Summer might officially be ending in a few days, but the hot weather in Sydney doesn’t care what the calendar says! That being said, you probably don’t want to wait too long to start checking out these ocean pools, there are several to get through and they’re all beautiful and unique in their own way.
Of course, how could we start anywhere other than the famous Bondi Icebergs. Swim laps in the 50m pool, sunbake, or take advantage of the gym and sauna. The sauna alone is worth the trip. Enjoy the fragrant wood and heat with uninterrupted ocean views. (They’ve also got a fabulous Bistro upstairs if you feel like dropping by later on in the evening).
While not quite as Instagrammed as their sister baths in Bondi, the Bronte Baths is equally deserving of a visit. The pool is a little more shallow, making it more suitable for families with younger kids. That being said, it’s still just fine for swimming laps. For a really special moment, head there early to enjoy a glorious sunrise over the ocean.
Fairlight Rock Pool is situated midway along the Manly to Spit walking path. The calm waters are great for snorkelling, and the small paddling pool which is sheltered from ocean swells, making it perfect for little ones. Plus, there are plenty of shower and toilet facilities, all easily accessible by pram from the path.
Coogee beach actually has 2 ocean pools on offer. Heritage-listed Wylie’s Baths doubles up as a wedding venue by night. They’ve got a lot on offer, including yoga, massage, lap pool, and breathtaking views.
February in Sydney. Typically the steamiest month - both in terms of the high humidity and, of course, Valentine’ Day. What better way to pass the time in February than sampling one (or a few) of the gourmet High Teas on offer! Perfect for a daylight date, or even just to escape the heat.
If you want the classic, traditional High Tea experience, head to the Intercontinental Sydney. Their summer menu draws on the array of fresh fruits available, as well as lashings of chocolate, caramel, and coconut. The combination of sweet and savoury will have you licking your lips, and is accompanied by a selection of handpicked Ronnefeldt teas, and a glass of sparkling on arrival. High Tea is on 11am-4pm weekdays, and a buffet version is available on weekends 12:30- 2pm, or 3- 4:30pm.
If you’re heading in on a weekend though, why not try out high tea’s darker alternative: High Coffee. Available weekends only from 11am-4pm, High Coffee offers richer, deeper flavours. Start off with an Espresso Martini, then work your way through the rest of the menu. The sweet and savoury items are paired with specific Vittoria blends, designed to elevate the flavours and create a true sensorial experience.
The Intercontinental Double Bay has some more variations. Aside from their Signature High Tea, they’ve also got an unmissable Oriental High Tea (same elegant tiered stands, only fewer sandwiches and more dumplings), and a Children’s High Tea, complete with fairy bread, toasties, hot chocolate, and other house-made treats.
If you want to leave the kids at home and experience something truly special, head to KOI Dessert Bar in Chippendale. It’s not exactly a High Tea, but their Just Desserts menu is definitely in the same vein. The offerings vary, but you can be sure you’re in for a whole four courses of delicious creativity served up on a plate.
- Liv Steigrad for Ruby’s Residences.
Sydney loves to put on a festival. Any excuse will do, and the Chinese New Year is no different!
Running for 10 days in February, the festival includes a variety of markets and shopping, traditional delicacies, art installations, performances, and family activities.
If you like seafood, you can’t miss the one-night-only Chinese New Year Night Market held at the fishmarkets in Pyrmont on Feb 8th. Parking is free after 4pm, so head down and feast on the freshest oysters and seafood in Sydney, as well as burgers, fresh fruit, and desserts. Make sure you’re there between 6:30 and 7:30 to see the lion dancers!
If you’re after a different kind of market, the regular weekly markets in The Rocks (Friday-Sunday) have expanded for the lunar new year, and are staying open until 10pm. They’ll be selling locally made clothing, jewellery, crafts, all under the glow of traditional red lanterns. While you’re in the area, keep an eye out for the huge animal lanterns floating around. Each one has been designed by an Australian-Chinese artist and represents an animal of the zodiac.
There will also be Lunar New Year celebrations at World Square and Cabramatta which will be great to check out with the whole family. World Square will have adorable piglets to meet, Korean fan dancing, a lion dance, and a special art installation from 11am-2pm and 4pm-7pm which will have everyone dancing. Cabramatta is a little more food-focused, and will also have exciting activities for all age groups, firecrackers, and other performances.
On February 9th and 10th, there will be dragon-boat racing in Darling Harbour. The spectacularly carved and painted boats, as well as the competition and sportsmanship, draws thousands of spectators every year.
Liv- Tender L Creative and Deb - a long term resident of Sydney.