From Beaches to Clubs, Sydney Has it All - Exploring the City
Updated: Jan 13
Since we weren’t able to feed our phones with Instagram worthy food before going to Field Day yesterday, Kara and I tried again by walking over to Paramount Coffee Project first thing on Thursday morning. PCP is also a really popular spot in Los Angeles. The clean, minimalist, extravagant feel of PCP in Sydney was exactly what we were hoping for. I ordered their pumpkin toast (or toastie as they call it in Australia.... adorable) and also forced myself to try some Vegemite...never again.
We then spent a couple hours simply strolling through the streets of Surry Hills and Paddington, gushing over the cute flats and marveling at the random wildlife just chilling on the streets. For example, at one point we saw a bat hanging upside down from a power line. Australia also has a ton of beautiful exotic birds flying around everywhere - a major step up from the pigeons and seagulls that LA is covered in.
I posted all the exciting animals on Instagram, which sparked intense concern from a string of people back in the States, who took it upon themselves to message me and warn me about the creatures crawling around the land down under. While they were right... Australia is filled with insanely deadly wildlife.... I also was in the city, where it’d be out of the normal to come across a python (at least one would hope). However, I did get bitten or stung or something of the sort by an unknown bug, which now, even as I write this seven days later, left a mark on my arm. I have no clue what bit me, but according to a local, I won’t die from it.
After our city/ semi nature walk, we met up with a girl named Alex, who’s also friends with Ashley (the girl whose place we’re staying at) and Keegan (my best friend from home). Alex kindly offered to show us around the beach towns of Bronte and Bondi and together we all headed to a beautiful coastal walk spanning between the two.
We soaked in the marvelous blue ocean water lined with beautiful white sand covered by tourists. Alex pointed out the pools along each beach - bodies of water right off the ocean and on the sand - and then took us to the Icebergs Beach Club.
The Icebergs is a nice club overlooking Bondi beach where you can pay a small fee to swim in their infinity pool. We didn’t take a dip, but we did enjoy a glass of wine while overlooking the breathtaking view.
After that, we walked to Alex’s favorite restaurant, North Bondi Fish. Even though I’m *allergic* to shellfish (a fact I often choose to ignore), I had myself a few oysters and another glass of wine, leaving me feeling pretty good.
My favorite thing about traveling is both meeting new people and running into friends who also spend more of their time in hostels than at home. This is exactly what happened when my friend from college, Taylan, saw my Instagram story at Field Day and dm’ed me to tell me he was there too.
Taylan lives in Bali so he gets to hop all over the place and luckily for me, he happened to be in Sydney while I was! We started texting and discovered that Taylan was only about 200 feet away from me down on Bondi beach with a few friends. We laughed at the absurd coincidence and after paying our bill, Kara, Alex and I joined them.
By this point... and to my dismay... I was completely infatuated with Sydney. When Kara and I first decided to go to Australia, I figured I’d like it, but wouldn’t fall in love with it. The idea of traveling somewhere a bit more hidden and where I don’t speak the language has a greater appeal to me. But, even though Sydney is similar to LA and I can understand the language (not so much the accent though), I still found myself liking it more and more as our day with Alex went on.
As we sat on the beach, I started day dreaming about ways to lease out my apartment, find a job in Australia, and stay. I wish I had planned better and made that happen, but now I know - Sydney is a place I simply have to come back to.
My daydreaming was interrupted when the girls and I decided to move on and explore more of the city. Alex took us to another one of her top pick spots - a rooftop bar in Darlinghurst (near Paddington). We climbed a ridiculous amount of stairs and made our way to the roof, which can most easily be compared to Mama Shelter in Los Angeles, for any of my Angelenos reading this.
For probably the tenth time ALREADY on this trip, we ordered French fries with aioli and wine and got to know Alex, who’s absolutely amazing, even better. Feeling a bit wine tipsy we then went home to squeeze in a much needed nap before continuing our night.
Believe it or not, yet another acquaintance of mine is living in Sydney too and he offered to take Kara and I to some popular nightlife hot spots after our power nap. Salim, who’s originally from Michigan like myself, knows my little sister through the competitive sailing world.
Salim took us first to Opera Bar - a bar on the lower level, outside of the Sydney Opera House. The bar was huge with a sprawling bar and kitchen that featured an impressive view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. After more seafood and…. you guessed it, wine, we all headed off to a well known Sydney club called the Ivy.
Now, I’ve traveled quite a bit and seen nightlife in dozens of different cities - including some of the biggest clubs in the world like Opium in Barcelona and Pacha in Ibiza. And while those clubs are stupidly large, they don’t hold a flame to the Ivy in Sydney. This place was four or so stories tall and was filled to the brim with people. As we waited in line to enter, we were herded like cattle with (and I’m not exaggerating here) thousands of others.
The line filled an entire alleyway both wide and long with people, that’s how many there were wanting to get into the apparently bustling spot. Once we got in, the place was just as packed as the street outside of it was. We wiggled through hundreds and hundreds of individuals until we squeezed our way into the bottom floor where yet another DJ was playing. WE CAN'T ESCAPE EDM IN SYDNEY WHY!
I personally despise clubs, so being here was a challenge. Old Kate loved clubs for their loud music and huge crowds, but new Kate finds it to be extremely overwhelming. Kara and I are luckily on the same page with this, so we stood in the back once again getting more joy out of people watching than partying.
While we didn’t stay long and I certainly will never go back to the Ivy, it was certainly worth seeing and made for one great story.