48 Hours in Sydney.
Late one Wednesday afternoon I stepped off the train right in the thick of Town Hall, navigating my way through hundreds of white collared workers, drowning in the buzzing sounds of an electric city. This manic vibration was eerily calming to my foreign soul. I’d never thought too much of Sydney as it was merely two hours from my hometown of Newcastle, an awkward halfway of too close yet too far.
Something about this average Wednesday afternoon felt different. Several years on, my partner and I call this land of in-between home.
I think that sums up Sydney’s charm, its ability to have a piece of everything, yet not too much of anything; that awkward in-between. In fifteen minutes you can be in the city, then to the sea. You can have a serious corporate job, even though you went stand-up paddle boarding before work. Dare I say it’s the place you can “have it all?” I think the very best feeling is living somewhere you absolutely love and obsessing over everything it has to offer. So, let me run you through a few of our favourite things.
The quintessential Sydney.
Every Saturday morning begins the same for us, starting with an aromatic chai at the Masala Tea Tent. Locals deem the Farmers Markets a Saturday morning ritual. Bondi Farmers Markets are the quintessential Sydney experience – providing a relaxed coastal atmosphere, perfect meeting spot for locals and a unique variety of native produce. Bondi delivers an eclectic clientele that have genuine interest in organically grown, fresh and artisan produce.
Whether you’re looking for a bagel with cream cheese, a sprouted and fermented gluten-free loaf of bread or two kilos of organically grown kale you can rest assured that you’d most likely find it.
Contra generic coffee precincts.
A basket of market goodies and several chai teas later we are off to our favourite breakfast spot, Shuk. This modern Israeli café has broken all the rules on generic coffee precincts. Settling itself amongst North Bondi homes is this 80-seater establishment, which for forty years prior was home to the local corner shop.
There is something exciting about a residential vibe; it makes for an interesting excursion trying to get there, and no matter how long standing, it still feels like a hidden gem.
The perfect egg.
Your experience will not be complete until you’ve tried the Shakshuka. This dish comes sizzling in the pan, filled with a generous serving of tomatoes, chilli, peppers and onion, topped with poached eggs. This dish can also come green, where a combination of kale, fennel, caramelised onion and feta is used instead. Don’t forget to try Shuk’s famous 60/60 eggs; the eggs are cooked at 60 degrees for 60 minutes (the perfect egg!)
Wine by the beach.
By mid-afternoon we are ready for a wine by the beach, where better than Bucket List? Bondi is famous for its stretch of golden sand and deep blue sea… but mostly for its beautiful women.
If you’re looking for these beautiful women, you can find them at Bucket List.
Anything by the bucket.
What began as a pop-up bar soon turned into a local hot spot, dishing out the best jug of Pimms money can buy. Staying true to their name, they’ll serve-up just about anything by the bucket (including prawns, beers and water for your pooch). Bucket List is perfectly located on the Bondi Beach promenade offering panoramic ocean views and an old fashioned bucket of fish ‘n’ chips. It’s the ideal daytime venue for good tunes, cold cocktails and did I mention the beautiful women?
Sandy and salty.
A good nights sleep is all we need for our Northern Beaches adventure. We woke at the crack of down for a morning of surfing and swimming. Sandy and salty was the dress code for our breakfast at Atlas where we met with several of our closest friends.
The Atlas Kiosk is our home away from home thanks to the remarkably friendly owners and baristas. We think this place might just serve the best chai tea in town.
A little Odyssey.
The journey along the golden sands will take us through Manly, Narrabeen, Newport, Avalon and Palm Beach. But before we begin the drive, we stop for coffee in the beautiful Centennial Park. Centennial Park occupies almost 200 hectares of the Eastern Suburbs, and is only four kilometres from Sydney’s central business district. This sanctuary is home to an array of unique flora including Holm Oaks, Port Jackson figs and Norfolk Island pines dating back to the early 20th century.
Known as the “peoples park” for the number of recreational activities at hand.
Fuel consumption combined: 6.6-6.5 l/100 km;
combined CO₂ emissions: 154-151 g/km.*
Action around the standstill.
Right in the middle of this beautiful park is quaint café, offering gourmet Panini’s, delicious cookies and 100% Organic Vitoria Coffees. The open plan terrace allows for panoramic views of the tandem bike-riders, runners and the children’s pony rides.
This is the perfect spot to unwind before the day ahead. A few creamy lattes later we are on the road.
The complete beachside experience.
Palm Beach is the crème-de-la-crème of the Northern Beaches, situated on the landmark peninsula. It stars as the fictitious town in “Home and Away” and is surrounded by the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean. Palm Beach provides a fusion of effortlessly cool and relaxed affluence. Nestled amongst the golf course and the golden beach is the iconic Boathouse. The Boathouse provides the complete beachside experience – I’m talking fish and chips on a waterfront deck.
Cosy wooden tables and panoramic views allow for a picturesque day of basking in the sun. The setting is quite magnificent.
Ride back to Bondi Beach.
On our way home we stop by Whale Beach for a dip only to discover the water is freezing. Thank god for under-seat heating in the Mercedes-Benz GLA – our ride back to Bondi Beach.
More about our weekend on Isabel Simundic’s and Jonathan Seelenmeyer’s beautiful website.