You might be content spending your days laying on the beach and sipping on cocktails, but chances are the kids will want a little more action over their holiday.
There are plenty of family-friendly activities available, so read on and get planning!
Christmas Wonderland at Sydney Showground
If you fancy getting the kids out of the hot sun for a day, why not check out the Christmas Wonderland at Sydney Showground? Earlybird tickets are $24 (or $40 afterwards- kids under 3 enter free) and include a 3-hour session with access to a variety of carnival rides, unlimited ice skating, and an Enchanted Christmas Village. Calm down after all the excitement with some relaxing crafts at the Santa’s Workshop, before heading over to catch the unforgettable penguin’s parade.
Christmas Lights At St Mary’s Cathedral
Sydney loves putting on a light show. This one is on every evening from December 5th through December 25th (including Christmas Day) and kicks off with choirs at 7:30 pm. At 8:30, when it’s good and dark, the light show kicks off. First, the grand face of St Mary’s Cathedral will transform into a Christmas-themed kaleidoscope. Next, there’ll be a heartwarming story written and narrated by actor Simon Pryce. Finally, the visuals will shift into more traditional Christmas imagery.
Bar Coco will be providing sweet treats and coffee, but you’re also welcome to bring along your own picnic for the evening (no alcohol allowed).
If you loved that, you can also check out the Christmas Tree in Martin Place. There’ll be choirs from 6 pm - 8 pm and the light show is on the hour every hour from 6pm til midnight (no music though). Satisfy your sweet tooth at the GPO Grand’s Dessert Bar.
The Grounds x Disney's The Nutcracker Christmas
The Grounds Of Alexandra always go the extra mile, and this Christmas is no different. They’ve partnered with Disney to transform their lush venue into a Christmas wonderland complete with artificial snow and Santa. Their laneways have been transformed into the Lands of Snowflakes, Flowers, and Sweets, and some of their special events include dinner table styling, cake decorating masterclasses, and a whole range for the kids including cookie decorating and honey making!
Do you like the idea of a Summery festive season, or are you a fan of the traditional White Christmas?
- Liv Steigrad for Ruby’s Residences.
It’s no secret Sydney-siders like to take things outside where possible (check out the post on outdoor markets here). So it makes sense that Sydney has a plethora of outdoor cinemas on offer. Imagine sitting on the grass amidst warm coastal evening breezes as you watch the latest movie on a full-size screen. Perfect for date night, perfect for the whole family.
Here are a few options that are closer to Bondi!
Held in Bondi Pavilion, this annual short film festival features the most innovative and entertaining short films from around the world. Their program consists of 100 films selected from over 2500 entries. Stroll down from your Ruby’s Residence, and don’t worry about finding a parking spot. Don’t forget to head to the Flickerfest Bar for some pre-film drinks. The Bar is open every day for the duration of the festival and overlooks the famous Bondi Beach.
January 11th- 20th.
Mov’in Bed Open Air Cinema
This one features extra-large super-comfy beds for you while you watch the movie. Book one for yourself and your partner for an extra cozy date night, or get a second one for the kids to snuggle up on. Once you get on one of these beds, you won’t want to get off. The good news is you won't have to - you can order food and drink straight to your bed.
November 20th - February 17th.
You can choose from a mix of new release and classic films, and opt to rent a bean bag or bring your own cushions and blankets. While they do have on-site caterers, you’re most welcome to BYO food, alcohol, and dog (though all dogs must be kept on a short leash at all times).
November 29th - March 31st.
An honourable mention goes to the St George Open Air Cinema. It may not be Bondi, but when dusk settles in and the three-story-tall screen rises from the harbour, it is truly spectacular. Enjoy one of the gourmet food and beverage offerings as the sun sets over the cityscape, then settle in for the movie.
January 8th - February 16th.
- Liv Steigrad for Ruby’s Residences.
Photo by Alicia Zinn from Pexels.
Summer in Sydney is glorious. Locals and tourists alike love to take advantage of the weather as often as possible - including when it’s time to shop. As a result, Sydney boasts a variety of markets - some all year round, some just for Christmas time.
