Exploring the beautiful land Down Under
Visitors gain great perspective on the world-class city of Sydney, Australia, by heading up to the Sydney Tower. When experiencing this first-rate building, 250 meters above the city, the first surprise is how much water surrounds the harbor city. Another great attraction is the Sydney Aquarium, which serves as a great educational stop with exceptional in-depth exhibits about the Great Barrier Reef. It gives you an opportunity to view sharks, manta rays, squid, sea turtles and more. There’s also an extraordinary penguin habitat where visitors can evaluate how these creatures live and play. Some penguins are even being released to live freely in the Sydney Harbour.
Ride a Manly ferry — you can see shadows of the brave souls climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, on an adventure called the BridgeClimb. Watching the ships come and go from the harbor is also exciting, and seeing the famed Sydney Opera House in person is truly a thrill. Just off the harbor is an area known as The Rocks. Although many mysteries surround this area, some say it’s haunted, all say it’s the place to party. Have a ball hopping from pub to pub, or take an organized pub crawl to hear fun historical facts.
Wine and dine
Recently hailed as the third best restaurant in the world, Tetsuya’s degustation menu does not disappoint. Three distinct dining areas surround a Zen-like garden, each packed one has its own maitre d’. The cuisine is based on the Japanese philosophy of the natural selection of flavors and, as most great restaurants, the flavors are accented with French cooking techniques.
Begin with a glass of bubbly champagne to cleanse the palate. Then, commence with a 12-course smorgasbord; each and every item is paired with a new wine. The signature dish of farm-raised trout is served to perfection. Through the course of the evening, indulge in meat, seafood and a multitude of succulent vegetables, with most dishes featuring an Asian flair. Portions are small enough so that you can manage them. Nearing the end, you realize why this is considered to be the best dining experience on the continent.
Some of the great wines served at Tetsuya’s came from the more than 1,600 wineries in Australia. Many of them are close enough to Sydney to make a day trip possible. Try a private charter from Wine Country Tours and be guided to the best of the best. Established in 1858, Tyrrell’s is a family-owned winery whose roots run deep; in fact, there is a Shiraz plant that has been growing there since 1879. Local vineyards offer tea, scones and lunch; have fun eating among the grape vines. As long as you have a knowledgeable guide with you, a tasting is a real treat you’re sure to relish. If you haven’t heard, corks are out. Any new wine tasted had a screw top bottle. It doesn’t mean that it’s not good — Australia can just make more of it and lose fewer bottles to rotted corks. – LMV
BridgeClimb Sydney, www.bridgeclimb.com
Manly ferries, www.manlyweb.com.au
Sydney Aquarium, www.sydneyaquarium.com.au
Sydney Tower, www.sydneytower.com
Wine Country Tours, www.winecountrytours.com.au