Sydney Series: Our Final Wrap Up of Fave Moments

Australia, Backpacking & Trekking, Blogging Your Trip, Budget Travel, City Travel, Fitness & Workouts, Food & Wine, Hotels & Resorts, Lost Girls RTW Adventure, Shopping & Style, Tours & Attractions, Websites and Blogs — By on November 13, 2009 at 1:15 pm

Sydney was our last stop on our round-the-world trip, and we have plenty of amazing memories from living “Down Under.” Now ’til mid-November, we’re going to be recalling our favorite Sydney moments. At the end of each post, you’ll find out how to get the chance to make your own memories in Oz by entering to win a trip to Sydney (the organizers extended the deadline for entry!)

By Amanda Pressner
LG Executive Editor

This week, we’re wrapping up our Sydney series, and we must say, we’re a little sad to end our reminiscences of one of our favorite cities in the world. Not to diss NYC or anything (perish the thought!) but if Oz weren’t so far away from our families and best friends, we’d almost certainly relocate our offices there. For this final post, we thought we’d wax nostalgic about some of our lesser-known favorite spots and moments from our RTW trip and my return to Oz for Vivid Sydney earlier this year. In no particular order they are:

Favorite spot to grab cheap, yummy tuna avocado rolls: Sushi Train, multiple locations across Sydney
For the uninitiated, this rolling chuck wagon of freshly prepared rolls, sashimi, edamame, seaweed salads and more is just about the greatest thing that a sushi lover could come across in her life. Belly up to the bar, grab one of the small plates (color-coded to indicate the price) and get to eating as quickly as you can pick up your chopsticks. The best location, in our opinion, is the Sushi Train on Bondi Beach-you can sit outside and watch the surfers catching a break just about a hundred yards away.

Favorite neighborhood: Surry Hills
Bondi is a mecca for backpackers and boarders alike, but during my recent trip to Sydney, she fell in love with this once down-at-heel destination, and reported on it for Until recently, the inner city suburb immediately southeast of the Central Business District used to be one of the city’s most notorious slums: Gangs ruled the narrow streets and lanes; the working-class neighborhood was massively overcrowded; seedy bars and brothels were as common then as coffee shops and designer boutiques are today. Now, “Slurry Hills” as the locals still wryly refer to it, has been completely revitalized, and transformed into one of the city’s chicest and most desirable neighborhood: a place where emerging designers and artists put out their shingles. It’s also a true foodie destination, with dining options reflecting the area’s melting-pot heritage-Cajun, Lebanese, Russian, Mauritian, Thai, and Singaporean restaurants are all within a few blocks of each other on Crown Street, the main thoroughfare.

Favorite places to grab a drink: See below
Okay, so we couldn’t pick just one spot, since Sydney boasts oh so many fun locations to get your martini on. Where you should go to sip really depends on your current state of mind. If you want to surround yourself with gorgeously clad businessmen eager to buy a gal a drink right after they finish work, head to The Establishment, a stylishly designed, marble clad bar located within the hotel of the same name. Be prepared to socialize: As we discovered, if you happen to have an American accent, you won’t find yourself wanting for company very long!

For the young trendsters among you, check out the bar at the Beach Road Hotel. What makes this casual multi-level venue so interesting isn’t the space itself, but the people within it. You could spend hours entertaining yourself by analyzing the bold, colorful ensembles of the guests and pretend (much as they do in the LES of NYC) that they’re too cool to care about anything-except of course, their next beer.

If you really want to make a night out of it, gather up a crew of friends and get yourself past the velvet rope at The Ivy, a year old mega-venue that boasts a swimming pool and different lounge or club on each floor. The celebs that visit Sydney almost always make their way here: when Amanda was there earlier this year, she spotted the rock star Pink and her man Carey Hart grooving on the dance floor.

Favorite Place to Sweat Indoors: Fitness First
You may ask yourself why anyone would confine themselves to a gym when they could be surfing, sailing, biking or hell, just plain relaxing in a place as outdoor-focused as Sydney. But when attempting to burn off the pudge gained by pigging out on naan in India and noodles in Southeast Asia, sometimes a Lost Girl just needs a bit of structure. Fitness First, a state of the art gym located in the Bondi Junction shopping center, provided just that-along with state of the art equipment, a jam-packed class schedule and a killer view of the skyline (not to mention more than one hot guy working the weight machines). We actually looked forward to our workouts here, but had to laugh at the horrible jokes used over and over again by our instructors-pretending your body bar is a guitar and jamming out doesn’t inspire us to do additional reps!

For more fun moments in Sydney, don’t rely on us-experience them for yourself. Enter the contest below, and send us your favorite stories after you win and visit the Land Down Under!
The folks at Tourism New South Wales are offering two winners a trip to Sydney for themselves and a friend including airfare on V Australia, seven nights accommodation and an exclusive ticket to experience at least five of the most “life enhancing” activities that the city has to offer, such as:

• Learning to Surf at Bondi Beach
• Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge
• Sailing on Sydney Harbour
• Going behind the scenes at Sydney Opera House

To enter, simply click here or go to and follow these steps:

1. Click on the “Win a Dream Sydney Vacation” button
2. Enter your contact info
3. Become a fan of Sydney, Australia on Facebook
4. On the Sydney, Australia Facebook Wall write in 30 words or less about a Sydney experience you’ve had, or would want to have.

The organizers have extended the deadline and the contest will now be running from now through November 15th! Get your entries in now, and we’ll see you Down Under!

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    1 Comment

  • Rebekah says:

    I just linked to your blog because I really enjoy it. The concept, the stories, the tips – the variety is fun and always interesting. Anyway, I wanted to say hi, and I look forward to reading more!