Ultimate Viewers' New South Wales Itinerary
Where We Ate:
The Waterfront Restaurant: Enjoy a harborside dining lunch, Sydney style, at the Waterfront Restaurant in the heart of Sydney's historic Rocks precinct.
Hugo's Bar Pizza: Having won the crown of "World's Best Pizza," Pete Evans invites you to use your skills in a pizza-making lesson, then Hugo's award-winning mixologists demonstrate the art of the perfect cocktail.
The Argyle Precinct: Enjoy the best of multicultural Sydney dining in the historic Argyle Precinct. Dine at one of three restaurants: Sake, showcasing modern Japanese; The Cut, which serves the finest cuts of prime Australian beef and sustainable seafood; and The Argyle Bazaar, presenting an Australian twist on Spanish tapas. Everyone will come together in the sandstone courtyard that dates back to the early 1800s to finish the night with cocktails and dessert.
Bungalow 8: Enjoy a waterside brunch at Bungalow 8 at Sydney's King Street Wharf.
What We Saw:
Taronga Zoo: Australia's unique wildlife welcomes you to Sydney's Taronga Zoo. Board the Captain Cook Cruises' MV Sydney 2000 for a luxury cruise across spectacular Sydney Harbor before meeting the friendly locals, including koalas and kangaroos.
Royal Botanic Gardens: See why the world flocks to Sydney in the summer. Enjoy the Royal Botanic Gardens, which is nestled between the city and the harbor.
More from Sydney
Bonza Bike Tours: A bike tour is a memorable way to see well-known Sydney attractions including the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge and The Rocks and Darling Harbor.
Sydney Opera House Tour: One of the world's most famous buildings and busiest performing arts center and tourist attraction, Sydney Opera House offers a diversity of performances. Go inside on a guided tour and experience the magic for yourself.
Sydney Uncovered Walking Tours: Sydney Uncovered unlocks the hidden secrets in and around Sydney, showing you back streets and fascinating sights. Step into the lives of the locals, find out what makes the city tick and get acquainted with the local food, culture and traditions.
Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb: Scale the summit of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which stands more than 439 feet above Sydney Harbor, with the award-winning bridge climb.
Chic in the City: Sydney's first boutique shopping tours and styling business brings you Sydney's best-kept shopping secrets. Visit the inner-city suburb of Paddington, home to Australian designers Collette Dinnigan and Sass & Bide. Stylist-led, you'll be inspired by the latest Australian designers and independent stores, all haunts of the style-savvy.
Let's Go Surfing–Bondi Beach: What better place to learn to surf than on world-famous Bondi Beach? Here you'll find fantastic waves, year-round sun and Lets Go Surfing (LGS). At LGS, their dedicated, fully-qualified staff can help you catch the wave of your dreams.
Manly Surf School: Manly Surf School is Manly's only full-time surf school operating exclusively on Manly Beach and Sydney's northern beaches, seven days a week, all year round.
Sydney Art Tours: Go behind the scenes of Sydney's art world. Visit a range of spaces from established commercial galleries to artist-run spaces and studios, guided by an art professional.
Sydney Photography Tours: Sydney Photography Tours' slogan is "Unlock Your Creativity," which is exactly what they do when they teach you all about photography. Come along and learn digital photography from a professional.
Westfield Sydney: With more than 150 fashion, food and lifestyle stores, Westfield Sydney is the ultimate shopping and dining destination for both locals and world travelers alike.
East Sail Sydney: Take an exciting harbor journey past Sydney's stunning harborside icons, secret beaches and harbor islands. You can participate as one of the yacht's crew members or simply soak up the atmosphere deckside.
Where We Traveled:
Blue Mountains – view itinerary
Byron Bay – view itinerary
Hunter Valley – view itinerary
Just 90 minutes west of Sydney is the Blue Mountains region. The famous blue-hazed beauty of the mountains is caused by the fragrant eucalyptus oil emitted from the leaves of thick eucalyptus forests. Here Ultimate Viewers explored the mountains by taking eco-tours of the forests, valleys and cliff tops and enjoyed easy bushwalks in the crisp mountain air.
Where We Stayed:
Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa is a luxury homestead-style resort set within its own conservation and wildlife reserve, adjacent to the Blue Mountains World Heritage area. The pristine environment is breathtaking, while the resort's style combines cutting-edge technology with the original heritage architecture.
Guests can take part in wildlife spotting and horse-riding tours, relax in one of the 40 free-standing suites—each with its own private swimming pool and terrace—or unwind at the Timeless Spa where Australian products, such as the natural and organic Sodashi range, are used.
Where We Ate:
Lunch at Darley's Restaurant, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa: This award-winning restaurant is located in a heritage cottage in the five-star resort, Lilianfels Blue Mountains Resort and Spa at Katoomba. Modern Australian cuisine is served in a romantic dining room that features beautiful stained glass windows, ornate fire places, crystal chandeliers and breathtaking views of the gardens and Jamison Valley.
