Have a 7 hour layover in Sydney on the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 14 en route to Los Angeles.
I'd love to leave the airport, and take a shuttle or taxi to an interesting neighbourhood for sightseeing and good, memorable eating. If you could only visit one area, relatively close to the international airport, and only had from 7 am to 1 pm, where would you go for breakfast/brunch/lunch? The last time I was in Sydney was 1986. Thanks!
Took the train from airport to Circular Quay at 8 am, wandered around opera house area and The Rocks (a contractor let me wander inside The Rockpool but I couldn't see a menu anywhere), and took train to Museum stop where I walked down to Bird Cow Fish which wasn't open for breakfast! They were nice enough to let me in early, but they open at 11 for sandwiches and cakes only, and since I had to leave for the airport at 12:30 latest, I couldn't wait for lunch service to begin at noon and I ended up having the smoked trout sandwich and a cup of melon green tea. Nice sandwich but nothing to rave about! Also picked up a decent pea-beef pastizzi at Malta bakery on the same street.
You can get into the city quickly, but most of the cafes etc around the sight seeing palces in Cirqular Quay are very touristy and average, I'd consider getting a cab to Bronte for breakfast, then a cab over to Bondi for lunch- Seans Panorama or Icebergs - then you get the very best of Sydney beaches, and food, without the bustle of the city.
I expect this means that you will be with your "very active grandmother"!
A lot has changed in Sydney over the past 20 years (a period of time during which I have come and gone and have been back for nearly the last 5).
EVERYTHING is close to the airport as it is only a few miles from the city. There is a train link directly into town from there.
i have a gazillion ideas to offer you, but at this stage have more questions than answers - what kind of things you like doing and seeing - landmarks, culture, icons or shopping?
there are many interesting neighbourhoods and areas around the city and where you go depends on whether you want ethnicity, sights, or just a casual relaxing morning...
if you could give me more of an idea of what you like and don't like I would love to help (we have many friends who visit from abroad).
Thanks kmh! I guess I am looking for something I can't find in Melbourne or Perth or Toronto. Sightseeing (something memorable) but I'll be all alone by then. (Nana lives in Melbourne.) Maybe a back up plan if it is pouring rain? Definitely one memorable meal (again, have to be back at airport BY 1:00).
re: Food Tourist
ok, well there is a great post going on under
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/418596 about 2 days in Sydney (which I realise you don't have) where Maxmillion stated with as many ideas as his/her pseuodnym implies (millions).
again, it really depends if you are a walker, a looker, a discoverer, or just want a chance to get out of the airport. don't know where you're coming from but can only guess you will be in transit 24+ hours so you don't want to be dirty/sweaty or uncomfortable...
I still don't know what you are into, and that makes it a bit difficult, and i guess, I would like to know what your dept time ex syd. is for you to be back by 1pm (we don't have a 4hour security queue like some US airports).
so, if it's a nice sunny day, you could train/taxi into city/circular quay, walk around the opera house (bennelong point) and through the botanical gardens toward woolloomoolloo, or divert up to the Art Gallery of NSW (quite a nice cafe, but haven't been there for some time).
alternately you could get a cab to danks street waterloo, have breakfast at danks street depot and spend a couple of hours browsing the upcoming galleries in the area. however i think that you will struggle to burn 6 hours that way.
similar but more to look at is a cab (easier than giving you train/walking directions) to surry hills - have breakfast at bird cow fish and wander down crown street - lots of non-mainstream shops ranging from homewares to skincare. at the intersection of oxford stree you can either turn right to head to paddington and view the australian designers strip, or turn left to head into the city CBD.
Food is difficult to recommend on your timings, as you are really a bit too early to enjoy lunch, and you may eat breakfast on the plane (again that is up to who you fly with and how you feel at that time of day).
breakfast at danks st depot (mentioned above is good) or to do something different head to the north side of the harbour and go to Bathers pavillion at balmoral. Breakfast is not as innovative as danks st, but the setting is something else entirely - an inner harbour beach that receives the morning sun, situated on the boardwalk etc,etc. alternately you could get to circular quay by train or taxi from airport, ferry to milsons point and have brunch at ripples.
I have not been to Perth for a long time. and never toronto so not sure where we differ.
I describe the difference between melbourne and sydney (both i love dearly) as follows:
Sydney is a bold brassy, suntanned blonde, whilst Melbourne is an intelligent wordly and sophisticated brunette. They both have their pros and cons - just ask any man...
and if it's raining.. the Art Gallery of NSW is extensive and always has something on, and the cafe there is quite good.
In fact, ordinarily I would tell you not to worry about the rain at this time of year - traditionally winter in sydney is crisp and sunny. HOWEVER we have just had the wettest June in 45 years, after the driest summer on recorded history.
I still think you are too early for lunch so look at doing some walking and brunch.