Kirsty Smith is a health and wellness blogger originally from the UK. She has lived in Sydney, Australia, and is currently travelling Asia. She is a low-tox living coach empowering people to live a balanced low-tox lifestyle through her online platform Natural Rays, personal coaching and group workshops. She shares with us her recent Sydney adventures…
Sydney is a beautiful city, with so much to offer from its pristine beaches, aqua blue water and amazing weather to iconic architecture and an amazing food scene to suit every taste. It is the perfect destination for those who like to spend time outdoors exploring. To match its beautiful beaches there are many beautiful people. Sydney is one of the most health conscious cities I have ever experienced. Kombucha on tap at the local cafe and in the grocery store is pretty standard as are local organic markets and stores.
Sydney was my home for over three years. This guide is a snapshot of my fave places to eat, move and chill so that when you visit you can live like a local. Maybe your holiday will turn into something more permanent like mine did.
Brunch is a big deal in Sydney, as is good coffee. You’ll find most cafes serve a brunch style menu all day. I have a few firm favourites.
Bellagio Tuckshop & Bakery
My regular Saturday brunch spot is Ballagio Tuckshop and Bakery. I would highly recommend the Green Breakfast Bowl (pictured) washed down with their cacao smoothie and a pastry for the road. Open 7 days. 60 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction.
If you want proximity to the beach with your brunch spot I also highly recommend 3 Blue Ducks in Bronte – 141/143 Macpherson St, Bronte. If you are north of the city look no further than Ora – 17B Whistler Street, Manly. Their menu focuses on local organic food and seriously made me want to move across the bridge so that I could eat there more often. They have also just opened, The Cook Room, Manly – a more formal restaurant offering dinner and drinks
Nalini’s is a perfect stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With 3 locations; Bondi Junction (Street food and takeaway location), Bondi (street food, takeaway and Cha-chas ice cream) and Bronte (Restaurant location) to cater for whatever you are wanting whether that is a sit down meal or take away. The food is what I can best describe as Indian street food but with a healthy twist as the menu is vegan, probiotic-themed and 100% gluten free. The menu also has an Ayurvedic focus. My favourite orders include a Masala wrap with a side of falafel washed down with either a cacao and berry smoothie or hot cacao in winter. They also have amazing desserts and Cha-Cha’s ice cream which is 100% plant based and sugar free. I can vouch that I have tasted 95% of the menu and it is all delicious. What’s more is that the business is family run and the love and passion runs right through.
Broth Bar and Larder
Ever been to a broth bar before? Thought not. This little organic wholefoods cafe and, as the name suggests, larder is only small but packs a mighty nutrient-dense punch. Each day they have a meal of the day which varies from hearty casseroles, sneaky bunless burgers (they are sneaky because the patties include some chicken livers), wild fish curry, cajun chicken wings, shepherd’s pie, beef curry (pictured) and so many more. Always on the menu is dine in or take away chicken and beef broth which you can add flavour bombs too such as lemon, ginger, chilli, turmeric or fish sauce. The principle behind Broth Bar is to combine the wisdom of an ancestral diet with robust science to bring clean, ethically-sourced & traditionally prepared food to heal, nourish, satisfy & delight! All products are free of refined sugar, grains (other than buckwheat) and industrial seed oils. As well as their meals of the day they offer a number of delicious pre-packaged whole food products to take away such as broths, broth based soups, brothsicles (broth infused ice blocks), frozen broth cubes (to throw into smoothies and food), fermented foods and drinks, chicken liver pate, raw treats and activated nuts. I would highly recommend trying the sokolata (raw dark chocolate), activated macadamias and activated muesli. I’ve tried most of the things in the store and can vouch for how delicious they all are! If Soulla the owner is there be sure to pick her brains about the principle behind the broth bar. She is a very passionate and knowledgeable lady.
No visit to Sydney is complete without viewing the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Opera House has many restaurants which suit a variety of budgets. This one is my favourite as it has a good selection of casual pub food, with outdoor seats overlooking the bridge. Perfect spot for sunset drinks and dinner. I highly recommend trying the muscles washed down with a glass of bubbles.
