Beach | City | Romance | Food and Wine 01 May 2020

The Ultimate Sydney Weekender Guide

Welcome to Sydney – where big city vibes meet beaches, bars, brunch and one very iconic bridge.

If you and your significant other only have a weekend to spend in Sydney it can be hard to narrow down exactly what to do. 

Our ultimate Sydney weekender guide will help you make the most of your time in this action-packed city, blending the perfect mix of must-see attractions, must-eat restaurants and a little romance on the side. Here’s how to spend 48 hours in Sydney.

Friday Afternoon   

Touch down at Sydney Airport, just 20 minutes from the city’s CBD. Conveniently for you, Oaks have three hotels located right in the heart of the city – Oaks Sydney Goldsbrough Suites in Darling Harbour, Oaks Sydney Castlereagh Suites in Haymarket, or Oaks Sydney Hyde Park Suites overlooking leafy Hyde Park. Check in, drop your bags and let’s get this weekend kick started.

Head straight to Circular Quay for happy hour with waterfront views at the luxe Opera Bar. Sitting here by the bay with the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge as your backdrop is a real “pinch me” moment. Enjoy the beer garden atmosphere and your front row seats to the action.

Friday Night   

Feeling peckish? Time to feast your eyes on Sydney’s smorgasbord of restaurants. Fortunately, you won’t need to venture too far for a great meal. Simply pop over to Darling Harbour and check out The Port for fresh seafood, Hello Auntie for Vietnamese, Harajuku Gyoza Beer Stadium for casual Japanese, or the family-friendly Betty’s Burgers.

If you’re keen to kick on after dinner, head to Frankie’s Pizza for a lively nightcap (or two), The Baxter Inn for creative cocktails, The Swinging Cat for an underground New Orleans-inspired bar or try your luck at finding the hidden Ramblin Rascal Tavern.

Saturday Morning

Weather (and sore heads) permitting, get up nice and early for a brisk 3.5-kilometre stroll along the Bondi to Bronte Coastal Walk, taking you past some of Sydney’s most popular beaches and breathtaking ocean cliffs. Be sure to bring your bathers during the warmer months so you can stop in for dip at Tamarama. If you’re visiting around the end of October to the start of November, you might be lucky enough to catch the free Sculpture by the Sea exhibition along the way.

If you find yourself famished by the time you reach Bronte, there are plenty of cute cafes opposite Bronte Beach Park to refuel and caffeinate before making the trek back to Bondi for brekkie at Bill’s or Porch and Parlour. Alternatively, you can continue on the coastal walk all the way to Coogee and treat yourself to a delicious big brunch at Coogee Pavilion or The Little Kitchen.

Saturday Afternoon

What better way to see our stunning Sydney Harbour than from above – 440 feet above, to be exact – by scaling the famous bridge itself? Bridge Climb Sydney offers three fully guided climbs, ranging from 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours. The spectacular view from the summit is bound to take your breath away and get the adrenaline pumping.

Once you’re back on solid ground, take a short 5-minute walk to The Rocks district, one of Sydney’s most historic areas. Wander the laneways, shops and galleries or simply roam the open-air markets and dig in to some gourmet street food.

Saturday Night

For dinner, if you’re feeling fancy, plan ahead and make a reservation for Quay or Bennelong, two of Australia’s top restaurants with water views. It’s a surefire way to impress your date. For something more casual, try the spicy curries and hoppers at Lankan Filling Station, go for modern Chinese at Mr Wong, or enter Restaurant Hubert, a hidden underground French parlour. 

After fueling up, kick on to Darlinghurst's Oxford Street, famous for hosting the annual Mardi Gras pride parade each February. On a regular evening it’s a nightlife hub loaded with fun bars, clubs and live music. 

Sunday Morning

The best thing about Sunday morning is brunch and one of Sydney’s best brunch spots has to be The Grounds of Alexandria. This innovative and totally Instagrammable space sprawls across a heritage-listed warehouse, courtyard and organic garden, boasting a café, cute little coffee and juice carts, pastry stalls, BBQs, flower stands and even an animal farm. The Grounds is extremely popular, especially on weekend mornings, so be sure to get in early if you want to dine in at the café.

If you arrive later, you can always pop your name down on the waiting list and explore the bustling grounds – there are plenty of grab-and-go baked goods to keep grumbling tummies at bay while you wait for your table.

Sunday Afternoon

If you’re visiting Sydney as a family (and don’t mind missing a long lazy brunch at The Grounds), a trip to Taronga Zoo is always a great way to spend the day together. Taronga Zoo is Australia’s largest zoo, home to over 4,000 animals from over 350 species. If you’re feeling game, you can even take your zoo adventure to new heights and see the animals from above on the Wild Ropes exhilarating high ropes course.

Sunday Night

After a big weekend, there’s nothing better than grabbing some fish and chips, rolling out the picnic blanket and watching the sunset over the water. Fortunately, finding a picturesque sunset spot in Sydney is easy! Stroll down to Bangaroo Reserve or McKell Park to watch the sunset over the harbour, claim prime position on the grassy hills above Coogee Beach to watch the sunset over the ocean, or head out to the beautiful local favourite Neilsen Park.