Sydney, why do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
The hardest part of writing a story about Sydney is keeping it from turning into a love letter. There are so many things to love: the sparkling harbor, the hot summer nights and the cool drinks.
For anyone who perpetually has salt in their hair and sand between their toes, the number one reason to love Sydney has got to be the mix of beach culture and city life. Though this is a throbbing international hub of commerce, the air is scented by the ocean breeze - it is cool and refreshing.
There are so many beaches to choose from. Notable mention must go to the Northern Beaches, to Manly and harbor side gems like Redleaf and Watson’s Bay. Yet the absolute beating heart of Sydney’s beach scene is the Eastern Beaches.
You would have heard of Bondi. You might not have heard of its equally stunning neighbors. With that in mind, here is a guide to spending a perfect Sunday in Sydney’s coolest locale - a guide that goes beyond the tourist hotspots to get to the core of the local scene. Hereafter, seven good reasons to fall in love with this city.
Wear Your Gym Gear to Brunch
The Eastern Beaches are at the heart of Sydney’s thriving cafe culture. Sunday brunch is something of a sacred ritual here. The beautiful cafes that dot the coastline are distinctively oriented around wellness. Most menus that you will come across will feature words like fresh, organic, paleo and raw. Try Orchard Street for cold-pressed juice or refuel for the big day ahead with a cosmic salad at Porch and Parlor. To really blend in with the locals, come dressed in activewear and order your coffee with almond milk.
Peruse The Bondi Markets
Make good use of that active wear and get walking. First stop: Bondi Markets. Take a stroll through the the stalls to pick up vintage treasures and one-off pieces from up and coming designers.
Be Seen On the Bondi To Bronte Walk
If you only have time for one adventure in Sydney, let it be this. The Bondi to Bronte walk is absolutely a must do. Head south along the beach and around the cliffs. On the way, you will pass the postcard Bondi Icebergs Pool. This is the first of many ocean pools that you will see along your way. These salt-water beauties are icons of the Sydney landscape. Choose your favorite for a quick dip and photo opportunity.
Cue For Lunch at Three Blue Ducks
The Sydney siders dedication to brunch means that at the city’s best restaurants you are more likely to be cuing for a table at noon rather than at night. Three Blue Ducks is one of those places. The experience is worth the wait, and the walk up the hill for that matter. Come here for both the food and the people watching. Leave with all the fuel and caffeine you need to continue your pilgrimage south.
Dive Into Gordon’s Bay
A short walk along the sandstone cliffs from Bronte you will find Gordon’s Bay. This picturesque little spot looks quite different from the beaches you will have seen thus far. There is no sand, instead there is a deep gully and sheer sandstone headlands. This makes the bay a beautiful spot to snorkel or dive. For the wild at heart, there is an underwater nature trail - similar to a bush track through the wilderness - only it’s underwater. The track takes about 40 minutes to follow and the deepest point is 14 meters or almost 46 feet.
Chill At Coogee Beach
After all that walking, rest your tired feet at Coogee beach. Just breathe. There is a park that backs onto the sand that is the perfect place to relax. From here, you can soak up the international atmosphere. During summer, this is a popular place for both backpackers and locals to gather for a few beers on the grass. Join them.
Have Dinner and Drinks at the Coogee Pavilion
Right on the beach you will find the Coogee Pavilion. The rooftop here remains the bar of the moment on Sydney’s fickle scene. With views like this it is not hard to see why. Have a cocktail whilst looking over the ocean or head downstairs for some great food in a stylish setting. As the sun sets, toast the city and its beaches. By the end of the day you should have fallen in love with it in countless ways.