Wolgan Dining Room at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: Seasonal, regional and organic produce from local boutique farms, growers and wine makers is on show when you dine at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa. Dinner is especially relaxed with a five-course, à la carte menu featuring Australian produce—indigenous fruits, herbs, and spices such as quandong, pepperberry, lemon myrtle and wattle seed.
Country Kitchen at Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa: Country Kitchen is open from dawn to dusk in the main homestead building. Throughout the day, it serves a tempting selection of light meals and snacks, with local ingredients on display.
Solitary Restaurant: The heritage-listed Solitary, perched above Leura Cascades, is ideally situated for diners to take in uninterrupted valley views. The cozy dining room and garden offer magnificent vistas over Mt. Solitary, Kings Tableland and the Jamison Valley while a delicious seasonal menu delivers food that matches the fine views.
The Heritage Homestead: The Heritage Homestead was built in 1832 and has been restored with great attention to detail so it appears today as it did when Charles Darwin first visited the Wolgan Valley in 1836. The Homestead's fully restored kitchen garden provides the resort with organic produce and sets the scene for authentic Australian barbecues with stargazing and storytelling.
What We Did:
Wolgan Wildlife and Sundowner Tour: Set off an hour before sunset in a luxury, four-wheel drive vehicle to see Australia's native animals—kangaroos, wallabies and spectacular birds—when they are at their most active.
Nocturnal Wildlife Spotlighting and Stargazing Tour: Explore the fascinating nocturnal world of the Australian bush using spotlights to see rare possums, wombats, wallaroos and other night animals.
Colonial Heritage Tour: Join a short walking tour around Wolgan's historic sites, and get a glimpse into the hardships and ingenuity of Australia's pioneer settlers.
Tread Lightly Eco Tours: Tim Tranter is a specialist in environmental and cultural aspects of the Blue Mountains World Heritage region. Visit ancient forests, see spectacular waterfalls and deep canyons while gaining an insight into local history and Indigenous culture.
Next: Byron Bay – view itinerary
Byron Bay, located on the North Coast of New South Wales, offers beautiful landscapes and a thriving art scene. During their visit, our Ultimate Viewers tried everything from surfing and kayaking with dolphins to snorkeling and yoga on the beach.
Where We Stayed:
The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa: Get inspired by nature at The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa. Located within 45 acres of verdant rainforest, The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa seamlessly flows from indoors to outdoors, blending into its natural rainforest setting close to the beach. Relax in cane lounges scattered on the wide verandas before dipping into the infinity pool, poolside sauna or luxurious day spa.
Where We Ate:
The Byron at Byron Restaurant: Dining at The Byron at Byron gives you a chance to taste the high-quality produce from the Northern Rivers. The resort restaurant menus are seasonal; the style is contemporary Australian served in a relaxing open-plan dining area with a breathtaking rainforest backdrop.
Beach Café: Perfectly positioned on absolute beach frontage, the Byron Beach Café offers indoor and outdoor dining with spectacular views. This local icon is a breezy café by day, a destination restaurant by night and a stunning event venue.
Fishheads Byron Bay: Indulge in the freshest seasonal seafood while relaxing in a beachfront contemporary environment. Local seafood and wine ensure you'll enjoy the best of New South Wales' produce.
Harvest Cafe: Located in the Byron hinterland, Harvest serves a contemporary Australian menu using local produce and focusing on seasonal produce. You'll enjoy easy, country charm in this pretty 1900s cottage with its rambling veranda and enormous jacaranda tree.
What We Saw:
Crystal Castle: Located in a beautiful location amidst lush rainforest and green hills, Crystal Castle is simply stunning. Wander through gardens with mystic statues, explore the labyrinth and enjoy the natural beauty of Byron Bay. You can buy jewelry, books and gifts, as well as crystals from around the world.
Cape Byron and Byron Bay Lighthouse: Built in 1901 and situated on the most easterly point of mainland Australia, this historic lighthouse commands spectacular views over the ocean, beaches and hinterland. Whatever the weather, you're likely to see dolphins and turtles, whales in season and the small wallabies that inhabit the Cape.
What We Did:
BlackDog Surfing: At BlackDog Surf School Byron Bay, you'll learn about surf safety, technique and the pristine environment in which you're surfing. You'll also stand up on your board after one lesson—guaranteed or your money back!
Go Sea Kayaking: Enjoy an amazing ocean experience in your own kayak in the crystal clear waters around Julian Rocks Marine Reserve at Byron Bay. See Byron Bay Lighthouse on the headland, dolphins, turtles and even whales during their annual migration along the coast.
