I was in Sydney for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia a little over a week ago, and while it was an amazing experience in itself, I loved getting the chance to explore Sydney where the event was held.
I’ve been to Sydney a couple of times before and enjoyed myself immensely every single time. So why not share my favourite things to do (plus one I’m dying to try) while in the city?
1. Taking scenic walks by the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Start your day at the renowned lookout spot Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair for picture-perfect shots of the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. It was a joy just soaking up the atmosphere and taking in the stunning views. Other great spots for some photo-taking include Circular Quay and the neighbouring The Rocks. Beware of the high volume of tourists though, I had to plead with a couple of tourists to not walk into my shot while I was taking an OOTD!
Once you’ve seen it (and taken photos of it) from afar, I recommend taking a leisurely stroll down towards the Sydney Opera House. I’ve been there three times on separate occasions and it's really nothing compared to seeing it with your own eyes!
2. Soaking in the Darling Harbour atmosphere
For the first leg of my #MBFWA trip, my fellow bloggers and I stayed at QT Sydney Hotel, which is located right at the heart of the CBD. Given that Darling Harbour was only a 10 minute stroll away, we found ourselves gravitating towards the area every evening.
It is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious harbourside meal or simply just to experience Sydney's energetic night-life. My secret tip? Visit the Darling Harbour right before the sun sets, when it looks the most magical.
3. Visiting the Powerhouse Museum
The Powerhouse Museum was definitely one of my favourite surprise finds. And if you're into fashion, you'd love what the Powerhouse Museum has in store this season!
One of the most popular (and strictly limited and exclusive) exhibitions amongst fashion enthusiasts is Isabella Blow: A Fashionable Life. It features the private collection of late fashion visionary Isabella Blow with looks ranging from Alexander McQueen (whom she discovered), renowned Irish milliner Philip Treacy, British-Turkish designer Hussein Chalayan, Welsh designer Julien Macdonald, and more.
There, I had the rare chance to see over 45 of her own outfits including clothing, hats, shoes and jewellery from more than 20 of the world's top fashion designers, photographs from key fashion photographers and hats from Philip Treacy's personal archives. I was particularly eyeing a couple of her Manolo Blahniks on display!
Also, if you're as into Aussie labels as I am, you're in for a treat as I was incredibly excited to visit internationally acclaimed Australia-based fashion designer Collette Dinnigan’s exhibition, Collette Dinnigan – Unlaced, held exclusively at the Powerhouse Museum as well!
This exhibition features ensembles, accessories, archival material and even an insight into her creative mind and workspace. This was hands down, my favourite place in the entire museum!
4. Checking out Vivid Sydney
I had to fly back home before the launch of Vivid Sydney, so I was bummed I didn't get to experience Sydney’s unique annual event of light, music and ideas! It features an outdoor 'gallery' of extraordinary lighting sculptures, a cutting-edge contemporary music programme, some of the world's most important creative industry forums and, of course, the spectacular illumination of the Sydney Opera House sails! I missed it this year, but I’m definitely putting it in my Must-Do list for 2017.
5. Chilling on Bondi Beach
I’ve been to Bondi Beach multiple times but I still can't get over its beauty and make it a point to visit it every time I'm back in Sydney. It's impossible to not fall in love with the picturesque spot!
Just imagine watching a glorious sunrise before an invigorating swim in the turquoise waters or a stroll on the smooth white sand. Then, rolling out a beach towel and relaxing on the fine sands while enjoying spectacular views of the vast Pacific Ocean. Sounds heavenly, doesn’t it?
You can also learn to surf at an accredited surf school or just take a ton of photos because every shot of Bondi will definitely look ah-may-zing!
6. Going on a culture walk
We decided to take a shot by going on a walking tour with Aussie tour guides Culture Scouts as we wanted to explore the creative, artsy side of Sydney. My fellow bloggers and I were taken around one of Sydney’s suburbs, Newtown, and we were blown away by the street art, food and eclectic vibes of the area.
If you have two hours to spare, you HAVE to go on this guided walk as no one will take you through the back-streets of this buzzing suburb as well as the Culture Scouts!
7. Taking a ride on a Sydney Seaplane
This was by far my most amazing experience in New South Wales! We were treated to a magical day out with a Sydney Seaplane flight along Sydney’s Northern Beaches to Palm Beach. This is an iconic Sydney experience you won't want to miss!
It’s very romantic too — we discovered that two of the females on our flight were proposed to during the trip. So boyfriends, how about taking a cue for that secret proposal?
8. Dining by the waterside
The food in Sydney is amazing, but one thing that can make any dining experience even better is one with a view. Beautiful by day and magical by night, some of the most enjoyable dining locations can be found on Sydney City's doorstep.
In Sydney, a love of all things aquatic and coastal translates to extraordinary waterside dining. And what better place to start than Bondi Beach? Icebergs Dining Room and Bar is home to a modern Italian menu and one of the best restaurant views in the world. It was packed every single day during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia and was almost impossible to get a table without a reservation!
Part of our Sydney Seaplanes flight trip was enjoying a meal at Jonah’s. From our table in this light and airy restaurant perched on a clifftop, Jonah’s offers a panoramic ocean backdrop to add to the enjoyment of a meal cooked by Peter Ridland.
Ridland’s credentials include working at the 2-Michelin star restaurant Le Gavroche in London and the 3-Michelin star Restaurant Regis in France. The delectable food was complemented by a beautiful, romantic view, making it perfect for couples.