The ultimate guide to a weekend in Sydney

Summer is the perfect season to explore Sydney.

With plenty of beaches, sights and culinary experiences on offer, the city makes for a great location to relax and recharge, particularly as we near the end of 2017.

To help you find the best of what the city has to offer, here are four experiences to enjoy when visiting the harbour city.

Where to sleep

The Darling. Picture: Supplied.

Stay in the heart of the city

The Darling is Sydney’s only Forbes rated five-star boutique hotel. Situated in the heart of the city overlooking Darling Harbour, it has something for everyone.

With 171 luxurious rooms, suites and penthouses with bespoke finishing touches waiting for you — there’s even a pillow menu — The Darling is a great place to base yourself during your stay. While you’re there, you can:

Rejuvenate in luxury

The Darling Spa is one of the most luxurious in Sydney, featuring 11 treatment rooms, a Moroccan Hammam chamber, Zen Lounge, Tea Lounge, steam room and jacuzzi. The spa offers all the usual range of treatments – from facials and massages to body wraps – as well as a few signature treatments, like their pregnancy treatment, designed to give expecting mothers the nurturing they need during their pregnancy.

There are also two exclusive “couples suites” for those enjoying a romantic getaway, and a Men’s Zone offering a range of masculine treatments.

What to see

BridgeClimb Sydney via Getty Images

Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Bridge Climb is one of the most iconic tourist activities in Australia, so there’s no excuse locals have for not doing it. The climb offers unique views of the Sydney Opera House, the city skyline and the surrounding suburbs.

Learn something new

While it’s usually known for its incredible restaurants and fancy boats, Darling Harbour is actually an awesome hub of learning resources for family day trips. The “must dos” are the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium, the Wild Life Sydney Zoo and the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Swim, surf or sail

If you’re staying in the city, the Manly Fast Ferry will get you out to one of the city’s most beautiful beaches for the day, where surf instructors can help you maneuver the waves like a pro, or you could take a short trip to East Sail at Rushcutters Bay to take a sailing course. Either way, there’s no better place to be on a sunny day than on the harbour.

Where to eat

Sokyo restaurant at The Darling. Picture: Supplied.

Experience fine dining at its best

The Darling is home to Sokyo restaurant by award-winning chef Chase Kojima. Kojima has crafted a menu that blends Japanese tradition with contemporary flare. From sushi and sashimi to the opulence of grilled salmon with fermented cabbage and egg plant miso, and a wine list that’s one of the cities’ finest.

The restaurant has a moody, energetic vibe and a lounge bar for more casual dining. The one-of-a-kind breakfasts are also a must.

Taste the Big Apple Down Under

Momofuku Seiōbo, David Chang’s first restaurant outside of New York City, is well-known for it’s innovative but sustainable approach to food and farming. Executive Chef Paul Carmichael brings a wealth of knowledge from all over the world, but you only have to visit Darling Harbour to experience it.

Or sample something a little more Aussie

Sometimes you just want a good steak – never fear, Black Bar and Grill has you covered with a contemporary Australian menu from Head Chef Dany Karam. And if you’re not that hungry, enjoy the stunning views of the city and harbour skyline while sipping on a signature cocktail.

What to do

Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.

Lift, climb or swim

Whether you want to get into shape, improve your health or run a marathon, the Darling Gym is the perfect place to start. The gym boasts a state-of-the art boutique fitness centre with a Kinesis wall and Technogym equipment. For those in need of a little guidance or motivation, the gym also offers personal training by appointment.

If the gym isn’t your preference, the Darling’s custom-designed 25m outdoor pool is heated to 26 degrees year-round, offering a great alternative to the weights room.

Run from Bondi to Bronte Beach

The Bondi to Bronte trail is one of the most iconic pedestrian tracks in Sydney, thanks to its panoramic ocean views. At approximately 4km long it’s a quick and easy run. But for those who want to take it a little further, the track continues to Coogee, adding another couple of kilometres to your journey. Of course, the scenery is so spectacular, we don’t blame you if you end up walking so you can take it all in.

Take on the rapids at Penrith Whitewater Stadium

Originally built for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, the stadium now offers guided or self-guided whitewater rafting and kayaking.

Hike the Blue Mountains

The World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park is a hiker’s wonderland. The most well-known landmark there is the Three Sisters, but there are hundreds of hikes ranging from beginners to experienced. If that doesn’t sound appealing, you can always stop at Katoomba’s Paragon café for their famous scones, and tell yourself you’ll hike it off another day.

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