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Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon

Editor, Time Out Sydney

Maxim Boon has been the editor of Time Out Sydney since 2019.

This British-born culture vulture has been based in Australia since 2010, writing about the arts, entertainment and lifestyle scene for some of the country's top media outlets, including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Broadsheet, The Music, Daily Review, and of course, Time Out. When he's not at his keyboard you can find him in a theatre foyer, a rooftop bar or taking selfies with his thoroughly photogenic moodle Paddington.

Articles (193)

The best boutique hotels in Sydney

The best boutique hotels in Sydney

Boutique hotels offer a delicate balance between creatively luxe interiors and intimate (and often innovative) spaces. In Sydney, you'll find high-quality accommodation built into smaller heritage properties, with fewer rooms, more relaxed service and a greater local focus. You'll feel right at home in a residential suburb, surrounded by local bars and cute cafés but still within striking distance of the city’s most exciting dining and entertainment hubs. We've tried and tested the best boutique venues Sydney has to offer, found in the central business district and as far out as the city’s beach suburbs. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here. Looking for a fancier guestroom? Check out our pick of the finest luxury hotels in the city.

The coolest retro motels in NSW

The coolest retro motels in NSW

What goes around, comes around, so the saying goes, and just as fashion sensibilities look back to look forward, so too, it seems, do the tastes of travellers in search of their next holiday accommodations. Motels were once the cheap and cheerful mainstays of the Aussie road trip, and now, following a few daggy decades out of favour, they are once again enjoying a retro renaissance, thanks to some stylish renovations heroing the design cues of yesteryear but with added 21st-century sophistication. We’ve picked out seven of the coolest motels the state has to offer, so isn't it about time you planned your next getaway? Looking for a more off-road stay? Check out the best glamping retreats in NSW.

50 fun things to do indoors in Sydney

50 fun things to do indoors in Sydney

Sydney: the city of blue skies, alfresco living and fabulous times in the great outdoors, right? Well, hold on a second. The Harbour City is not always a great place for fun in the sun, as this year's persistent rains have proven. But when the weather takes a turn for the worse, you don't need to hunker down at home. Why not take shelter in style with our guide to the most fun things to do indoors in Sydney? Whether you're in search of a crafternoon, a cultural adventure, or a cocktail with a view, there's something for everyone on our list of fun venues and activities where you can stay warm and dry, all year round. Or why not wait out the rain in one of Sydney's most luxurious staycation locations.

Where to find Sydney’s bustling hospitality precincts

Where to find Sydney’s bustling hospitality precincts

First, there were food courts. Then came the food truck revolution. But these days, it's precincts that rule Sydney's culinary scene. In recent years – with a notable boom in the past 12 months, in particular – the Harbour City has experienced a veritable precinct-palooza, as curated collectives of venues and multi-eatery hospo hubs have popped up all over town. These one-stop solutions for dining and drinking adventures combine quality and convenience in a single destination, either within an easily walkable enclave or simply all under one roof. Here’s the lowdown on some of the best of the bunch. Prefer to find your venues one at a time? Check out our pick of the very best new restaurants in Sydney right now.

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 desserts you can get delivered to your door

The best desserts you can get delivered to your door

Just because you (or someone you love) can't physically get themselves out to a luxe dessert location doesn't mean your, or their, sweet teeth should suffer. Whether you want a spectacular finish to your meal, to send someone a perfect artisan donut after a rough day on the books,  or – just simply want to eat your own feelings in front of the TV, these top-tier dessert slingers will deliver a sweet treat directly to your door.  Give your drinks cart a glow up with these sensational bottled cocktails from top Sydney bars. Doughnuts from Short Stop There’s a certain appeal of a classic strawberry iced doughnut that tastes like childhood, but at Short Stop they are slinging doughnuts designed for more adult palates. We’re talking the bittersweet flavour of bergamot in the Earl Grey icing or the sharpness of cardamom in the classic cinnamon sugar ring. Order up an adventurous selection and get them delivered to you via Deliveroo. A brownie slab from Baked by Blonde Butler Alex Cadger's boutique catering operation is now offering a particularly sweet way to say 'I love you' to a special someone in lockdown. And plot twist, that special someone can also be yourself. The fully customisable brownie slabs not only come decked out with all manner of lip-smacking extras – think chunks of Toblerone, whole Oreo cookies and succulent cherries – you can also include a message, spelled out in edible chocolate letters.  Lamingtons from Tokyo Lamington Stale shreds of desiccated coconut and

The best luxury hotels in Sydney

The best luxury hotels in Sydney

Who needs far-flung destinations when you can have world-class staycations right here at home. You don't need to leave Sydney to find astonishing accommodation where you can get your glam on for an evening or two. To guide you in your search for the temporary high life, we’ve road-tested five-star spa hotels overlooking the city and boutique offerings that provide proximity to a wild night on the town and the city's best attractions. Want a rustic retreat without slumming it? Sleep under the fanciest canvas in these luxury glamping locations.

