Living Like a Local In Sydney
POSTED BY Mavy | March 17, 2015
Label: Adventure Travel, Australia, Beach Holidays, City Breaks, Sydney Travel, Travel Tips
Hot, smart, charming, naturally beautiful and full of urban delights, Sydney sounds very much like the lucky residents who get to call this fabulous city their home. As a traveller, you have two options: head to the touristy spots that have been explored by every Tom, Dick and Harry of the world or explore the secret spots in Sydney that are cherished by the locals and offer you a glimpse of the vivacious personality of the city.
Look beyond the Opera House, the Harbour and the crowded Bondi Beach. You’ll find a wealth of local sights in Sydney away from the public eye, guaranteed to impress you.
So if experiencing Sydney more like a local is your kind of thing, we’ve got some ideas to help you fit in.
1. Favourite Harbour Experience
Sydney’s Harbour is one of the World’s most famous. With the stunning bridge and iconic Opera House, you can’t visit the city without experiencing it. One of the best ways to view it as a local is to get out on the water in a sailboat and glide around the harbor powered by the wind. Set off through the harbour and take in the skyline from the water. Plus with islands like Shark Island to visit, there’s an abundance of new areas to explore.
2. Favourite Beach
Beaches like Bondi are very popular amongst locals and tourists alike. But popular doesn’t always mean the best! If you’re looking for a fantastic beach experience away from the crowds, look no further than Camp Cove Beach, to the east of Sydney. It has access to the beautiful Sydney Harbour National Park, with trails and panoramic vantage points. The Whale Beach, Coogee Beach and Manly Beach are other secluded must-see beaches.
3. Favourite spot for a stroll
The Royal Botanical Gardens, with the noteworthy Morton Bay fig trees and several other endemic plant species, is a beautiful hidden gem and a popular hangout spot for lazy afternoons. Here you are greeted with perfectly manicured gardens and lawns, fountains and breathtaking views of the Opera House.
4. Favourite Art Hub
Do you want to know where artists abound in Sydney? Chippendale! Yes, you heard it right! This small and relatively obscure suburb in Sydney has some of the best art galleries in the world and the cosiest cafes. Whether it is the White Rabbit gallery of Chinese art, the Kaleidoscope Gallery showcasing some of Sydney’s most colourful mosaics or Mclemoi Gallery, founded by famous cricketer Glenn McGrath, containing a wonderful assortment of art work, Chippendale never ceases to amaze you. It is one of the best local sights in Sydney: Sydneysiders swear by it!
5. Favourite Shop-till-you-Drop Haunt
For the locals, shopping is synonymous with Carriageworks, a bustling neighbourhood with art performances, flea markets, fashion stores, farmers’ market and a mobile knife sharpening cart, if you happen to have a blunt knife with you. While you’re here, you might like to stop by the Anna Schwartz Gallery or have a quick beer at the Cornerstone Bar. Oh, and do not miss the free samples offered to you almost anywhere you stop at Carriageworks.
6. Favourite Seafood Mania
If you are a seafood aficionado, satisfy your cravings at the Sydney Fish Market, which is one of the biggest fish markets in the entire Southern Hemisphere. It is reckoned that the market trades approximately 15,000 tons of seafood every year: that’s a huge quantity of fish for you to snack on to your heart’s content. From shrimp salad to sashimi, the market is sure the Mecca for seafood lovers. You can also take seafood cooking lessons at the Seafood Cooking School while you’re there.
7. Favourite Picnic Spot
Shark Island, off the Harbour, is a surprising little refuge that very few tourists know of. Here you will find gazebos, awesome picnic campgrounds and a wading beach: this is certainly the best beach for swimming near Sydney and a great place to treat yourself to some of the best views in the world. Enjoy it now before Shark Island becomes a popular tourist hangout spot: it has all the makings to be one.
8. Favourite Dining Spots (beware, we have more than one!)
When it comes to dining like a local, Chiswick, a fancy eatery near Sydney’s Business District takes the cake. The slow crab sliders, scallops served with cauliflower and pickled apples and the tender lamb roast makes you return for more. Another favourite is La Lupita, a Mexican style restaurant, with music performances, walls covered with artwork and mouth-watering tacos. We also recommend restaurant hopping in Darlinghurst, a former Bohemian suburb that has trendy eateries and cafes and Surry Hills to explore its popular dining jaunts. The inside joke amongst residents is that there is a new hip restaurant opening in Surry Hills every week. Live like a local in Sydney and check them out!
9. Favourite Nightclub
Boasting the world’s best nightclub names, featuring the trendiest LGBT hangout spots and a party animal’s destination of choice, Sydney will spoil you with its great nightlife! Soda Factory in Surry Hills, The Flinders Hotel and The Good God Club are trendy and almost feel like a rave. Most of these are secret gems hidden in alleyways and as a tourist, you’re never expected to get to know them. Be quick: make a few local friends who like a good night out and you’ll be surprised at the quirky nightclubs they take you to!
10. Favourite Tranquil Trails
Sydney is perhaps one of the very few cities that boast a coastline, forests, a Business District, campgrounds and trails all within a few minutes from each other. If you are looking for the best places to hike, walk, run or bike, we suggest you take some of the following picturesque trails: the coastal walkway from Bondi to Congee, the Spit to Manly track running through the bushy Harbour National Park, the Kirribilli Path early in the morning for beautiful views of the Opera House and several other hikes to waterfalls and islands around the city.
Insider’s Tip to Living in Sydney Like a Local
Instead of having a random vacation to the beautiful city, make travel plans coinciding with some of Sydney’s best festivals like the Sydney Festival in January, the Sydney Mardi Gras celebrations in February-March and the Big Day Out music festivals: it will show you how Sydneysiders let their hair down in style. Book your flights to Sydney during these festivities to experience the most vibrant and spirited side of the city that tourists seldom get to explore.
What are you waiting for? Plan a trip Down Under, book yourself one the many Sydney flights and have fun experiencing this fantastic city like a true local.