It’s not hard to have a great day out in Sydney, in fact, the hard bit is narrowing down what to do if you’ve only got 1 day to play with. So when PARKROYAL Darling Harbour challenged me to experience the Ultimate Day Out in Sydney I readily accepted. They’ve created a clever day planner which produces a bespoke Sydney itinerary based on your individual interests. I input my answers to see where it would take me.
The day planner suggested I start my day at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach and I couldn’t think of a better place to start a day out in Sydney. Although it’s a little too cold for wimps like me to swim at this time of year, the temperatures are beautiful for a walk along the seafront (Winter provides just as much blue skies with half as many people.) I made my way along the waterfront, soaking up the street art and sea air, and headed towards the Bondi Icebergs for a great vantage point of the coastline. I was saving my appetite for meals I knew were coming later but recommend Harry’s or Bill’s for brunch and Sensory Coffee Lab for a latte whilst you’re in this area.
Next on my itinerary was a selection of museums I have never been to before. After a quick check on Google I learnt that The Australian Museum is currently home to the Wildlife Photographer Of The Year exhibition so I put that next on my to-do list. You can’t take photos from inside the exhibition but trust me when I say the entries are absolutely incredible. I couldn’t believe the skill of the younger entrants in particular; there are 11 year olds taking photos like I can only dream of. For $20 (including entrance to the main museum) it was an incredibly inspiring experience.
(Insider tip: The Museum has just opened a cafe on the 4th floor which has sweeping views of the city including Kings Cross, Woolloomooloo and the CBD.)
Feeling peckish by this stage I was more than excited to see a suggestion come up for lunch that I had heard lots of good things about but had not yet experienced. Mary’s in Newtown is constantly rated as one of the best burger joints in the city. It was time I put that to the test!
After hopping on the bus to Newtown I headed to Mary Street. I walked the entire length of the street (twice) and there was not a burger in sight. Google maps promised I was in the right place so I lurked around where I thought the place should be until luckily I spotted some punters heading into a derelict-looking building opposite me. I hoped for the best and followed them in.
After adjusting to the gloom I realised with relief that this was indeed Mary’s after spotting the grim reaper holding a menu with Mary’s burger written on it. I placed an order for a regular cheese burger and took a seat at a candlelit bench to await its arrival. The hotly anticipated basket finally arrived and did not disappoint. A sweet bun, smokey patty, salty gherkin and lots of tangy sauce make a perfect burger combination (in my humble opinion). Belly satisfied I took the chance to photograph some of Newtown’s vibrant street art before hopping on the train to Circular Quay.
I couldn’t miss this place on an Ultimate Day Out in Sydney could I? No matter how many times one visits the Sydney Opera House it never seems to get boring. I relished the opportunity to photograph the iconic architecture from every angle. (Tip: head into the Botanical Gardens to get both the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in 1 photo.)
From Circular Quay it’s easy to hop on my favourite form of Sydney transport – the harbour ferry. The Opal travel card is accepted on ferries as well as buses and trains, so for my next appointment in Darling Harbour I decided to travel by water. The ferry whisked me under the Harbour Bridge (another Sydney icon), past the eerie-looking entrance to Luna Park and dropped me directly at Darling Harbour.
A great day out for me has to involve sweet treats, so my next stop was to ABODE Bistro Bar for High Tea. ABODE’S High Tea is not only beautifully presented (I did ask if I could take the teapot home) but really smart too. The savoury snacks are infused with tea flavours; we feasted on Earl grey poached chicken with herb aioli , Duck rillette pots infused with lively lime & orange tea and slow braised lamb shoulder pie infused with rosemary & peppermint tea, which all goes down wonderfully with a giant pot of ‘Brilliant Breakfast Tea.’ The next tier offered the most moreish bitter chocolate mousse and hazelnut crumb plus a pot of Eton Mess, and the whole experience was rounded off with a selection of pastel-coloured macaroons, which sent me into a wonderful daydream about my last trip to Paris.
Several hours later my friend and I left our table feeling like ladies who had been thoroughly indulged. The indulgence continued, however, when I checked into the PARKROYAL Darling Harbour and discovered my Club Room came with access to a lounge where complimentary twilight drinks and canapés were being served until 7.30pm. I couldn’t fit much more in but the cheese board was too inviting not to at least try a mouthful (or three).
Click here to read my full review of PARKROYAL Darling Harbour . Needless to say, staying here finished off my Ultimate Day Out in Sydney perfectly.
This post was produced in conjunction with PARKROYAL Darling Harbour. All opinions, advice and calories consumed remain my own.