The cradle of Australia where the pioneers from Old Europe first landed, Sydney has always flung open the doors of its iconic Sydney Harbour to the ocean winds and subjugated eyes. From The Rocks, the old neighbourhood that’s now brimming with boho-chic, the stunning profile of the Sydney Opera House juts out into the clear blue water spanned by the Sydney Harbour Bridge whose shimmering metal structure crosses the bay. This iconic landmark, caressed by exquisite sunshine over the years, sums up the essence of this ultra-modern city perfectly. With its daring architecture, bathed in cosmopolitan history and studded with the Victorian homes of Paddington, marked with a slight British stiff upper lip, the city has been transformed over the centuries by the proximity of nature and developed a nonchalance that has established itself as a way of life. At Circular Quay, near the Sydney Opera House, or on the other side of the harbour, Sydneysiders enjoy the pleasures of a vast array of bars and restaurants on the waterfront. These trendy destinations sum up the riches of the gastronomic delights available, washed down with wines from famous vineyards, spiced up with a taste of Asia or France, to become internationally renowned.
In Sydney, bordered by stunning National Parks, the great outdoors is never far away. The Australian Museum offers a fascinating overview of the rich, wild and mysterious wildlife of the island continent, which can be enjoyed at the Taronga Zoo, home to all sorts of reptiles, platypuses, sea lions, koalas, kangaroos, emus and indigenous wombats. Further afield, waves pound the sands of Bondi Beach and Manly to the delight of surfers. The contemporary exhibits of Sculpture By The Sea also have to face up to the elements, in a peacefulness inspired by the same composure and patience as that demanded for a cricket match, passionately supported from the stands of the SCG, the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In the summer, so in January in the Southern Hemisphere, Hyde Park, a large expanse of greenery that in no way resembles its namesake in London, comes to life for the Sydney Festival, a celebration of all the arts. Then there is the comprehensive recreational precinct, Darling Harbour and the Powerhouse Museum, a delightfully eclectic celebration of science…
Sydneysiders are particularly fond of outdoor living, including barbecues, social events like Vivid Sydney, the local lighting festival held at the end of May, or one of the many sporting events available: kayaking around the port or climbing the Harbour Bridge, among others, are perfect examples of the balanced, active lifestyle you can enjoy there. Also home to cultural landmarks such as the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Museum of Contemporary Art, this urban, bustling and creative city knows all about the pleasures of life - including the joys of shopping with The Strand Arcade, Westfield Sydney, and the department store David Jones with its big name brands. A powerful city without a hint of dandyism.