Tips from a Local: Guide to Sydney, Australia

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Some of the best trips happen when I meet up with friends who live in the country I’m visiting. It’s always beneficial to get authentic travel advice straight from the mouth of a local; after all, they know their city best!

This week, I’m putting the spotlight on Australia native Amy Khoury, also known as the Aussie Travel Blogger. She gives some advice on what to experience when visiting the place she calls home, including what to eat, where to stay, what to do, and where to get some amazing photos!

What is a local dish that people absolutely must try in Australia?

Australians are very simple people with very simple pleasures. Our national dish is the one and only Meat Pie. The best place in Sydney is by far Harry’s Cafe de Wheels. Here you can order a pie which ever way you like! There are a few locations across Sydney but the original and most authentic would have to be by Woolloomooloo just 10 mins from the city centre close to Kings Cross nightlife area.

@mylinh10 knows how to do lunch with a view 😍 #harryscafedw #harryscafedwheels #sydneysbestpie A photo posted by Harrys Cafe De Wheels (@harryscafedw) on

What are 3 hidden gems in Sydney that tourists don’t know about, but should experience?

1. The small/underground bars of Sydney.

They are scattered all over the city and some of my favourites would be Palmer and Co or Baxter Inn, however my absolute personal favourite would have to be ‘Love Tilly Devine‘ a very impressive wine bar located at 91 Crown Lane Darlinghurst with a menu of over 300 wines from all over the world. The Darlinghurst area is known for amazing bars cafés and restaurants however this is hidden in the back ally of crown lane. The bar is actually named after the notorious Tilly Devine, a brothel Madam from the 1930s, however I was told by one of the bartenders once that its name is more in honour of the history of the area rather than Tilly herself.

Natural Wines now by the Pint! A photo posted by @lovetillydevine on


2. Australia is well known for how amazing our beaches are.

The infamous Bondi Beach right by the city is a major tourist spot but there are also quite a few hidden gems that the rest of the world doesn’t know about. My favourite would have to be Milk Beach in Vaucluse, Sydney’s eastern suburbs. It’s right by the heritage listed Strickland house and The views of the harbour bridge and Rose Bay area are phenomenal. Access isn’t the easiest, but totally worth it. You can drive but parking is limited so get there early or you catch public transport from the city. Bus 325 from circular quay will take you there.

3. For the outdoor adventure types, Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park is located in the Northern beaches of Sydney.

The highlight for me is the Aboriginal walking track where you will learn a lot about Australian Aboriginal history. Taking about 45 minutes, you will find some of the best aboriginal rock carvings and cave art in the area. This is amazing as most original aboriginal art is found outside of Sydney.

Where are 3 places in Sydney people can take really cool photos?

1. Dawes Point

Located at the bottom end of the rocks, you are literally right under the harbour bridge. You can take some great pictures of the bridge and harbour as well as the Opera House.

2. Sydney University Graffiti Tunnel

You can take some amazing street art photos here. It was originally started as a result of student unrest during the Vietnam war era but these days you won’t find any of that. You can even paint yourself; it’s the only legal graffiti wall in town!

Amy at the Sydney Uni Graffiti Tunnel
Amy at the Sydney University Graffiti Tunnel


3. Angel Place Laneway

Located in Ash Street just off Martin Place (where you will also get some great pics) this lane also known as “forgotten songs” as it commemorates the calls of fifty birds before being forced out by European settlement. You can hear it through the birdcages above. Here you can get some magical, magical photos.

What’s the best side of town to stay in?

The city is pretty big so no matter where you stay, you are close to something however, for the best harbour views I would stay in Circular Quay. Only a 5-10 minute walk to Pitt Street Mall and Darling Harbour and it’s also the heart of the ‘The Rocks’ where you will find some great bars and restaurants. On weekends they have the rocks markets where you will find down unique jewllery, clothing, art and more. Also on Friday nights they even have street food stalls and Friday night markets.

What are the top 4 things people shouldn’t leave Sydney without experiencing?

1. Walking the Harbour Bridge

It can be a bit pricey walking over it but so worth it. If not, you can walk across it and it’s free to go up the pillars on the sides!

2. Having a jug of Sangria at Opera Bar

Saturday afternoons in summer are my favourite but Opera Bar is also a club on Friday and Saturday nights. The Harbour bridge is your backdrop! You can get some amazing pictures here!

A photo posted by Opera Bar (@operabarsydney) on

3. The Chinese Garden of Friendship

Located in the heart of the city, Darling Harbour, the garden offers insight into Chinese History of peace, love and tranquility. You can even dress up and take some amazing photos in traditional Chinese dress. It really shows off Australia’s love for all cultures.

4. Bondi Beach

Whilst it is quite a touristy beach, it will not disappoint. The water can get a little rough so if you aren’t the strongest swimmer, stay close to the shore. It’s also surrounded by great bars, cafés and restaurants. My favourite is the Bucket List. Get there on a Sunday afternoon for drinks after a swim! The atmosphere is crazy!

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