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Emma Joyce

Emma Joyce

Emma Joyce is Time Out's former Sydney Editor.

Articles (75)

The 18 best playgrounds in Sydney

The 18 best playgrounds in Sydney

Got a wriggly little one with energy to burn? Let them run it off at these parks and playgrounds that know how to entertain the real bosses of the household.  Looking for more space to run around? Find the best parks in Sydney. 

The best walks in Sydney

The best walks in Sydney

From easy breezy coastal walks to half-day bush hikes and multi-day expeditions, Sydney’s blessed with many different walking paths that’ll suit amblers of all abilities. Take a look at our list of 13 walks in Sydney that’ll take you over dramatic sandstone cliffs, cobbled stone paths, sandy inlets and well-trodden boardwalks. Take your camera to capture city skyline views, kookaburras sitting in old gum trees, Australian water dragons basking in the sunlight and preserved and protected Aboriginal engravings dating back thousands of years. Feel like cooling off? We've ranked and rated the 50 best beaches in Sydney. RECOMMENDED: The best bushwalks in the Blue Mountains

The best flower delivery services in Sydney

The best flower delivery services in Sydney

When it comes to showing how much you care, you can't go wrong with a beautiful bouquet. Thankfully, Sydney is home to fantastic florists willing to deliver the goods – often at just a day's notice and some even with same day delivery. They all have their own specialities, too, from locally sourced flowers to customisable arrangements. So whether you're ordering for a special day of socially verified celebrations – or, just simply want to brighten up someone's life in a very wonderful and floral way, you'll find something perfect here in our guide to the best flower delivery services in Sydney. Want to really win some hearts? Why not get some sneaky sweets delivered to their (or your) door to boot? This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best escape rooms in Sydney

The best escape rooms in Sydney

Could you save the world, catch a killer, escape a vampire or bring down a tyrant – in one hour or less? Those are just a handful of the nail-biting missions you can take on at Sydney's exciting array of escape rooms. The concept is simple: solve puzzles placed in and around the room before your allotted time runs out. Each room has a different theme and stimulates all the senses, demanding a variety of problem-solving skills, teamwork and deductive logic to conquer.  The Time Out team has tested their mettle at some of the most challenging and immersive escape rooms in the city. Whether we got out in time? Well, that's a different matter. If you're still buzzing after your narrow escape, chill out with a drink at Sydney's best bars, or find your zen again at these splendid spas.  

The best florists in Sydney

The best florists in Sydney

We’ve picked out our favourite Sydney florists and flower shops that always deliver when it comes to beautiful bunches of blooms, from dramatic and sculptural arrangements to pretty posies and vibrant native bouquets. Bring even more life into your home with pot plants from the best nurseries in Sydney, or pick up a good read from the best bookshops in Sydney. When you can't hand over the bouquet in person, you can rely on the best flower delivery services in Sydney.

The best running routes in Sydney

The best running routes in Sydney

We're spoilt for choice when it comes to beautiful running routes in this city. Any one of these 13 options will guarantee the pounding of trainers on solid ground won’t be the only thing getting your blood pumping .Lace up and conquer these lakeside, seaside and parkside runs in Sydney – for views as well as a workout. And don't forget your core – swing by one of these free outdoor gyms around Sydney after. RECOMMENDED: Where to find the best parks in Sydney.

Top Sydney attractions

Top Sydney attractions

Sydney has plenty to offer aside from, y’know that bridge and that very, very famous opera house. The city is packed full of thrilling things to do, whether you’re a long-time resident (and fancy seeing what all the tourists see) or fresh off the flight. Below is a tried and tested checklist of Sydney’s finest attractions that no one, resident or day-tripper, should overlook. Looking for somewhere to eat? Here are the 50 best restaurants in Sydney. Make sure that hotel view is one to 'gram with our guide to the best hotels in Sydney.  RECOMMENDED: 10 Sydney sightseeing spots to check off your bucket list.  This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

The best activities for kids in Sydney

The best activities for kids in Sydney

If you've got a brood of little scamps, you should make the most of this glorious city together. These are our favourite places to go with babies, children and tweens as they’re the most consistent when it comes to offering top quality programs for children and families. Check ahead to find out what special events and activities are taking place at each spot, and keep an eye out for extra fun during the school holidays.  Looking for a hassle-free place to eat out with the whole fam? These kid-friendly Sydney restaurants know how to make tiny diners feel welcome, and these are the best Sydney pubs for punters with kids.  RECOMMENDED: The best playgrounds in Sydney.

