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22 Nov 2019 09:31:11
Sydney is a city of villages. Get to know the unique charms of each neighbourhood, from La Perouse to Balmoral and beyond. Venture beyond the beaten track to see more than the stock standard Sydney suburbs. Here are some places to start exploring.
There’s more to this pocket than Manly. For some different neck of the woods, why not visit other Northern Sydney Gems? Try Cremorne for a start – there’s nothing better than catching a flick at the stunning art deco cinema: the Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace. It’s worth it for the decor alone, and the film program is unrivalled. For some post-movie fare, there’s a great choice of food. Close by is another northern beauty: Balmoral. Pack a picnic; if the sun’s shining, bathe in the baths or stroll along the esplanade. Stop and sit awhile under the shade of a stunning Morten Bay Fig tree.
The Royal National Park is an obvious drawcard for going south; think outside the southern square for some alternative neighbourhoods. Try the wide white sands of Brighton Le Sands, with its promenade that goes for kilometres; you can ride, scoot or blade its length. Even though it looks over the airport, it’s surprisingly quiet and has crystal clear water so you can take a dip while you plane watch. For a real southern adventure, visit Bare Island, this tiny isthmus was part of the traditional land of the Gweagal and Kameyagal Aboriginal tribes. Now a museum and top spot for scuba diving and snorkelling, it’s in the neighbourhood of La Perouse.
Everyone knows Bondi, but the neighbouring Bronte is fantastic and is lighter on the crowds. It’s a great spot for surfing and boasts an ocean pool to die for. With grassy areas and BBQ pits, you can bookmark this place for a long, lazy day. For hungry sun-soaked bellies, choose from a range of food, from salads to fish and chips, bakery treats and even a diner. The well-heeled Woollahra is also worth a visit. Stroll down Queen Street for some quality window-shopping in the boutiques, and stop for a latte in one of the many cafes. Just up the road is Centennial Park, where you can hire bikes and pedal your way around this gorgeous green space.
Beyond the trendy inner west is the real Western Sydney. Set to become Australia’s third most populated city by 2036, this area is fast emerging as a cultural hub. The riverside city of Parramatta offers a host of things for a brilliant day out, as well as sights and friendly locals. Go back in time by visiting Elizabeth Farm, which has the oldest surviving European building in the country or hangout in Parramatta Park. But whatever you do, don’t miss out on eating something authentic and delightful. The real cultural melting pot of Sydney is Auburn. Wander through the independent supermarkets selling exotic fare from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iran and Nepal, to name a few. Stock up on spices and revel in the diversity and different sights, tastes and smells.
Once you’ve explored these great Sydney neighbourhoods, get a unique bird-eye perspective by taking in the city as a whole from Sydney Tower Eye. This iconic structure is a unique feature of the Sydney skyline. Offering unrivalled views; from here, you can work out how all the small pockets of Sydney fit together. Whether you visit in the morning, at sunset or once the city lights come on – every time of day is different.