Byron Bay Dive Center: Julian Rocks is one of the few dive sites where you can swim with tropical species found on the Great Barrier Reef, as well animals from Australia's deep Southern Ocean. Be amazed by sea turtles, corals, mantas and more than 1,000 different species of fish. All this is just a five-minute boat ride from Byron Bay.
The Spa and Wellness Center, The Byron at Byron: The spa menu takes inspiration from the rainforest and the invigorating essence of the ocean with treatments using native Australian ingredients. A signature treatment, followed by a meditation walk through the rainforest, will help you feel rejuvenated.
Yoga on the Beach at The Byron at Byron: The perfect way to start the day in Byron Bay is with a complimentary yoga class on the beach. Instructor Sheldon Leon has a passion for health, healing, nutrition and taking a holistic approach for the body, mind and spirit. Sheldon practices yoga, tai chi, qi gong, iridology, kinesiology, naturopathy and meditation.
Gaia Resort and Spa: Gaia is a true culinary experience, serving a variety of chicken, line-caught seafood and vegetarian dishes. Center yourself with tai chi as you breathe in the tranquility of this sacred land. Discover peace of mind with gentle restorative yoga for all levels in the Zama Yoga Studio. Leave a legacy and plant a tree on the grounds of Gaia Resort or enjoy a sound healing meditation session at Samira Lookout.
Next: Hunter Valley – view itinerary
A short drive or flight from Sydney, Hunter Valley offers a sophisticated getaway with all the ingredients for a relaxing break. Our Ultimate Viewers indulged in some of the finest wines in the world, sampled gourmet Aussie fare and enjoyed luxurious accommodations.
Where We Stayed:
Chateau Élan: Rest your head at Chateau Élan at the Vintage or Tower Lodge.
Where We Ate:
Audrey Wilkinson: Established in 1866, Audrey Wilkinson is one of the region's first vineyards. At this picturesque vineyard, you'll enjoy a tasting of its award-winning wines and the expertise of friendly, knowledgeable staff.
Roberts Restaurant: Dine in the vines! Set in one of Australia's premier wine estates, Roberts Restaurant is the perfect choice when seeking out the best that the Hunter Valley has to offer in fine food and wine. Combine this unique dining experience with a wine tasting at renowned Tower Estate or with the superlative accommodation of Tower Lodge.
Esca Restaurant at Bimbadgen Estate: This restaurant overlooks vineyards and a premiership golf course, and it's the ideal venue for a long lazy lunch in the Hunter Valley. Try tasting plates from the contemporary menu and match with a local wine.
Rock Restaurant: Located within Poole's Rock Wine Estate, Rock Restaurant has become a regional star on the dining scene. Rock's signature cuisine is modern Australian with classic French influences.
Hope Estate: Hope Estate is located in the heart of Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, located amongst 420 acres of picturesque vineyards and overlooking a tranquil lake. The Great Cask Hall, one of Australia's most impressive barrel rooms, is the perfect place to enjoy the fine cuisine.
What We Saw:
Tower Estate: Get an introduction to winemaking with winemaster Samantha Connew. At Tower Estate Winery, wine makers select the very best varietals, not just the local crop, but from vineyards around Australia. Classic wine styles are made from fruit grown in the specific Australian region that best suits a particular grape variety and style.
Hunter Valley Garden Village: Hunter Valley Garden Village is known as Pokolbin's town center. It features a variety of specialty shops, restaurants, attractions and a beautiful chapel. Enjoy the landscaped gardens of the village and explore the huge variety of shops, with something for everyone.
Tyrell's Winery: Rich in history and pioneering achievements since 1858, English immigrant Edward Tyrrell established Tyrrell's Wines in 1858 in the Hunter Valley's Brokenback Range. Today, Tyrrell's is an acclaimed wine company exporting to the world.
What We Did:
Cloud9 Balloons: A balloon ride in the oldest and most romantic of flying machines is the ultimate way to experience the beautiful countryside, vineyards and rivers of the Hunter Valley.
Hunter Valley Cycling: Enjoy the freedom of cycling through beautiful vineyards before stopping to try a peppery Shiraz or a grassy verdelho. At the end of your easy cycling tour, reward your hard work with a gourmet extravaganza.
Chateau Élan Destination Spa: Destination Spa in this luxury resort has private spa suites for singles and couples, with a spa menu offering treatments designed to satisfy all the senses. Massage rooms, a lap pool, beauty salon and a Reflection Lounge—for stillness and contemplation—make this a most luxurious retreat amongst the vineyards.
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop at Tempus Two Complex: Taste your way through a decadent world of cheese in the private room of this famous Hunter Valley icon. You'll also enjoy a gelato tasting from Hunter Valley Gelato Company and meet the gelato maker.
Hunter Valley Chocolate Shop: The finest imported Belgian Chocolate is used as the base for chocolate delicacies; local ingredients such as nuts, licorice, creams and pure fruit oils are added to create a range of mouthwatering chocolates.
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