The best homewares shops in Sydney

The best homewares shops in Sydney

When you're spending more and more time in your own four walls, you might as well take the opportunity to make your space really yours. Whether you're after an ergonomic chair, an interesting object or a thoughtful gift, you'll find what you're after in the stores we've rouned up – and yes, they all have delivery and pick-up options.  To help you figure out your budget, we've categorised the below stores by a metric close to the Time Out heart: booze. You've got your 'goon' budget for objects that won't break the bank, your 'beer' budget that factors in posher craft brews as well as unassuming ales, and the 'Champagne' budget for those seeking out those top-of-the-line, showily upper-market finds.  Go on, make that tiny city apartment feel like home with smart functional designs, or go all-out and fill your new beach house with Australian-made furniture or globally sourced homewares. Recommended: The best places to buy art prints in Sydney.  

The best outdoor gyms in Sydney

The best outdoor gyms in Sydney

Many people are asking: "Are gyms open?" Indoor facilities are shuttered across Greater Sydney, but unlike during the city's first lockdown in 2020, when outdoor gyms were off-limits, the City of Sydney has announced that public playgrounds and outdoor fitness areas will remain open during the current lockdown: "We're cleaning these facilities regularly. We recommend you wash your hands and wipe down the equipment before and after you use it. Stay 1.5 away from others at all times, practice good hygiene and don't train or use the equipment if you have any symptoms." Outdoor fitness groups in Greater Sydney are limited to a maximum of 10 people who must all be wearing a mask. Want more outdoors fitness options? Get a run in along one of Sydney's most scenic running trails.

Sydney’s best picnic hampers

Sydney’s best picnic hampers

When you want to take your picnic to the next level, call in one of the experts. These Sydney companies will prepare a delicious hamper of fresh salads, sandwiches, wraps and snacks for you. All you have to do is to decide where to take it (and who to invite to the party). 

Pretty Picnics

Pretty Picnics

Jo Rapisardi started Pretty Picnics in 2012 as an event organising company where she’d set up a four-course picnic in the park for her customers, and later return to clean up afterwards. Based in Camden, Pretty Picnics now caters for private picnics all the way up to wedding picnics, proposal picnics and pop-up events for clients like Moonlight Cinema. If you’re planning picnic for a special occasion Jo can organise the works. For something simpler you can order food boxes starting at $75 with free delivery for breakfast, lunch or graizing. Or you can go for the whole shebang and have a luxe picnic set up for you, starting at $400. Picnics can be collected from their Camden HQ or delivered within the Macarthur Region and Greater Sydney. Order 48 hours in advance. Check out the website.

Listings and reviews (111)

Paddington Markets

Paddington Markets

Every Saturday, more than 100 stalls line the grounds of Paddington Uniting Church and the neighbouring public school selling Australian-made fashion, handmade crockery and metal costume jewellery. The market has been operating on the same day since 1973, and the all-weather event is a profitable fundraiser for the church. Many of the stallholders return week on week, like the elderly Japanese couple selling Bonsai trees and the Spanish shoemakers selling espadrilles. It’s predominantly an art, clothing and design market – and alongside the kitsch bric-à-brac and Australiana-print tea towels you’ll find straw hats from local milliners and soft Tunisian-made ‘Turkish’ towels from young Eastern Suburb entrepreneurs. Antique, vinyl and vintage stalls are few and far between, but leather satchels, beach photography prints and patterned baby rompers are two a penny. On a hot day locals gather at the shaded tables and stools by the snack stalls. Turkish women hand roll yufka dough at the gözleme tent and vegetables are blitzed in a blender at the fresh juice stand. Chin’s Laksa stall, proudly MSG and gluten free, is a popular choice – as are the vegan cookies and sourdough scones on offer at the bakery stalls. It has a bohemian flair compared to its Oxford Street location and customers joyfully take up fortune readings, as well as reiki and Japanese massage. It’s an oddball mix, but one that works strangely well in an area known for its designer boutiques and gentrified pubs. Ou

