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Trip List by Ellemay

Sydney's interesting suburbs.

22 Jun 2006  Local knowledge
4.0 of 5 stars based on 22 votes

Are you looking for something special and unique to do in Sydney, after you have seen the major highlights?

Sydney is a treasure chest , holding incredible richness and beauty in the fragments of the harbour and foreshores. The beaches hugging the Pacific Ocean , the summer days filled with surprises, enriching the essence of the sun , glistening fragments of light filtering over Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are truly enchanting.Sydney is a city full of playfulness, entertainment , sophistication, mixed with a lively cosmopolitan casual lifestyle.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Sydney, Brooklyn
  • Category: Best of
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Beachgoers
  • Appeals to: Business travellers , Couples/romantics, Honeymooners, Singles, Families with small children, Families with teenagers, Seniors, Budget travellers , Tourists
  • Seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
  • 1. Inner West - Balmain / Leichhardt
    Sydney, New South Wales

    Balmain is a peninsula suburb in Sydney inner west. Once a working class suburb filled with dock workers and tiny Victorian cottages and terraces, it is now a buzzy lively and entertaining suburb, where many famous and bohemian Australians live.
    Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Balmain Wharf and walk up the hill along Darling Street into Balmain village. The best day to do this is on Saturday. The Balmain markets are held in St Andrews Church and you can buy almost anything here from bric-a brac to clothes and antiques. Spend the morning strolling through the market and then walk a little further up Darling Street to have lunch at one of the many restaurants and cafes. Balmain is also known for its awesome historical hotels that mingle at each corrner. There is a tour available which takes you on a historical walk through the hotels.

    In the evening listen to some jazz at the Unity Town Hall Hotel, or more upbeat music at The Cat and Fiddle, The Commercial, Sir William Wallace and the London Hotels. You will have a delightful and entertaining day exploring this very lively trendy bohemian village with its endless cafes, restaurants and pubs.

    Buses: 433-434,442,445 Ferries: From Circular Quay alights at Darling Street Balmain Wharf.

    After the days activity exploring Balmain, hop into a taxi to Leichhardt for dinner.Well if you like Italian food ...stroll down Norton Street. Its filled with cafes and restaurants, with some of the best Italian food in Australia to suit all budgets.Leichhardt is often referred to as "Little Italy" and the suburb contains a large Italian community. If looking for some excellent coffee or gelato then try the popular Bar Italia and Bar Azure. You may be lucky, if travelling in March to catch the Italian Festa held in Norton Street every year.
    Catch the bus 436, 440 back to the city.

    Where to Eat: Dante Ristorante in the Italian Forum
    Elio in Norton Street
    Grappa - Norton Street

  • 2. Inner East- Paddington
    Sydney, New South Wales

    Paddington is well-known for its residential area of leafy tree lined streets, with large three storey Victorian terraces overhanging the tiny narrow lanes, it is an impressive, stylish and fashionable and cosmopolitan suburb, intermingled with artistic elegance and individuality .Offering an abundance of art galleries, cafes, pubs, restaurants, boutique funky shops, and motivating cinemas, it is a suburb that will keep any visitor contented and amused for many hours.

    The best time to see Paddington is on Saturday as Paddington main attraction is the markets held in the heritage listed sandstone United Church grounds and building in Oxford Street. Buses leave Circular Quay (380, 378, and 389) get off at Victoria Barracks and stroll up Oxford Street and visit the shops before hitting the markets. The Bazaar is filled with 250 colourful stalls displaying works of Sydney artists, and mixtures of stalls selling jewellery, clothes and antiques.

    If time permits have lunch at the many innovative stylish cafes and then take a walk up to Centennial Park, a glorious enormous 220hectare park and watch how Aussies spend their weekends. It is filled with beautiful exotic trees, ponds and a large lake, you will see people rolling-blading, cycling, kite flying, jogging and even horse riding. The Park entrance is on the corner of Oxford and Queen Street and admission is free. If you come in summer (November - December) you can attend the outdoor moonlight cinema operating in the Centennial Park Amphitheatre. There is a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch daily situated close to the entrance.
    Paddington also houses some of Sydney best restaurants and hotels.

    The three best Restaurants are:

    Bistro Moncur - The Woolahra Hotel - French - 9363 6888
    Claudes - 10 Oxford Street - 9331 2325 - French
    Lucios - 47 Windsor Street - 9380 5996 - Italian

  • 3. Palm Beach
    Palm Beach, New South Wales

    Palm Beach is situated approximately 40km from Sydney CBD and is Sydney's most northerly beach positioned on the Pacific Ocean foreshores; it has the magnificent waterways of Pittwater nestled behind, which is an inlet of Broken Bay. Barrenjoey Headland and lighthouse strongly dominates the end of the Northern Peninsula with its stunning views of West Head and Ku ring Gai Chase National Parks. Palm Beach is famous for numerous things, mainly being the location for the popular TV series Home and Away. It houses some of Sydney's most exclusive and prestigious real estate owned by well-known movie stars, writers and prominent Australian identities.

