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Publié le by NmNomador

The  Sydney to-do list: a must to be in-the-know.

Sydney is a wonderful, vibrant city. A city of sunshine, beaches, commerce and positive energy: it’s vibrant, innovative and proud of what it offers locals and tourists.

Perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to find a house-sitting opportunity in (or near) this sunny, Australian city! Well then, you’ll be needing an expert guide… Here are our top ten insider tips from locals in-the-know, to make your next trip downunder the best you’ve ever had.

A few tips before you start:

A friendly rivalry exists between those who live in the North Shore and those who live in the south. The division is the harbour. 

Sydney is a large city and to experience its diversity you need a car, however as a visitor, you can walk in the CBD, and the trains and buses provide good service. Wherever you can though use the ferries - it's a very Sydney experience! 

Many buses require payment prior to alighting between 7am and 7pm. An Opal card is needed for trains, and all apps for public transport can be found here.

1. Ferry rides from Circular Quay

If there’s one thing you cannot miss, it’s a ride on one of Sydney's ferries. The following routes are best for those wanting to discover Sydney by water:

  • North east to Manly Wharf at dusk – sit on western side of ferry near the rear (outside) to get a wonderful of the bridge and city as the Ferry leaves the Quay and heads to Many.
  • North to Taronga Park Zoo – city views are wonderful and the zoo itself it great – it is also possible to camp at the zoo overnight, a program called 'Roar and snore' – bookings essential.
  • East to Watson’s Bay – an old fishing village just inside the heads. Sit beside the sand and eat fish.

2. Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Dawn or dusk, take in the city from on high. Bookings essential

3. Walks near the water of Sydney Harbour

For those who love a good stroll beside the water, there are countless options. Our favourites include:

  • The domain walk - Opera House to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Sit at the point overlooking the harbour and meditate about the wonders of the world and your life. In high summer the open-air cinema near there is amazing – very early booking essential! Sit by the harbour and watch the sunset as the movie starts. The screen which rises from the water is backlit by the opera house the bridge and the city – simply stunning! 
  • Through The Rocks – the most historic part of Sydney - just walk and climb stairs and enjoy yourself.
  • From the CBD to Potts Point via Woolloomooloo - And check out the finger wharves on the way, as well as Macleay street and Victoria street. Kings Cross is the old bohemian area of Sydney, which changed dramatically (very colourful: sex, drugs and rock’n’roll) during the Vietnam war with the armed services visiting on R&R. More recently Potts Point has been undergoing renewed gentrification. Experience the wonderful food and cool bar scene.
  • Walk from Potts Point to Elizabeth bay and enjoy coffee, food and drinks on the old wharf as the rigging on the surrounding yachts jingles.

4. Lunch at the beach

Try The Bathers Pavilion at Balmoral beach for smart casual and more formal dining, Sean’s Pavilion at North Bondi or Icebergs at Bondi for lunch practically on the water!(You’ll see what we mean we you get there…)

5. Swimming

There are many beautiful surf beaches (with very white sand!) and harbour beaches too: Bondi, Bronte, Tamarama, Coogee, then Manly and the northern beaches all the way north up to Palm beach - the playground for the wealthy in high summer.

Old style ocean pools can be found at Bondi, Bronte and Coogee and harbour pools at Nelson Park in the east.

6. Horse riding in Centennial Park

This is great anytime but superb early in the morning - feel as if you are in a film… More information here.

7. Bars 

Our favourites include: 

  • Chill at the Opera Barin the open air – sometimes with live music. Don’t miss it!
  • Light meals in the living room at the Park Hyatt overlooking the Opera House
  • Drinks and dinner on the roof of The Customs House – Cafe Sydney
  • The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel – don’t miss a boutique beer in one of Sydney’s oldest pubs. Try the 'pale ale' or 'four sheets' or... Actually there are too many to try! You’ll find some boutique hotel rooms upstairs too – beautiful.
  • Experience the vibrant Sydney jazz scene at The Basement in the CBD – it’s been there forever!

8. Dining… 

The Sydney food scene is varied and world class – amazing! Sydney is a city of celebrity chefs.

Top end

  • Peter Doles’ The Quay - wonderful always. http://www.quay.com.au/
  • Neil Perry’s Rockpool - awesome setting and great food.

Mulitculturalism and food

Sydney is very multicultural, and reflecting this there are many suburbs very close to the CBD which offer an extraordinary array of ‘foodie heaven' choices: Darlinghurst, Potts Point, Surry Hills, Newtown… But don’t rely on us – it’s a hot and changing scene so here is a reliable resource so you can always be up to date. 

The Sydney Fish markets

These markets in Pyrmont are ideal for eating simple fresh seafood or just watching the activity – the earlier in the day you go the better the theatre is! 

And let's not forget that other important category: cheap and cheerful! 

  • No name - upstairs at 74 Stanley street Darlinghurst may be the most basic surroundings in which you dine in Sydney but don't miss it. This cheap, basic, 1950s Italian workers’ cafe has only been painted since opening - nothing else! You'll need locals to tell you where it is…
  • Tropicana caffe - open since 1980, this is an institution. It's cheap and cheerful and the food is more fuel than designer. It seems to always be open, and can be found in Vitoria Street not far from the 'Coke sign' at the top of the cross. 
  • Harry's cafe de wheels - yet another institution, except this time, it’s 70-plus years old. Again, it’s fuel not designer food, known for 'pie n' peas' late at night on the way home. Enough said. 

9. Culture and the Arts in Sydney

There’s always something happening in Sydney, so best check here before you arrive. 


Galleries are to be found everywhere! The NGA, MCA and Museum of Sydney are the main ones, but you'll find many private galleries in Paddington, Surry Hills, Woollahra, and Darlinghurst among others. 

Theatre, music and more…

Perhaps due to the weather in Sydney, it is easy to find great culture here, with much of it outdoors! There are many resource sites to find your own preferences - click here and here for two excellent starting points.

10. Shopping

Shopping is everywhere. If England is the country of shopkeepers, Sydney is the city of shoppers! There are many shopping guides to be found, so we’ll list just three of the more unusual - and particularly those in the CBD. 

  • QVB  - Do some shopping in the historic Queen Vitoria Building before your afternoon tea booking in the Tea Room.
  • And then there is the new Westfield Centre under the Sydney tower, where you'll find many luxury brands, and others standing together further along Elizabeth Street near the intersection of King street.

Now that we’ve filled your to-do list, the next step is simple: list your house on Nomador so our trustworthy house-sitters can take care of it while you’re away! 

Or perhaps you’ve not yet found your accommodation? Start searching for house-sitting opportunities on Nomador today!

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