Manly Markets

Manly Markets

Off the main drag, but still central enough to attract the tourists, Manly’s weekend markets brings together organic food stalls with souvenir sellers that makes for an easy one-stop-shop for a bite to eat and a quick browse before you hit the beach. Sydney Road has market stalls on either side, which can get stiflingly busy in summer sunshine. On a Sunday morning you’ll find Patrick’s Farm and Rita’s Farm proudly selling certified organic produce from the Hawkesbury and Wallacia. You can pick up Hass avocados, lush green veggies like broccoli, leeks, fennel and spinach, plus earthy Dutch cream potatoes and butternut, and boxes of free range eggs.  Alongside the two main produce stalls at the church end of the street, there are fresh-cut flowers for sale, as well as a variety of stalls peddling coffee, baked goods and fresh breads.  Though the food stalls pack up around 2pm, the bulk of the market’s clothing and gift stalls are there till 5pm. The range is hit-and-miss, from backpacker chic yak wool cardigans, natural skincare products and silver jewellery to the truly excellent retro haul at the tent occupied by Redfern’s Queen Justine Vintage. In the market for a loud Hawaiian shirt? You’re in luck. Looking for an acid wash denim mini? They’ll have heaps.  At the end of the day, this seaside locale is a perfectly breezy place to search for obscure and handmade gifts on a sunny weekend morning, with the beach a very sweet 50 metre walk away.   

Sydney Seaplanes

Sydney Seaplanes

Sydney Seaplanes operates from the site of Australia’s first international airport, where Catalina flying boats would take off for a ten-day journey to London in the early ’40s, stopping 30 times on the way. Now, they run approximately 15 flights a day, all year round, taking passengers over Sydney’s sandstone coastline for short scenic tours or fly-and-dine experiences to Cottage Point Inn on the Hawkesbury or Jonah’s at Whale Beach. Recently, the terminal has undergone a transformation from shabby shed by the water to a high-end waterside dining spot where Rose Bay residents can stop in for a coffee and pastry or Champagne and oysters. There’s a mini museum on site where visitors can drop in and discover the terminal’s history as a destination for luxury aviation.  Inside the six-seater aircraft you feel every bump of turbulence, but our friendly pilot Tim is quick to ease our nerves by pointing out the landmark beaches from Camp Cove to Shelly Beach, Avalon to Palm Beach. We land at Pittwater to drop off two passengers who are staying the night at Jonah’s – they’re picked up by a small boat complete with canine sailors. Back in the sky, we spot a pod of 20 dolphins frolicking around Barrenjoey Lighthouse. Tim tilts the plane so we can get the best photos possible as we cruise back to the inner harbour at 1,000 feet. The Manly Ferry looks like a tiny toy boat from up here. And as we thought it couldn’t get better, we circle the fortress island of Fort Denison for the finale

Dive Centre Manly

Dive Centre Manly

You don’t need to travel to the Great Barrier Reef to discover Australia’s marine life – you can see cockatoo fish, leatherjackets, sea urchin (so much sea urchin) and teeny tiny pomfrets right here, in Manly. Dive Centre Manly runs Snorkel Safaris of three popular spots in the area, and they take visitors on underwater adventures every day. Today we’re heading to Fairlight (the wind isn’t in our favour to snorkel at Shelly Beach) and our guide Ana explains the route we’ll take and what we’re likely to see before we arrive at the beach. In a 40-minute swim, we navigate over the kelp and seagrass in the quiet bay and Ana points out a school of goatfish, pygmy leatherjackets and crimson banded wrasse. Snorkelling is a social sport and having Ana to guide us means more eyes for spotting sea creatures as we concentrate on breathing and swimming. Before our eyes can adjust, Ana spots a pair of smooth cornetfish in the deep. We swim round to the boulders and the drop goes from three metres to 12, suddenly we’re surrounded by tennis ball-sized jellyfish that we scoop up with our hands to see the currents of light travelling through them. Already a snorkelling pro? Hire a mask, snorkel, fins and floaty for the day for $25.

No Lights No Lycra

No Lights No Lycra

There are no nightclubs at Bondi Beach, but on Thursday night at around 9pm you’d be forgiven for thinking there was a secret, sweaty rave taking place in the Bondi Scout Hall. It’s a weekly ritual for locals who want to work up a sweat after work and shake off that feeling of always being on show (an ailment particular to those who live in a suburb of such beautiful people). This is No Lights No Lycra – the weekly, one-hour dance class that takes place in the dark. And we mean dark! It’s pitch black in the room. Our arms are stretched out in front of us so we don’t collide with another dancer, and splintered light shows chairs stacked around the speakers to make sure we don’t cause any serious damage to the sound system. We checked out NLNL in Bondi last year, before the party moved out of the Seagull Room at the Bondi Pavilion while the venue undergoes renovations. You can also get your pitch-black boogie fix in a church hall on a Newtown backstreet on Thursday nights.  “It is dark enough that people lose their inhibitions,” says Ash Maher, 27, one of the founders of NLNL Sydney. “We tape the blinds to the wall, especially in summer. And we’re going to start bringing black tape because even people’s FitBits give off light.” Maher and her friend Jodie Fisher, 26, started running NLNL classes in Newtown four years ago, and their Bondi nights around two-and-a-half years ago. “They’re both the same concept, but the nights have their own characters,” says Maher. “People love to