    Palm Beach is 3km long with a superb surfing beach; it also has a delightful 50 metre ocean swimming pool where you will find many recognized locals having their morning swim. Palm Beach is an exclusive suburb saturated in an abundance of natural beauty; it is well worth a day trip to experience this tranquil peaceful and casual beachside village, or a better option is to have a weekend away.

    Palm Beach is uncomplicated to get to by Public Transport, just hop on the L90 from Wynyard Station; you could also get off and discover some other interesting suburbs such as Newport and Avalon Beach whilst waiting for the next bus. It takes approx 60 - 80 minutes depending on traffic as various parts of the road turns and winds around some rather spectacular scenery. Another alternative is to catch a Seaplane from Rose Bay it takes about 12 - 15 minutes, but this can be expensive.

    Where to Stay:
    Jonah's at Whale Beach www.Jonahs.com.au Tel: 9974 5599
    Where to eat: Barrenjoey House Opposite Palm Beach Wharf 1108 Barrenjoey Road Palm Beach
    Beach Road Restaurant 1 Beach Road Palm Beach www.beachroad.net.au

  • 4. Hawkesbury River Riverboat Postman
    The Riverboat Postman, Brooklyn, Hornsby

    Discover the beautiful deep waters of the Hawkesbury River and graceful waterway of Pittwater, running from Newport to Palm Beach. Broken Bay is dominated by Lion Island with plenty of small inlets and coves. Set amongst four National Parks, Kur-ring-gai Chase, Marramarra, Dharug, Brisbane Water and Bouddi, there are gorgeous beaches, historic villages, mangroves, with abundance of flora and fauna. It offers beautiful scenery set amongst National Parks and sandstone headlands.

    There are numerous ways to see Pittwater/Hawkesbury River, the best being hiring a houseboat and cruising the Cowan River and Berowra Waters. The other alternative is to take a cruise on the Hawkesbury River Cruises and spend a day enjoying the beautiful waterways, stopping off for lunch at Bobbin Head. Another suggestion is to get off at Cottage Point Inn and have lunch overlooking Coal and Candle Creek, they also have overnight luxury accommodation available but you need to book (612 9456 1011).The cruise leaves Palm Beach Wharf at 11.00am daily.

    Another great way to see the river is to catch the Riverboat Postman, this is a service that delivers mail to isolated houses it takes approx 3 hours and runs Monday to Friday. Catch a train from Central Railway Station in the city at 8.16am to Hawkesbury River Railway Station in time to catch the mailman. (02 9985 7566) for more details. Palm Beach ferries also offers a unique way to see Pittwater which operates from Palm Beach Wharf (02 99182747) you can catch a ferry to Ettalong, The Basin, Patagona, Pearl Beach and Woy Woy.

    Another interesting thing you can do is join the " Crab n Oyster" cruise which leaves from Brooklyn, catch your own mud crabs and eat them fresh with your freshly picked oysters. Opeartes on Tues/Thurs/Sunday from 9am - 11.30am .crab-n-oyster cruises.com.au
    or if you really feel like a week in luxury then hop onto the Orion Cruise liner and explore the beauty of the Hawkesbury River from a beautifully appointed cruise ship, which will also take in spots like Port Stephens and Jervis Bay. For more details check their web site orion.cruises.com.au

    Apart from being on a boat, the other excellent way to take in the beauty of the Hawkesbury River, Pittwater and Brisbane Waters is observing the landscape by air. Take a sea plane from Sydney (Rose Bay) and see our wonderful coastline from CBD to Palm Beach. There are numerous tours available through different companies but all offer fabulous service and unique experiences.


    Where to eat: Cottage Point Inn - Cottage Point
    Barrenjoey House - Palm Beach
    Newport Arms Hotel - Newport

  • 5. King's Cross
    Kings Cross, New South Wales

    Once the bohemian center of Sydney, it is now a wild mixture of prostitution, drug dealing, police corruption, trendy restaurants and nightclubs. Its the red-light district of Australia, filled with hookers parading their wares, huge bouncers overshadowing strip clubs, tattooed leather jacket bikies, sleazy pimps and perverts penetrating the streets, and McDonalds sitting proudly beside a topless bar, Kings Cross remains today as the suburb that never sleeps. With all its sleaziness it still holds many fine restaurants and excellent nightclubs for all ages.

    Situated 1.5km east of the city, it is easily reached by public transport, buses and trains run regularly from the city and Circular Quay. Although its a crime related area mostly it is safe to visit at night. Its a matter of shifting through the sleaze and ignoring the ruffians and homeless people to discover the bright lights and entertainment on offer. It is now home to the new dance club scene with over forty small sophisticated bars offering seductive cocktails and upbeat music. Basic rules apply to this suburb as in any red-light district of the world. Dont walk down lonely dark alleys or lanes alone, ignore those whom pester and persist, watch your drink at all times as spiking can occur in this area.

