Top 10 things to do in Sydney in the morning
When the locals have a day off they typically make the most of it with breakfast at an inner city or seaside café, a swim at the beach, a walk to sweeping ocean views or some of the best bargain shopping you can imagine. To make it easier for you to choose, we've prepared a shortlist of Sydneysiders' favourites.
1. Breakfast at Grounds of Alexandria
Located in an old factory in the inner city suburb of Alexandria, Grounds of Alexandria is a local breakfast favourite. The once-industrial setting now houses a coffee roaster, several places to eat and drink, a weekend market and an organic garden complete with resident chickens and a pig called Harry Trotter.
2. Check out the eateries at Tramsheds
Another inner city breakfast or daytime favourite is Tramsheds. Set in an historic inner west tram depot, it's home to a dozen restaurants and cafes, a collection of community-based retailers and a Sunday growers' market. There's also a handy supermarket and a liquor store, if you need to grab a few essentials. Getting to Tramsheds is easy; it's right next to the Jubilee Park light rail station.
Head north to Palm Beach
Experience Sydney's legendary beach lifestyle and dive in for a swim with the locals. To the north, Palm Beach offers 2.3km of soft white sand, with surfing at one end and sheltered swimming at the other. Or take the kids fishing from the wharf then relax at a waterside café. Palm Beach is also where you can take an official Home and Away tour and see Palm Beach as Summer Bay.
Catch the ferry to Manly Beach
Manly Beach, an easy ferry ride from Circular Quay, is known for its white sand, tall pines, surf, shops, bars and eateries. After arriving at the ferry wharf, you can wander up the Corso walkway past restaurants and seaside shops before reaching Manly's magnificent ocean promenade. Hit the beach for a swim, hire a bike or take a lesson with the local surf school before enjoying lunch at a waterfront café. Visiting Manly at night by ferry is also an option.
5. Dip into the pools of Bronte Beach
East of Sydney, between the famous Bondi and Coogee beaches, there's a small local gem called Bronte Beach. Quieter and calmer than its better-known neighbours, Bronte has a sheltered natural pool for kids, an aquatic reserve for snorkelling and one of Sydney's free-entry ocean-fed swimming pools. You'll also find a seaside park and several popular eateries.
6. Walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse
From Palm Beach there are spectacular coastal walks to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Built in 1881 from local sandstone, the lighthouse and keepers' cottages sit proudly on top of a headland park at the north end of the beach. From here the views are truly amazing, and between May and September it's the whale watching season - pack your binoculars.
7. Have a beachside breakfast at Coogee Pavilion
Known locally as 'The Pav', Coogee Pavilion is a top seaside breakfast spot. Open, airy and spacious, the ground floor caters for couples, groups and families with kids. There's even an area set aside for playtime, with retro games like giant scrabble and ping pong, plus a theatrette. The delicious breakfast menu includes superfood smoothies, freshly squeezed juices, pastries and divine Will & Co coffee.
8. Sip morning coffee at The Newport
The Kiosk Café at The Newport, overlooking Pittwater, offers a simple breakfast menu with smoothies, juices and great coffee from 9:30am weekdays and 9:00am on weekends. Relax in the spacious outdoor areas that are shared with The Newport's other eateries, which open around noon. Kids are very welcome and there's an area with giant-sized games, a bowling alley and more.
9. Snag a bargain at Birkenhead Point
Birkenhead Point is Sydney's largest harbourside outlet shopping destination with more than 140 premium brands to choose from. Catch the Shopper Hopper ferry from Circular Quay or the Harbourside Shopping Centre in Darling Harbour for a 20 minute scenic cruise to retail heaven. Take your ID, because out-of-town shoppers can pick up an exclusive offers visitor passport from the service desk on level 2.
10. Fuel up at the Boathouse
Set over the water at picturesque Balmoral Beach, between the soft sand and moored yachts, The Boathouse is a Lower North Shore breakfast favourite. With a delicious menu - including smoothies, juices and superb coffee - it's a tranquil place to relax and plan your next adventure. You can even toast the day with a glass of champagne.