What could be better spending some time in one of the many markets on offer, browsing the gourmet food, handmade gifts, unique clothing, and organic produce?
There are many Sydney markets, but if you're only in Sydney for a short time, we’ve listed our top 3 to get a taste!
What better place to start than in your own backyard? Saturdays are Farmers’ Markets, so drop in to pick up fresh produce. The Sunday markets are a little more varied, with everything from fresh food, vintage clothing and records, to locally designed clothing and jewellery. The back section is more like a ‘garage sale’ section and is worth checking out for designer goods on the cheap.
When: Saturdays & Sundays, 9am-4pm.
Where: Bondi Beach Public School.
The Big Design Market
This 3-day celebration of art, design, and fashion is held at the Entertainment Centre in Moore Park - a short drive from Bondi Junction. The market will host over 200 designers showing off their handmade and local goods. There’ll be something for everyone: fashion and jewellery, craft beer, Dutch bikes, plenty of food, and free craft for the kids. Entry is $2 (children under 12 enter free), and you’ll also get to see the huge art installation by artist and author Marc Martin.
Where: Moore Park
When: December 7, 10am-8pm. December 8, 10am-7pm. December 9, 10am-5pm
These iconic markets showcase a range of up and coming fashion and design. Expect artists, sculptors, graphic artists, and more - it changes every weeK! Grab some food and a fresh juice and head over to the grassy lawn to enjoy the free live music between 12-3pm.
Where: Glebe Public School
When: Saturdays 10am-4pm
- Liv Steigrad for Ruby’s Residences.
Photo by Pier Scarpa
Whether you’re here for a short while or a longer while, you’ll want to take maximum advantage of your temporary beach house. If you’re an early riser, Bondi offers a range of enjoyable ways to pass that quiet time before everybody else gets up. Go for a walk, swim, or grab a quiet coffee from one of the many early morning cafes.
Sunrise at Ben Buckler
Make your way across the rocks at North Bondi. Once you see the stairs to Ray O’Keefe Reserve, climb up and enjoy a spectacular sunrise over the watery horizon.
Early Morning Surf Lesson
Are you really a Bondi local if you haven’t at least tried to surf? Let’s Go Surfing offers lessons starting at 6:30am so you can enjoy falling off your board with relatively few witnesses.
Icebergs Pool and Sauna
The views from the Bondi Icebergs Sauna sweep out directly over the ocean. Sweat it out then jump into the crisp ocean pool for a revitalising start to the day. It can get crowded, but at 6am on a weekday you’ll have plenty of space.
Moore Park Driving Range
Fancy playing a few holes to clear your head in the morning? Moore Park Driving Range is open from 6am and offers a variety of options for play and practise.
While not strictly in Bondi, if you love your bread hot and fresh, it’s worth the quick drive over to Bronte to get your hands on a loaf of the famous Iggy’s Bread. The earlier the better - there’s always a line!
- Liv Steigrad for Ruby’s Residences.
Navigating a new city can be daunting if you don’t know where to look! Ruby is here to help.
Touchdown. You’ve made it. Welcome to Sydney!
Once you’ve made it through customs (look out for the cute sniffer dogs!) and immigration, the first thing most people want to do is have a shower, unpack, and unwind.
Leaving Sydney Airport
The Airport train station is clearly marked and easy to find, with trains that’ll get you to the city in under 15 minutes departing every 10 minutes or so. An adult ticket costs $14.30. From the city there is a direct train to Bondi Junction, then it's a walk or bus from here. But it's easier and quicker to get a taxi!
Taxis are plentiful and the wait is usually short. If you're an Uber fan, it's quick and easy to order an Uber and there is a specified Pick Up Point for all car sharing companies.
Or why not order a taxi pick up? Get in early and book your pick up and attraction tickets (Bridge Climb anyone?) before you arrive to save time while you're on holidays. Check out all the things you can pre order/ book here.