Bungarribee Park

Bungarribee Park

Western Sydney Parklands' 200-hectare park has a fantastic playground for kids and one of the largest off-leash dog areas in Sydney. The $15-million development was completed in March 2017. Bungarribee Park’s playground has a giant sand pit with a colourful, geometric climbing tower that has slides and nets at various exits. Plus, there’s a flying fox, swings and balance beams in partially shaded spots that kids can clamber over and explore. The development also includes walking and cycling tracks, 20 barbecues and 13 picnic shelters, in addition to car parking and vehicle access from Doonside Road. Plus, if it’s a really hot day, you can cool off at Wet ‘n’ Wild.

Manly Kayak Centre

Manly Kayak Centre

One of the best decisions we ever made was opting for the water booties and fleece-lined base layer tops that Manly Kayak Centre offers to all its visitors. Why? Because this was the wettest and wildest kayaking tour we experienced – all thanks to the enthusiasm of our guide Belinda who was raring to go ahead on a winder-than-usual Saturday. Launching off metres from the Manly ferry was a thrill in itself, but soon we were working up a sweat navigating moving boats, a rising tide and drenching sea spray. We buddy up on a double sea kayak for maximum power as we paddle out towards the ocean. Hugging the coastline as much as we can, we steer into the secluded Store Beach for a much-needed rest and refuel. As part of the tour, Manly Kayak Centre organises a picnic table, chairs and loungers as well as a platter of sandwiches, fruit and lamingtons for the salty kayakers. The beach is accessible only by boat, which makes it a popular spot for proposal picnics. Though they’ve packed a couple of stand-up paddle boards, we opt to get back in the kayak and scoot around to Q Station. As each tour is four hours long, there’s time for a scenic walk wherever you moor up. We take a stickybeak around the historical, and possibly haunted, buildings at the old Quarantine Station. It’s a good opportunity to stretch the hip flexors and flex the wrists after the challenging 40-minute paddle. When the seas are calmer, Belinda takes her tours across to Dobroyd Head, but we’re more than satisfie

Carrington Falls and Nellie’s Glen

Carrington Falls and Nellie’s Glen

The Carrington Falls walking track is supremely popular, but Budderoo National Park has another gem up its sleeve: Nellie's Glen. The lesser-known picnic spot connects the top of Carrington Falls with a secluded rock pool and smaller waterfall that you can swim to, shower in, and take a seat under. Park your car and first take a look at Carrington Falls from its flat top. You can walk over the mossy bedrock and sit in the plunge pool, or just stand in the small slipstreams and look out at the treetops of the Southern Highlands. There are warning signs, but it’s worryingly easy to walk to the edge of the waterfall and peer over the edge – don’t. Walk round to Nellie’s Glen – around 100 metres up the hill. There's a natural rockpool that's deep enough for laps and people take turns in the shower, including young kids. Bring towels and settle in for the afternoon, watching the dragonflies and butterflies that skim the water.

Pirrama Park Playground

Pirrama Park Playground

Once little eyeballs spot this park’s giant sandpit, they won't want to leave. Pirrama means ‘rocking stone’ in Gadigal, and the 1.8 hectare park in Pyrmont has cafés, free barbecues, public toilets, and covered picnic areas that all overlook the harbour waters. It also has an excellent playground with a sandpit so large it’s like a mini fossil-excavation site. Toddlers scrape away at the sand, digging for buried treasure – and parents are busy keeping it out of their mouths/ears. But the true gem of this waterside playground is the wide-open pathway of water fountains – soaking all the rudey nudey kidlets running around and screaming at the top of their lungs. It’s heaps of fun in the summer (just remember to bring a change of clothes). If your little one doesn’t love to get wet, there are two baby swings, a small slide, and spinning-gravitational-rotators that are fun to cling onto. Bigger kids (and adults) can clamber over the giant net, or simply run off steam around the expansive grassed park. Careful: it’s not fenced, and there’s lots of access points to the water.

Prince Alfred Park Playground

Prince Alfred Park Playground

Prince Alfred Park has a lot going for it: city skyline views, an outdoor swimming pool, basketball and tennis courts, wildflower regeneration meadows, and one of the best playgrounds in Sydney. There’s a giant yellow balloon structure that’s inspired by a historical moment when Thomas Gale took a balloon ride from Prince Alfred Park to Redfern in 1870. Kids can climb up and hang off the play equipment, before flinging themselves towards the big see-saw and the swings, which face towards the city’s most interesting buildings. There’s a small elephant slide for little ones, plus one extra wide one with a shade, and as you’re right by the entrance to Prince Alfred Park Pool, make sure you pack your swimmers.

