Sydney, Australia, surrounding its spectacular harbour, combines the beauty of a beach town with the endless possibilities of a modern metropolis. It’s a good idea to get an early start here since restaurants begin serving breakfast at seven and most pubs close by midnight. To make the most of the day, set your alarm early. Also, walking is the best way to explore the city. There’s plenty of public transportation but wait times can exceed thirty minutes, so enjoy the sights and sounds while you stroll around Sydney.


Breakfast at Pablo & Rusty's

Though always packed, Pablo & Rusty’s in the City Centre and Haymarket is well worth a visit. Designed in wood and brick, this appealing cafe offers a variety of top-notch coffee options, as well as a number of breakfast and lunch specials, including sourdough sandwiches, tuna poke with brown rice or lychee and ginger tapioca. The traditional breakfast, which is served until noon, features two poached eggs, thick-cut bacon, and fried potato, as well as toast. The coffee menu showcases Pablo & Rusty’s house blend, Trailblazer, which is sweet and textured with notes of fresh red berries. The Pioneer blend is a bit spicier with caramel notes, and the Porter Street is a classic espresso with chocolate and maple syrup notes. Given that the breakfast is sizable, sample a couple of cups of java to make sure you have the energy for the long day ahead.

Up Close and Personal: Sydney Taronga Zoo

Australia is synonymous with koalas and kangaroos; therefore, a visit to Sydney would not be complete without spending some time with these furry friends. The Sydney Taronga Zoo offers intimate tours of its facilities for an in-depth understanding of the local fauna. Located on the harbor, the zoo is home to a number of species, including wallabies, orangutans, giraffes and wombats. The tour allows guests to go behind the scenes to see the food preparation process, as well as other facilities. To wrap up the visit, you'll be served a snack at Harbourview Cafe and receive a commemorative souvenir. Since admission to the zoo is included in the tour package, visitors are encouraged to spend the day exploring the variety of exhibits and shows either before or after the tour.

Quay: Modern Australian Cuisine

Located in Circular Quay and The Rocks, Quay, considered by many Sydney’s best restaurant, serves delectable and creative modern Australian cuisine. The restaurant, headed by chef Peter Gilmore, who says his cuisine is inspired by nature, has been named one of the top 50 eateries in the world. Signature dishes include the Snow Egg, a poached meringue with ice cream covered in a tuile and served on a fruit fool and granita bed, sashimi of bluefin tuna with horseradish cream and wasabi flowers in white tea jelly, and lobster served whole, in a sauce and as a mousseline dumpling. Quay also serves mulloway sourced from an aquafarm in Palmers Island, New South Wales. One of the highlights of dining at Quay is the view of the harbor from the expansive windows that surround the restaurant. Gilmore also manages the kitchen at Bennelong Restaurant at the Sydney Opera House.

The fact that Sydney gets an early starts and shuts down relatively early in comparison to most metropolitan cities is simply a testament to the city’s energy. Whether it’s surfing or sightseeing, you’ll need to be well-rested to take in the endless sights and sounds of Sydney, a city chock-full of cultural offerings, such as the Sydney Opera House, the Royal Botanic Gardens, established in 1816, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Australian Museum, a natural history museum. Also, for children, the Powerhouse Museum offers a series of interactive exhibits.