As the home of the world’s largest gay Mardi Gras, Darlinghurst wears its rainbow heart on its sleeve with a liberal, free spirited attitude and a grungy rock’n’roll underbelly. From the Oxford Art Factory for gigs to the Eternity Playhouse for drama and the National Art School, Darlinghurst boasts a strong creative arts network that can often be found in its extensive array of small bars and speakeasies. Also home to gym bunnies, Australia’s best gelati, independent retail and rooftop beehives, Darlinghurst is an invigorating melting pot of Sydney society just minutes from the Sydney CBD.
The tiny borough of Potts Point punches well above its weight when it comes to style, wealth and influence. Its tree-lined streets are home to some of Australia’s most affluent citizens, who enjoy the upmarket village feel, designer shopping and artisanal delicatessens. Potts Point is crammed with top notch restaurants and bars, making it one of Australia’s most exciting food and wine destinations. Once a bohemian enclave filled with scruffy artists, writers and hookers, these days Potts Point is more posh than penury, but the Grand Dame of inner Sydney suburbia has retained her cosmopolitan charms.
In the nineteenth century Surry Hills was Sydney’s home of crime, vice and ill repute, but these days the Hills are alive with creatives, organic cafes, small bars and bicycles. One of the city’s most dynamic enclaves, Surry Hills is filled with an eclectic mix of urban professionals, interesting retail, co-working spaces and restaurants. You’ll find designerboutiques, vinyl and bookstores and some of the best food and drink in Australia. Surry Hills also boasts an art house cinema, an open attitude and an extensive network of cycleways that connects it from the CBD to the inner west. The locals appreciate good coffee, cold beer and the annual and highly convivial neighbourhood celebration that is the Surry Hills Festival.
Rough charm meets aspirational luxury in Woolloomooloo, one of Sydney’s most rapidly evolving suburbs that is truly a tale of extremes. Bordered by the Garden Island Naval Base, Sydney’s Botanic Gardens and the spectacular Andrew Boy Charlton outdoor swimming pool, Woolloomooloo’s extensive council housing and hostel network is flanked by the Finger Wharf, one of the most expensive waterfront residential developments in Australia. The interplay between its salty dockland history and its recent gentrification is a dynamic and defining character of the horseshoe shaped valley, which dates back to colonial times. Today fine dining and fifty foot yachts abut historical cottages and a much-loved pie cartin the suburb that also includes one of Sydney’s most interesting theatres, The Old Fitz, and contemporary art gallery Artspace.