Consider our Travel Diaries series your digital passport. Follow along as we give you a sneak peek into where our wellness-centric contributors are headed for some R&R. This week, we’re tagging along with yogi and hormone expert Fern Olivia on her Sydney excursion.
In my opinion, Australia is one of the most amazing places to visit in the world, and Sydney completely stole my heart. Where else can you find stunning coastline, varied landscapes, unique wildlife, bustling cities, and some of the friendliest, most down-to-earth people around? I've been lucky enough to explore Australia in the past, and I'm so excited to be going back this fall to host a yoga training. For anyone looking to take an immersive trip to Sydney anytime soon, here are a few of my top tips.
What to do:
1. Take a beach walk.
I have two favorite trails in Sydney: the Bondi Beach to Coogee Beach walk—a spectacular two-hour waterside walk dotted with beaches, cliff tops, rock pools, and parks, and the Spit Bridge to Manly Beach Walk—a trail that delivers a mix of bushland and open-ocean views. If you're going either route, I'd recommend a bathing suit so you can dip into as many beaches as possible along the way! They bring you face to face with literally every type of shoreline, from white sandy beaches to hidden coves to private rocky alcoves. Along the Bondi to Coogee trail, you'll also find the Icebergs, an iconic outdoor pool club carved into the cliff that blends seamlessly into the deep blue ocean.
2. Walk around the harbor.
Sydney Harbor always puts on a great show, no matter what time of the year you're visiting. Go for a night stroll overlooking the water as the lights illuminate the Opera House, the Harbor Bridge looms above, and Luna Park shines in the distance. Beyond beautiful.
3. Check out the local nature and wildlife.
For a day trip from Sydney's city center, I'd recommend checking out the spectacular Blue Mountains just two hours away. Home of the Three Sisters mountain range, it makes for a great day hike. You can also visit great national parks like the Royal National Park just south of the city or Palm Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. A Seaplane Flight will take you from Sydney all the way up the coast to Palm Beach and back around. I never really realized the scope of Sydney’s coastline before this flight!
Last but not least, Taronga Zoo, complete with exotic animals and gondolas that deliver bird’s-eye views over Sydney from the Sky Safari gondola, definitely deserves a visit. Kangaroos and koalas galore.
Where to stay:
1. QT Bondi, The Langham, or The Last Resort.
In Sydney, I’m dreaming up a stay at the QT Bondi, a designer hotel steps from the sand and surrounded by some really delicious local dining spots. I’ve also got my eyes on The Langham (it is my last name, after all) for a few nights of decadence, room service, massages, and facials. I’d also love to find myself at The Last Resort, a north Bondi hot-spot founded by naturopath Saimaa Miller. Seaweed body wraps and lymphatic drainage massages? Yes, please.
2. Wybalena Organic Farm and Retreat Center.
For a weekend trip, I'd also recommend heading up the coast to Byron Bay, a quick flight from Sydney and staying at Wybalena Organic Farm and Retreat Center. The 170-acre organic farm situated in the Byron Shire grows bananas, coffee, and vegetables along rolling hills, creeks, and tons of indigenous wildlife. There's also a few glamping tents and a large farmhouse on site, with a giant table that fits 20 people for a local, communal meal filled with meat and veggies cultivated a stone's throw away. Talk about paddock-to-plate farm goodness!
Where to eat:
1. Earth to Table.
Australia is at the helm of the healthy food scene, so I had no trouble finding places serving high-quality, organic produce. It's also easy to get gluten-free eats there. Score! One of my favorite spots was Earth to Table, which serves up superfood-packed smoothies and some really delicious coffee.
2. Porch to Parlour.
This spot in north Bondi has quinoa breakfast bowls, veggie-packed bone broth, and some of the best avocado toast around. Need I say more?