Sydney Park Playground

Sydney Park Playground

Sydney Park has a top-notch playground for kids with slides built into a hill that you can climb up, or roll down, and large, triangular climbing nets that look like rockets. Parents love the kiosk around the corner for their affordable coffees and brekky snacks, and the playground is walking distance from the Sydney Park Kids Bike Track that has purpose-built cycleways and working traffic lights for little learners. There’s a raised, and more wheelchair friendly, sandpit (at adult hip height) that kids love to dig around in. There are swings and bridges, a water play zone and spongy flooring so you don’t need to worry about grazed knees. Sydney Park also has public toilets, water bubblers, easy parking, barbecues and shared areas – as well as dog-friendly walking and cycling paths.

Victoria Park Playground

Victoria Park Playground

In the middle of two major roads in Sydney you’ll find a nine hectare park that feels like a calm oasis… that is until you spot the children’s playground. Head to the west end of the park, away from the pond and the open play areas, and you’ll find squealing children, joyfully making the most of the exciting play equipment at Victoria Park. There’s a long flying fox, a really fast bowl spinner, climbing nets, swings, and springing riders for little ones. It’s partially shaded, and there are picnic benches around the outside for weary adults. And best of all, there’s lots of natural plants, landing chips, rocks and trees to explore. 

News (243)

Three new designers at the Big Design Market

Three new designers at the Big Design Market

Two hundred independent designers will showcase their products at the Big Design Market this spring, which is held at the Royal Hall of Industries. We speak to three designers who’ll be appearing at the Sydney markets for the first time to find out who they are, what flies off their virtual shelves and what to expect from their real-world stalls on November 24-26. 1. Kester Black Melbourne-based nail polish brand Kester Black says they’re Australia’s most innovative ethical beauty brand – and they’ve got certificates to prove it. Their polish is Australian made, accredited cruelty free, and vegan and founder Anna Ross commits two per cent of their revenue to charity. The five-year-old company recently created a water-based nail polish remover, which is non-flammable, safe for children, halal certified and smells like peaches. “Nail polish actually helps your nails become stronger, you just need to use great products,” says Ross. “One thing customers can do to is use a nail cleanser, which removes oils or cream from the nail before they apply their nail polish. If you use cuticle oil after your nail polish has already bonded to your nail that will also stop them from flaking.” Already a fan? Look out for a new line of lipsticks in the new year. $4-$28. Most popular? Nude shade ‘Petal’ is their bestselling polish, along with Hollywood red ‘Cherry Pie’. Make a beeline for… Their Christmas crackers. “We’re making bonbons for Christmas which are like a surprise lucky dip item.”

My Dad Wrote a Porno might just go out with a bang, according to host Jamie Morton

My Dad Wrote a Porno might just go out with a bang, according to host Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton once received an email from his dad containing one poorly written, not-sexy pornographic novel about a woman called Belinda rising to the top in the steamy world of the pots and pans industry. Instead of pushing that embarrassing reality deep down somewhere inside, Jamie and his friends, James Cooper and Alice Levine, started recording a weekly chapter reading – now 180 million of us tune in to listen to the cringeworthy world of Belinda Blinked.  “Am I in some sort of parallel universe where he’s a great writer and the joke’s on us?,” says Morton. “When my mum first listened to the first episode, she said: ‘Well, at least I know he’s never had an affair because he clearly wouldn’t know what to do.’” Morton’s dad – pen name Rocky Flintstone – is famously inept when it comes to writing about sex, or, for that matter, writing about anything at all. “I think he’s responsible for the drop in teenage pregnancy numbers,” says Morton. “STDs on the decrease.” But the big joke – the one we’re all in on, that Jamie’s dad is a bit crap at writing – is starting to take a turn.  “To this day, [Rocky is], genuinely, like ‘This work is brilliant and I’m amazing. What’s annoying is that he’s right. The show’s gone on a weird journey of oh-let’s-all-laugh-at-Rocky to now, suddenly, oh-my-god-is-he-actually-really-good?” If you laughed your way through series one, but forgot all about Belinda, Peter Rouse, Giselle, Tony and the one-and-only Duchess, don’t worry. “Welcome to Alice

My Dad Wrote a Porno might just go out with a bang, according to host Jamie Morton

My Dad Wrote a Porno might just go out with a bang, according to host Jamie Morton