Getting To and From The City From Bondi
If you’re staying around Bondi, your favourite buses will be the 380 and 333. They’ll help you get from your Ruby’s Residence to Bondi Junction, the City and Circular Quay (where you'll find the ferries to Manly and the Sydney Opera House!). Once you’ve made it to the city, you can catch the train at either Martin Place, Town Hall or Central Stations for direct trains back to Bondi Junction.
Sydney Transport Tips
The public transport ticketing system uses rechargeable Opal cards, which are available for purchase in most newsagents, train stations, and supermarkets. You’ll need to tap on when you enter a train station or bus and tap off at the end of your journey to be charged the correct fare.
You can check out the Transport NSW Trip Planner here or download the TripView App onto your smartphone. UberPool was recently launched in Australia too, so that’s now an easy and cost-effective way to get around.
- Liv Steigrad for Ruby’s Residences.
Until 28 January 2019
If you are visiting Sydney and love nature and photography then a trip to the Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year 2018 is a must! Held at the Australian Museum visitors will
witness nature at its most dramatic, graceful and unexpected!
With a stunning collection of photographs celebrating the natural heritage of the bioregions of Australia and New Zealand, the Antarctic and New Guinea the exhibition showcases just how much talent and patience a professional photographer will go to capture the right image.
The Australian Museum is situated on William Street and has easy access to the CBD and Hyde Park. The Museum offers various exhibitions throughout the year. The Australian Museum is the first museum of Australia.
Find out more and buy tickets
Another point of interest near the museum is the ANZAC Memorial Hyde Park where visitors can pay their respects to ANZACS as well as participate in guided tours. The memorial pond is a place to relax and reflect.
For keen photographers read our post on Photo Opportunities in Sydney.
At Ruby's we are happy to help you plan your holiday. The months of December until the end of January are very popular in Sydney so please get in touch and we can assist you to find the perfect holiday letting.
Foodie lovers visiting Sydney will not want to miss out on Taste of Sydney with the latest program featuring Sydney's hottest restaurants, live music, entertainment, gourmet producers and a host of exciting gastronomic experiences.
Taste offers visitors an intimate but casual and vibrant fun way to learn to create fabulous food and interact with chefs, farmers and artisan producers. The festival offers intoxicating smells, fabulous music (thanks to the resident DJ's), fun and adventure.
The Diners Club VIP Ticket offers an exclusive pass within the Taste of Sydney Collective offering many advantages over a standard ticket. Situated above the festival this premium lounge experience gives an exclusive view to the Electrolux Collective Kitchen to watch all the action from above, as well as VIP treatment courtesy of Diners Club.
The line up of chefs has been hand-picked and curated by renowned Sydney chef, Mark Best (ex Marque & Pei Modern) and features some of the best!
When visiting The Playground you will have the opportunity to sample and shop some of the finest foodie products on the market. This is also an opportunity to discover new products and meet the artisans that produce them.
Sydney is a foodie city that offers a large range of dining experiences of all cultures. There are many food and wine festivals throughout the year and we will be more than happy to let you know what's on the foodie calendar when you are planning your stay with Ruby's Holiday Residences.
Photo: Taste of Sydney Collective
Bondi will host the world’s largest annual free-to-the-public outdoor sculpture exhibition from 18th October to 4th November 2018 and if you are planning a stay in Sydney around this time you might like to add a visit to this spectacular coastal walk event on your list of things to do in Sydney.
The coastline walk is two kilometres from Bondi to Tamarama and features 100 sculptures by artists from Australia and across the world.
As one of Sydney’s most beloved and photographed events, Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi attracts over 500,000 visitors over the course of 18 days and signals the beginning of summer in Sydney.
It took many years of planning to come up with the concept Sculpture by the Sea by it’s creator David Handley the Founding Director whose initial wish was to create a major free public arts event in Sydney.
Sculpture by the Sea is now in its 22nd year and despite hundreds of entries only 100 sculptures are chosen by the curatorial panel. To learn more about the exhibit you can attend the Aqualand Artist Talk Series http://sculpturebythesea.com/bondi/artists/artist-talks/ with the artists talking about their work, these are free drop-in talks on the weekends in the comfort of an Aqualand bean bag!
