Sydney: Southern Comfort

The home of the indigenous Aborigines for 30,000 years, Sydney was settled by the British in 1788 as a penal colony, transformed into a colonial outpost in the mid-19th century and has since flourished into a major financial, arts and cultural hub.

The state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is currently the most populous city in Australia, followed closely by Melbourne. Boasting the world’s largest natural harbour, famous architecture such as the iconic Sydney Opera House and countless world-class fine-dining establishments, it’s easy to see why Sydney consistently ranks as one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

More than 250 different languages are spoken in Sydney, making it one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. Roughly a third of Sydney-siders are born overseas, reflecting Australia’s dedication to its integration policy. A veritable melting pot of diverse ethnicities, the vibrant city is a haven of cultural traditions, trends and cuisines.


As a tourist hotspot and a global financial hub, Sydney is home to countless five-star hotels, resorts and more affordable accommodation options for visitors. Travellers looking for exquisite accommodation with world-class facilities need look no further than Hilton Sydney. Strategically located in the heart of Sydney’s central business district, guests can enjoy stunning views of the city and the hotel’s luxurious amenities, while revelling in the sights, smells and sounds of some of the city’s most stunning tourist attractions.

For tourists looking for something closer to nature, The Retreat at Wisemans is a winning choice. With 54 handsome rooms, the luxurious retreat boasts comprehensive amenities including a lush golf course, tennis courts, swimming pools and massage rooms. Perfect for an intimate gathering or larger event, the resort is equipped with a beautifully manicured wedding garden, with a gazebo overlooking the beautiful Hawkesbury River. A visit to the Sydney central business district is a short one-hour drive away, making the resort a perfect choice for guests looking for tranquil accommodation.


The hardest thing every tourist faces is choosing from the countless attractions in Sydney. Attempting to see them all would be close to impossible in a week-long visit. Tourists would be remiss not to visit Sydney’s iconic landmark,the Sydney Opera House. The winner of an international design competition in 1957, the scintillating design was dreamt up by revered Danish architect Jørn Utzon. Opened on 20th October 1973, the Sydney Opera House has since won multiple prestigious awards and was recently honoured as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007. Host to well over 1,500 performances in a typical year, visitors are highly encouraged to catch a dazzling art event at the Sydney Opera House during their stay.

A trip to Sydney wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the famous Sydney Fish Market. A short 2-km trip from the Sydney central business district, the market is the world’s third largest fish market. The market is sectioned into the bustling fish port, the raucous wholesale fish market, as well as the full-service retail market, showcasing a mind-boggling variety of fresh seafood complemented by delicatessens, sushi bars, fruit and vegetable markets, a cooking school and even florists!


The variety of dining options makes Sydney a perfect destination for holidaying gourmands. From ethnic cuisines as diverse as Peranakan to fine-dining molecular gastronomy, there is something for everyone in Sydney.

Guests looking for something to satiate their craving for Asian food can head over to Chat Thai restaurant at Haymarket. Walking through the sleek modern glass door, visitors are treated to a riot of tantalising smells from the kitchens. Equipped with a quirky snack kitchen to the side of the entrance, first-timers to Chat Thai are easily identified by their propensity to pause and marvel at the mouth-watering street desserts cooked fresh in the mini kitchen. Visitors are known to gorge themselves on sweet delights such as coconut rice dumplings (khanon krok), tapioca and rice flour with shredded coconut (kanom duang) while completely forgetting about mains such as the beautiful char-grilled pork shoulder served with smoked chilli and tamarind relish (kor mhy yaang).

For visitors curious to survey what Sydney’s finest have to offer, head over to Sepia at Darling Harbour. Famous for its contemporary and adventurous food combinations, Sepia’s concept of Japanese fine dining with a Western touch is one not to be missed. The perfectionist Japanese nature is visible in every single detail at Sepia, from the immaculate oriental brushwork on display, the perfect tableside manner of the staff to the sumptuous cuisine on offer. Visitors can pick from a five- or nine-course menu, featuring tantalising fresh seafood flown in from Japan, as well as the freshest hand-picked Australian artisan produce. For an unforgettable dining experience, try the tea-matching menu, done to sumptuous perfection, a signature of the restaurant’s lofty standards.