Sydney’s Best Kept Secrets

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From glamping to whale watching, we round up Sydney’s best kept secrets for your next Spring vacation down under.

By ShuQi Liu

“With pleasant Spring weather, we are sure to bring along a picnic basket and be on our best selfie behaviour.”

After tripping down Hunter Valley for good food, wines and scenic views during winter, we dived deep into Sydney’s best kept secrets, discovering a few hidden gems to explore in Spring.

1. Glamping at Bubble Tent Australia

Photo by Mayumi Iwasaki

Stargazers and romantics will fall in love with this magical clear dome, overlooking the Capertree Valley near Round Swamp, the second biggest canyon in the world. Just three hours’ drive from Sydney, visitors can get lost in nature and simply be.

This one of a kind tent is constructed with fireproof, commercial-grade PVC. Three transparent spheres, named after zodiac constellations Leo, Virgo and Cancer, sit atop raised wooden decks, giving adventurous glampers a spectacular view of the stars at night and the vast valley during the day. It fully protects guests if it rains, and is strong enough to withstand winds of up to 70 km an hour.

Inside, you will find a chic setup complete with a queen bed, goose down pillows, a hidden sliding cabinet for storage, a luxury vanity and composting toilet. Outside, stairs lead down to a lower deck, boasting an outdoor kitchenette and seating area, an ideal spot to enjoy a glass of local wine and drink in spectacular views.

The host also supplies binoculars and iPad loaded with a birdwatching app, a USB charger, a sun shield, deck slippers, headlamps, an emergency torch, insect repellant, sunscreen and a first aid kit. For cooking, you will find a pan, kettle, serving utensils, cutlery and a herb garden.

From AUD 340 a night, these cute bubble tents are booked up quickly. Subscribe to the website and stay tuned for the latest updates. Remember to bring easily layerable clothing, such as jumpers, thermals, jackets and a beanie. Also pack in food and drink for your stay, a camera and a good book!

2. Jacaranda Season

From late October and all throughout November, tourists and locals alike flock to the fairytale avenue in Kirribilli, where splendid arches of jacaranda trees create dreamlike, lavender-hued domes. The branches curve up and across the street, spreading purple blooms over azure blue skies, creating a lilac backdrop for Spring time lovers.

Scenic Jacaranda spots include the Royal Botanic Gardens, Circular Quay and The Rocks in Central Sydney, McDougall Street, just a five minute walk from Milsons Point train station, and the Eastern Suburbs – Oxford Street, Glenmore Road and Five Ways in Paddington. With pleasant Spring weather, we are sure to bring along a picnic basket and be on our best selfie behaviour.

3. Cocktails at Henry Deane, The Palisade Hotel

Perched atop the historic Palisade Hotel is Henry Deane, a beautiful, airy cocktail space. Boosting “rough luxe” interior styles, this is the perfect spot to take in a bird’s eye view of Sydney. Settle upstairs on one of the millennial pink couches, and enjoy beautifully crafted cocktails and sodas in hand.

4. Lunch at The Gantry Garden

From noon to 2.30pm, lunch leisurely at The Gantry Garden, an open air, waterside dining space with a botanical-inspired ambience. Featuring bespoke floral installations and a floor of green grass, alcoholics can perch themselves in white wicker hanging chairs, relax and sip on champagne.

With free flow bubbles available from AUD 99 per person, the menu is structured around seasonal plates to complement your favourite tipple. Tuck into natural oysters with finger lime and mignonette, or charcoal-grilled kangaroo with pickled pear, radicchio and juniper. Either way, we are sure to be filled at a relaxed, fine dining experience in Sydney, one of the most vibrant food cities in the world.

5. Whale Watching at North Head

Get a good look at a whale within Sydney city. A 30 minute walk from Manly are the untouched bushland and heath-covered cliffs of North Head. The whole sanctuary is so peaceful and pristine, it is hard to believe that you are still so close to the city. With incredible views across the harbour and out into the swell of the Pacific Ocean, regular whale sightings have been reported from August to October.  

All images and information provided by Destination New South Wales.

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