Sydney has a strong beach culture and whether you want to catch a wave, take a walk or read a book in peace, there is sure to be a beach to suit you. As well as some of the popular beaches below, check out some hidden gems in our local secrets section. (link)
Bondi Beach: Sydney’s most famous beach boasts a kilometer stretch of sand within a 15 minute drive from the CBD. Its wonderful surf makes it a popular spot for surfers and swimmers alike. The beautiful cliff walk all the way to Coogee is great for those looking to exercise or to take in the views.
Tamarama Beach: Known as ‘Glamarama’ to the locals this smaller beach is popular with the pretty people. There is often a beach volley ball game in action and the adjoining park and kiosk make it a local favorite. The surf conditions can make the beach less swim friendly.
Coogee Beach: At the tail end of the cliff walk from Bondi, Coogee Beach is a family friendly beach with calm surf and lots of cafes and restaurants in the vicinity.
Manly Beach: Hop on the ferry from Circular Quay across to beautiful Manly Beach. With good surf conditions and lots of shops and restaurants near by a visit to Manly is a great day out.
Palm Beach About an hours drive from Sydney, Palm Beach has a laid back vibe and is where the rich people rent houses for Christmas. Famous for its deep yellow sand and for being where ‘Home and Away’ is filmed, it makes for a great day trip. If you are feeling energetic you can walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse and then treat yourself to lunch at The Boat House (www.theboathousepb.com.au).
Open Air Cinemas
During the summer months there are a few venues that set up outdoor cinemas for an al fresco cinematic experience. Bring a rug, a picnic and a bottle of wine and enjoy!
- Moonlight Cinema, Centennial Park. www.moonlight.com.au
- Screening new release, classic and cult films on the lawn in Centennial Park. If you are feeling flash you can book a Gold Grass ticket and watch your movie on a reserved, well placed bean bed with a glass of wine. Tickets from $18 - $36 for 3D Gold Grass.
- St George Open Air Cinema, Mrs Macquaries Point. www.stgeorgeopenair.com.au Located adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens, this open air cinema experience is not to be missed. With a huge screen that rises phoenix like from Sydney harbour you have a backdrop of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. A restaurant and Bar is available on site.
- Bondi Open Air Cinema, Bondi Beach. www.bondiopenair.com.au
- With Bondi Beach as a back drop this is a smaller, more laid back venue. Musicians entertain you as the sun sets and free Ben and Jerry’s ice cream every Friday. Tickets sell out fast pre season.
Keeping Healthy in Sydney:
The Great Outdoors
You only have to head to one of Sydney's beaches or parks in the morning to see the active lifestyle on display - people walking their dogs, jogging or cycling as the sun comes up. Want to join them? Try Centennial Parklands (http://www.centennialparklands.com.au/) for good bike and flat walking paths, dog parks and sports such as Tennis, Golf and Horse riding. Or try the great coastal walks in Sydney (such as iconic Bondi to Bronte walk) to get your dose of fitness with a view (http://www.walkingcoastalsydney.com.au/). Check out http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/facilities/parks to find a park near you or try one of the outdoor fitness groups such as www.stepintolife.com.au.
Gyms & Fitness Centres in Sydney
Some Gyms have branches all over Sydney (try www.fitnessfirst.com.au or www.anytimefitness.com.au ) and others are smaller and more local. Some have a focus on Pilates and Yoga (www.elixr.com.au) and some might specialize in spin classes (www.viciouscycle.com.au) . Most have an annual sign up fee in addition to a monthly charge and most will offer you a 1-7 day pass to try before you commit. If you are keen to just pay as you train you can try local fitness centers where you can pay to use the pool or gym (try http://www.cookandphillip.org.au/ which is close to the CBD or http://www.aquaticcentre.com.au/ at Sydney Olympic park.
Sydney and NSW have a great selection of golf courses for those keen to have a round or two. Some, such as Royal Sydney, require you to be a member whilst others, such as Bondi Golf Club allow visitor access along with a view. Our friends at Manly Golf Club offer generous overseas memberships which may suit people who are only moving to Australia for the short to medium term and allow full membership privileges at a fraction of the cost. See: www.manlygolf.com.au
See Sydney in Style:
Charity & Volunteering
Horse and Pony Clubs
www.advance.org This is a global network for Australians and friends of Australians
www.americansociety.com.au This is an American networking and support group based in Sydney
www.bni.com.au This is a business network
www.businesschicks.com.au A business network for women
www.womensnetwork.com.au A business network for women
Great Bush walks in NSW
If you really want a truly Australian experience there is nothing more beautiful than getting into the bush. These are a few of the most memorable bush walks in NSW
Mount Grenfell Historic Site is an old sheep station an hour by car from Cobar and what is especially lovely here as well as the trails through native woodland are the aboriginal rock paintings telling the history of generation upon generation in the depictions of dancing figures, kangaroos and emus.
Cathedral Rock is between Armadale and Dorrigo and the lush landscape is dominated by enormous pink granite bouders which at times you must clamber between to follow the trail.
Glow Worm Tunnel is in the Wolgan Valley in the Wollemi National Park. the tunnel itself is an old railway tunnel and forms part of a 9km trail of which the glow worms at the centre of the tunnel are the highlight!
www.playgroupaustralia.com.au To find a playgroup locally to you