Sydney for 4 full days -- what to do!!

Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Sydney for 4 full days -- what to do!!

Hello world travelers!

Our family (2 adults + 10 year old) will be spending 4 days in Sydney early February and want to know what your top things to do/experience are. We have already booked a performance at the Opera House for one evening. We are all interested in culture, good eats (foodies), and want to experience all we can in this short amount of time. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 12:32 PM
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- Take the ferry to Watson's Bay and have a fish lunch / dinner at one of the 3 Doyle's. We had lunch at the hotel outside and upstairs so we could see the world. Catch the bus back to the city.

- Sydney Wildlife World and the Sydney Aquarium at Darling Harbour are well worth a visit. Allow yourself 3 - 4 hours for both. You can buy a ticket for entry into both.

- have a hot chocolate at one of the Max Brenner's places!

- Sydney Day Explorer 90 minute hop-on and hop-off tour of Sydney, and the Bondi 90 minute hop-on hop-off tour. Again you are able to get one ticket for both. Each ticket is valid for 24 hours.

- just walking around Sydney is interesting

Have a great few days. I had 6 days in October and loved it.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 01:27 PM
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Thanks! We were musing about the Aquarium and Wildlife World.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 05:30 PM
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i will be there for four days too in early feb... im planning on climbing the harbour bridge, go on a wine tour too!
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 06:02 PM
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Take a ferry to Taronga Zoo.

Bus to Bronte, walk back to Bondi Beach along the cliffs http://www.sydney.com.au/bondi-to-br...lking-tour.htm

From Bondi Beach, take a bus to Watsons Bay http://www.sydney.com.au/watsons-bay.htm

Eat at Watsons Bay Hotel, or the Doyles take-away on the wharf. There is a cafe space behind the ordering counter where you can eat, order drinks, coffee etc, lovely harbour views. And half the price of Doyles Restaurant.

There are Thai and other restaurants up near the top - Thai, Pizza etc.

Finally, ferry back to the city and catch the iconic Harbour Bridge, Opera House etc., in the sunset. Magic!

Pack your swimmers/togs/bathing costumes & beach towels. It's pretty hard to beat a swim at Watsons Bay. Or the famous Bondi Beach.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:25 PM
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great suggestions everyone -- wow! Behold, the power of Fodors Forums....
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:56 PM
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Try Yum Cha in Chinatown for a real taste adventure. I love the food at East Ocean, but they've recently stopped serving with the traditional carts--which are part of the fun. (Now you order off a menu.)

The ferry ride to Manly or Bondi Beach will give you iconic views of Sydney.
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Old Jan 19th, 2012, 10:57 PM
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Sydney has myriad good restaurants/bistros/cafes of every cuisine, ethnicity and price range you can imagine.

Let's see if we can refine your search a little.

What would your ideal meal/restaurant be like?
Where are you staying? Do you want to eat close by - or venture out a little?

What price ranges do you have in mind?
(Remember, Sydney is an international city and the CBD mid & top ranges prices will be on a par with NYC (except that we don't charge an additional tax and obligatory 15-20% tip)

Cuisines/ likes & dislikes? No point sending vegans to a steakhouse

Just to whet your appetite ... some of my favourites are in lovely old pubs in the Eastern Suburbs - places like the Four in Hand; http://www.fourinhand.com.au/
or Spice I Am http://www.spiceiam.com/

Or you might walk across the Harbour Bridge and have a casual and BYO (Bring Your Own (Alcohol)) meal at one of the cafes in Kirribilli; at Ripples, or its more formal stablemate, Aqua Dining http://maps.google.com.au/maps?hl=en...Kirribilli+NSW

I don't think you can better Quay for food, views (provided there's not a big cruising gin palace in town) and service.
Not your $3 lunch,but you'll remember the experience long after the cost is forgotten. http://www.quay.com.au/
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 01:34 PM
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Other things to see and do on the cultural side: Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art.

If you go to the Taronga Zoo, it would probably be overkill to go to Wildlife World also. The zoo would be my choice of the two possiblities, it is a really superb day out, with the ferry ride and the amazing layout of the parklands.

To add to the foodie-style food recommendations, Spice Temple is amazing, and if you want an excellent steak, the Grill directly above is also very good. Tetsuya's, Aria and est are my other favourites in the city area.

Golden Century is excellent Chinese, also try Dai Tin Fung (dumplings but much more). I second Bokhara's recomendation of Four in Hand, the Grand National (also in a pub in Paddington is also really good). For Italian, my two favourites are Vini and Berta both in Surry Hills. Billy Kwongs and Red Lantern (Vietnamese) are two other superb restaurants in Surry Hills--both of the chefs have TV series.

I also really like Porteno and Botego for South American food, also in Surry Hills.
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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Hi Susan,
I have the choice of Vini or Berta for dinner next week.
Which would you choose?
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 01:57 PM
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Meant to add, if you haven't been to the new Arras (in Becasse's old place at 204 Clarence), go! Make sure you include dessert in your choices even if, like me, you're not usually a sweets girl. Very creative.