Jamie Morton once received an email from his dad containing one poorly written, not-sexy pornographic novel about a woman called Belinda rising to the top in the steamy world of the pots and pans industry. Instead of pushing that embarrassing reality deep down somewhere inside, Jamie and his friends, James Cooper and Alice Levine, started recording a weekly chapter reading – now 180 million of us tune in to listen to the cringeworthy world of Belinda Blinked.  “Am I in some sort of parallel universe where he’s a great writer and the joke’s on us?,” says Morton. “When my mum first listened to the first episode, she said: ‘Well, at least I know he’s never had an affair because he clearly wouldn’t know what to do.’” Morton’s dad – pen name Rocky Flintstone – is famously inept when it comes to writing about sex, or, for that matter, writing about anything at all. “I think he’s responsible for the drop in teenage pregnancy numbers,” says Morton. “STDs on the decrease.” But the big joke – the one we’re all in on, that Jamie’s dad is a bit crap at writing – is starting to take a turn.  “To this day, [Rocky is], genuinely, like ‘This work is brilliant and I’m amazing. What’s annoying is that he’s right. The show’s gone on a weird journey of oh-let’s-all-laugh-at-Rocky to now, suddenly, oh-my-god-is-he-actually-really-good?” If you laughed your way through series one, but forgot all about Belinda, Peter Rouse, Giselle, Tony and the one-and-only Duchess, don’t worry. “Welcome to Alice

Normal people can now book into this exclusive floating villa in Sydney’s Palm Beach

Normal people can now book into this exclusive floating villa in Sydney’s Palm Beach

You may have spotted the extraordinarily fancy floating getaway off the shores of Palm Beach, complete with aperitivo deck, sun loungers and a dingy for nipping to the beach with a bottle of champers at sunset. Lilypad Palm Beach launched in December 2018 as an exclusive, members-only villa for overnight stays – and now the company has opened up its bookings to ordinary folk, like us. That’s if you can afford the $1,350-per night price tag. Owner and designer Chuck Anderson, a Northern Beaches local, says he created Lilypad as a space for true relaxation and out of respect for the environment it occupies. “The design and construction of Lilypad was a feat in engineering to ensure guests could experience luxury accommodation on an entirely stable surface, whilst drifting with the rhythmic sounds and movements of the ocean,” he says.  Photograph: Supplied The mini island retreat is a neat package of luxury living. Every overnight guest receives a private concierge, a self-drive personal vessel (posh dingy) to explore the local beaches, a complimentary onboard cellar of Veuve Clicquot, Cloudy Bay and Glenmorangie Whiskey, and a meal at Barrenjoey House to which you’ll receive private boat transfers.  Upping the ante, Lilypad has partnered with Sydney Seaplanes so you can jet off to Palmy from Rose Bay and land on the water beside your new pad for the night. Or, you can go big or go home on that extravagant proposal you’ve been planning and book onboard massages and beauty treatm

Antidote announces new speakers and a special panel on climate change

Antidote announces new speakers and a special panel on climate change

Responding to the urgent matters of our time has been a constant driver for Antidote festival, which announced its first speakers for the two-day talks and ideas event last month. We’ve already been blown away by the headline speakers coming to Sydney Opera House in August, including former Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon, Cambridge Analytica Whistleblower Christopher Wylie and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson. Now Antidote has announced a brand-new panel talk calling attention to the urgent need to halt climate change. The panel features Climate Now co-founder Kyle Pope, conservationist Tim Flannery, and CNN Indonesia anchor Desi Anwar. Walkley award-winning journalist Kerry O’Brien is chairing the discussion, which will ask whether the media has failed in its reporting and how it should approach the topic of climate change now. More new names on the bill include Cantopop singer and LGBTQIA rights activist Denise Ho, who will appear in conversation with Vice UK editor Zing Tsjeng; American international attorney Kimberley Motley, the first foreign lawyer to practice law in Afghanistan; and Peter Greste, who will moderate the panel talk My Crime is Journalism.  There’s another new panel discussion that will focus on the economics of disability. Speakers include Worimi man and CEO of First Peoples Disability Network Damian Griffis, and disability and human rights activist Samantha Connor. City of Sydney councillor Jess Scully will address alternative models of hous

Sydney is home to the first ever Indigenous rooftop garden dedicated to native plants

Sydney is home to the first ever Indigenous rooftop garden dedicated to native plants

