scene – within easy reach. Sydney summers are long, with average maximum temperatures of 25°C (77°F). Winters are short and mild, with temperatures rarely falling below 10°C (50°F).

The most beautiful and best-known building on Sydney Harbour, Sydney Opera House, is in the running to be named one of the world’s New Seven Modern Wonders of the World, with winners to be announced later this year. www.new7wonders.com  Sydney Opera House guided tours are operated regularly, offering visitors the opportunity to explore this miracle of architecture and stand where legends have performed. www.sydneyoperahouse.com Guests can now enhance their experience of this building and its breathtaking location with a sophisticated High Tea in quintessential Sydney style at Guillaume at Bennelong. Australia’s celebrated chef, Guillaume Brahimi, is a three star Michelin-trained chef whose creative talents have won him accolades both here and abroad. The High Tea includes a glass of Australian sparkling wine and a selection of sandwiches, teas, pastries and petit fours, with the highlight being a private performance by one of Australia’s acclaimed opera performers.

Meanwhile, another architectural marvel and Australian icon, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is this year celebrating its 75th birthday. Millions of people have climbed to the bridge’s peak since BridgeClimb started operations in 1998. Now climbers can choose from a new route, called the Discovery Climb, which weaves throughout the bridge’s amazing inner structure and allows climbers to touch the rivets that bolt the bridge together before reaching the lookout at its pinnacle. www.bridgeclimb.com.au

Golden-tipped, 305 metre high Sydney Tower – more than twice the height of Sydney Harbour Bridge and six times as high as Niagara Falls – is another of the city’s most prominent landmarks. It is home to a fantastic attraction duo: Sydney Tower and OzTrek. OzTrek, a simulated ride, sees visitors whisked away on a virtual magic carpet ride across Australia. www.sydneytoweroztrek.com.au The tower’s spectacular Skywalk is literally an “over-the-top” attraction. Skywalkers step outside onto the roof of the golden turret and stand on see-through viewing platforms overhanging the tower. Yeee-hah! www.skywalk.com.au

There are many different ways to enjoy and explore Sydney, whether it is taking to the water in a luxury yacht, hovering overhead in a seaplane or helicopter, watching the world go by from a waterside café or just wandering through its fascinating streets. Sydney’s oldest neighbourhood is The Rocks – originally Sydney Cove, where the First Fleet commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip landed in 1788. The Sydney Visitor Centre, housed in the heritage-listed Penrhyn House, is an obvious first stop for any visitor to this area. www.therocks.com The Rocks Discovery Museum www.rocksdiscoverymuseum.com  located in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse on Kendall Lane, provides insights into Sydney’s birthplace. The museum is open seven days a week from 10am-5pm and entry is free.

Sydney has many coastal walks to choose from, all offering unique perspectives of the city and its proximity to nature. The Federation Cliff Walk now links the eastern suburbs of Dover Heights with Vaucluse, winding past towering cliffs high above the Pacific Ocean. It is a great way to take in the essence of Sydney’s untamed harbour while getting some exhilarating exercise. The Bondi Beach to Bronte walk is another delightful coastal walk, as is the Manly to Spit Bridge trek that passes by eight beaches. The Harbourside walk from Neilsen Park to Rose Bay takes in grand historic homes and modern mansions.

Sydney has a vibrant arts and culture scene. A highlight on the city’s calendar is the Sydney Festival, a three week celebration of sensational dance, music, theatre, outdoor exhibitions and visual arts held every January. www.sydneyfestival.org.au And there’s no doubt Sydney is famous for its parties. Each year is welcomed in with a bang, with New Year’s Eve celebrations engulfing the Sydney harbour foreshore. www.sydneynewyearseve.com Thousands of people gather to witness one of the biggest annual fireworks displays on the planet. In February, the city comes alive with the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, which culminates in a huge street parade featuring some of the most outlandish costumes you are likely to see any where. www.mardigras.org.au Of course, there are also numerous exhibitions and events throughout the year, courtesy of Opera Australia and the Sydney Theatre Company as well as the Art Gallery of NSW, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Powerhouse Museum.

Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – The Musical, based on Australia’s own Oscar award-winning movie, is currently dazzling sell-out audiences at the Lyric Theatre, Star City. Featuring hits such as I Will Survive and I Love the Nightlife, it is a tribute to Sydney’s sparkling personality and is definitely a not-to-be-missed event for all visitors in 2007! For Showbiz See & Stay packages, call Showbiz on 1300 658 009 or go to www.showbiz.com.au. For Qantas Holiday packages, go to www.qantasholidays.com.au. For more information, go to www.priscillathemusical.com

After the show, there are literally dozens of stylish restaurants to choose from – from discreet inner city venues and traditional pubs, to open-air dining by the water. Sydney has established itself as one of the best cities in the world to eat, alongside New York, London and Paris. Sydney cafes, restaurants and fine dining establishments are run by people who are passionate about food. These creative chefs, many of whom have won international acclaim, have the freshest ingredients to work with and an enthusiastic audience of local diners to impress with their originality and imagination.
Sydney has a creative edge and love of good design that has inspired generations of young designers who have established themselves on the world fashion stage. Many home-grown labels that have won fans around the world, such as Collette Dinnigan, Akira Isogawa, Sass and Bide and Alannah Hill, operate boutiques in some of Sydney’s trendiest suburbs. There is also a wealth of new designers to be uncovered at Sydney’s suburban markets such as Paddington and Bondi. There’s no doubt Sydney is a big-city shopping experience and visitors are spoilt for choice.

Indeed, you also don’t need to go beyond the city centre to have a real Australian adventure and come in contact with some of our most iconic critters. Taronga Zoo is celebrating its 90th birthday, while Sydney Wildlife World has recently opened its doors in Darling Harbour. www.zoo.nsw.gov.au / www.sydneywildlifeworld.com.au Sydney is also one of the only major cities in the world that offers the chance to spot whales easily from sea or land. The peak whale-watching season is officially June/July, but whales can be seen migrating north from May to August and making the return trip from August to October. Captain Cook Cruises offers daily whale-watching cruises aboard the 100-passenger coastal catamaran Crystal Spirit. www.captaincook.com.au The Australian Spirit Sailing Company operates Sydney Eco Whale Watching Tours, providing information on whale habitats, various sorts of whales and whale behaviour, environmental impacts and whale population numbers. www.austspiritsailingco.com.au. For an aerial experience, Blue Sky Helicopter’s Whale Watching Flights track whales from above. www.blueskyhelicopters.com. Other prime Sydney whale-watching spots include Sydney’s fastest whalewatch boat with Pro Dive Whale Watching from the Manly Yacht Club Jetty. www.prodive.com.au

At the end of an exhausting day exploring Sydney, the city also has accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. There are elegant boutique hotels oozing style and charisma, lively backpacker hostels, and luxurious five-star establishments with spectacular views of the harbour and “wow-factor” suites. There are friendly bed and breakfasts tucked away in the city’s leafy streets and two or three-star hotels in the heart of the city that are kind on the budget. Convenient self-contained apartments complete with and a large number of four-star international-class hotels can be found at all the key locations.

There’s no place in the world like Sydney.

For more information, see www.seesydney.com

For further information, contact:

Kylie Robertson                                  Irene Morgan
Robertson Solutions                          Tourism  NSW
Cell: 917-213-1773                            Tel: 310 641 1622/
Kylie@robertsonsolutions.com          tourismnswla@earthlink.net

About the author
Kylie Robertson & Irene Morgan wrote this article

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