{Down Under Travel Guide} What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

January 15, 2018

Hello y'all!

I finally got some time to blog about my recent travel to Australia. Trust me, it's not easy when you have over 2000 photos in various memory cards to sort out. I'm just happy that my post didn't take a year to finish (well sort of, since now we're in 2018...) Anywho, I'm so proud to finally add a few pins to the other side of the hemisphere on my travel map.

Sydney Opera House - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney


What to Expect From Flying to Sydney

I'll be honest with you, the flight from Toronto (where I live) to Sydney was not an exciting one. A total of 22 hours flight including layover in Vancouver with Air Canada. And crying babies surrounded my seat certainly did not help the situation as well. To help get through the flight, Will and I took an entire carry-on of snacks and chocolates. But little did we know that travellers are not allowed to bring in any food items to their country! We tried to finish all our snacks on the flight to a point where we couldn't stuff ourselves anymore. We googled as soon as we landed and every webpages indicated about the no food rule, unless we declare them and get ourselves quarantined. So, we declared the remaining snacks. And luckily, the quarantine queue wasn't that long. But it was our first time to see dogs come out to sniff our bags at custom.

Where to Stay in Sydney

Travelodge Sydney Wynyard - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney We stayed at Travelodge Sydney Wynyard on our first night in Sydney. This hotel was located in the heart of the city. Only a short distance away from Darling Harbour and other popular sightseeing attractions! Let me tell you, things were not cheap in Sydney. So being able to walk around saved us some cost. However, for a hassle-free experience, you could also take their shuttle to and from the airport for additional $16 per person. 


Click here to book the same hotel and get $25

China Town Sydney - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

After we came back from our detour to Cairns, we stayed in this Airbnb apartment located in Chinatown for 4 days. This was another great location that's very central to everything in Sydney! This cozy studio didn't have all the bells and whistles but it was fully equipped with a laundry machine and wifi! And the best thing for us was that many different eateries were just down the apartment and 5 mins walk to Darling Harbour.


Click here to get $45 off on your first trip at Airbnb


What to do in Sydney

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

Sydney Opera House -  Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

You really can’t say you’ve been to Sydney without seeing the famous Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge! I remember back in primary school, we had to pick something to draw in art class. Out of everything I could draw, I chose to draw the Opera House which I hadn’t even been. And guess what? I came in 4th place when my teacher submitted my drawing to a regional art contest. So the Sydney Opera House held a very special place in my heart and I was ecstatic that many years later I finally got to see it in person! The Opera House was more beautiful than the picture I see from postcards.

While you’re there, be sure to visit the Opera Bar. People like to gather here at this harbourfront patio and drink in front of the Opera House. Grab a bottle of beer and embrace in this popular Sydney experience during sunset. Life’s as good as it gets.

Now, if you're feeling adventurous, you could take the Bridge Climb. YUP! You actually climb up to the top of the Harbour Bridge while looking over the stunning view of Sydney Harbour!

Harbour Bridge Sydney Sydney Opera House -  Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Darling Harbour

Darling Harbour -  Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Darling Harbour -  Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

This harbour was located at the outskirts of the central business district, and had become a recreational area to wine down and dine while facing one of the most gorgeous views! Here, you could find plenty of bars, restaurants, Sea Life Sydney Aquarium and Wild Life Sydney Zoo. We strolled around on our first day for a much relaxed time after the long flight. The scene was even more beautiful at night.


Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Bondi Beach - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Sydney reminded us of Toronto and Hong Kong combined especially with its diversified food scenes and its British influences. So, nothing was overly refreshing for us until we got to spend an afternoon at Bondi Beach. This beach was breathtaking! We spent an entire afternoon there sunbathing and listening to the waves hit. You could take surf lessons or work out at the outdoor gym in the park or shop in the markets. Men surfing with their six-packs and women with long slender legs were just a normal sight on this beach. Yes, I was actually checking them out.  Getting there was also very straightforward. We took the bus with the Opal card (unlimited ride for $2.60!) from our Airbnb in China Town, and got off at the closest Bondi Beach bus stop in about 45 minutes. There were two stops at Bondi Beach. You’d see everybody trying to get off on the first stop. But, the second stop actually got you right at Bondi Pavilion and saved you from walking.

Bondi Beach - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Bondi Beach - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Bondi to Coogee Walk


Down Under Travel Guide: Sydney - Bondi to Coogee Walk

You really wouldn’t want to miss this walk! After we got a shade darker from chilling at Bondi Beach, we followed along the scenic trail to Coogee Beach. A splendid 6 km coastal walk that was well-worth working those calf muscles. You could really feel that Australian active lifestyle here.

Bondi to Coogee Walk - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Saltwater Infinity Pool at Bondi Icebergs Club

We came across the Icebergs Club along the trail to Coogee Beach. You could swim in their saltwater infinity pool for $6.50 while looking over the ocean. Around the corner of Bondi and Bronte Beach, you'd find a lawn bowling club with the same picturesque view. But unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to try it. Just imagine playing lawn bowling bare feet on a cliff top looking at the Pacific Ocean! The trail was also under construction when we were there so we followed the detour into one of the nicest cemeteries we had ever seen. It wasn't eerie at all. In fact, the experience was peaceful and ethereal. And we got to see all the historical monuments from prominent Australians. The entire walk from Bondi to Coogee took us less than 2 hours to finish and was actually what made us fell in love with Sydney!