There are 70 finger limes planted into around 25-40 centimetres of soil on a rooftop of a new building in Eveleigh. Warrigal greens glisten under the weight of recent rainfall, two species of saltbush (‘old man’ and ‘ruby’) tussle for space, and we’re taking a deep inhale of the spearmint-like scent of a native rivermint (we’re told it’s very good in a Mojito). Christian Hampson, one of the founders of Sydney’s first native plant rooftop farm tells us, “We’ve got mountain species next to coastal species next to western desert species – and they’re all thriving in this environment.  “We started off with just over 30 species. The idea is that we create an ecosystem up here, attracting birds and insects that pollinate our food species.” Hampson and his co-founder Clarence Slockee have spent three months tending to their new garden, and almost two years on a bigger project that’s set to become a template for others who want to learn about the benefits of edible, medicinal and culturally relevant plants to Indigenous Australians.  “We wanted to disrupt not only the way that Indigenous business was done, but also environmentally conscious enterprise.”   Photograph: Cassandra Hannagan Hampson is a Woiwurrung and Maneroo man and Slockee is a Mindjingbal-Bundjalung man. They’ve named their operation Yerrabingin, which means ‘we walk together’ in Muktung, from Hampson’s grandparents’ language. “It’s about the time when the first people and the first spirits walked the earth and they we

Dating IRL: Martin and Tony

Dating IRL: Martin and Tony

Conscious Dating Co helped us find two Sydneysiders looking for love. We sent them on a date to Nour to see if sparks would fly… Ideal date Martin: “I like being in nature, so going on a bush walk and swimming in freshwater rivers or lakes, or finding a waterfall to swim under.”Tony: “I like activity-based dates, like paddle boarding, rock climbing, going to Holey Moley or something that takes you both out of your comfort zone.” First impressions Martin: “Tall. Handsome. Warm. Friendly. Open.”Tony: “He had a great beard and a great smile.” Chemistry  Martin: “There was chemistry on my part. I thought he was very attractive.”Tony: “Probably not. We have very similar beliefs, so from a friendship perspective: yes. I have quite a big personality; I was loud and he was shy. I need someone who’s a bit boisterous.” Awkward moment Martin: “I didn’t feel awkward. I thought we had good, comfortable communication. I was attracted to him, so I suppose I felt nervous about that. I felt a tension – in a good way.”Tony: “There were no awkward silences. But it would take a lot for me to feel awkward.” Afterward  Martin: “We said goodbye to each other, and he gave me a kiss on the cheek… I gave him a kiss on the cheek and we both went home. I thought it was a nice ending to the evening.”Tony: “I wanted to make sure he got home safe. I had plans to meet a friend’s new boyfriend, so I went to meet them afterwards.” Second date?  Martin: “I’m definitely open to a second date. I’d like to get

Sydney has a new rooftop sauna in Surry Hills

Sydney has a new rooftop sauna in Surry Hills

Sydney is overrun with novelty fun at this time of year – you can sit in your own snow globe at Igloos on the Pier, feast on cheese in a tent at the Winery, and play retro children’s games at a pop-up playground in the sky – so it was only a matter of time before someone thought to open a pop-up sauna on a rooftop.  Fortunately, those people are Surry Hills fancy-pants gym Paramount Recreation Club and the sexy wellness brand Nimbus + Co, who have studios in Bondi, Byron Bay and Melbourne.  Together they’ve created their Winter Sauna on the rooftop of Paramount Recreation Club that is available every day until the end of August – and you don’t need to be a member of the gym to use it.  Photograph: Supplied The private, infrared glasshouse uses mid, near and far infrared lighting to heat your body and help you relax. They’ve kitted it out with beautiful furniture, greenery and robes by Hay, the Plant Society, In Bed, and Armadillo & Co, and it’ll have built-in speakers so you can plug in your own tunes or meditation podcasts.  It’s open to the public and guests of the Rec Club and Paramount House Hotel. You can get sweaty on your own for $60, pair up with a pal for $80, or go in on a hot threesome (keep it clean, please) for $90.  The Winter Sauna is open from 7am-8pm from Monday to Friday and from 7am-2.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays until the end of August.  Heat up next to a roaring fire at the best pubs with fireplaces in Sydney.  Pamper yourself at the best spas in Sydne

Antidote has announced its first speakers for this year’s festival

Antidote has announced its first speakers for this year’s festival

The first guests at this year’s Antidote festival have been announced and the emerging themes of the program include data privacy, press freedom, and our creative response to a world in political and social turmoil. “The big underpinning idea for Antidote is how we can practically respond to our times,” says festival director Dr Edwina Throsby. “There are big thematic issues that we’re all struggling with, and a lot of them are to do with our online environments.” Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Chris Wylie, Sonic Youth co-founder Kim Gordon, and Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson are some of the headline speakers for Antidote, which takes place on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1. Throsby says the festival’s themes ask a lot of questions about our collective and individual freedoms, restrictions and rights to rally against injustices – but that Antidote is a festival that’s also very hopeful. “I think that hope comes through a lot in this session,” she says. “A lot of people in their work are holding others to account, bringing about change in their community – but the person who articulates the idea of hope the best is DeRay Mckesson.” Born in Baltimore to drug addict parents, the former teacher is now a prominent voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. “One of his really strong messages is to find hope in activism. People become activists because they’re angry and because they’re railing against injustices, but the fact that communities form arou

