There are hundreds of fun and unique things to do on any given weekend in Sydney – restaurants, shows, bars, markets, parks, sights, beaches. Last week, I travelled to Sydney for work and decided to stay the weekend (a great exercise in Roots & Wings if I do say so myself).
I’ve visited Sydney a few times before – I did things like climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge and visit Taronga Zoo – but this time I really just wanted to hang out. And I was lucky enough to have a fabulous local host to show me how to do this best. These are the highlights of my weekend:
Post work drinks at Opera Bar
You might be thinking that Opera Bar is as touristy as they come – and you’re not wrong. But hanging with the after-5pm crowd on a crisp winter evening was the perfect way to kick start my Sydney weekend. The views of the harbour, bridge and Opera House are best enjoyed over a glass of vino after all.
When: Monday – Thursday: 11:30am – Midnight
Friday: 11:30am – 1am
Saturday: 9am – 1am
Sunday: 9am – Midnight
Where: Lower Concourse Level, Sydney Opera House
Explore Kirribilli Markets
A Saturday morning at the markets is a delightful start to the weekend in any city. And these markets couldn’t be in a more picturesque location, nestled in the iconicly-Sydney suburb of Kirribilli with nearby views of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge (why else would the Prime Minister choose to live there?).
You can shop from over 120 market stalls selling new and second hand home wares, fashion, jewellery, accessories, gifts, gourmet foods and groceries too. My favourites and highly recommended to check out:
- Beautiful hand-painted Turkish bowls and ceramics.
- Cushion covers and inserts – a huge range of patterns and textures for very reasonable prices.
- Chocolate coated strawberries with a layer of caramel in the middle (I’m still scratching my head as to how they got the caramel in there, but it was amazing!)
When: 8.30am – 3pm on the fourth Saturday of the month
Where: Burton Street Tunnel and Bradfield Park Bowling Green
Hint: Every second Sunday, there is also an Art & Design & Fashion Market in the same spot.
Walk from Bondi to Bronte
Yes, Bondi attracts the tourists – by the busload – but there were plenty of locals out and about enjoying a brisk Saturday morning walk with coastal views. I’ve visited Bondi before, but never ventured far from the beachfront and this made me realise that I had deprived myself of the best part of Bondi. The walking track will take you along cliff faces to enjoy amazing views of the ocean that are just plain good for the soul – there’s something about fresh, salty air that makes you feel wholesome and healthy (and guarantees you a good night’s sleep!).
Where: 1 Notts Ave, Bondi Beach
Indulge at Frenchs Forrest Markets
A foodie’s dream. If you’re into paleo/raw/clean eating, these markets will get you super excited. You can taste (love the number of free samples here!) and buy a huge range of certified organic food, fresh seasonal produce, freshly baked bread and patisserie, meats and cheeses, truffles and other artisan gourmet delights. My favourites and highly recommended:
- DessertMakers – These lovely ladies were selling handmade frozen desserts (think fig and ginger, sticky date or bread and butter puddings) with no artificial additives or preservatives. I wasn’t surprised to learn that DessertMakers is the pudding supplier of Qantas First Class! The desserts are available in Victoria, NSW and Queensland – check them out here.
- Wild Nature – I’ve been trying to use skincare products with no parabens, chemicals or other nasties for a while now. I figured that if I was going to be “clean eating” for my insides, the same should really apply to my outsides. After trying a few not-so-great products, I ended up using pure and organic rosehip oil and coconut oil for most things (you’d be amazed how versatile these babies are). After sampling the Wild Nature products, I had to give them a go. First, they smell amazing – the aromatherapy factor alone is great. Second – they’re organic, chemical free and Australian made. Sold.
When: Every Sunday 8pm – 1pm
Where: 35 Frenchs Forest Road East, Frenchs Forest
Hopefully this gives you some ideas for your next trip to Sydney!