Lorenzo Corazzin is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing his story in weekly posts on CAPA World. A Global Studies major at the Arizona State University, he is studying abroad in Sydney this semester.
In this week's post, Lorenzo lists his top 10 places in Sydney with the best views around.
This is a personal list of my favorite places in Sydney to see a nice view, experience a good atmosphere, and the city's Australian culture. I have not been here that long so there might be places I have not visited but for now here’s my top 10.
1. Royal Botanical Garden
A view of the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Royal Botanical Garden.
If it’s your first time in Australia or Oceania, you will see species of birds and plants you’ve probably never seen before here at the Royal Botanical Garden. It is very large and situated on a hill just past the Sydney Opera House. There is a monument called Mrs. Macquarie Chair that goes back to the 1800s when the Macquarie family moved into Australia and the wife wanted her own personal view of the city. She was not happy with the result but many tourists are nowadays, as you can see the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Sydney Opera House, and the buildings of the business district all from one spot.
2. Double Bay
I stumbled across this area one day after interning, and I couldn’t have gotten luckier. Double Bay is called this way because there are actually two little bays one next to the other and they create a small, peaceful little gulf. There are many sail boats around with a pier, and it is a residential area so you can breathe the calm and tranquility around.
3. Chinese Garden of Friendship
This place is a testimony of just how much Asian influence there is in the city. It is also a very beautiful place. Located near Darling Harbor, this park has many traditional Chinese buildings and a nice, upscale square in front of it where you can enjoy views of downtown.
4. Gordon's Bay
This is a very small bay on the Coogee to Bondi walk, but it is extremely beautiful. The waters are very clear and transparent, and you can even spot some marine life by looking around.
5. Bondi Beach
This is probably the most famous beach in Sydney, or at least in the top 3. It is pretty large and crowded on sunny days. There are many surfers, and you can tell why with huge waves coming in all day long. An interesting thing is that there is a salt water swimming pool that's quite large in size. The area around Bondi is very well-kept, and you will find markets, hotels, and touristy streets to hang out in.
This is definitely a personal choice and some people familiar with Sydney might not agree with this choice of mine. Leichardt is a suburb 10 minutes west of Central and is located a little uphill from the downtown area. That means that when you are walking down a normal street you get to see the whole business district area with all the big buildings and so on. It sort of reminds me of some streets in Los Angeles. Some people might not like it, but it was pretty cool for me.
7. Barangaroo Reserve
This is the northwestern tip of the downtown area. It is a small park with views of Darling Harbor, the north side of the city, and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. It also offers Aboriginal history tours.
8. Circular Quay
This is the place where you take the ferries or cruises to go around the Sydney area and beyond. It is a very particular place, with some upscale cafes, little green areas, museums, and the Sydney Opera House on its right. It is situated at the north end of the business district so if you are coming from the water, there is a good view of the city.
9. Coogee Beach
Coogee Beach is only a walk away from Bondi, but a little less touristy and nicer in my opinion. This beach is not too big but the water is very clean, and if you walk to the rocks on the side you can get some great views of the ocean. The surrounding area is also nice with a pavilion that has cafés and restaurants and a park right next to the beach.
10. Manly Beach
This is the largest beach I’ve been to in Sydney, and it gets extremely crowded on weekends. To reach it you need to take a ferry from Circular Quay, and then walk through “The Corso”, a pretty street that reminds me of Mediterranean sea towns. Manly has more tourists, more families, and more surfers, or just more people in general. I would not go there for peace and calmness but it can be fun to hang out at.
BONUS: Shelly Beach
This is an area that is a 15-minute walking distance from the south end of Manly beach. It is more reserved in nature. There are usually more young people, and there is a lot of marine life as the water is clear. If you want some cool views, just take the stairs by the beach and take a walk in the green area nearby.
Lorenzo's journey continues every Friday so stay tuned.