Tour de force: Sydney

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29 July 2009
Ivy, Sydney. Photo:

See the best of Sydney's urban style and natural beauty with advice from guide Les Goldworthy.

Best bar for cocktails…
The Blue Horizon bar on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La Hotel (for great views of the bridge and the harbour) or Zeta bar at the Hilton Hotel.

For good food, I send people to…
Est on George Street. Head chef Peter Doyle has won many awards. It doesn’t get much better than the modern Australian cuisine he produces.

Best boutique hotel in town…
So many great places to stay in Sydney, but the Establishment always comes to mind. Great decor, great staff, great spot.

Favourite hot spot…
Ivy, without a doubt. It has nine themed restaurants, 18 bars, a pool club and a ballroom for 1000 people.

Best place to see live music…
The Basement near Circular Quay.

If shopping for gifts and mementos, don’t go past…
The Rocks Markets at the top end of George Street on weekends or Paddington Markets on Saturdays.

For a unique Sydney experience…
Try the “Navy Seals” boat ride from Sydney Ocean Adventures at Manly. Jumping waves outside the harbour and racing in and around the cliffs will get your heart pumping.

For a taste of history…
The Museum of Sydney, the site of our first Government House.

For an unforgettable view of the city, head to…
The observation deck at the top of Sydney Tower: uninterrupted 360-degree views. On the ground, the best thing to do is to take an early morning stroll along Circular Quay, past the Opera House, around Farm Cove, through the Royal Botanic Gardens and out to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair. Go just after sunrise, before the tourists arrive, and you’ll be rewarded with scenery that changes with every step and a sensational picture-postcard photo opportunity.

Best way to spend a 24-hour stopover…
As our Ultimate Sydney Tour does: a helicopter flight over the harbour, followed by a walking and driving tour of The Rocks and Royal Botanic Gardens. Lunch is seafood at Bondi Beach. In the afternoon, board a private yacht for a sail around the harbour, sampling Australian wines and produce. In the evening, a behind-the-scenes tour of Sydney Opera House, dinner at Guillaume at Bennelong and a performance.

Most unusual request I’ve had from a visiting client…
Where you could ride a racing kangaroo.

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Source: Qantas The Australian Way August 2009


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