The CBD of this iconic city alone can take a lifetime to explore, especially when you consider the cultural events and attractions that transform it into a living, evolving entity. However, much like any Sydneysider worth their salt will tell you, Sydney owes so much to its surrounding suburbs and the hidden little hoods you’re about to uncover, as much as it does to its buzzing epicenter.
To enjoy the full spectrum of what Sydney has in store for any local and visitor alike, consider adding some of the listed must-see hubs of culture, international cuisine, as well as art. Let’s take a stroll around some of Sydney’s best-kept secrets for any world wanderer to admire.
Explore less hectic beaches in the north
Of course, anyone wants and should take the time to see and explore Bondi and Coogee beaches, both considered two most prized coastal gems of Sydney’s sterling shoreline. Even the walk from one beach to the other is laden with stunning vistas, so many tourists will gladly trek the trail. However, keep in mind that the coast stretches far beyond these two fabulous celebrities among beaches. You’ll find a whole slew of little coastal nooks worth your while, and some of the most enchanting ones are hidden to the north of the city.
Palm Beach is merely an hour away, stores all the charm of downtown Sydney, and it’s far less crowded than your usual beachy spots. You can also take your chances at the golf course, spend the day lunching at a seaside restaurant, or kayak along the shore. Whale beach is an even quieter alternative on the northern shores, and the nearby lighthouse is a perfect picture spot for all Instagram lovers among you.
Head to Blue Mountains
The train ride that will take you to the Blue Mountains is more than enough to have you in the mood for some nature hikes. Known for its numerous natural phenomena, the Blue Mountains are a sight to behold, and they will provide you with an action-packed itinerary, but one very different from the city’s normal hustle and bustle. This particular region on the outskirts of the city is brimming with mesmerizing waterfalls, dramatic slopes, and birdsong-laden forests waiting for your curious feet.
In addition to a number of heritage walks and adventurous bike trails, you can go and see the Three Sisters, the jarring rock formations that draws thousands of nature enthusiasts from all over the globe. Ask around, and you can also take a few woodland trails to take you to various waterfalls the likes of Leura Cascades, perfect for a family picnic.
Food galore in Chatswood
When you’re done gallivanting on the beaches and mountain slopes, you can move to the city’s less known suburbs for a real palate-tease. The Chatswood suburb is a northern cultural hub beloved by business folk as well as foodies, since the area is riddled with eateries that cater to all tastes and preferences. When looking for perfect Chatswood restaurants to add to your itinerary, consider a handful of exotic places inspired by Asian cuisine.
They do bring all the glory of traditional Asian dishes, but this time with a modern, distinctly Aussie twist that makes the experience all the more tantalizing for all of your senses. Think: seafood-inspired dumplings, as well as pork and beef-based recipes enriched with rice noodles, flavorful main dishes with hand-picked spices to add more life to every bite. The popularity of these eateries speaks for itself, so it’s best to make a reservation beforehand.
Wineries around Sydney
Wine aficionados already know and appreciate the exquisite aroma unique to Australian vintage bottles. When you’re in Sydney, you’re not limited to wine stores or classy restaurants where you can enjoy a glass of local shiraz alongside the most appropriate meal that matches its flavor. This time, you can actually take a day or two to explore the surrounding wine regions, some of which are world-renowned, while others retain their secluded charm.
As for the more popular ones, Hunter Valley is a couple of hours outside of Sydney, nestled in the embrace of the region’s serene Hunter river. In addition to numerous cellar doors that dominate the region’s reputation, you’ll find a chocolate factory that won’t disappoint event the most avid chocolate lovers. If you’d like, you can time your visit to be during the Wine and Food Festival that occurs during Australian winter, and the next one is expected to be in May of 2020.
Walk in Byron Bay
Northern NSW indeed has its fair share of gems that deserve to be on your list, and Byron Bay certainly belongs among them. If you’ve already heard of this particular nook as one beloved by surfers, you’re not alone, but the water sport isn’t the only reason to head to this tranquil and very eventful area. In fact, Byron Bay hosts a number of festivities that draw quite an international crowd, so you can take your pick!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for some quiet time, Byron bay won’t disappoint. Spend some time kayaking alongside friendly local dolphins, or wait for the sun to rise from the local lighthouse. Local markets are treasure troves of trinkets and beautiful handmade items you can take back home with you to commemorate the trip.
Sydney may be in the spotlight, but its glare sheds some light on its neighboring areas that have so much to offer. When in Sydney, do what Sydneysiders do and trek outside of the comfort of the CBD to unravel an entire universe of coastal and inland beauty around this stunning city.