That’s just Clovelly
There’s a whole lot more going on under the waters around Sydney than you might think. Home to a group of large blue gropers, Clovelly Beach is a particularly good spot for snorkelling.

Spit it out
A quieter alternative to the excellent but crowded Bondi-Coogee walk is Spit Bridge to Manly. The 10km stroll goes though some fantastic panoramas, secluded beaches, across North Head and down into the harbour. We advise starting at the Bridge, to end at the beach– catch a 175 bus from Wynyard station.

Give in to Govindas
So much more than just a movie house, this Hare Krishna-run establishment (Darlinghurst) has a delicious all-you-can-eat veggie buffet and is the last word in cinematic comfort. Think floor cushioning and squishy sofas – bliss. A real TNT fave. Visit for info.

Dive into McCallum Pool
When the temperature rises, the people in the know head to this little pool just a short walk from the Cremorne Point ferry wharf. It has amazing views across the harbour. Best of all, it’s free.

Smelling fishy
Sydneysiders love this place and you know you’ve arrived at the Sydney Fish Markets (Pyrmont) by the accumulated smell of several thousands of tonnes of frilled ones. Grab a fresh fish ‘n’ chips, a beer and sit at an outside table. Just watch out for those pesky seagulls.

Hail the Ku-ring-gai
Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park is a fantastic combination of coastline, bushland and ancient Aboriginal rock engravings (along the Resolute Track). We recommend the partly-signposted 12km walk from Cowen to Brooklyn; sit and have a well-earned beer by the Hawkesbury River before catching the train back to
the city.

Eye Hawkesbury
… And while you’re up there explore the muscular Hawkesbury River, either on a cruise, with the postman ( or round up some chums and hire a house boat for the weekend (

|Mind The Gap
The Gap, near the eastern suburb of Watsons Bay (nip to world-famous Doyle’s for fish ‘n’ chips), is unfortunately notorious as a popular suicide spot. But it’s also a very dramatic clifftop lookout, and you won’t find a better place in the city to see the sunrise. There’s a beautiful little coastal walk, too.

Camp it up
Close to Watson’s Bay, Camp Cove is one of the smaller, quieter bits of sand. Popular for families at weekends and swimmers at night, who do their workout in the wave-free water. Catch a bus or ferry.

Market yourself
Hippy enclave Glebe springs colourfully to life on Saturdays with arguably Sydney’s best markets. With live music, great food, second-hand clothes, music, books, the obligatory candles and a patch of grass to kick back on, it’s like a mini-Glastonbury festival. Glebe Point Road is fantastic for cheap and tasty food.

So what’s Newtown?
Lesser known than neighbouring Glebe, Newtown is a great place to spend a lazy Saturday eating and drinking the day away. Grab brunch in one of the many cafes that line King Street, enjoy an afternoon beer in the Cooper’s Arms, savour some Thai cuisine at a pun-tastically named restaurant (Thai-tanic anyone?!), then while away the evening with a cocktail or five at Kuleto’s or the Marly Bar.

Collect Shelly
It’s no secret that Manly is well worth a visit, but after you’ve surfed and had fish ‘n’ chips, make your way to this cosy beach. Head right from the main beach, follow the walkway and you’ll come to a sheltered cove with good snorkelling and no waves. The perfect spot for a lazy arvo.

The beautiful south
Cronulla’s the only beach you can get to directly by train. Less than an hour south from Central Station, this appealing, long stretch of sand is also a lot less crowded than its inner-city counterparts.

The Royal family
… And while you’re down there, head to our editor’s favourite, the Royal National Park. Catch the hourly ferry from Cronulla (left out of station, through small tunnel and head straight to water). The ferry drops you at Bundeena; from there you can explore the gorgeous park with it’s spectacular cliffs and unpeopled beaches. Or consider the 27km South Coast Track.

Queen Victoria
Next to a busy road, but still an oasis of calm, Victoria Park has an outdoor pool, gym (no membership needed) and general ‘laze-around-looking-like-you-know about-poetry’ student vibe. Follow George St from Central.

Who ate all the pies?
Sydney institutions don’t come more, well, institutional than Harry’s Cafe. This Woolloomooloo pie cart is open until the wee hours, and you’re just as likely to bump into some visiting Hollywood celeb as you are one of the local winos.

