Like many other travellers, Australia has long been on my travel wishlist. If you find yourself in a similar boat to me in that it is a big commitment to travel there (being on the other side of the world and all that), then how about travelling there through the eyes of a local? Let me introduce you to Jen, trusted Sydney resident…
1. Could you tell us a little about yourself and where you come from?
I’m Jen, a travel planner and writer from Sydney, Australia. I’ve spent the last 10 years exploring the world and the last 4 writing about those travel experiences on my website, The Trusted Traveller.
2. How long have you lived in Sydney? And what brought you here?
I’ve lived in Sydney my entire life apart from a few years living in London. I think I’m pretty lucky to live in such a beautiful and diverse city, so other than to travel, I’ve never really left.
3. What do you love most about your hometown?
I think most people know about Sydney’s beautiful harbour and excellent beaches. And while I think they are definitely worth a visit, to me there is so much more to the city.
Starting with the food. We are so spoilt in Sydney to have just about every cuisine in the world represented here. There are pockets where you can find authentic meals from places like China, Greece, Italy, Vietnam and Thailand, just to name a few.
What I also love about Sydney is that it doesn’t matter what time of year there is something going on. Whether it’s a festival, concert, theatre show or major event, I’ve never felt bored living here.
4. Is there anything that frustrates or annoys you when tourists visit Sydney?
That they only visit Bondi and Manly beaches. In my opinion, there are so many better beaches in Sydney. Head to the southern reaches of the city to the Royal National Park and Cronulla or north past Manly for less crowded and more beautiful beaches.
5. In your opinion, which places should be at the top of any visitor’s wishlist in Sydney?
They should definitely visit a beach. As I mentioned above, avoid Bondi and Manly and try something a bit different. Even if you visit outside of summer, a sunny winter’s day is perfect for a walk along the beach as our winter temperatures are warmer than some countries get in summer.
The walk along the harbour from The Rocks through Circular Quay, past the Opera House and around the Mrs Macquaries Chair is pretty spectacular. It is all flat and there are lots of things to see and places to stop for a drink, coffee or bite to eat along the way.
For food, I recommend getting out of the city and heading to the Inner West. King St and Enmore Rd in Newtown/Enmore has a huge range of great restaurants. My personal favourites include Continental Deli for amazing charcuterie platters and cocktails in a can, Mary’s for a beer and a dirty (but delicious) burger, Bovine and Swine for the best BBQ you’ll find and Russo and Rosso for unpretentious fine Italian dining and exquisite wine.
6. What foods must visitors eat when in Australia?
When you are by the beach, fish and chips is a must. Any beach suburb will have a few to choose from. I recommend you pick the one with the biggest queue.
A meal in a pub is a must too. Schnitzels, steaks, burgers and pies served with a nice cold beer is the perfect way to refuel after a busy day sightseeing.
As I mentioned earlier, Sydney is very diverse when it comes to cuisine. If you have time, I recommend getting out of the city and finding some of the areas that specialise in specific cuisines. Head to Leichardt for the best Italian, Brighton for Greek food, Marrickville or Cabramatta for Vietnamese, or Lakemba for Lebanese. There are too many great areas for food to mention!
7. What advice would you give to somebody moving to Australia from another country?
Bring plenty of money! Unfortunately, Australia is an expensive country for most visitors (and locals) and Sydney is the most expensive city. Don’t get me wrong, to me it is absolutely worth the expense, but just be prepared to spend a little more than you might in other countries.
8. If you could describe your hometown in just one sentence, what would you say?
Enjoy the beauty of Sydney through its spectacular harbour, stunning beaches and diverse range of food.
Thanks Jen – we’ve loved getting to know you and Sydney better!
If you want to read more about Australia, as well as loads of other places and get some great travel advice, then check out Jen’s website: The Trusted Traveller. She has really detailed travel guides on her site, like this one for Australia! You can also follow Jen along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
And if you loved Jen’s interview, don’t forget to share it!