As you will be in the area I would also recommend Hacienda for cocktails. It also has a great view of the harbour. Ask for the marshmallow espresso martini (even if it isn’t on the menu).
Sydney is a health conscious active city for sure. You will be spoilt for choice of ways to move. Whether you want to be in a gym, yoga studio or outside soaking in the rays and the sea breeze. Here are my two favourite places to move indoors.
Creature Ftiness was my regular haunt when living in Sydney. There are morning and evening classes which focus on functional movement CrossFit-style training. Think weightlifting cardio and gymnastics. The coaches are amazing and will be sure to help you out if this is your first time doing this type of training. There is a great sense of community here as well so you will be sure to leave with some new friends. Speak to Raph about trying out a session.
Body Mind Life
My go to yoga studio. With multiple locations across the city including Bondi Beach, Potts Point, Redfern and Surry Hills, Body Mind Life offer yoga, reformer pilates and meditation. They cater for all levels and have some of the best local and international teachers. The Surry Hills studio also offers infrared saunas to further detoxify.
Don’t want to spend your time working out inside when the sunshine is calling you outside? I don’t blame you. Why not grab your running trainers and run along the world famous Bondi to Coogee Coastal Path. This is also a beautiful walk and a perfect way to get over the jetlag of the long flight. Take your swimmers and finish the walk/ run off with a refreshing dip in the ocean or in the ocean pools at any one of the the beaches along the path.
Need to end your workout with a pump session? Why not combine this with a tanning session down at Bondi Beach Bars. These bars are gaining fame like Muscle Beach Venice with their own #barstarzz. If this isn’t really your thing I highly recommend passing by for a look.
Or how about learning to surf or SUPing (stand up paddle boarding). Let’s Go Surfing based down in Bondi Beach (north side) can sort you out with surf lessons in Bondi or SUPing in one of the quieter beaches like Malabar.
With over a 100 beaches, some of which have been voted the best in the world, you will be spoilt for choice for chilling. Most beaches are also equipped with grassy areas with BBQs so you can take your own food and fire up the barbie. This is serious business in Australia and you will find people in these areas having parties, with their massive eskies (cool boxes). Some of my favourite beaches are Bronte (obvs it was my local), Nielsen Park/ Shark Beach (don’t let the name put you off), Shelly Beach (Manly), but you really can’t go wrong with any of the Sydney beaches to be honest. It’s so fun going to explore different ones.
Some of the best chill spots are hidden away in Sydney’s national parks. Hire a car and go explore and you will be rewarded with bush walks and secluded swimming holes.
South West Arm Pool is located in the Royal National Park. It is a short walk along the Winifred Falls Trail from the carpark at Wurumbull Road. Head downstream once you reach the creek to find a beautiful spot where you can chill on the big rock and jump into the cool fresh water of the creek. You’re likely to be some of the only people here with a few small boats occasionally coming up from Port Hacking.
Or if bush walks and secret beaches is more your thing, head to Resolute Beach. Nestled amongst the towering cliffs and vast green bush of Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, this idyllic beach features panoramic views of Pittwater, Palm Beach and the Barrenjoey Headland. There’s no doubt that this is one of the best secret beaches in Sydney. Once in the National Park, follow West Head Road until you reach the Resolute Picnic Ground, where you can park up and hike down to the beach via the Resolute Loop Trail.
Bookstores and Coffee shops
Escape the heat and chill indoors at some lovely bookstore-coffee shop combinations where you can lose yourself for a few hours. Gertrude & Alice at 1/46 Hall St, Bondi Beach and Ampersand at 78 Oxford St, Paddington.
Sydney has a great selection of markets. My favourite are the organic food markets. There are lots of locations and they are held on different days of the week but my favourites are Bondi Market on a Saturday and Marrickville Market on a Sunday. Talk to the growers and buy fresh local produce. There are also loads of take away vendors offering a variety of food. My favourites include the Chai Stall and Fritter House. Sit on the grass and enjoy the sunshine and live acoustic music.
To see more of Kirsty’s travels and lifestyle, take a look at her Instagram.