With beautiful coastline and some of the city’s trendiest suburbs just a stone’s throw away, an overnight stay at Sydney Airport can be so much more than a hotel-bound stopover.
As your plane comes in to land, you’ll be treated to either sweeping aerial views of Sydney’s famous coastline or a bird’s eye perspective over the bustling CBD and Circular Quay. As well as reminding you why the window seat is always the best option, this will give you an indication of how close and well connected the airport is to some of Sydney’s main drawcards.
Maroubra Beach, famous for its surfing conditions and culture, sits just a few kilometres from the airport. In addition to its one kilometre stretch of sand and beautiful views, the café culture here is alive and well. Watch avid surfers making the most of the swell on the main beach before walking up the coastal path to the northern headland to admire the view back up to Bondi. With steep headlands and prime real estate as far as the eye can see, this is one of Sydney’s best angles. The Pool Café is our top choice for a hunger-quashing pit stop, offering a delicious daytime menu which rolls into dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Relax outside with an expertly brewed Campos coffee or a glass of rosé and take in the view.
While we’re on the subject of outdoor coffees, the Sydney institution that is The Grounds of Alexandria is also only a quick trip from the airport. Since opening in 2012, The Grounds quickly made their way into Sydney’s weekend culture, offering food, coffee, a permaculture garden and small animal farm on a one-acre block in the inner suburbs. The more recent addition of the weekend markets makes it a true one-stop shop and, as far as we know, the only place in the city where you can enjoy a delicious brunch in the company of a barnyard pig. One, nonetheless, named Kevin Bacon.
While The Grounds is arguably its most famous resident, Alexandria has a lot more on offer, especially when it comes to the art of consumption. Other local favourites include Café Sopra, of the Fratelli Fresh franchise, which is a must for any lover of Italian cuisine, and Mecca, a Sydney coffee empire which also proffers a delectable list of seasonal menu items during daylight hours. The Salt Meats Cheese cooking school also lives in this slice of foodie heaven and a couple of hours here will have you making pasta, pizza and cheese like a pro. If you happen to be in town for one of their famed Tutti a Tavola nights (Italian for everyone to the table), you’re in for a real treat as a celebrity chef cooks up a storm for you and your new tablemates, usually alongside perfectly matched wines.
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Rosebery is the other suburb we recommend spending time in while you’re here. It’s undergone a full-scale rejuvenation in recent years, emerging as a study in industrial chic. Most of the action takes place at The Cannery, a cavernous warehouse full of options for all your senses. Unleash your arty side at Koskela, taking in their current exhibition, taking part in one of their many workshops (covering all things crafty from embroidery to ring making), or taking home a beautiful piece of furniture or décor. Tempt your tastebuds at Saporium, a marketplace full of some of the city’s best produce and producers, or wander around the café and restaurant precinct. Standouts here include Black Star Pastry, with the crumbliest pies known to man, and Three Blue Ducks for a sit-down affair. Finally, it wouldn’t be a trip to Rosebery without a visit to the Archie Rose Distillery, a Sydney grassroots company taking bespoke sprits to the next level.