Sydney Journals

Adventures in Sydney

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A March 2000 trip to Sydney by Adventures With Adam

The Rocks Photo, Sydney, Australia More Photos
Quote: Last winter, I escaped New York to spend eight glorious days in Sydney, Australia. (And another four up the coast in Cairns.) Here are my impressions of this world-class city and some best bets for lodging, eats, sightseeing and recreation.

Adventures in Sydney

Overview

The Rocks Photo, Sydney, Australia
Quote:
A stunning harbor setting, mild climate, and laid-back attitude combine to make Sydney one of my favorite cities in the world to visit. Although it is far, far away for U.S. visitors, it is well worth the long flight. It’s one of those places where I immediately felt comfortable, thanks to a common language and Aussie hospitality. And with a good map, it’s easy to navigate by either foot or public transportation. Sydney is one of the world’s most well-balanced cities, offering cultural and outdoor opportunities in equal doses. You can spend a day at the beach and the night at the opera. Galleries, museums, cinema and live music all thrive here, while scenic national parks lie a short ride a...Read More

Sydney Marriott Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
I was highly content with my choice of lodgings, the Sydney Marriott Hotel. In many respects, it seems a typical business class hotel. However, its location, reasonable tariff and comfortable rooms distinguish this property. The Marriott also offers a small rooftop pool that affords views of downtown and Sydney’s harbor. There is a minor workout room up there, too -- better gyms are within walking distance. The Marriott is situated on College Avenue across from Hyde Park. Many rooms offer a view of this green gem that features the ANZAC War Memorial. Stroll through the park in the morning and inhale deeply as you pass beneath the boughs of eucalyptus. Continuing up College Avenue, th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2001

Sydney Marriott Hotel
36 COLLEGE STREET
Sydney, Australia 2010
61-2-9361-8400

Mambo Friendship Store

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Attraction | "Mambo Surfwear"

Quote:
One of the most entertaining and inventive clothing stores I’ve ever visited is the Mambo surfwear shop on Oxford Street in Sydney’s Darlinghurst section. According to its website, this company was founded in 1984 on the “simple belief that almost any idiot could make a few dollars by sticking a picture on the back of a t-shirt and selling it.” Mambo began --and continues to thrive -- as a cooperative of artists who applied their outrageous and funky art to t-shirts and boardshorts. Many of their early designs -- including the famous “farting dog” shirt -- have become collectible. Since its inception, Mambo has expanded into other product lines including: “loud” shirts (colorfully printed button-d...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2001

Mambo Friendship Store
17 Oxford Street
Sydney, Australia 2021
+61 (0)2 9331 8034

Bondi Beach

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Attraction

Bondi Beach Photo, Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Sydney’s most famous beach, Bondi, is easily reached by taking the city bus from the foot of Oxford Street. If you’re planning a day at Bondi, I suggest an early start. You can enjoy breakfast at any of the cafes that line the street across from the beach. (There all seemed fairly comparable in price, quality and menu offerings, so just pick one that has open tables outdoors and admire the scenery going by.) These cafes are a good choice for lunch, too. On Bondi’s long, crescent of white sand, certain areas are cordoned off for surfers, other for swimmers. Families, youths and gays seemed to each have their own areas, as well. Wherever your spot is, you’ll get to see the famous Au...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 14, 2001

Bondi Beach
Bondi Beach
Sydney, Australia
+61 (0)2 9130 5311 (

Blue Mountains National Park

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Attraction | "Hiking in the Blue Mountains"

Blue Mountains National Park Photo, Sydney, Australia
Quote:
If you’re a hiker (or "bushwalker" as they say here), then definitely take a day trip to explore the Blue Mountains. The scenery is terrific, and there’s nothing quite as refreshing as a few lung-fulls of cool, eucalyptus-scented mountain air. (The oil released by the eucalyptus leaves combines with mist to give the mountains their blue hue.) You can take the train, as I did, from Sydney’s Central Station to Katoomba. The ride is dirt cheap (A$12 round trip, off peak), comfortable and easy. Sit in the upstairs section of the double-decker train car for a better view of the scenery. Katoomba is touristy, but not without charm. On the 20-minute walk down Katoomba Street from the t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 19, 2001

