Cool stuff in Sydney?

I’m going to Sydney to visit friends for a couple weeks around CNY.

All you Aussies out there, what would you recommend I don’t miss in Sydney?

I would like to get to know the city some and avoid the more typical touristy spots. Since my friends who just moved there aren’t Aussies, they’re also just getting to know the place.

I like museums (history and art), theater, live music etc shows, bookstores, clothes shopping, nightlife…you know? Stuff I can’t find here, or perhaps anywhere BUT Sydney. I also want to buy some shoes in Oz as they do make some nice ones there, don’t they? Any recommendations?

Will the weather be scorching hot, or just nice in January? Clothes to bring?
Ta very much!

(To return the favor, if you ever want to know about underground San Francisco, just holler! :slight_smile: )

The Don’t Misses in My Book.

Paddinton Market on a Saturday. It’s on Oxford Street in Paddington.

The Gay Mardy Gra it’s on about CNY and also along Oxford Street. Oxford Street also has great night life in general. So It’s worth a visit.

The Walk at night or day from Cogee beach to Bondi Beach along the cliffs.

A BBQ on Bronte Beach.

Body Surfing and perving at Tammarama Beach otherwise known as Glamaramma Beach.

A drive along Old South Head Road. The best possible views over the Harbour.

The Nth. side from Manly is also nice, but it’s not as urban so you don’t get as gob smaked by the fact that people have this view-the most magnificant view in the world- day in day out.

The Food.- Just about anywhere you will find the most incredible delights. Sydney is not as famous for its tucker as Melbourne, but its no less delightful in reality.

If your missing Asian cuisine try the Yum Cha restaurant over looking Coogee beach. It gets closed down periodically by health scares, but it’s nothing to bother a hardened Taiwaner like yourself.

There’s so much more, just give me a call for the low down.

Alien wrote [quote]Hey,
I’m going to Sydney to visit friends for a couple weeks around CNY.

All you Aussies out there, what would you recommend I don’t miss in Sydney? [/quote]

To be perfectly honest, a trip to Melbourne. Sydney has got shit on Melbourne.

The Rocks
There was a restaurant once upon a time at the Rocks whereby you picked your own steak from a cooler and then did all the grill-work yourself. That was pretty cool. Is that place still there?

Melbourne? Isn’t that the city where it rains 360 days out of the year? :wink:


I’m from Victoria and have a natural love for Melbourne, but during my 7 years in Sydney I was always intrigued by one thing; Melbournians new so many Sydney jokes but Sydney siders new so few Melbournian jokes. After these 7 years I could only put it down to one thing, Sydney Siders couldn’t give a stuff about Melbourne. It just didn’t enter their agenda. It’s not Sydney versus Melbourne. It’s Melbourne versus Sydney.


That’s what we call the absolute celebration of the Aussie BBQ. I can tell you it’s not a concept in a night out that greatly appeals to me- and, now for the pise de resistance -“Cook it Yourself” But those places are dotted all over.

Excuse my French.

Ok, so how much is a return flight to Melbourne, if I stuff that into the two weeks? Sound like it may be worth it. :slight_smile:

Nobody’s mentioned the shoe bit yet. Sandman brought me back some Blundstones about five years ago and they need replacing now. Are all shoes so cheap down there?

And as for BBQ, can i throw shrimps on the barbie since I dont eat flesh?

What’s something or someplace weird or bizarre in Sydney, Fox? Something you can find nowhere else in the world?

Oh, what’s ‘perving’ at Glamarama beach?
And Huang Guang Chen, how far away is Porpoise Spit? :wink:


Amos has ignited the long running rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne. This tends to assume that Sydney is flashy and in your face like say a US city whereas Melbourne is more reserved and refined like a European city. There is some truth to it and checking both gives you a contrast. However, if it’s hot - and you are going in Oz summer - I wouldn’t even think of going to Melbourne. It’s a shitty place when it’s hot (or cold). Lots of culture though, great eating and coffee shops. I can defintely see you strutting your stuff in Melbourne. I’d say Chappel Street would be your thing. Brunswick Street’s mine and possibly yours too.

I can’t leave this subject without throwing in the old joke about why Melbourne football crowds are vastly larger than Sydney’s . . . cos there’s nothing better to do in Melbourne on the weekend.

Sydney to Melbourne one way is around Aus$100 (which using my outdated currency exchange rate is roughly NT$2,000). I’d say the best bet is to get to Oz and check out prices there. These fares fluctuate quite wildly.

Having said that Sydney indeed has an awful lot to offer.

Fox, excellent list. Really, I can’t think of much to add except maybe take in Bronte beach for a body surf as well. Make it a Sunday when the park at the back of the beach fills with South American musos BBQing and playing.