For more information: http://sculpturebythesea.com/
If you are looking for excellent accommodation in the Bondi area to view Sculpture by the Sea please get in touch with Deborah to discuss one of our beautiful residences.
Whether you are a tourist or a local, Sydney has a many interesting places for photography.
Sydney is relatively easy to get around, you can use the hop on hop off buses, hire a bike (wear a helmet by law), use public transport or hail a cab or Uber. If you are using public transport you will need an OPAL card.
THE SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
It goes without saying, snapping a photo of the Opera House is a must when visiting Sydney and you can get some great angles of this iconic building, even up in Cumberland Street, near the Rocks.
Other great photo opportunities are from The Royal Botanical Gardens, from a boat (or ferry), looking over from Kirribilli and from the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
THE ROYAL BOTANICAL GARDENS
Apart from the spectacular views from the Royal Botanical Gardens of the harbour, there are plenty of photo opportunities within the gardens.
With its spectacular ponds, trees and plants the Royal Botanical Gardens is a flora photographers dream.
Spring is the best time to visit. You can even find a spot where you can photograph the city skyline overlooking the gardens.
Quite often the Calyx has walls of flowers and is truly a spectacular part of the gardens to visit. A gold coin donation is requested to enter.
The fernery is also a beautiful place to take photos and have some quiet time as you soak in the relaxing vibes and listen to the waterfalls.
Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach has plenty of photo opportunities. Apart from Bondi Beach itself, photo opportunities are Aboriginal carvings, the village, Bondi Icebergs and the Bondi to Coogee Boardwalk.
The Bondi to Coogee Boardwalk could even offer you an opportunity to photograph migrating Whales between July and November.
Each Saturday the famous Bondi Markets is another great place to take some photos especially of Artisan produce.
Taronga Zoo offers plenty of photo opportunities and not just of the animals. You will see the Sydney Skyline that offers some spectacular views.
As you wander along the many paths of Taronga Zoo you will certainly come across some amazing photo opportunities. The zoo is accessible by ferry, bus or car.
QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING
For beautiful historical architecture the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) offers plenty of opportunities for photographers. The QVB has intricate designs, carvings, staircases and beautiful tiling.
While you are there many of the cafe's offer High Tea which is rather special in this elegant building. It goes without saying that the QVB also offers some fabulous shopping.
KINGS CROSS MARKET
Every Saturday morning Kings Cross Market attracts locals and visitors in the area. There are many stalls offering organic produce, artisan products, pet treats, candles, flowers, clothing, plants, fish and a wide range of places to find something delicious to eat.
Every Saturday 8 am – 2 pm
Fitzroy Gardens, Macleay St, Potts Point.
02 9999 2226
Find out more.
For lovers of nature, there are many waterfalls, rainforests, walking tracks and lookouts i.e. The Three Sisters. Other activities include horse riding in the Megalong Valley, rock climbing and a visit to the glow worm caves a bit further up near Lithgow.
The cable car is for those not afraid of heights and gives sensational views of the Jamison Valley.
Getting There from The Eastern Suburbs
You will need to allow about 2 hours to drive up to Katoomba depending on the traffic. The intercity train service is another option that allows passengers a spectacular view on the way up the Mountains. More details here.
Hermitage Foreshore Track
Shopping in Double Bay
The Brett Whitely Studio
The Brett Whitely Studio was the workplace and home of Australian artist Brett Whitely (1939–1992).
Brett Whitely AO was born in1939 and lived until 1992. His work was represented in large Australian galleries. Brett Whitely AO was a popular Australian artist. He is represented in the collections of all the large Australian Art Galleries and is twice winner of the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes.
His exhibitions were shown in Australia, Italy, England, Fiji and the United States.
The Australian Jewish Museum
The Australian Jewish Museum was officially opened in 1992 by The Governor of NSW, Rear Admiral Peter Sinclair AC and in 1994 was given an Award of Distinction in the NSW Tourism Awards for Excellence, and a Commendation in the 1995 Human Rights Awards. The Sydney Jewish Museum is a documented showcase of the history of WWII Holocaust particularly the history of Australian Jews. It is a fascinating journey and one the Museum showcases to promote racial unity.
