You’ll be staying in the heart of Sydney’s dynamic Rocks area. So the city’s wide-ranging cultural opportunities, sizzling restaurants and bars, outstanding architecture, the harbourside and any number of different experiences are all close by. You’ll be able to stroll past the Opera House and around the Circular Bay, or relax in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Bondi Beach, with its surfers, bathers, seawater baths and chic restaurants is also easily accessible, but for a real highlight very little beats taking a scenic seaplane flight from the Harbour, and soaring over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House to land on the Hawkesbury for a spot of gourmet lunch in an upmarket restaurant.
Stay: Three nights in the Shangri-La Hotel.
The Hunter Valley
Collect your hire car and set off on a delightful drive away from the bustle of the city. After just a couple of hours you’ll find yourself in the Hunter Valley – a famous centre of viticulture and home of many of Australia’s most prestigious wines. One in 20 bottles of Aussie wine are produced here, and the Valley has been gradually growing its reputation since its vineyards were established the 1830s. But excellent wineries aren’t the Hunter Valley’s only claim to fame. You’ll find any number of handsome stud farms – the meadowland region around Scone now rivals Kentucky as a breeding ground for racing thoroughbreds – golf courses and spas, surrounded on three sides by a horseshoe (appropriately) of majestic mountains. Between the ends of the horseshoe are tempting beaches and a welcoming sea.
Stay: Two nights in Peppers Convent.
I am unable to express sufficiently my thanks and admiration for the constant care and organisation you put into this journey.- DH, Argentina, 2012