Check out the coffee shops and people in black in Newtown and Glebe. There’s alway stuff happening and there’s no shortage of free info. Other cool coffee hangs include the back of the Cross (Kings Cross). The Cross has an awful reputation and some of it deserved but actually there are some great hangs, there’s a very cool nightclub (the name escapes me). It’s where the “stars” hang.

Don’t know where you’re staying (it could well be the Cross) but getting there by walking through the Domain along the harbour into Woolloomooloo is cool. You could stop at Harry’s Cafe de Wheels for a pie. Shock us all by getting a pie floater and eating it.

The Museum of Contempory Art at Circular Quay is a must. So is a ferry to Manly for a beer on the beach. Wolf’s good with the Rocks. Some great pubs. Check the Lord Nelson.

Anyone remember the name of that pub in Paddington where all the indie bands play? There’s always something interesting happening there. Last time I was there Tex Perkins was doing an acoustic session with the guitarist from . . . oh my memory!

Great list. Keep 'em coming. I’m heading back for christmas.

Actually a very cool thing to do would be to get a car and drive up from Sydney to the wineries to the north. If you had the time head right up to Lismore and Byron Bay. It’s not too far from Byon Bay to Porpoise Spit (the Gold Coast). Don’t go there. It’s full of Taiwanese tourists getting fleeced. Mind you it makes for a great contrast and may even be interesting if you happened to drop int to the Rainbow coffee shop in Nimbin. Sandman did that drive I believe.


Blundstones are cheap, around Aus$50. They should have them in the Haymarket down in the old China Town. Please don’t get an Akubra. :wink:


The pub with the indie bands is the Hopetoun in Surrey Hills.
416 Bourke St (cnr Fitzroy St), Surry Hills tel 9361 5257. [quote]“The Hoey” is one of Sydney’s best for the indie band scene, with music Wednesday to Sunday in the small and always crowded front bar. There’s a popular pool room out back, a drinking pit in the basement, and an ambitious little restaurant upstairs. Cover charge Thurs

Oh man! I wish I could do that again. You will not believe the food they serve in some of those wineries. Ambrosia. Sheer ambrosia. And you’ll also come to realize why Oz wines have such a good reputation – you simply don’t get their good stuff elsewhere for bearable prices. On-site, its cheap or even free (have a meal and they’ll usually throw in a free tasting (read: drunken afternoon!)
Have fun.
Oh, and possibly the best veggie burger I ever had in my life was from a cafe up in the hills off that ocean highway road somewhere. Famous for being the one-time stomping ground of Jimmie Blacksmith

Rather than keep adding to the above . . .

Some random thoughts:

For the weather and what’s happening you can check the Sydney Morning Herald.

Here’s a good Gig guide.

For somethying oddly Sydney check out the Piccolo Bar. It’s in the Cross at number 6 Roslyn Street. I used to hang there from time to time. Oh, so did Nick Cave and many other notables. I hope Vittorio’s still alive! [quote]For

Wow, excellent info! Ta very much indeed!
HG, I’ll be looking for your Aunty Jan :slight_smile:

My friends live in the gay area–off Oxford Street?
Told me on phone today they’ve had people shooting up on their doorstep time to time.

[quote]My friends live in the gay area–off Oxford Street?
Told me on phone today they’ve had people shooting up on their doorstep time to time.[/quote]

Yeah, that’s one of the lesser attractions. Same for the Cross. I had heard a lot of the smack world had moved out to another interesting place, Cabramatta, also known as Vietnamtta because of the high population of Vietnamese. It’s really a Chinese-Viet Chinatown out in the suburbs. Amazing place. However it became reknowned as THE place to score and unfortunately get mugged too. I think they put cameras and stuff up to deter it.

Oxford Street was also the scene of many a gay bashing. Lads from the suburbs used to (I hope the past tense is correct) stroll up and down Oxford Street looking for a poof to bash. I had quite a few frends thumped though never copped it myself. I’m not gay but then nor were half the people I know who got hit. There was some talk of the gay scene moving to Newtown where bashings were not quite as common.

There are several great gay bars in Newtown. It’s a great stroll from Sydney University up King Street Newtown and down into Erskinville. Great shops, very nice scene. Right at the city end is a monstous second hand book shop. It has to be seen to be believed. Gould’s is its name. Kings Street was the centre of my universe for quite a few years.

Newtown is an old working class suburb since gentrified. Nonetheless it still retains some of its old grittiness. Out of interest that chap Paul Hogan of the “throw another prawn (who in their right mind says shrimp?) on the barbie” fame started out as a stand up comedian and his language, accent and character were very much based on the working class folk of Newtown.

Yes by all means say hello to Jan. She’s a good egg. I’m willing to bet you’ll see her. Don’t say I said she had a big nose, she bloody does though.


