JOIN US IN AN INTERVIEW WITH FELICITY FRANKISH FROM SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES !
Felicity Frankish is mum of two girls, Cassandra (3) and Vivienne (1) and one on the way! She set up The Baby Vine as an educational parenting community that puts the focus back on the everyday parent. She completed a Bachelor of Communications in Journalism and Masters in Digital Media at the University of Newcastle. After working for a national parenting magazine for four years, she wanted to take the focus off celebrities and click bait and bring parents the quality articles they were searching for. She left on maternity leave for her first daughter and hence The Baby Vine was born.
Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and is the most densely populated city in the entire Oceania continent. It is considered as the most beautiful city with iconic Bondi Beach in the east, golden Palm Beach in the north, the adventure capital in the west and Australia’s oldest national park in the south.
Sydney is also referred to as ‘Sin City’ and 26th January is celebrated as a national holiday because it is on this day the ships from England arrived with convicts and left them there as a punishment.
What is the best time to visit your city?
While it is often nice to get away during the off season to steer clear of the crowds, you really can’t beat Sydney in Summer time. We are well known for our sandy beaches, markets, parks, and plenty of outdoor activities. Plus, Christmas on the beach is something pretty special!
November onwards is honestly my favourite time to be in Sydney. We are known for our outdoors adventures and there is so much more to see and do when the sun is out. Plus, everyone is much friendlier! The end of the year is when we are all winding down and in party mode, so the atmosphere is much better as well.
Which is the most convenient and favored transport of your city?
Hands down the train. I am the BIGGEST train lover. Even with two kids, we go on the train everywhere. It is just so much easier to get around, and take you everywhere you need to go in the city.
There are, of course, buses, ubers and taxis to help you get around the city, and you will want to jump on a ferry for the fun of it as well! Perfect way to see the sites in a magical way.
What are the top three must visit places in your city?
Circular Quay: It has the Opera House, plenty of amazing restaurants, the Botanical Gardens just next door and a great view of the Harbour Bridge. Bring your camera and get clicking! Plus, the Opera House hosts plenty of amazing shows and events throughout the year. Book one in before or during your trip and you can tour the insides!
We always make the stop for ice cream and sit and watch the ferries come in. You could even jump on a ferry yourself and check out one of the nearby islands. Cockatoo Island is one of our favourites, full of so much history and there is so much to explore there as well. Bring your hiking shoes and enjoy! Plus, the ferry ride is a great way to see Sydney. The views are amazing. Line up early and nab yourself an outdoor seat. Sure, it’s windy but you will get much better photos.
Taronga Zoo: it may just be me, but I just LOVE checking out the zoos in each city I go to. This one is a big day outing in itself. We always drive in, but if you want to see the sites, you can catch a ferry! You get off at the bottom and catch a cable car up to the top of the zoo. We always make the cable car a top priority on our zoo trips. It can get busy as the day goes on so best to get it out of the way first. You can follow the zoo map and make your way around, but make sure you add the seal show and the bird show to your itinerary. They are definitely worth checking out. You should also pack some swimmers or spare clothes for the kids, as there is a great water play area near the bottom, which is just perfect for Summer. We also have a new Tiger Exhibit that takes you’re a simulated plane ride to a special enclosed area, complete with a car kids can climb in to get up close and personal with the tigers. If you want to make your day a little cheaper, pack your own lunch, as the costs will add up quickly! We always save our money for a well-deserved ice-cream.
Manly Beach: it’s a busy tourist spot, but it is well worth the visit. You can enjoy a whole day out here. Once again, you can make your way in on a ferry, which is a much nicer view that the bus route. Get there nice and early and set up a spot on the beach as it will get crowded quickly on a hot day. You can head back up the promenade for a bit of shopping (there’s plenty of good old Aussie tourist shops up there as well), and there are lots of nice restaurants with views of the beach. You can make the walk to the opposite side and see Manly Wharf. Once again, there are lots of bars and restaurants here that you can enjoy. It makes for a great walk!
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from your city ?
Hunter Valley: This is one of our favourites, because there is always something happening.
The Hunter Valley Gardens has plenty of exhibits all year round. There’s the Mega Creatures exhibit full of GIANT insects and dinosaurs to check out. The Christmas Lights they are just spectacular. You simply wait until the sun goes down and then they are switched on. You can spend hours walking through them all. There’s also the Snow Time exhibit where you can toboggan, play in fake snow, ice skate and so much more.
Wine tasting is of course a must in this region. You can grab a bike, but be prepared for a LOT of riding. Everything is fairly close by car, but the roads are long and flat. There are so many wineries to check out that it is worth grabbing a map and marking off the ones you really want to see. Plan your day before you go otherwise you will find yourself doing a lot of unnecessary driving in the process.
Horse riding is another popular activity here and a great way to see some of the sites. They have tours that cater to all ages and abilities so you won’t miss out. There are even horse drawn carriages.
Blue Mountains: about two hours from the city, there is lots to see and do in the Blue Mountains. You could simply just book a lodge there and not need to leave for the whole weekend! There’s such a homely, beautiful feel there.
Scenic World – a trip to the Mountains isn’t complete without visiting Scenic World. The views are just amazing. You can also enjoy a cable car ride and/or a train trip with a nice bush walk to mix things up.
