The World through My Eyes: What to do in Sydney

what free things are there to do in Sydney?

With so many travel blogs around now, who do you go to when you want to know the best places to visit, the best restaurants to eat and the best bars to drink? Well, actually, you probably just do a google search and see which one comes up first. And as we go into a new year, and my 3rd year of blogging, I realise this. So in a new feature, I am going to show you the world through my eyes. I am not a guide book, heck I barely have enough time to sleep at night, let alone try every activity going or sleep in every hotel bed in a capital city. So here you will not find the "Top ten chai organic latte cafes", or the "3 best medium-rare steak houses". Neither will you find "25 hotels you should be staying in" or "100 free things to do in the city".

 

You will just find the world as I see it, the places I have tried, the things I have done. And while they won't necessarily be the best of the best, they will be the best of what I’ve seen. From here it's your choice whether you want to go out and try them out too, or if actually they look pretty shit!? Expect honesty and originality. This world's a big place, ain't nobody gonna tell you otherwise. Here it is through my 27-year young eyes.

First stop of 2016: SYDNEY!

What you should be doing:

Kur-ring-gai National Park

Kur-ring-gai National Park

If you haven’t already fallen in love with Oz, this will do it for you. At the risk of sounding like a guidebook, I will keep my ‘breath-taking views’ to myself and let the photo do the talking. The park is near the Northern beaches- a good 2 hours from Sydney centre, but if you're taking a day trip over, add this to your list. It’s free to get in, minus the $12 car parking charge, and it is pretty spectacular. There are tons of hidden rock pools and waterfalls for the more adventurous among you, otherwise just go for a cruz around, go up to the look-out point, and chill out one of the beaches.

Sydney northern beaches

Northern Beaches

You know when people tell you Australia has the best beaches in the world, they really aren't lying. Fuck Bondi- sorry, but seriously, if you don’t want over-crowded sands, 12 surfers on one wave and tacky shops then head over to the Northern beaches. There are so many to choose from, on some days, you could nearly get them all to yourself. I love Narrabeen, Palm Beach or Fresh Water.

how to get into Sydney opera house

{Obviously} Sydney Opera House

Dur, of course, do I even need to list this? I’m doing just so I can show you this pretty picture I took of it from the botanical gardens (another must do) Any particular advice? Nothing you don’t already know. It’s busy. Always. Embrace it.

famous swimming pool in Sydney

Bondi to Coogee Costal Walk

Offended by my claim Bondi isn’t the best beach in Sydney? Well, I am still recommending it- but not for lazing on; for walking past. The coastal walk starts from Bondi and twists and turns through 6 more beaches, some pretty outstanding cost line, and some epic waves. The official walk ends at Coogee beach, although you can keep going, but it gives for a great place to stop and have lunch. The walk is 4.8km and takes about 90 minutes- 2 hours, depending on how many photo stops you have. It is a real easy walk- you can stay in your flip flops, and just bring your camera and a water bottle (lots of water filling stations along the way) 

What coffee should you be drinking?

hipster coffee Sydney

My website is named after it, my life depends on it, obviously when it comes to ‘seeing the world through my eyes’ coffee is seen pretty quickly. The Aussies claim to have the best coffee in the world (have they been to Colombia?) I’d agree it’s definitely up there with the best. But as I said before, there is no way in hell I had the time to try even a small fraction of the coffee shop epidemic that is happening in Sydney. Here are the ones I tried and rated (there are a fair few that didn’t make the cut)

  • Oneness Restaurant, Coogee (244 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee NSW 2034 Tel:(02) 9665 0050)
  • Oceans, North Narrabeen (Malcolm St, Narrabeen NSW 2101 Tel:(02) 9970 6262)
  • Twelve, Newtown (222 King St, Newtown NSW 2042 Tel:(02) 9519 9412)
  •  Bentfork Freshwater (Shop 3, 6-8 Lawrence St, Freshwater, NSW, 2096)
  • Barefoot, Manly (18 Whistler Street, Manly New South Wales 2095, Tel: 0412 328 810)

Where should you be eating?

hipster brunch australia

Aussies love a good brunch, and so do I. So I brunched hard. I’m all about that avocado and egg. Here are some tip top places I tried.

  • Ovolo, Woolloomooloo (6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011, Australia Tel:+61 2 9331 9000)
  • Twelve, Newton (222 King St, Newtown NSW 2042 Tel:(02) 9519 9412)
  • Oratnek, Redfern (4 Pitt St, Redfern NSW 2016, Australia Tel:+61 2 8394 9550)
  • Chillax, Coloroy (7/1 Alexander St, Collaroy NSW 2097, Australia
Tel:+61 2 9982 1631)
  • MelonHead, Coogee (Just smoothies-but EPIC smoothies) 
256 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee NSW 2034, Australia
Tel:+61 2 9664 3319
  • Donny's, Manly (7 Market Pl, Sydney NSW 2095, Australia
Tel:+61 2 9977 1887)
Sydney Beaches
Narrabeen Beach

Some top tips

(I mess up so you don’t have to)

If I can give you ONE tip guaranteed to change the way you experience Sydney it is this: HIRE A CAR. Hire a god damn car. I really have no idea how you would get any further from your tim tam and cup of coffee if you don’t. Now, I’m no small town girl, but damn I did not know what big meant before I came to Sydney. This place is huge. Trust me on this and hire a car. I was lucky enough to be staying with my brother and using his, so no recommendations on car hire at the moment. A quick google search should be the ticket (not yet now, keep reading..I got more to tell ya!)

 

Buy a sim card with a data package- mainly for the use of google maps you will more than likely be accruing. Big city= getting lost constantly. I bought a Vodaphone $20 1GB sim plan which ran out within a 2 days. (Well how else was I going to show you all my photos) so I would recommend buying 2GB for $30 and swapping to WIFI when you can (another thing I never did)

WIFI isn’t all that well available. I’m not generalising over the whole of Sydney, but certainly in the Northern Beaches area, where the lifestyle is beach, sun and surf. Where I was staying in Deewhy, I couldn’t find one cafe with WIFI in. Be aware of this, if you need to use it a lot (like I did, as a writer) buy more data on your phone and share it to your laptop.

 

Buy an Opal card as soon as you arrive for use on buses and trains. As of January 2016 paper tickets no longer (or rarely) exist. 



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