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Three Perfect Days: Sydney

From Bondi Beach to Woolloomooloo Bay, outdoorsy Sydney is the coolest town Down Under

Author Steven Kurutz


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DAY TWO Drawing back the curtains, you’re greeted by crystalline blue skies—a perfect beach day. First, though, you need coffee. 1 Toby’s Estate brews a strong cup and has a few locations around town, including one on Cathedral Street in Woolloomooloo, walkable from the hotel. Young artistic types breeze in and out, but you hardly notice as you sip a chai latte and tuck into a healthy bowl of muesli.

Now you can partake in another local passion: shopping. Direct your cab driver to 2 Paddington Markets, and get lost amid the maze of stands that sell handmade jewelry, clothing and art. As you drop $15 for a pair of aviators, you realize the sun is currently more radiant than Hugh Jackman’s smile: beach time!

There may be strands more bucolic, remote or relaxed—but none is more famed than 3 Bondi Beach. If Brian Wilson were Australian, he’d have written endless odes to this curved sliver of sand on the Pacific. Bronzed surf dudes and their bikini-clad companions parade along the sand as if filming a Down Under version of Baywatch. Sit back, relax and roast under the fierce sun (hopefully you’re already well acquainted with the wonders of sunscreen). Later, take a sunset walk along the cliff path connecting Bondi to neighboring beaches like Tamarama and Bronte. The views of the Pacific are jaw-dropping, as are the million-dollar homes clinging to the mountainside.

By the time you return to Bondi, dusk has come and gone, and you make your way along the boardwalk for dinner at 4 North Bondi Italian, an oceanside restaurant serving hearty pasta dishes in a cozy, wood-lined space. This place gets packed on weekends, so put your name on the list, and go to the bar for a glass of wine; try Villa Maria, a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand.

Back at the hotel, you rinse off that stray sand, then it’s a short walk to 5 Hemmesphere, a swanky bar in the CBD that’s part of a très hip hotel, Establishment. An attractive stranger sitting nearby suggests the Lotus martini, which turns out to be sound advice. Is that pureed passion fruit you taste? Whatever it is, it goes down smooth and soothes the sting you might be feeling after a day under the australis sun. A good night’s rest beckons.

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