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Three Perfect Days: Sydney

From Bondi Beach to Woolloomooloo Bay, outdoorsy Sydney is the coolest town Down Under

Author Steven Kurutz


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WHEN THE FIRST EUROPEAN SETTLERS WASHED ASHORE IN SYDNEY, they found it so inhospitable they weighed anchor, making camp ten miles north, where downtown now stands. There, battling famine, drought and disease, they nearly died off trying to farm the sun-baked land and tame the elements. If only those beleaguered pioneers could see Sydney today. Ferries and pleasure boats cruise the azure waters of a harbor framed by skyscrapers and, beyond that, leafy suburbs that roll like breakers to the coast. In few major cities is the natural environment and its raw beauty so fully on display as it is here; it’s as if the city understands how remote it is from the rest of the world and has amplified its charms to catch our attention. Natives of restrained Melbourne might consider Sydney too flashy, but where else but in this beach town–with-brains do bankers and hard-bodied surfers coexist in such harmony? (The secret: As often as not, they’re the same people.) And while the local motto may be “No worries,” a measured, hardworking temperament keeps the city from slipping into resort-town frivolity. It’s the right of locals the world over to champion their city as the most beautiful in the world, but when a Sydneysider says it, you might find yourself agreeing.

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