Star spotting
Take a daytime tour of the Observatory ( and you’ll get to learn about astronomy in Australia and get great views of the harbour. But do the sensible thing and rock up post-dusk to learn more about the Southern Hemisphere’ night skies.

Celebrate the Centennial
If you need an escape from the city, without coughing up cash, head to Centennial Park. This huge expanse of green on the east side of the city has football pitches, BBQ sites and running, cycling and horse tracks.

Glam up
Nicknamed ‘Glam-arama’ by locals, Tamarama Beach is the place where the seriously beautiful come to tan and swim, or simply try to be seen. It’s a small, but perfectly-formed piece of seaside, with cliffs on either side, located 1km south of Bondi and a short walk north of Bronte Beach.

Get to the Botany of it
Botany Bay, the spot where Captain Cook first stepped foot on Aussie soil, is 15km south of the city and is now a national park. There are tracks to be bushwalked along and often a snake show at weekends.

Perfect Point of view
Possibly the best place in the city to get that iconic Harbour Bridge/Opera House shot, Mrs Macquaries Point is at the
northern tip of the Botanic Gardens. It’s a bit of a hike, but the view will take away any breath you have left.

What’s all the rushcutters?
Rushcutters Bay Park is a peaceful and picturesque with good views. Bring a book and sit on the pontoon by the water. A five-minute walk from Kings Cross.

We live in Hopetoun
Sydney is spoilt for good pubs, but surprisingly bereft of good music venues. The Hopetoun (416 Bourke Street, Surry Hills) is an ace watering hole with live music most nights (and a small cover charge). The Annadale Hotel is another great music pub (

Feeling Surry for Yourself?
Surry Hills is arguably the best venue for an ace pub crawl. Try the Cricketers Arms, Excelsior, the Dome Bar – and several more on Crown St – and numerous more around the trendy suburb. Plus several pubs do exceedingly cheap steaks.

Chinatown Food Halls
For cracking nosh at unbelievable prices head to Chinatown (esp. Dickson St), then look at foot level for one of the underground food halls. They’re packed for a reason.

Pull a Moonie
In the summer the Sydney nights come alive with outdoor and moonlight cinemas. Bright a picnic, some plonk and a few cushions for one of the essential Sydney summer experiences. Roll on December.

Island Hopping
Okay, so they may be lacking the palm trees and cocktail-soaked bars the phrase “island hop” usually conjures up, but the islands dotting the harbour are interesting in their own right. Fort Denison and Goat Island have fascinating pasts as a punishment “cell” and quarantine station respectively, and Shark Island is a great spot for a barbie.

 A Bridge Too Far?
Can’t afford the BridgeClimb? Simply rock up to the pylon nearest the Opera House and it’ll cost you around $9.50 to go inside and clamber up for excellent views and photos. Info at

Forming a Bondi
Every Sunday, Bondi’s famous markets enchant and entice travellers and locals alike with their affordable clothes, great food and quintessentially Sydney atmosphere. Paddington (Saturdays) and the Rocks (weekends) also have excellent markets.

Rock Out
Surely those excellent pubs can wait for an hour or so. Rocks walking tours, and better still, ghost tours are well worth your while. Make you feel you’ve earned that schooner.

Paddy’s Day
Paddy’s Market is mental and full of junk. But you
may find the odd bargain that is worth a peak at, just
to see another Sydney favourite.

Gettin’ Coogee With It
Bondi too busy and ostentatious for you? Try Coogee. The beach is just like Bondi but smaller, with far fewer people and the newly refurbished Coogee Bay Hotel has to be experienced at least once.

My Old China
Head to the Chinese Friendship Gardens in the south end of Darling Harbour. A haven of tranquillity for $6, and the only place you’re likely to get photos of big lizards in the city. You can even dress up like a samurai and pose for a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Backpacker pic.

Stopping For a Sub
Staying in Darling Harbour, you’ve got The Maritime Museum (the place with the submarine). It’s free every day and has some interesting salty seadog stuff on Australia’s past. It does cost $18 to get on the old boats, but when was the last time you were in a submarine?
Eh? Exactly.

Housing Deals
You don’t have to splash the cash to see a show at the Opera House. There are deals for under 25s, and tickets for some shows can be as cheap as $20. Info at