48 hours in Sydney

From the iconic Bondi Beach to the Northern Shores via Centennial Park – We take you on a mini road trip in the Mercedes Benz GLA.

Late one Wednesday afternoon I stepped off the train right in the thick of Town Hall, navigating my way through hundreds of white collared workers, drowning in the buzzing sounds of an electric city. This manic vibration was eerily calming to my foreign soul. I’d never thought too much of Sydney as it was merely two hours from my hometown of Newcastle, an awkward halfway of too close yet too far. Something about this average Wednesday afternoon felt different. Several years on, my partner and I call this land of in-between home.

I think that sums up Sydney’s charm, it’s ability to have a piece of everything, yet not too much of anything; that something in-between. In fifteen minutes you can be in the city, then to the sea. You can have a serious corporate job, even though you went stand-up paddle boarding before work. Dare I say it’s the place you can ‘have it all?’ I think the very best feeling is living somewhere you absolutely love and obsessing over everything it has to offer. So, let me run you through a few of our favourite things.

Every Saturday morning begins the same for us, starting with an aromatic chai at the Masala Tea Tent. Locals deem the Farmers Markets a Saturday morning ritual. Bondi Farmers Markets are the quintessential Sydney experience – providing a relaxed coastal atmosphere, a perfect meeting spot and somewhere you can find a unique variety of native produce. Bondi delivers an eclectic clientele that have genuine interest in organically grown, fresh and artisan produce. Weather you’re looking for a bagel with cream cheese, a sprouted and fermented gluten-free loaf of bread or two kilos of organically grown kale you can rest assured that you’d most likely find it here.

A basket of market goodies and several chai teas later we are off to our favourite breakfast spot, Shuk. This modern Israeli café has broken all the rules on generic coffee precincts. Settling itself amongst North Bondi homes is this 80-seater establishment, which for forty years prior was home to the local corner shop. There is something exiting about a residential setting; it makes for an interesting excursion trying to get there, and no matter how long standing, it still feels like a hidden gem. Your experience will not be complete until you’ve tried the Shakshuka. This dish comes sizzling in the pan, filled with a generous serving of tomatoes, chilli, peppers and onion, topped with poached eggs. You can also order ask for the Shakshuka to come 'green', where a combination of kale, fennel, caramelised onion and feta is used instead. Don’t forget to try Shuk’s famous 60/60 eggs; the eggs are cooked at 60 degrees for 60 minutes (perfectly cooked, with a seriously gooey centre)

By mid-afternoon we are ready for a wine by the beach, where better than Bucket List? Bondi is famous for it’s stretch of golden sand and deep blue sea… but mostly for its beautiful women. If you’re looking for these beautiful women, you can find them right here. What began as a pop-up bar soon turned into a local hot spot, dishing out the best jug of Pimms money can buy. Staying true to their name, they’ll serve-up just about anything by the bucket (including prawns, champagne and water for your pooch). Bucket List is perfectly located on the Bondi Beach promenade offering panoramic ocean views and an old fashioned bucket of fish ‘n’ chips. It’s the ideal daytime venue for good tunes, cold cocktails and did I mention the beautiful women?

A good nights sleep is all we need for our Northern Beaches adventure. We woke at the crack of dawn for a morning of surfing and swimming. Sandy and salty was the dress code for our breakfast at Lox Stock and Barrel where we met with several of our closest friends. Lox Stock and Barrel is our home away from home thanks to the remarkably friendly owners and baristas. We think this place might just serve the best chai tea in town.

The journey along the golden sands will take us through Manly, Narrabeen, Newport, Avalon and Palm Beach. But before we begin the drive, we stop for coffee in the iconic Centennial Park. Centennial Park occupies almost 200 hectares of the Eastern Suburbs, and is only 4 kilometres from Sydney’s central business district. This sanctuary is home to an array of unique flora including Holm Oaks, Port Jackson figs and Norfolk Island pines dating back to the early 20th century. Known as the ‘peoples park’ for the number of recreational activities at hand.

Right in the middle of this beautiful park is quaint café, offering gourmet Panini’s, delicious cookies and 100% Organic Vitoria Coffees. The open plan terrace allows for panoramic views of the tandem bike-riders, runners and the children’s pony rides. This is the perfect spot to unwind before the day ahead. A few creamy lattes later we are on the road.

Palm Beach is the crème-de-la-crème of the Northern Beaches, situated on the landmark peninsula. It stars as the fictitious town in ‘Home and Away’ and is surrounded by the pristine waters of the Pacific Ocean. Palm Beach provides a fusion of effortlessly cool and relaxed affluence. Nestled amongst the golf course and the golden beach is the iconic Boathouse. The Boathouse provides the complete beachside experience; I’m talking rosé on a waterfront deck. Cosy wooden tables and panoramic views allow for a picturesque day of basking in the sun. The setting is quite magnificent.

On our way home we stop by Whale Beach for a dip only to discover the water is absolutely freezing. Thank god for under-seat heating in the Mercedes Benz GLA 250.

As featured in Mercedes Benz magazine:

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