14 things Sydneysiders won’t admit are true (but they totally are)

14 things Sydneysiders won’t admit are true (but they totally are)

You might put on a good show, Sydneysiders, but deep down, you know the following to be fundamental facts. And that’s ok! We encourage you to embrace these sometimes daggy, sometimes basic, but always accurate facets of our city. We see you, Sydney. Fight us if it ain’t so. Before you face the cold hard truth bombs coming your way, why not check out Sydney tourist attractions that actually don't suck? The ibis is actually strangely beautiful  They may be considered sub-pigeon level vermin of the sky here in Sydney, but there’s a good reason out-of-towners ‘Ooo’ and ‘Ahhh’ over the humble bin chicken. That slow and stately gait, the long, elegantly tapered beak, that chic monochromatic plumage; forget for a minute that they live off garbage and objectively speaking, the ibis is a looker, in its own, scaly-skinned way. And even if we can’t sell you on that point, consider this: they’re a true blue Aussie battler, a bone fide folk hero – living off their (albeit limited) wits, surviving against the odds. They’re the Waltzing Matlidas and Ned Kellys of the bird kingdom, and an unsung national treasure in our humble opinion. You will always get lost at Bondi Junction Even if you’ve been pushed around this labyrinthine shopping mall since you were a wee toddler, Bondi Junction is kind of like all those moving staircases at Hogwarts – you think you’re on the elevator that leads you to the David Jones, but suddenly you’re in front of a niche tea shop and an eyebrow-threading salon y

The best places to go whale watching in Sydney

The best places to go whale watching in Sydney

Hark! What's that? If it's winter in Sydney and you're standing by the sea, it could very well be the gentle giants of the Big Blue popping up to say hello – and, y'know, breathe. In Sydney, May to November is your best bet to catch a glimpse of some humpback whales, as 20,000 of them make moves along the New South Wales coastline during the colder months. While the chill takes over Sydney, the whales begin their journey north towards warmer waters to mate and give birth. While humpbacks are the most common sight around our city, you might also spot some lesser found whale species on your adventures, including orcas and minkes. No luck? They might be hiding out by Sydney's best secret beaches – but even if not, those shores are well worth a visit.  Head to one of these lookouts with your camera and binoculars in tow to capture some blowholes spouting.  Discover some other wild times in Sydney at one of the city's amazing animal attractions.

The best outback and desert holiday destinations in NSW

The best outback and desert holiday destinations in NSW

When the summer hits its stride, the glorious New South Wales coast offers the perfect combo of clear blue skies, blazing sunshine, sandy shores and refreshing ocean breezes. But if you simply can’t wait until the sunny season for your next holiday, a jaunt inland is an ideal option for a spring or autumn getaway. While temps in these outback regions can soar to blistering highs at the peak of summer, the milder months – between March and November – are the perfect time to experience Australia's interior. In these remote communities, you'll discover rich histories stretching back millennia, as well as a stark yet captivating natural beauty quite unlike anywhere else on earth. RECOMMENDED: The best hot springs you can visit in NSW.

Things to do in Sydney in May

Things to do in Sydney in May

It's no secret that Sydney shines during the summer. But that's not to say that the colder months aren't also packed with good times in the Harbour City. May is chock-full of festivals, shows, exhibitions, pop-ups, markets, parties and other fun happenings, including the return of Vivid, after a two-year hiatus. Don't forget to treat your mum to a day she'll remember on Mother's Day, May 8. We've put together a bunch of ways that you can spoil her rotten, from a swanky high tea, to a pampering at a spa, or even just a beautiful bunch of blooms from one of Sydney's finest florists. Get your culture fix with our pick of the very best theatre and art to see this month.

The best new restaurants in Sydney right now

The best new restaurants in Sydney right now

There is a lot to get excited about on the streets of Sydney at the moment. The calibre of restaurants making their grand debuts is nothing short of awe-inspiring. While there are myriad restaurants to choose from in our fair city, we've picked our brains and put together a short-list of the ones we think should be top of your hit list.  We hope you're hungry Sydney. Looking for something to wash it all down with? These are the best bars in Sydney right now.