Blue Mountains National Park
Katoomba.
Sydney, Australia

Taronga Zoo

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Attraction

Taronga Zoo Photo, Sydney, Australia
Quote:
If most of your Australian trip is centered around the major cities, it’s unlikely you’ll encounter a kangaroo, koala, crocodile or platypus. So to get a sample of Australia’s unique fauna, I recommend a trip to Taronga Zoo, located on the north shore of Sydney Harbor. I’m a sucker for both zoos and boat rides, and I got to do both by buying a $A20 combination ferry/admission ticket at the Circular Quay on Sydney’s waterfront. (That’s pronounced "kee" for those of you not used to hanging around quays.) On the ferry ride, you’ll get great panoramic views of the skyline and those famous landmarks, the Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. Upon arrival on the other side of the har...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2001

Taronga Zoo
Bradley's Head Road
Sydney, Australia 2088
+61 (2) 9969 2777

Royal Botanic Gardens

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Attraction

Royal Botanic Gardens Photo, Sydney, Australia
Quote:
Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens quickly became my favorite place in the world to jog. It’s a very user-friendly park; signs even encourage visitors to "Please Walk on the Grass." The extensive paths lead from the entrance at Macquarie and Bent Streets through rose and herb gardens, past the Government House out to the landmark Sydney Opera House. While lapping around the Opera House, check out that famous sail-inspired roof. Up close, it’s even more richly textured than you imagined. Next, reenter the Gardens continuing along the waterfront. You’ll come to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, the lookout from which the wife of an early governor would watch the harbor. Take a moment to savo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2001

Royal Botanic Gardens
Mrs. Macquaries Road
Sydney, New South Wales 2000
61 (0)2 9231 8111

Aboriginal Art

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Story/Tip

Quote:
You can find paintings and other crafts by indigenous Australians for sale in galleries and shops throughout Australia. But before you buy anything, I suggest a visit to the Yiribana Gallery in the Art Gallery of New South Wales (on Art Gallery Road in the Domain) to learn the history of Aboriginal Art and see works by some of its major practitioners. Arriving for the 11 a.m. gallery talk will enrich the experience. For example, you’ll discover that many of the large graphic paintings are stylized maps depicting paths that link sacred sites. And bright star-shaped blotches are actually representations of bat droppings. The Aboriginal Australia area of the Australian Museum (on College Street acr...Read More

Oxford Street Eats

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Story/Tip

Quote:
All sorts of good eating at reasonable prices can be found along Oxford Street through Darlinghurst and into Paddington. Check first to see if your choice of restaurant is “BYO,” bring your own beer or wine. If so, hit the nearest liquor store (or “bottle shop” as the locals say) to select a bottle of Australian wine. The country produces some terrific, inexpensive vintages. The Capal Vale chardonnay was a favorite at my table. Among the restaurants I’d return to on (or just off) Oxford Street are: -- Thai Nesia, where I enjoyed outrageously good red curry chicken with pumpkin. (BYO) -- Clove, neatly set in an old church on Crown Street just south of Oxford. Here, tasty ...Read More

Views of Sydney

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Story/Tip

AMP Tower Photo, Sydney, Australia
Quote:
To gain a different perspective of Sydney and its sprawl, catch a view from high up. At 305 meters above street level, the AMP Tower at Centerpoint is Sydney’s tallest structure. It’s one of those Space Needle-type towers so ubiquitous in modern skylines that one might think they all belong to a franchise. Sydney’s version is anchored by a shopping mall, and -- surprise, surprise -- there’s a revolving restaurant at the top. The view is worth the A$12. You’ll get to see the high rises of downtown, the expanse of the harbor, the sprawl of the suburbs. To the east you’ll spot the beach communities and Pacific Ocean, while the Blue Mountains lie to the west. For closer views of the...Read More