Six moments that moved us at this year’s TEDxSydney

Six moments that moved us at this year’s TEDxSydney

In TEDxSydney’s tenth year the theme ‘legacy’ took on many meanings. Not only did it stand for how far the event has come as one of the largest TEDx events around the world, but also what we as Australians would be leaving behind for future generations. We teared up when 99-year-old Holocaust survivor Eddie Jaku simply reminded us to make every moment count; we rose to our feet to scream like a teenage girl for Yve Blake, author of Fangirls, to try to reconnect with a sense of innocence and empowerment; and we listened with amazement as assistant professor of genetics Monkol Lek spoke of his resilience and determination to find a solution to his neuromuscular disease. We clapped and we laughed and we cried. Here were the six moments that moved us most at this year’s TEDxSydney. 1. When Australia’s celebrated journalist and writer became the first TEDxSydney speaker not to stand on the big red dot Iranian-Kurdish journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani, the man who was awarded the Victorian Prize for Literature for No Friend But the Mountains but is unable to set foot in Australia, became the first speaker at the Sydney event to prerecord his talk – not because he didn’t want to be there, but because he is still detained on Manus Island. “My story is the same as 2,000 other people,” says Boochani. “We found ourselves in a place that was worse than a prison.” Boochani spoke direct to camera, unable to know the reaction of the audience, urging everyone in the room to consider th

Ride the new Sydney Metro trains for free this Sunday

Ride the new Sydney Metro trains for free this Sunday

Put your Opal cards away! This weekend you can hop on one of the first Sydney Metro trains to Chatswood without paying a cent. On Sunday May 26, the new Metro North West Line will officially open, launching the huge NSW government project to develop Australia’s first driverless railway system. To mark the occasion, they’re throwing open the gates on all services between Tallawong and Chatswood – so you can test it out for yourself. All Sydney Metro stations will open around 11am on Sunday, with the final metros of the day leaving Chatswood at 10.05pm and Tallawong at 9.35pm. It’s also the start of Vivid Sydney this weekend (lights on between 6pm-midnight), so if you were planning to check out Chatswood’s lights (also free of charge) you can save yourself a hefty Uber fare home. Premier Gladys Berejiklian is pretty chuffed about the project, which has been delivered on time and more than $1 billion under budget. And if you’re concerned about the lack of humans in the drivers’ compartment, we hear the new driverless trains have completed more than 180,000 kilometres of testing.   Planning to mix your modes of transport? Remember to tap on and tap off for regular bus, train and light rail services. It’s just the shiny Metro North West Line that’s free to use. Planning your Vivid Sydney route? Here are the 11 best Vivid Lights to seek out.

Dating IRL: Derek and Zach

Dating IRL: Derek and Zach

Conscious Dating Co helped us find two Sydneysiders looking for love. We sent them on a date to vegan restaurant Bodhi to see if sparks would fly… Ideal date Derek: Going to a rooftop bar then a restaurant with a nice view, perhaps overlooking a beach, then going for a walk along the sand or getting dessert. Zach: Watching a play, or doing a bush walk, rather than a traditional dinner date.   First impressions Derek: “I felt like we had polite conversation at the beginning, more like talking to a friend that I haven’t seen in a while. It got more interesting as the night progressed.”Zach: “He’s really sweet, like a cherub – very nice, but very formal. He has a cherub-like nature but he’s reserved, yet very funny.”  Chemistry Derek: “I felt that even though we had things in common, I guess we’re both at different stages in our lives. I felt that the chemistry wasn’t quite there.”Zach: “I definitely think it’s more of a friend vibe. He’s really lovely and we had a few things in common, like cooking, but it wasn’t really there for me. He’s a really sweet guy, so I can’t imagine him being single for that long.” Awkward moment Derek: “I dropped my chopsticks underneath where Zach was sitting, underneath his stool… For me that was the awkward part of the night.”Zach: “The conversation was going well the whole time – he was very interested – and I talk at a hundred words a minute. We had a running joke because it was a little bit cold, and we were both being a bit of a diva.” Afte