Sydney, Australia

Sydney has a visual wow factor like few other cities, brilliantly encircling its magnificent harbour and beaches. It only gets better as you scratch the surface.

The city is surrounded by national parks that reach all the way to the centre. While parks wind through skyscrapers and suburbia, large portions of the harbour are still surrounded by wilderness. As a result, local animals show up in unexpected places. Oversized spiders stake out lounge room corners, possums rattle across terrace home roofs, and sulphur-crested cockatoos cry from the railings of city balconies while clouds of flying foxes pass overhead at dusk and spend the night rustling around in suburban fig trees. Sydney’s concrete jungle occasionally resembles an actual one, which makes the city very enticing to visit.  

Urban Sydneysiders take a disco snooze after a relaxing Saturday at the beach before getting ready for the evening. There’s always a fresh eatery to check out, a secret pub to seek out, a cool band to watch, a sports team to yell at, a play to see, or a wild party to attend. The city’s casualness nicely counterbalances its pretence of luxury, so you can get away with a stylish pair of jeans and a great T-shirt in most locations. There are plenty of opportunities, though, among the glittering harbour lights, to dress up and enjoy the evening along the sites of the harbour.  

When it comes to the Harbour City, “brash” is invariably used, and let’s face it, when compared to its Australian sister cities, Sydney is loud, unyielding, and in your face. Fireworks shows are more spectacular, heels are taller, bodies are more toned, contact sports are more severe, stars and drag queens are shinier and glitzier, and prices are higher. The city attracts the best musicians, chefs, actresses, stockbrokers, models, playwrights, and architects from Australia, and the result is stunning: a highly charged, ambitious, idealistic, and unprincipled marketplace of the soul where anything goes and everything typically does.


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