A Luxury Guide To Sydney

Sun, surf, star dining and impeccable style — Sydney has it all. Here, we deliver a comprehensive guide on what to see, and where to eat, stay and play in the Southern Hemisphere’s hottest luxury destination.

If there is one place which perfectly encapsulates the phrase “where the city meets the sea”, the stunning harbour oasis of Sydney — Australia’s largest town, and the crowning capital of New South Wales — unequivocally takes the title.
Artfully ensconced among swirls of sapphire ocean, and beautifully draped around stretches of sandy coastline, sunburnt cliffs, pristine coves and grassy parks — the distinctive skyline of this modern metropolis unites majestically with nature to greet visitors with an exquisite visual masterpiece on arrival — promising adventure, discovery and a paradisiacal escape to remember.

Recognised as one of the world’s most attractive destinations, this historically young supermodel of a city could arguably seduce travellers based on stunning looks alone — but its geographical beauty is just an opener to the extraordinary experience that awaits those who set foot on its striking, sun-kissed shores.
Offering a unique fusion of first-class living and cosmopolitan culture, with a leisurely lifestyle vibe which is lauded the world over, Sydney’s magnetizing appeal as a singular luxury hotspot has long defied its far-flung location — 8-20 hours from most international airports — and the city continues to turn heads amongst affluent jet-setters from all over the globe.

Last year alone, the city attracted more than 8.8 million international visitors, and its permanent ultra-wealthy population is projected to increase by 70% over the next 10 years to 2,091 UHNWIs — a statistic which continues to coax prestige international brands from Bottega Veneta, to Tiffany & Co, Louis Vuitton and Longines to launch new stores there in recent times as they move to stake their claim on its increasing appeal, and cater to the city’s top spenders.

At its core, is Sydney’s beating corporate heart, referred to as the Central Business District (CBD), with the busy main artery of George Street running through it (which has just been made pedestrian-friendly); and around it — in the area which spans from the scenic ferry port of Circular Quay, to the historic domain of The Rocks, and the touristic hubs of Darling Harbour, King St Wharf and Cockle Bay — is where you’ll find some of the city’s most iconic architectural landmarks.

It’s hard to miss the famed silhouette of the Sydney Opera House with its distinctive, white sail-shaped contours on entry, juxtaposed across the bay by the equally famous (and impressive) Harbour Bridge, which connects the city’s urban side with its breezier Northern half, and provides a gateway to the sleepy, upper-class communes of Palm Beach, Avalon and Terrigal further up the coast.

Reaching skywards from the luxury shopping complex of the Westfield city mall, overlooking the bustling retail strips of Pitt, Castlereagh and Market Streets, is the pinnacle of Sydney Tower – the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of Sydney’s tallest structures, where visitors can enjoy 360-degree views of the city centre and the mosaic of suburbs around it, which have had it dubbed the “City of Villages”. 

Politically Sydney is divided in 38 local government areas, each consisting of several suburbs — and while each of these localities have their own unique atmosphere and local characteristics, for those on the hunt for the best Sydney has to offer in the luxury sphere, its hard to look past the key hubs of the CBD, Inner City and Eastern suburbs, along with a few select areas in the North.
Closest to the CBD — off the beaten tourist track of Circular Quay, Darling Harbour and the like — the must-see essentials include the sophisticated finger wharves of Walsh Bay and Woolloomooloo, for evening shows at the prestigious Sydney Dance Company, paired with waterfront dining, cocktails and slick city vibes; while the trendy enclaves of Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, and Potts Point offer leafy laneways, cool bars and lively cobbled streets which are home to the city’s hip elite, and the fashion/media milleu
To the East, the chic, tree and terrace-lined streets of Paddington, Woollahra, Double Bay, and Rushcutters Bay provide a picturesque haven of boutique designer shopping, pretty cafes, and bespoke galleries and exhibitions, just steps away from some of Sydney’s most famous surf spots — including the magnificent Bondi Beach, brunch favourite Bronte, and the chic inlet of Tamarama (aptly nicknamed ‘Glamarama’) — all frequented by a breezy and beautiful crowd.

For spectacular views in lush settings with style, the wealthy enclaves of Vaucluse, Watsons Bay and Nielsen Park on Sydney’s South Head peninsula are perfect for privacy and posh picnics by the beach.
To the Inner West, the arty, alternative and music-filled areas of Newtown, Chippendale, Glebe, Balmain and Rozelle blend bohemian atmosphere, with historic pubs, quirky shops and antique storefronts, hosting a variety of eclectic markets on weekends which are a favourite for foodies and locals. 

North across the bridge, the quieter, upper-class communes of Milsons Point, Kirribilly, Manly and Mosman offer visitors a scenic escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, where breezy, al-fresco eating, pristine bays and tranquil surroundings are an intrinsic part of the package


Peppered across Sydney like natural emerald jewels are a selection of parks which offer cool and relaxing respite from the daily grind amidst lush greenery and grassy spaces — including Hyde Park in the heart of the CBD, Centennial Parklands en route to the Eastern beaches, and the Royal Botanical Gardens, famous for its jungle-set surrounds with stunning harbour views. 

Recommended day trips outside of the city include: an escape to the spectacularly wild and deliciously unspoiled Northern Beaches (Palm Beach is highly recommended); the Hunter Valley for a wine tour amongst acres of gardens and vineyards in one Australia’s most notable wine-producing regions; Hyams Beach at Jervis bay to walk along the whitest sand in the world; and the Blue Mountains or Royal National Park for forests, waterfalls and nature at its best!

*Original article: www.tidlrs.com

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