From the Harbour Bridge to the shell-shaped structure of the Opera House and the world-class beaches, Sydney captures one of the most exhilarating skylines in the world. For such a spread-out, cosmopolitan city, it still retains a very small town, safe and friendly feel. An incredible feat that is not easily matched by other capitals of this size.
Here are 10 new reasons why you will fall in love with this corner of New South Wales, Australia.
Above: Infinity Pool at Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
2 New Hotels from Darling Harbour to Surry Hills
If you’re going to stay in a big-brand name hotel, make sure it has one of the most spectacular views on the planet of the famous harbor – even from your bathtub. Add to that a certain French hospitality je ne sais quoi that shows up in the dining room, Champagne bar, artwork and even the spa at the new Sofitel Sydney in Darling Harbour.
For something completely different, the Crystalbrook Albion is a sustainable boutique hotel in the multi-cultural Surry Hills neighborhood of Sydney. The 1903 structure was formerly a school convent but now houses 35 luxury rooms with a rooftop garden overlooking this stretch of the city.
Above: Bedroom at Crystalbrook Albion, Surry Hills
2 Cool Hotels on the Way
The cool kids are coming to Surry Hills and bringing a version of the hip and trendy Ace Hotel that you might know from New York, Los Angeles, Kyoto or London. Located on Wentworth Avenue and designed by Bates Smart, the hotel will be built around the iconic Tyne House and will feature 264 rooms, a ground floor lobby bar, restaurant and cafe, plus a rooftop bar and restaurant with city views.
W Sydney, brings a new luxe hotel at the old site of the IMAX theatre in Darling Harbour, which is due to open in the third quarter of 2022. The new-build hotel will be part of ‘The Ribbon’, an electrifying development designed by the award-winning architect HASSEL that will transform Sydney’s skyline.
Above: G&T Signature at Frank Macs••|••Photo by Steven Woodburn
Bondi Beach Dining
Before or after a surfing session in one of the world’s best beaches, RND (“Raw Next Door”) is a new Japanese izakaya spot by the shore that is open inside Harry’s Bondi (now the ‘next door’ reference is making sense.) In the kitchen is Jack New of Izy Izakaya is making crave-worthy dishes such as lobster tempura sandwiches with fermented chili mayo and yuzu slaw. There is a raw bar and a great local Australian wine list, plus signature cocktails to keep you there until sunset.
Central City Dining
The Point Group, responsible for renowned Sydney establishments, The Dolphin, Harpoon Harry’s, Bondi Beach Public Bar and Icebergs Dining Room + Bar, has transformed the historic Shell House in Sydney into one of the city’s hottest new dining experiences. Spread over three levels, the experience includes indoor-outdoor seating in the ground floor bar and bistro, The Menzies Bar, the Shell House Dining Room and Terrace on level 9, and the Shell House Sky Bar on Level 10, due to open in October 2021.
Above: Mac Martini at Frank Macs••|••Photo by Steven Woodburn
Cocktails on the Rocks
Gin and cocktail bar, Frank Mac’s, is due to open in The Rocks, offering one of the biggest botanical collections in Sydney. The 80+ juniper blends have been sourced from all corners of the globe and will sit alongside a wine list of old and new world wines.
Aboriginal Rock Art
Drinks are not the only pastime on the rocks in Sydney. Ancient Aboriginal rock art includes paintings, drawings and engravings can be found in many of the state’s national parks. Try Red Hands Cave in the Blue Mountains or learn more with an Aboriginal guide from Blue Mountains Walkabout. Follow an easy walk to Ngiyampaa rock art at Mount Grenfell Historic Site near Cobar. Mutawintji Heritage Tours offers half- and full-day tours to the restricted Mutawintji Historic Site.
Above: Let’s Go Surfing, Bondi Beach••|••Photo by Destination NSW
Learn to Surf
With over 70 beaches lining the shore and 5 in Sydney on the National Surfing Reserve Register, this is the place to grab a board. If it’s your first time, you can gain advice from the experts at one of the city’s many surf schools. Catch a wave at Bondi with Lets Go Surfing or Waves Surf School. On the Northern Beaches, Manly Surf School and Manly Surf Guide will show you the local breaks. Down south, Cronulla Surfing Academy runs regular lessons or you can join world champion surfer Lilly Pollard at The Bodyboard Academy.
Above: Vivid Sydney Bridge Climb
Bridge Climb Summit Celebration
Don’t just climb the iconic bridge in Sydney Harbor for the 360-degree views, which you can do now, but have a dance party. Coming back to the nightlife options in 2022, Vivid Sydney will feature a dance floor in the sky. Wearing your flashing Vivid Climb Vest, you’ll ascend the structure before dancing under the stars on their illuminated 70’s style multi-colored flashing dance floor. The Bee Gee’s “Stayin’ Alive” from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack comes to mind.