#AdventuresOfAnthro: Sightseeing in Sydney with Madeline Hill

The Adventures of Anthro hashtag often takes us to the far corners of the world. With the tap of a screen we’re exploring the vibrant mercados of Mexico City, another tap and we’re on an idyllic Thai island, another and we’re in Austria’s iconic thermal baths.

This month, it takes us to sun-soaked Sydney with Madeline Hill – the travel-curious mind behind  The Wining Hills. Originally from Texas but now based in Sydney, Madeline and her husband Jeromie’s passion for exploration has taken them to 27 countries in just 6 years.

“Travel has always allowed me to understand people and the way they do things on a more intimate level. I love the excitement of finding an amazing view, learning something new about a culture, and living like a local,” Maddie explains. “Jeromie is an avid wine enthusiast, so we usually pick travel locations with vineyards. Our absolute favourite moments in travel are finding a fantastic view and enjoying a bottle of wine together.”

From the ultimate brunch spot to tips on the best way to see the Sydney Opera House (with aforementioned wine in hand), Madeline takes us on a tour of the city she now calls home.

When to Visit

“Sydney is beautiful all year round but there’s nothing quite like an Australian summer. Visit between November and February for the best of the weather.”

What to Pack

“Sydney has incredible summers – you definitely have to pack accordingly. I would definitely pack comfortable walking shoes for those long walks through the Botanical Gardens or across the Harbour Bridge, a swimsuit for all the fantastic beaches, and definitely layer up the sunscreen.

Where to Stay  

“There are so many great areas base yourself during a stay Sydney – it all depends on what you desire on your doorstep.

Barangaroo is the newest suburb in Sydney with incredible views of the harbour. This area is filled with the coolest bars and restaurants and is a quick walk to all of the tourist areas. It’s the perfect place to stay close to the iconic touristy places, but not be surrounded by tourists.

If those iconic views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera house is what you’re after, I suggest the Pullman at Circular Quay. This hotel has the best views.

If you’re more of a beach person, Bondi has several boutique hotels and Airbnb’s with fantastic views of the beach. Bondi is about 20 minutes outside the city centre, but nothing beats waking up to ocean views and the sound of crashing waves.

Surry Hills is a neighbourhood with so much history – even if you end up staying elsewhere you should pay a visit. This suburb is located a quick train ride into the city and is known for its melting pot of different cultures. It’s one of the older suburbs and has some beautiful, traditional, Australian style houses. Not to mention, it’s known for being one of the foodie suburbs of Sydney.”

Where to Sightsee 

“The most iconic place in Sydney is the Opera House. Take a stroll around the building and admire the architecture. Once you’ve taken it in from all sides, head to the bar just below the Opera House called the Opera Bar for the perfect drink with a view. Afterwards, continue walking through the Botanical Gardens for the best view of the bridge and Opera House in one go. The Botanical Gardens are also home to some amazing plants and wildlife.

It also isn’t a trip to Sydney unless you walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. You can choose to pay and walk across the top of the bridge with a guide or walk for free along the footpath. Either way, there are some amazing aerial views of the Opera House from here. Spend a couple of hours in the Kirribilli neighborhood on the other side of the bridge too – It’s the perfect spot for lunch.

Coogee to Bondi walk is one of my favourite walks in Sydney – there’s a trail that connects all of the beaches and, in my opinion, the coastline views are unbeatable. Spend a couple of hours walking from beach to beach and enjoying all of their different characteristics.

If you’re looking for a day trip that takes you outside of the city, the Blue Mountains is the perfect place to go. It’s around an hour and a half from Sydney and is my absolute favourite place to escape city life. Incredible lookouts over the top of eucalyptus trees really leave you in awe. Our favourite lookouts are Lincoln’s rock located near Wentworth Falls, and the Three Sisters in Katoomba. A must stop is at Bygone’s Beauty’s for high tea – I had the best scones of my life there.”

Where to Wander

Kirribilli is one of the oldest neighbourhoods. If you walk along the water to Lavender Bay you’ll pass the North Sydney Olympic Pool, Luna Park, and enjoy the fantastic views from Lavender Bay.

I also enjoy the walk from Circular Quay to Town Hall – admiring the architecture and mix of old and new buildings.”

Where to Photograph

“I’ve mentioned Kirribilli a few times, but it’s with good reason! It’s home to some of the prettiest houses. With house envy under control, make your way to the hidden Dr. Mary Booth Lookout for an incredible sunset over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House.

There’s one of the most photogenic rock pools in Sydney at Bronte Beach. It’s a beautiful beach, and much less crowded than Bondi.”

Best Off-the-Beaten-Track Tip

“Head to Diamond Bay reserve. It’s a sweeping view of a fantastic coastline just north of Bondi Beach. Close to this point is the Dudley Bay Reserve, a park with a view of the Sydney skyline. Grab a picnic and stay for sunset.” 

Where to Eat

“You can’t miss a trip to The Grounds of Alexandria while you’re in Sydney. This cafe is located in Alexandria near the airport but it’s not just a café – it’s like you’ve entered a food theme park, complete with a lemonade stand, doughnut stand, a flower market, a coffee roastery, this place is incredible! You must try the avocado on toast. The lines do get long, so make sure to go early or make a reservation online.

Speedos Cafe at Bondi beach is my favourite brunch spot in Sydney. It’s known for its healthy brunch options. Try the vegan banana and chia pancakes – they’re absolutely beautiful and delicious too.

The Glenmore is a traditional pub serving up fish and chips in the Rocks suburb. Climb up the stairs to the rooftop seating for spanning views of the city – there’s no better place for a chilled atmosphere with a view.”  

Where to Drink  

“If you’re looking for a beach bar, head to Coogee Pavilion. Head upstairs to the wrap-around bar with beautiful sea views.

A drink with a view is always great way to start the evening too – Hacienda is the place to get that. It’s a Cuban themed bar with fantastic views over the Harbour and some of the most amazing drinks. Try the Passion Fruit Mojito or the Frosé. This place comes alive at night with the young, working crowd.”

Where to Dance

“Oxford Street ad Darling Harbour hold a lot of fun bars – take your pick.” 

Where to Shop

“Paddington is the place for authentic Australian-made clothes. There’s a market every Saturday filled with some of the best designers Sydney has.

As well as being a cool place to stay, Surry Hills is known for its vintage shops; there are some great pieces to find there.

The Rocks is a really fun outdoor market that also shouldn’t be missed. Every Friday, they host a foodie market and every Saturday, a traditional market with handmade products.”

Take us on your next trip: #AdventuresOfAnthro