Ever since I first visited 7 years ago, I have been head over heels in love with Sydney
At the age of 20, I was given a very last minute opportunity to go away with my dance school to Sydney. I had just started with the school and I had never been to Sydney, so jumping at the opportunity was a no brainer. With just 2 days’ notice, I packed up my bags, hopped on a plane with 30 other dancers, and headed over to Sydney for the very first time.
Staying in Bondi Junction, we bussed in to Brent Street at Fox Studios every day for dance classes; but the 10 days weren’t without their fair share of city exploration too. My introduction to Sydney was the best I could have had. I got to explore The Rocks, Bondi Beach, Bondi Junction, Paddington and the city center, with new friends that I would go on to know for years. Back then, the city felt so big and buzzing to a green-eyed 20-year-old. Everything was so big and new, and on a completely different scale to that of my humble country town upbringing.
I have been back another 3 times since that visit, and – despite it feeling more familiar to me now – I am always just as excited to be in the city as I was that very first time.
Something about Sydney makes me so happy.
I have always said that Sydney reminds me of Perth. Albeit, a much larger, more developed, more historically rich Perth. I am always met with a confused look when I say this, but hear me out…
Perth is coastal city of almost eternal sunshine. It is built around a pristine river and a giant piece of parkland just to the West of the city. The sunshine, cosmopolitan feel and abundance of waterways in Sydney, reminds me of home. And, if you were to compare the white sand beaches of home and NSW, the differences are minimal. I love being outdoors back home in Perth, and the Sydney I know and love is built around enjoying their own phenomenal outdoor spaces.
Unlike Melbourne, everything in Sydney feels so much brighter and more joyous (not that I dislike Melbourne by any means!). There is no searching down alleyways for hidden doors, and black isn’t as much a Sydney-sider’s uniform as it is a Melbournite’s. Plus, if anyone has been to St Kilda beach, you will know that it just lacks the wow factor of Bondi, Bronte, City Beach or Cottesloe.
Sydney is a sunshiney, outdoorsy city; just like my beloved Perth.
And that is why I love it so much. There is so much to do that celebrates the outdoors. Bondi Beach, Hyde Park, the Royal Botanic Gardens – need I name more iconic outdoorsy spots? The city is bursting with world renowned open air spaces.
Even the bar and dining scene celebrates the gorgeous weather and views over on the east coast. Be it a cute breakfast over the harbour at Celcius, a casual rosé at Bondi Icebergs, or dinner worth a Michelin star at Aria on the harbour; you won’t be hard pressed to find somewhere to eat with an amazing view.
Whenever I am back in Sydney, I make a point of stopping by one of the bars on the harbour. Let me tell you, options are definitely not limited! I have been known to escape to the coast with a glass of wine at sunset back home in Perth; when I am in Sydney, that urge to be waterside is no different. If you can catch a sunset, the sunsets over the harbour truly are hard to beat.
Why wouldn’t you want to make the most of Sydney’s mind blowing landscape and balmy summer weather?
When it comes to accommodation in Sydney, I have done it all – boutique hotels, luxury hotels, apartment stays and Air BnB. My favourite places to stay are (you guessed it) anywhere with that gorgeous harbour view. Even somewhere in the CBD that is within walking distance to the waterfront. If the hotel is close enough to The Rocks (so that I can get there by foot), or to the busses to Bondi (of course with a stop off in Paddington for a spot of shopping), it is a winner in my eyes. And again, there is no shortage of accommodation like that, that fit the brief.
Celebrating the outdoors is so easy in a city like Sydney. It strikes the perfect balance between built up and high rise; and open, spacious parks and waterways. Spoilt with a very similar set up in Perth, it is no wonder I feel so at home in the big, bustling city of Sydney!
** In collaboration with Accor Hotels.