Of course, countless towns can be found next to the beach, but Sydney felt one of a kind to me. You can drive for half an hour and feel completely isolated from city life. Whether you prefer to be on the water: take the ferry to beautiful beaches or rent a boat and go by yourself, cruise around by car or get active with long (coastal) walks, there are so many options to feel on with nature so close to the city. 

Bondi beach

If something that immediately popped up in my mind while describing Sydney, it's the healthy way of life. I noted people are waking up early and are outside a lot; you continuously see people jogging, surfing, or taking long walks with their dogs. Healthy dinky grocery shops are opening its doors, and there are plenty of pilates and yoga studios around. People look happy and fit.

Left: Drinks at Hotel Ravesis were favorite. Right: Le Dog store 

Oh yes, another reason to visit Australia, the remarkable Aussie brunches. I could not get enough of it. Thanks to the jetlag, I woke up very early, but that was no problem at all because Sydney was already awake! Coffee corners open its doors already at six in the morning and smashed avo toasts, pancakes, and iced lattes pass the assembly line.  

Breakfast at The Boat House 

Manly highlights:

  • Grab a coffee (and some of their delicious pastry's) at Rollers, en head over to the beach to watch the city rise up.
  • Have breakfast at Fika.
  • Walk from Manly beach to shelly beach and go snorkling.
  • Right on time for lunch at The Boat House.
  • Do the Shelly Beach To Barracks Precinct Walk. It took us a litte over an hour and it has amazing views.
  • Have Apero time at Wharf bar (right next to the Manly Wharf), great place with live music overlooking the water.
  • Although we weren't quite impressed by the food culture of Manly especially for diner Manly Greenhouse is a lovely place to dine. 

Activities in and around Bondi:

Bondi to Coogee Walk (A scenic urban coastal walk with great infrastructure, numerous beaches, bays, parks playgrounds and amenities.)


Late lunch at The Dolphin Hotel 

If you like shopping, Sydney is the place for you. You can drift through the neighborhoods and walk-in store after the store. Oh, there is something different about the Boutiques here, so much attention is paid here to the styling and design of stores. I figured Bondi Beach and Paddington are excellent places to go shopping. And then plop down extensively for lunch or drinks in some hip restaurant.

Make sure you mark down these shops: 

Bondi Beach: Love Stories, PLAYA by Lucy Folk, Commune, Hope & May.

Paddington: Assembly Label, Incu, Hansen & Gretel, IN BED, Mode Sportif, Zimmermann, Di Nuovo, Aesop.

Strolls trough Paddington and Paddo Inn restaurant 

Rooftop dining at Coogee Pavilion 

After all the crowded beaches at Manly and Bondi it was time to explore some hidden gems. We booked an amazing airbnb in Clareville which is surrounded by lovely beaches such as : Whale beach, Bigola beach, Avalon and Palm beach and truth's been told: we did not see any tourists.

Avalon and surrounding highlights:

  • Spend the day in Newport. Start with breakfast at Rukus, relax at the beach, go for some shopping: Kawani Boutique sells brands like Faithfull the brand, Peony, Beck + bridge, head over to The Newport a spacious venue with different bars and restaurants, such a great concept.
  • Enjoy a lazy day in Clareville go for breakfast at Grindlers because never not brunching right? It's on walking distance from The Fish Shack, our airbnb. Relax at home, read a book on the pier, enjoy the outdoor shower and get ready for dinner at Clareville Kiosk. What a life!
  • Breakfast at Barrenjoey House Palm Beach (a heritage listed restaurant, bar and guest house fom the well known Boat House group.) From here you can take the ferry to Great Mackarel Beach and Patonga. 
  • Roadtrip to Akuna bay and visit the Kuring-gai Chase National Park.
  • Relax at Whale beach and don't forget to skip brunch or lunch (or both) at the Whale Beach Deli.

Acre Eatery in Camperdown

Thanks so much for reading. I hope this is getting you all excited to be traveling again. 

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