Keep It in the Family
Hop from platform to rope ladder, and let your inner monkey loose at Tree Top Adventure Park. Set among the natural bushland of Plough and Harrow East in the sprawling Western Sydney Parklands, the park lets budding biologists discover indigenous bird species, like the red-capped parrot, during a two-hour guided safari tour. While most of the 90 challenges are open only to children over the age of 10, three sized-down courses let younger tots feel on top of the world.
Dinner is a festive affair at Lowenbrau Keller, a Munich-style restaurant in the city’s historic Rocks district. Little ones are treated to free face painting on weekends, and patrons of all ages sing along to a live band’s foot-stomping German tunes (in between bites of schnitzel).
On Cockatoo Island in Sydney Harbour (a short ferry ride from the mainland), explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s former prison and shipyard with the help of two kid-friendly trail guides (the Convict Clues Challenge and the Ship Shape Challenge). Spend the night camping or glamping (real beds included) at one of the island’s waterfront sites. If tents don’t pique your fancy, rent a furnished apartment or heritage home with views of the harbour.
Make a Scene
With its palm trees, in-pool dance floor and roster of local DJs, Ivy Pool Club feels like an exclusive Hollywood club. Pick a private white cabana by the pool – it comes with the service of a personal waitress – and order a resort-worthy cocktail, like the Coconut Batido (coconut water, Malibu, rum, fresh pineapple, lime juice and agave syrup).
At Momofuku Seiōbo, stylish patrons pack the intimate dining room (which seats 40) to taste Aussie interpretations of David Chang’s signature style. As with the other Momofuku outposts, the Sydney restaurant sources ingredients from local farmers. The constantly changing tasting menu offers such inventive dishes as slow-cooked egg with green tea rice, marron with burnt eggplant and rhubarb and, of course, the chef’s signature pork buns.
Wind down from the party at the Darling, located in the heart of the Star, a Vegas-like entertainment complex with bustling restaurants, nightclubs (including an outpost of Sin City’s Marquee) and a casino. This luxe glass tower offers contemporary, muted-tone sanctuaries with floor-to-ceiling views of the harbour. If jet lag has you feeling down, book a traveller’s retreat at the hotel’s spa, which includes a massage, hydrating facial and a dose of oxygen inhalation. (You’ll feel ready to hit the club circuit in no time.)
Flock to the Beach
Dubbed Sydney’s best coastal walk, the two-hour Bondi to Coogee beach tour zigzags along the edge of the continent, passing through six beaches – we recommend the more secluded Gordon’s Bay or Clovelly Cove – and Waverley Cemetery, where Victorian monuments hug the cliffside. The six-kilometre hike is surprisingly easy, but snack bars and cafés dot the path for those in need of rest or refuelling.
The Bucket List Bar
Sun-kissed beachgoers head to the Bucket List Bar post-surf for Mediterranean-inspired sharing plates (think grilled halloumi with shaved zucchini) or seafood mains like lobster spaghetti. Watch the sunset while sipping a cocktail inspired by the eatery’s name – options include Party with Prince Harry or Learn Flamenco Dancing – and figuratively “knock ’em off your bucket list,” as the menu cheekily advises.
Just a stone’s throw away from the water, Eco Bondi Beach offers two apartments in a renovated Art Deco building. With a green energy supply, recycled furniture and original timber doors, the bright suites check off nearly every box on the eco-friendly list.
Air Canada offers the only nonstop service from Canada to Sydney, with daily nonstop flights from Vancouver.