Their website doesn't do the restaurant justice, but I think they're probably concentrating on the food & service just now.
http://www.restaurant-arras.com.au/

Note to anyone Googling: Arras was formerly at Walsh Bay, but moved at the end of last year.
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Old Jan 20th, 2012, 03:33 PM
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Hi Bokhara, Berta is my preference, can you go on Wednesday night for their sagra dinner? That's great value and the wine matching is fabulous also. Thanks for the Arras tip, I shall check it out!
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 12:36 PM
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BOKHARA2 --

While we are not vegetarians, our child is so that rules out a lot of ethnic food where many of the flavors are derived from meat. That said, we are on board with top fare restaurants -- we are from San Francisco, a culinary MECCA so we are, for better or worse, accustomed to fresh, superbly prepared meals when we dine out at a "nice restaurant". We are staying at the Westin and would love to venture out on foot but not opposed to taking a cab. Any suggestions would be most appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 04:12 PM
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" That said, we are on board with top fare restaurants -- we are from San Francisco, a culinary MECCA so we are, for better or worse, accustomed to fresh, superbly prepared meals when we dine out at a "nice restaurant"."

You'll be right at home in Sydney, then.

However, we're fortunate in that the same quality of wonderful fresh produce well prepared and served can be had at any number of small, local restaurants.

You'll notice Sydney doesn't go in for big chain type restaurants and Starbucks is a non-event here.

All of the recommendations above have a good range of vegetarian options.

Good resources (are:

the SMH (Sydney Morning Herald) Good Food Guide.

http://www.goodguides.com.au/sydney/

Good Pub Guide 2012 http://www.smhshop.com.au/content/pub-guide-2012/gka2js

Download or buy when you get here - most newsagents and book shops.
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 04:58 PM
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i ate the aria in the circular quay apartments just south of the opera house. great food with amazing views of both the bridge and opera house in one shot.
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Old Jan 21st, 2012, 05:37 PM
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Susan7 mentioned the Art Gallery of NSW and the MCA - both have good bistros.

The Westin is in the heart of the CBD and within walking distance of a plethora of good top flight and more casual restaurants.

Est (George Street) Ash Street Cellar, Felix, from the Merivale (Hermes family) stable www.merivale.com

If you take the ferry to Manly, which I suggest to everyone coming to Sydney; try Hugo's (LHS as you walk through the wharf), the Manly Pavillion, or take a cab to Pilu at Freshwater (5-10 mins by cab).

http://www.manlypavilion.com.au/
http://www.piluatfreshwater.com.au/
http://www.hugos.com.au/index2.htm

As you exit the ferry terminal building, walk straight ahead through The Corso, to the beach. Turning right, you can walk along a path beside the ocean to Shelley Beach. There's a good little cafe on the corner just before Shelley Beach that serves good casual food. Nice stop for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

That's a start


Sepia (Restaurant of the year)http://www.sepiarestaurant.com.au/

Arras (204 Clarence Street) http://www.restaurant-arras.com.au/

Becasse (Level 5, Westfield shopping centre, Pitt street Mall) http://www.becasse.com.au/


For a casual meal/coffee/brunch, the bars & cafes along the walk to the Opera House are worthwhile. I like the old Sydney Oyster Bar and Opera Bar. In the day, laid back casual atmosphere and buzzy at night.

In The Rocks & Circular Quay, Sailors Thai (communal table upstairs, individual tables & more extensive menu downstairs);

Rockpool http://www.rockpool.com/ (Neil Perry also owns Spice Temple & Rockpool Bar & Grill - Bligh and Hunter streets respectively)

Quay, Arria.

Wine Odyssey in the Rocks offers a great opportunity of sampling some of Australia's best wines in an interesting old heritage building, with good food.

A short cab ride to Surry Hills will reward you with lots of options, including The Bentley http://www.thebentley.com.au/home.ph...0&pt=0&pl=1280

Marque http://www.marquerestaurant.com.au/

Across the road, funky & fun - Winery by Gazebo http://www.thewinerybygazebo.com.au/

A little further along Crown street, Marque. Marque http://www.marquerestaurant.com.au/

Another endorsement for Susan's recommendation of Red Lantern - great Vietnamese and Billy Kwong (Chinese) - also in Crown Street.
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Old Jan 24th, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Gratitude for all these AMAZING restaurant suggestions. Their online menus look so great. Oh how I wish we had more time in Sydney! I will do a trip report with commentary on these dining spots when we return. Many, many thanks for your time, knowledge, and ideas!!
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Old Jan 26th, 2012, 03:37 PM
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Aria is a fabulous restaurant as mentioned earlier, we had lunch there last week. Quay Restaurant will tell you when bookingif there's going to be a cruise ship in and if there is then there will be NO view.

www.ariarestaurant.com.au
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Old Jan 28th, 2012, 08:55 PM
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Songdoc.. I have a friend who just won't shut up about how fabulous East Ocean is! lol

I did the evening ghost tour of The Rocks. Fun and interesting to see all the back alleys and unusual history of the place.
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Old Jan 31st, 2012, 09:44 PM
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If you'd like to experience Aboriginal culture then visit the Australian Museum in College Street. It has a fantastic exhibition on at the moment: Yiwarra Kuju: the Canning Stock Route. It's the story of one of Australia's famous cattle tracks, told from an Aboriginal perspective through contemporary Aboriginal paintings, plus film, artefacts and a hands-on multimedia table. It's powerful, very energising and unsentimental. If you go on a Wednesday you can also catch didgeridoo, song and dance performances at 1100 and 1300 (included in the price of the ticket).

The museum's permanent collections are also interesting (for all ages) and definitely appealing for a 10 year old. Plenty of dinosaurs, pteradactyls and megafauna!
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