The places on our must-see Sydney itinerary
Pensione Hotel Sydney, moderate, 011-61-2-9265-8888.
Modern-day design and a historic facade combine to create an inviting new boutique hotel that's surprisingly one of the most affordable in town.
Swiss-Grand Resort & Spa Bondi Beach, expensive, 011-61-2-9365-5666.
Ready to try your hand at surfing? Then this resort overlooking Australia's most famous stretch of sand is a great place to lay your head. Especially if, after getting pounded by the waves, you lay your head on one of the hotel spa's massage tables.
Captain Cook Coffee Cruise, moderate, 011-61-2-9206-6666.
For those of you who think coffee is a food group, we can't imagine abetter way to start the day than with a hot cup of joe and a spin around stunning Sydney Harbour.
Pavilion on the Park, expensive, 011-61-2-9232-1322.
Executive chef Christian Poulsen may be english-born, but his way with australian cuisine always surprises and amazes us.
» Sydney fish market, inexpensive to moderate, 011-61-2-9004-1100. One of the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere, this sprawling market offers all kinds of eating options, from sit-down sashimi bars to takeout fish and chips stands.
Fortune of War, 011-61-2-9247-2714.
Taverns are a staple in Sydney, particularly in the area known as the rocks. Tourists tend to flock to the one at the Orient Hotel (011-61-2-9251-1255), but we prefer this little gem for its unpretentious vibe and live tunes.
Art Gallery of New South Wales, 011-61-2-9225-1744.
The collection of australian, asian, and aboriginal art here is so vast, the only way they can show it all off is to schedule some 40 exhibits each year.
Sydney Helicopters, 011-61-2-9637-4455.
We admit that helicopter tours are cliché, not to mention pricey, but Sydney's scenic sprawl just seems to lend itself to this high flying form of transport.
Taronga and Western Plains Zoo, 011-61-2-9969-2777.
if you just can't bear the thought of going to Australia without seeing a koala, rest easy. Taronga's koala walkabout boasts a colony of the cuddly-looking creatures.
ON MEETING NICOLE KIDMAN
One of Naomi Watts' best friends is fellow actress Nicole Kidman, who also hails from Sydney. "The first audition I ever went on was where i met Nicole. Somebody had set me up with an agent, and i came home from school one day and had a message saying, 'Can you get to this place, blah, blah, blah.' I was 15. And it wasn't like I was used to calling cabs and getting myself to this destination. My mom wasn't home. I remember I kind of pulled it together and I went in my school uniform. I didn't even know that I should get into an outfit. I got there and they said, 'We need to see what you look like in a swimsuit and we need to take a photograph.' Nicole was there and we just chitchatted for about an hour. We had friends in common because I was working at a deli on the weekends and I knew that she knew the people i worked with. So we chatted about that and we shared a taxi home since we both lived on the north side."
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