Where those in the know go.
The Northern Beaches
Sydneysiders are proud of their buzzy city beaches but the laid-back Northern Beaches, about an hour’s drive from the CBD, is where city slickers go to get away from it all. Palm Beach has long been the king of the north but locals congregate in the elegant suburb of Avalon, with its chic cafés and restaurants, such as Alma, and boutiques including Bassike.
Sydney still has a handful of independent cinemas. All are worth a visit but The Golden Age Cinema in Surry Hills is the best Art Deco destination for food, cocktails and flicks. For something a little more chilled, head to Govindas in Darlinghurst for its famed vegetarian buffet before relaxing on a cushioned day bed to catch an evening film.
Centennial Park in the eastern suburbs is one of the only inner-city parks in the world where you can book a horse or pony ride for a sightseeing trip with a difference. It’s an all-ages activity and you don’t need prior riding experience.
Sydney has a stash of secret gardens. The Lex and Ruby Graham Gardens is on the northside Cremorne Foreshore Walk, with stone steps leading to a secluded bay. In the east, is Blackburn Gardens offering a neat lawn, sundial and also access to Redleaf Beach, while Paddington Reservoir Gardens’ towering arches and palms are set below Oxford Street