Surry Hills Markets
Surry Hills Markets
Held on the first Saturday of every month is the Surry Hills Markets are held next to the Clock Hotel.
The Surry Hills Markets are a place to hunt for bric-a-brac and treasures including vintage clothing, hand made goods, books, recycled clothing. You will also find food, produce and craft.
Open from 7.00 am to 4.00pm rain or shine.
After visiting the markets you can explore the local retailers, café’s and restaurants in the vicinity.
It’s been a local favourite since 2013 and Eternity Playhouse has become an iconic theatre destination in Sydney. This beautiful heritage listed building has been restored and is now a state-of-the-art theatre.
The Eternity Playhouse was named in honour of Sydney identity, Arthur Stace who became known as ‘Mr Eternity' because he anonymously chalked ‘Eternity’ on the city’s footpaths for over 30 years. The mysterious chalk calligrapher’s identity was revealed by the Sunday Telegraph in 1956, when Stace was aged 72.
National Art School
Visitors to the National Art School can relax in the grounds of the café that serves breakfast, lunch and snacks.
The National Art School is easy walking distance to Taylor Square and Oxford Street.
Popular Food Venues
There is a reason people line up to purchase their favourite treats at the Bourke Street Bakery. The bakehouse is small, so keep in mind you might need to purchase your bakery treats and head over to the local park or back home to enjoy the food.
Speaking of lining up! You will no doubt notice people patiently waiting to be served delicious Gelato from this iconic Surry Hills eatery.
The Winery Surry Hills is a must visit for a delightful lunch or dinner. Nestled amongst fairy lights and greenery you can choose from cocktails, wines, and excellent food and sit inside, on the veranda or in the gardens.
As you stroll through Surry Hills you will come across wonderful boutiques, gift shops, home wares and much more. Surry Hills is a vibrant and colourful Sydney destination.
Kings Cross Markets
Kings Cross Market is where country meets urban. Each Saturday morning the Kings Cross Market becomes a foodie haven offering organic fruit and vegetables, artisan breads and cakes, olive oils, seafood, Kombucha and much more. Whether you are looking to grab some produce to take back to your apartment or dine at the markets, you will find a wide range of beautiful food. Make sure you check out the flower stall, jewellery stalls, plants and even a special doggy treats stall.
Rushcutters Park is about a 10 minute walk from Potts Point. The park is expansive with plenty of places to have a picnic as you enjoy the view of the yachts. Next to the park is Rushcutters Bay where the famous Sydney To Hobart race starts each Boxing Day. The park also has a tennis court, is dog-friendly park and features an outside gym. A must do is watch the sunrise in the morning.
Llankelly Place is a hub of coffee shops, restaurants and good food. At night the laneway lights up with colourful starburst Medallions overhead. In summer it's the perfect place to enjoy some good food outdoors and in winter, most of the restaurants provide outside heating to keep patrons cosy. It was originally called Llankelly Lane and was changed to Llankelly place in the 1980’s.
Elizabeth Bay House
This beautiful historic house was built between 1835 and 1839 for the NSW Colonial Secretary, Alexander Macleay. There was no expense spared in creating this grandeur residence with a sweeping staircase and stunning views. Inside the home there is a beautiful butterfly collection in the library, a lion hiding in the saloon and a grotto that was once hidden in the gardens. Elizabeth Bay House is across the road from McElhone Reserve and a short walk from Beare Park on the harbour’s edge. Elizabeth Bay House is part of the Sydney Living Museums and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm.
Known for its exceptional dining experiences Woolloomooloo Wharf is the perfect place to spend a long lunch or romantic dinner with views of the marina. After lunch, you might like to take a stroll down the Marina up to the Domain and visit Mrs Macquarie's Chair. Or you might prefer to visit the Sydney Royal Botanical Gardens or Art Gallery. Woolloomooloo Wharf is an easy walk from Potts Point.
Liv- Tender L Creative and Deb - a long term resident of Sydney.