PLACES TO VISIT

Weekend Getaway: Sydney

sydney-opera-house

bondi-to-bronte-coastal-walk

bondi-beach

adamo-kids-in-bondi

boys-on-boat

sydney-harbour-bridge

After spending eight weeks in New Zealand, five of which were spent campervanning from one remote corner of the country to the next, we were all very excited to arrive in hip & happening Sydney to soak up some city time (and sleep in proper beds!).  Because we have visited Sydney a few times before, we didn’t feel the urgency to do all the big touristy things on this visit. Instead we enjoyed living like locals in our little Bondi apartment and took advantage of having great cafes on our doorstep and easy access to the beach! Here are some highlights from our stay in beautiful Sydney:

EAT/DRINK:

  • Messina Gelato: An almost daily stop for us. Every Sydneysider we met recommended this famed gelateria and they were right— so good!
  • Sabbaba: We love falafel and these guys do it superbly with super fresh produce and delicious flavours. There are about eight varieties of falafel to choose, ranging from the classic to the super spicy.
  • Harris Farm grocery store (I could have moved in!): Six years ago we stayed in Bondi and loved it. Our only minor gripe was the lack of a great grocery store. Obviously others noticed this too and along came Harris Farms. This store is packed floor to ceiling with awesome fruit and veg (mostly Australian), delicious dairy, fresh bakery goods, and just about everything else you need to make a healthy meal.
  • Gertrude & Alice bookstore café: We were told this charming bookstore served the best coffee in Bondi and we can’t disagree. They also made delicious scones and a ‘Pineapple/Mint Frappe’ that we’re all still dreaming of. Baskets of kids’ books to peruse made for happy children too.
  • Fish & Chips at Bronte Beach: Fish and chips beachside seems an Australian favourite, and this popular spot just behind Bronte Beach had customers queuing each evening. We loved the NZ Hoki. Just be sure to visit the cash point/ATM first as they don’t accept cards here.
  • Lox, Stock & Barrel in Bondi: Thirty seconds down the hill from our apartment, this place was packed with customers–and for good reason. The bagels with lox and cream cheese were as good as any you’d find in NY, albeit with an air of ‘healthiness’ that made you know you were in Sydney.
  • Sonoma Bakery: Lots of people recommended we pop into Sonoma, and it didn’t disappoint. They have great bread, delicious pastries, and tasty sandwiches (perfect to grab and take to the beach!).
  • Fish & Chips at Balmoral: Another impossibly popular fish and chips shop. This one offers a larger menu than the one in Bronte, and draws larger crowds too. Worth the wait though.
  • Gelbison Pizza in Bondi: There’s no shortage of good pizza in Bondi these days and we regret we couldn’t try them all. This long long running pizzeria with classic Neapolitan style pizza and old school(a bit worn) décor hit the spot on our fist night in town.
  • Longrain: After weeks subsisting on our pared-down, home-cooked, camper van menu, we’d forgotten how sophisticated food can be. Then our friends Emma and Simon brought us to this awesome Asian-fusion restaurant in Surry Hills and it was like an explosion of flavours with every bite.

DO:

  • Bondi to Bronte coastal walk: a Sydney must-do!
  • Northern Bondi rock pool: Great for little kids who are intimidated by the waves (though it can get busy on sunny afternoons and weekends).
  • Surf Bondi: There’s lots of rentals and the foam boards are kept separate from the fibreglass, giving beginners a safer area to learn.
  • Bronte Beach: A more family friendly beach than Bondi, with a rock pool and a nice playground behind the beach.
  • Parsley Bay: This harbour side beach is beautiful and tranquil, with a large grassy park and playground beyond the sand.
  • Balmoral Beach: We’ve stayed here before on a previous trip, so we got to know this neighbourhood well. It’s a pretty beach with cute local cafes – and the Bathers’ Pavillion is a great spot to pick up lunch too.
  • Sail boat ride in the harbour: Our friends Simon and Tahnee organised a harbour cruise of the famous Sydney sites and we were blown away. Seeing the city from the water is a special experience, made all the better by swims aside secluded beaches only reachable by sea.
  • Bondi Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings (9am – 1pm): So many great vendors. Do your weekly produce shop while enjoying lunch or breakfast in the grass (you can rent picnic blankets if you’ve forgotten one!).
  • Playground/park in Rushcutter’s Bay
  • Although we didn’t do the more touristy things on this visit, we highly recommend the Taronga Zoo, the aquarium and the Botanic Gardens if you’re visiting Sydney for the first time.

STAY:

  • We used Airbnb to find this wonderful apartment in Bondi Beach. Our hosts, Cassi & Anthony, could not have been more welcoming and their lovely apartment was full of toys and books, making for very happy kiddos!

 

Courtney x


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Comments (7)

Anais
March 9, 2016

Thanks for this information. Can you write a post one day about how your kids (mostly the older ones) are doing without their friends for so long? Do they speak of them? How do they keep in touch? How are the kids when they see other kids from the areas they are visiting (especially if they don’t speak the language)?
Thanks,
Anaïs


india
March 9, 2016

Yes, I’d also be interested in how the children are going! I imagine they are loving life right now but I’m still curious. I loved the photo on instagram around the fire talking about book reviews! How do you think they will adjust going back to a traditional school setting after this amazing experience?
Thanks for the Syd post, I’m sure it will be very useful next time I visit!


Lisa
March 9, 2016

It’s so strange I never would have thought about their friends. They have each other. It’s only a year. And what a year! Loving the pics!!!!! Someone told me in a coffee shop this morning “oh you’ll need to make more play dates for your kids.” What is this obsession w play dates?! Firstly I have nearly five kids, secondly I think spending 8 hours at school every day surrounded by other kids is surely enough? I certainly don’t keep them locked away but I also am not going to spend their childhood driving them to other peoples homes or entertaining other children all week when I have five of my own. I love when they lie on the floor and play alone or together with their Schleich animals, or go to their room and read a book . The gift of being happy with yourself is a very important one.


Catherine
November 20, 2016

I have 5 kids too. and i must say it is so refreshing to hear someone else say exactly what I am thinking. They have their friends at school and they are happy but it is nice for them to spend sometime on their own thoughts and imaginings and also to play with the siblings which as they get alder seem to de less . I know that I enjoy watching them together and i know that they enjoy that connection too.


March 12, 2016

Lovely post. If you ever are intersted in extending on the Eastern suburbs to the Inner West and Northern Beaches in Sydney, let me know, I’ll happily write down a few points ☺️


March 15, 2016

8 weeks in New Zealand! I SO wish we could have hosted you!


June 15, 2017

[…] and there’s a noticeable buzz in the air. I can see why Courtney loves this cool town! Here are some family friendly tips from her recent stay in beautiful […]


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