    The "Cross" which is locally known refers to the major intersection formed by William Street and Darlinghurst Street which also displays Sydney's famous icon the flashing Coke- a Cola neon sign. You will also find a large supply of backpacker hostels and budget accommodation mostly in this area. It attracts a fascinating diversity of people from budget travelers, colourful characters, tourists, bohemians, businessmen, artists, writers, sailors, and trendy locals. Kings Cross is a fun place if you ignore the sleazy underworld and really is a must do to see, even if its for a quick nightcap at one of Sydney's best nightclubs.
    Trains: www.cityrail.info or call 131500 Buses: www.sydneybuses.info

    Nightclubs:
    le panic - 20 Bayswater Road The Bourbon - 24 Darlinghurst Road Peppermint lounge - 281 Victoria Road
    Soho Bar - 171 Victoria Street Iguana Bar - 15 Kellet Street Jimmy Links - 188 Victoria Road
    Moulin Rouge Downunder - 39 Darlinghurst Road Lotus - 22 Challis Ave Hugo's Lounge - 33 Bayswater Road
    Baron's Bar - 5 Roslyn Street Tonic - 62-64 Kellet Street

  • 6. Cremorne Point/Mosman Bay Walk - Balmoral Beach
    Cremorne Point to Mosman Bay Walk, New South Wales

    Mosman is one of Sydney's most exclusive suburbs; with historical aboriginal sites, Taronga Park Zoo, breathtaking views, stunning architecture, and gorgeous beaches mixed with boutique shops and first class restaurants. Mosman is really a must do.

    The Borogegal Aboriginal tribe inhabited the area before the area was settled in 1830 as a whaling station; it now houses Sydney's most expensive and prestigious real estate. Mosman is home to some of Sydney's loveliest harbour beaches such as Clifton Gardens, Chainmans, Balmoral, and Obelisk beach. It has some magnificent architecture, where you can find huge federation mansion to small Victorian cottages.

    Sydney most famous walks can also be found in Mosman, leading you along the foreshores of Sydney harbour. Balmoral Beach is well-known for its Shakespeare-by-the sea plays in summer at the famous landmark the Rotunda, next door to another landmark Bathers Pavilion. Walk along the promenade and explore the island that separates Hunter Beach and Edward beach by a stone foot bridge but dont forget to get your fish and chips to eat, whilst watching the yachts cruise pass the heads.

    In summer there is a free shuttle bus operating from Spit Junction (Sat and Sun only) to Balmoral Beach, ferries go to Mosman Wharf and a bus connects to Mosman Village. Walk down Raglan Street to Balmoral beach, it's a long winding road down a very steep hill and catch the bus back to the city. Another alternative is to catch the ferry to Cremorne Wharf and do the walk to Mosman Bay connecting to the bus to Mosman Village. Or catch the ferry to Taronga Park Zoo and do the "Taronga's Wild Australian Experience Tour" for a few hours and catch the bus up to Mosman Village.
    Check out www.sydneyferries.info for timetables and information on walks. Buses leave Wynyard Station (stop 247).

    Another adventurous way to see this area is to hire a Kayak at The Spit Bridge and paddle over to Clontarf Beach/Chinaman's and Balmoral Beach. Check out .Costs per person $15.00 per hour. You can also take a Half Day Tour with a experienced crew and see the awesome sights of Middle Harbour, visiting Aboriginal sites in the area, and the Garrigal National Park, Cost $99.00 per person. Duration 4hrs operating only on Saturday and Sunday.

    Buses run from Wynyard Station at Stand 3 to the Spit Bridge. Hop off at the reserve and cross the road at the lights, and proceed to walk north along the promenade.You will see their office perched on the waterfront.It is also here that the Manly to Spit walk starts. There are plenty of top restaurants based at The Spit, where one can indulge themselves with excellent food and stunning views. From take-a-away fish and chips to exclusive waterfront fine dining.

    Where to eat: Orso - The Spit
    Fresh Ketch - The Spit
    Skiff Club - The Spit
    The Watermark - Balmoral Beach
    Bathers Pavillion - Balmoral Beach

  • 7. Bundeena
    Sydney, New South Wales

    Discover the gorgeous village of Bundeena, situated in Port Hacking opposite the suburb of Cronulla. It is surrounded totally by National Parks and is on the outskirts of Sydney. Bundeena is easy to get to by jumping into a car, take the road through The Royal National Park and keep driving until you see the sign for Bundeena.
    Or take a 20-minute scenic ferry ride across the Hacking River from Cronulla aboard the "Curranulla"; a beaut little ferry.The ferry leaves Cronulla on the half hour starting at 8.30am and returns from Bundeena on the hour with the last departure at 6.00pm.

    Bundeena original inhabitants were the Dharawal Aborginals, and engravings can still be seen here. The village name has two Aborginal meanings 'daughter from the hills' or 'noise like thunder' .

    This village offers a delightful experience, and is one of Sydney's gems tucked away in the Royal National Park and sits proudly on the wonderful waters of Port Hacking.
    There are numerous activities and things to do and see in this village.
    You can try a little kayaking with bundeenakayaks, or do some wonderful walks to see some Aborginal cravings.

    Where to Stay: Beachhaven cabins.
    Where to Eat:The Fish Exchange and for excellent coffee and takeaway foods at the Passionfruit Cafe.