Three Sisters – you can head to a clifftop platform for the best view of this iconic landmark. They are one of the Blue Mountain’s best known sites – essentially an unusual rock formation that looks to be in the shape of three sisters!
Wentworth Falls – the perfect place to visit for a bit more scenery. You can stop for a swim here, but just be warned it gets very busy with tourists, so it may not be worth your while.
Central Coast: If beaches are what you can to Sydney for, then you can’t go past the Central Coast. Just 1.5 hours from Sydney it is lined with beaches for you to tour, plenty of shops, parks and festivals happening throughout the year.
We always stay at Terrigal, or it’s lesser known counterpart, Avoca. Terrigal is overpopulated with tourists throughout the year. It is a fairly small town, with a big sweeping beach to take up your time. There are also plenty of restaurants and shops nearby.
Avoca Beach is much quieter, but there is also a LOT less shops and restaurants. So it depends what you are after. You can, of course, do a drive right along the coast and check out all the beaches along the way. Bring your swimmers, and make sure you stop off for Fish and Chips on the beach before you head back!
What is the most celebrated holiday of the year in your city?
Christmas, it’s my favourite time of the year. Things start warming up at the beginning of November and by December you will see stores, streets and more all decorated for the silly season. From the giant Christmas Tree in Martin Place, to the window displays at David Jones, the Christmas markets and festivals, and Carols in the Domain, there is so much to see, do and celebrate.
Here are some of the best Christmas events to enjoy:
Carols in the Domain – Definitely put this one on your to-do list. It’s one thing to watch them on TV, and quite another to be there in the moment. A handy hint is going to the dress rehearsal the night before. You avoid most of the crowds (not all, sorry), don’t have to be there from midday to get a spot, and get to see the same show! Sure, there might be a few more pauses along the way, but well worth it for fighting those crowds.
Santa Spectacular – This is a magical Christmas wonderland that is complete with an ice rink, rides, playgrounds, crafts, an interactive enchanted forest, shows and so much more. It’s a great family day out.
Christmas in the City – The city really does just come alive at Christmas, with so many sites to see. Each year you can watch them light up the big Christmas tree at Martine place at the end of November, with a big festival to enjoy as part of it all. The you can wander down to check out the displays at Myer and David Jones and even pay Santa a visit while you are there. We also go to the QVB Santa each year for photos as he is always so real. Handy hint, you can book your time slot online, which means you can avoid the queues! So handy.
What is the most loved local food, savory and sweet of your city?
Food, food and more food. Sydneysiders just love their food and every single variety of it. From Gluten–free to vegetarian, you will find every option under the sun – and if it is BYO or has a good cocktail menu, you will likely find us Aussies there. A few of the must-visit places include:
The Grounds Of Alexandria – great place to grab a coffee and also plenty of things to do as well. There is the resident pig, Kevin Bacon, to say hi to, along with other animals, and they often hosts markets and other events.
The Winery – this place has a nice relaxed vibe if you are looking to stay away from the night clubs and other bustling areas. As you would expect, soooo many wines to choose from, but so many delicious dishes as well.
Quay – if you have the $$ to spend then definitely book in here. You will be treated to fine dining and spectacular views of the city. Don’t forget, you will need to book well ahead of time for this one.
Where to head for shopping in your city? Which is the local craft or souvenir of your city?
You can’t beat heading into the city for a spot of shopping. The City Westfield has a pretty impressive array of shops, along with an equally awesome food court so you can refuel as you go.
One market not to be missed is the Fish Markets. You want to head early as by lunchtime they are packed to the brim, but you will be able to enjoy plenty of extra fresh produce caught that day – it really is a treat.
Our ugg boots of course! Warm, snug and soft, they make the perfect souvenir or gift for a loved one back home.
Which are the best streets of your city worthy of taking a stroll on?
I can’t go past The Rocks. Just a short walk from Circular Quay, they are full of history and character and make the perfect day trip. You can catch the train to Wynyard and make the brief 15 minute walk, or you change at Wynyard and take the train to Circular Quay to save you the effort.
Combine your trip with a visit to Pancakes on the Rocks – a delicious restaurant that serves pancakes all day long – and a big variety of them! Almost every weekend there are also markets to check out along the Rocks, and plenty of speciality shops there as well. There is a lot of culture and atmosphere here.
Can you suggest a place from where one can get the best view of the city?
Apart from taking the Manly Ferry and visiting Circular Quay, you can also head to Observatory Hill for a great view of the city.
You can bring up a picnic with you, as there is plenty of grassed area for you to camp down and enjoy the view for as long as you like. You will literally get panoramic views of the city – the best you can find! It’s hidden in the centre of the city, so it is nice and easy to get to as well.
Would you suggest any shows in your city to drama, music or art lovers? Where can one spot street art in your city?
For a true experience, it is always worth finding a show to see in the Opera House, it’s a great way to see the inside. Sydney Opera House hosts more than forty shows a week. Find something that suits your taste. Visit the SydneyOperaHouse website for more information on events held there. All our museums are also packed full of great exhibits, so check what is happening during your stay.
Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in your city?
Menulog if you want to order in.
Trip View to plan your transport.
IF YOU ARE TRAVELLING TO SYDNEY OR WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FELICITY’S TRAVEL EXPERIENCES THEN BE SURE TO FOLLOW HER ON
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