There’s an aspect to human nature that always makes us want what we can’t have. Who hasn’t experienced itchy feet over the past year and a half while we’ve been mostly cooped up at home? Now that tourism is getting back underway, many of us are wanting to make up for lost time and get on a plane to see those places that have been lurking on a bucket list for years.
Australia features in many such lists, and although it will probably be the last country to fully return to normal, it will only be a matter of time. Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth all have their own distinct vibe, but if you only visit one city Down Under, make it Sydney – and if you only visit one neighborhood, head for The Rocks. Nestled between the Barangaroo Reserve and the Royal Botanic Garden, it marks the original landing place of the first settlers, so is rich in history. It is also where the rich and famous go to party. Let’s look at some of the must-sees.
The first thing to think about is where to stay. People tend to gravitate to the Park Hyatt, nestled under Sydney Harbour Bridge with views of the Opera House. However, The Crown is Sydney’s most exclusive address. As well as the luxury hotel rooms, there are apartments that change hands for millions of dollars, so it’s a great place for celebrity spotting.
Australians are well known for their love of a wager, and The Crown is part of a luxury casino group. However, locals and visitors wanting to enjoy a game of blackjack or roulette will have to satisfy themselves with online and pay by mobile casino providers for the time being, as The Crown is still awaiting the issuance of a gambling license.
If you can drag yourself away from the opulence of the hotel, it is a 15 minute stroll to The Rocks’ most famous feature, its historic market. Sensible shoes are a must to negotiate the cobbled streets, in what is essentially Sydney’s birthplace.
The variety of stalls is too numerous to mention. There’s a big emphasis on art and fashion, and if you are an enthusiast of vintage clothing and jewelry, you’ll be truly in your element. Then there’s the food. There’s every type of cuisine imaginable, from European fine dining to Asian street food – and plenty of traditional Aussie tucker, too!
A great thing about The Rocks is the number of pop up exhibitions and events, so you never know what experience is waiting around the next corner. But don’t neglect the more traditional attractions and landmarks.
You might think opera is not your thing, but it’s an experience you shouldn’t dismiss till you’ve tried it. Even if you don’t go in, the Opera House is still essential for a photo opportunity. Also, be sure to check out the Discovery Museum. The exhibits and interactive displays will give you a new understanding of this unique part of the city.