Saltwater Infinity Pool at Bondi Icebergs Club - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Saltwater Infinity Pool at Bondi Icebergs Club

Barefoot Lawn Bowling on Cliffs at Clovelly

Barefoot lawn bowling facing Sydney's best view - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Barefoot lawn bowling facing Sydney's best view

Paddy's Market

Paddy's Market - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in SydneyYou could find t-shirts, shot glasses and cool knick-knacks plastered with the words Australia and Sydney in this huge marketplace. Stalls and stalls of souvenirs for you to bring home.


The Rocks and The Rocks Market

The Rocks - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

I was amazed at the strong historic flare in central of Sydney. We explored around this charming neighbourhood for a bit, and found that it was actually very close to the Harbour Bridge. In fact, the best thing about Sydney was that their famous attractions were all fairly close together. You could potentially walk from one attraction to another with no trouble. The best spot here for me was The Rocks Market. An outdoor weekend marketplace with booths of street eats and handmade goods. I love checking out this kind of artisan markets. 


Rocks Market - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Aboriginal Cultural Festival

Aboriginal Cultural Festival - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Indigenous Australians populated Australia prior to British colonization. Today, you could find festivals across the country and Sydney celebrating this oldest cultures of Australia throughout the year. 

Hike the Blue Mountains


Just a 2-hour train ride from Sydney, we took a day trip to World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park. Blue Mountains encompasses all the natural wonders in one spot. We hiked up the steepest cliffs, passed through eucalyptus forests, waterfalls, and rode on the scenic skyway above ancient ravines across mountains. If you're a nature-lover, you'd love all the wildlife and bushwalking that Blue Mountains have to offer. 

Stay tuned for my post on Blue Mountains!



Where to Eat in Sydney


Sydney Fish Market

The Sydney's Fish Market was an impromptu visit. We had a great time at the world’s largest fish market when we were in Japan so we thought we’d pay a visit when we found out that Sydney also has a large fish market. And boy, were we glad that we went! Australia was known for their seafood and in here, you got a large variety of seafood, delis, wines and baked goods to choose from. We ended up feasting (again) and it was one of the best meals we had in Sydney. Try the sushi donut. It was delicious and absolutely Instagram worthy!


Sydney's Fish Market - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Sushi Donuts - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Sushi Donuts from Fish Market Cafe at Sydney's Fish Market

Ume Burger

We came here on our first night in Sydney and got our first taste of what this city had to offer. Ume was famous for their mouthwatering burger patties combined with Japanese elements for a cultural twist. A pleasant dining experience along with their Japanese soda and beer all while taking in the waterfront view.

Ume Burger - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Ume Burger with Wagyu Mince Sauce and Menchi Burger with handmade pork katsu


Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Like I mentioned before, Sydney reminded me of my birthplace, Hong Kong, and it was even more prominent when we were in China Town. I wanted to try Old Town because I couldn't have possibly pass up this place with the word, Hong Kong in their name. And I'm patriotic this way. The restaurant serves Cantonese style dishes like Peking duck, dim sum, soup dumplings, noodles, congee, stir fried seafood and roasted meats to name a few. They also serve the "Typhoon Shelter" type seafood which had always been a popular dish in Hong Kong. The place was busy and dim-lit with a modern twist of the old Hong Kong street inspired decor. This place brought back my memories.

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Preserved Egg & Lean Pork Congee

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Curry Beef Brisket Hot Pot

Pancakes on the Rocks

We came here for brunch before we boarded the cruise ship to New Zealand. Pancakes on the Rocks was conveniently located near the pier where our ship was docked. From the rave reviews online, we wanted to try it before we say goodbye to Sydney. They had a huge selection of pancakes for those of you with a sweet tooth and unfamiliar with the pancake trends from America. Otherwise, they also offer your usual pub fare like grilled meats, salads, pizzas as well.

Pancakes on the Rocks - Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Devil's Delight from Pancakes on the Rocks

PappaRich Malaysian Delights

I confess that prior to coming to this restaurant, I wasn’t a regular Malaysian food diner. But PappaRich Malaysian Delights did an excellent job in executing this south Asian cuisine. We tried their freshly baked Hainan bread served with butter and this coconut jam thing called Kaya. It was delicious! Don't mistaken Kaya as wasabi. The paste was sweet with a subtle coconut flavour. The second best thing after Condensed milk on a toast! You gotta try it to understand.

PappaRich Malaysian Delights: Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney
Pappa Special Biryani Rice with Sambal eggplant, fried chicken and Sambal prawns (left), Nasi Lemak with curry chicken (right)

Toasted Hainan Bread with Butter and Kaya from PappaRich Malaysian Delights


Streets of Barangaroo

Streets of Barangaroo: Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

If you don’t have a particular craving, exploring the streets of Barangaroo is worthwhile. Barangaroo is Sydney's newest harbourside hub where you could shop, eat and stroll along the beautiful Barangaroo Reserve right on the side of the harbour. Many restaurants alongside the harbourfront that might tickle your fancy.

Regent Place Shopping Centre

Regent Place Shopping Centre: Down Under Travel Guide: What You Can Eat and Do in Sydney

Ultimately, if you just needed a quick bite and a cheaper option, you could also explore the different eateries inside Regent Place Shopping Centre, including Hakka cuisine, Japanese Izakaya, ramen, Uncle Tetsu's cheesecake, desserts etc. We had ramen at one of the eateries here and it was affordable.


I hope this guide was useful to you guys who are planning to visit Sydney for the first time! Let me know your thoughts in the comment box below.

Stay tuned for my post on My First Scuba Diving Experience at the Great Barrier Reef!

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Check out my travel guide for other cities!


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Hello, my name is Lorita. This is a journal of my personal style, travel adventures, food excursions, recipe experiments, DIY tutorials and every little thing in life.


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