Look at that fellow Australians!! Don’t see any down this end of the Country.

Is by any chance the cool bar you were talking about were the celebs hang out in Kings Cross Burbon and Beef Steak bar???

You also forgot to mention Darling Harbour, although you might think it’s touristy there is a hell of alot of locals there and the food is fantastic! And it’s really very pretty.

If you head down to Melbourne St Kilda is nice place to visit. And having lived on Brunswick st for a few years watch out for the homeless and the drug dealers. Although the top end is very clean and less freaky.

We didn’t mention the simplest pleasure of all- Taking the ferry to Manly across the harbour.

Manly is or was when I lived in Sydney a typical upper middle class suburb that you might find anywhere in the world with one remarkable addition one of the world’s best surf beaches and boulavards. Then I’d just walk back from the beach into the suburb. If there was an urban heaven, it would be Manly. Personally, I prefer the southern beaches, but Manly can’t be denied.

I certainly did not mean the Bourbon and Beef Steak. That place is awful. Great for getting your head rearranged. A friend of mine used to manage the news agency down stairs. He had to cover the papers to protect them from the vomit that inevitably poured from the windows above.

[quote]You also forgot to mention Darling Harbour[/quote] Well, as they say in Sydney “Darling, its’s a disaster.” The Chinese gardens were aways a good spot to nip in for a puff and some Chinese tea though.

As for Manly, although I’ve got relatives up that way I 've always hated the place. Something about the tone once you cross the harbour bridge. A ferry there is cool though. There’s also a great restaurant/pub right on the beacjh at the end of the Corso. Sat there enjoying my reverse culture shock while downing a few with my sister last year. Headed there straight from the airport. I’ve heard there’s something of a drug problem in Manly these days. Lots of muggings and shit at night. Apparently some of our more irresponsible kiwi cousins have something to do with it (like all crime in Sydney if you listen to the likes of John Laws :wink: ).

St Kilda is cool. What’s the name of that big pub down there? Thery usually have good bands, It was briefly famous when a bouncer refused to let the lead singer of Yothu Yindi in . . . because he was an abo!!! He was then Australian of the year :blush: I lived in Melbourne for a year, Top end of Brunswick street as it were. Great time.

Anyone been to Wattamolla? Its a beach down in the Royal National Park south of Sydney. Great spot. They have a huge cliff where the bold drop straight into a river. The river comes out at the beach. Beautiful place for a picnic and swim. No waves though.


Huangy, I didn’t know that Yothu Yindi story, wasn’t the Esplonade was it?

Alien, if you decide to go to Melbourne there’s plenty to do. Chapel st and Toorak road have plenty of bistros and fashion houses. If food’s your thing, then you’ll love the place. Lygon street for some great Italian food. Victora street, aka Little Saigon has tasty and affordable Vietnamese food. The tramcar restaurant is great, my wife and I had our honeymoon dinner in it. The walk from federation square just opposite flinders street station along Southband to Crown casino or further to St Kilda beach is awesome. As is the stroll from the same place through the Botanical gardens to the MCG and National Tennis Center (January has the 1 dayers and Aussie Open). I love Melbourne in summer. Cruising down the Great Ocean Road to Lorne or Anglesea or Ocean Grove is beyond words.

Sydney, well, the roads aren’t even straight. Who designed that place. I’ve been there a couple of times but hey, Melbourne has been awarded the world’s most livable city for 3 consecutive years. And rightly so :smiley: . All right boys, your turn.

Amos. It was indeed the Esplanade. Cheers.

After reading your post I spontaneously burst into song - “Lygon Street really got me down cos I’m a poor boy on the wrong side of town.” Wow now that’s a blast from the past.


Speaking of Yothu Yindi, Alien, you’ll probably be in town for the January 26 Survival Day concert. Been to a few of these. Always a good time, great music. Keep an eye out for it.


Actually guys I am not so sure it was the Espy that denied entry to the lead singer of Yothu Yindi. Although I am not 100% sure I think he was actually refused entry to a restaurant/bar a few doors up from the Prince of Wales. The same place is no longer there anymore but I think it was called something like Campari Bar. I actually used to work at an italian restaurant near the Prince of Wales about 10 years ago. I think that the incident occured sometime around then possibly a little earlier.


You can walk the harbour bridge in Sydney, at day or night (sunset) - I think it’s around AUD160 though. The tour office is somewhere near the Rocks if I recall correctly.

I did a lot of day trips there, just head down to Circular Quay and pick up a few flyers. They trips are very professional and reasonable. Blue Mountains were IMHO worth a visit, and cuddling that cute Koala … Might be too touristy for you though … :wink: … ia/sydney/