Listings and reviews (106)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

5 out of 5 stars

It’s Christmas for Potterheads. Three years after its celebrated opening at the expensively refurbished Princess Theatre, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is taking an apt step back in time with a second premiere, this time of a streamlined one-play version that carves a good three hours off of its original running time. There are various motivations for this. Even for ardent devotees or seasoned theatre veterans, six hours in a seat is a slog, and once killed-for tickets had become readily available. But what could have been a cynical hatchet job has turned out to be the making of this show. The main pillars of the story remain – picking up where JK Rowling’s novels ended, we meet the children of famed wizard Harry Potter as they depart for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. However, the enduring friendships that kept Harry alive are elusive for Harry’s awkward son Albus, and when he fails to live up to the towering expectations of not just his school but the entire wizarding world, his sole friendship becomes both his greatest refuge and his biggest vulnerability. But while you might reasonably assume that this is a play about magic, you’d be wrong. This is a play about love. Which should come as no surprise – love is quite literally the most powerful, death-defying force in JK Rowling’s seven-book saga. What is surprising however, is how one of the greatest juggernaut fiction franchises of all time has leaned – comfortably, credibly, with heart-rending sensitivit

Van Gogh Alive

Van Gogh Alive

Having travelled the world from Rome to Singapore via Berlin and more before touching down in Australia, visitors have raved about the sweeping, soaring beauty of works like ‘Wheatfield with Crows’, ‘Vase with Twelve Sunflowers’ and ‘Starry Night over the Rhone’ digitally projected at unimaginable scales. With a combined surface area of more than 30 IMAX screens, the paintings ripple across them like light dappled on the surface of water. Making the magic of art come alive for all ages, the Van Gogh Alive experience uncovers new angles and amazes afresh. And you can also check out the painstaking process behind the masterpieces thanks to accompanying photograph and video exhibits and interactive installations. Emma Triggs, founder of M-Live, the brains behind Van Gogh Alive, says it’s been emotional for the crowds who’ve swept into the socially distanced show. “We’ve had people leave in tears because they’re so moved by the experience. It’s been such a traumatic year and people turn to the arts in tough times, but there have been no major events to enjoy.  Sydneysiders and regional visitors have welcomed the chance to get out and enjoy art .” Take to the streets for your art fix now. Here’s the best street art in town. 

City of Gold

City of Gold

4 out of 5 stars

In early June of 2020, playwright and actor Meyne Wyatt delivered a performance on ABC’s Q&A that was hailed as a watershed wake-up call to the reductive ways First Nations people are misrepresented and commodified through the white gaze. This blazing monologue, an excerpt from City of Gold, became an instant viral moment, not only for the content's raw truth but also for its delivery's gut-punch power. But as urgent and sobering as this speech is in isolation, it gains an extra dimension of emotional heft within the context of the story from which it's lifted. Wyatt’s debut play, which premiered in 2019 at Sydney’s Griffin Theatre before touring across the country, offers the experience of a grieving family as the microcosm to unlock a much broader discussion about identity and discrimination. Preservation of culture, the struggle to hold onto country and community, and the myriad entrenched systems of violence and mistreatment faced by First Nations people are brought into harrowing focus through the fractious relationship of three siblings struggling to cope in the wake of their father’s death. The play opens with a warped vision of Aboriginality, a figment of colonial myth that still persists as true blue Australiana today. Breythe Black (Wyatt) is an actor on the set of an ad promoting lamb for Australia Day barbies, spear in hand and a canoe at his feet. While the storyline claims to be about unity and reconciliation, its hamfisted imagery is offensively white-washed. B

Ace Hotel Sydney

Ace Hotel Sydney

Today, Surry Hills is known as the bougie heart of Sydney’s inner suburbs, a place where artisan bakeries, single-o coffee roasters and independent boutiques line leafy streets and rental prices reach the edge of space. But this wasn’t always so. The neighbourhood has gone through many eras, from its inglorious years as the crime-riddled slums of the 1920s when the rag trade and razor gangs ruled the roost, to the bohemian artist influx of the ‘60s, the emergence of the gay solidarity movement in the ‘70s, and its blossoming into the multicultural melting pot of Surry Hills today.  This rich history of social and aesthetic evolution has been the inspiration behind the design of the Ace Hotel Sydney, the first of this luxury accommodation brand’s Australian outposts. Situated in the renovated and extended Tyne House brick factory, the site of Australia’s first industrial ceramics kiln, the 264-key hotel will also feature a ground-floor all-day eatery, a lobby cocktail lounge and a rooftop restaurant and bar. Flack Studios, the interior design team behind the hotel’s fit-out, have summoned various design epochs via the custom lighting, joinery and furnishings in every room without the combined effect becoming an overt pastiche. The ochres and greens of the bedding and window seats, the acoustic textured walls and terracotta bathroom tiles channel distinctly retro vibes, but the attention to detail and in-room amenities are firmly planted in the 21st-century. According to David

Next Level Escape: The Artefact

Next Level Escape: The Artefact

Hiding within an unassuming office block in the heart of the CBD is a portal to another world – well, several in fact. It’s just a short elevator ride to the basement complex of escape rooms at Next Level, the brainchildren of co-owners Daniel Thomason and Aaron Hooper, where you can pit your wits against some of the most inventive brainteasers in the city.  Sydneysiders have a fair few escape room experiences to choose from but what sets Next Level’s apart is the clever ways its rooms amp up the theatricality, making the gameplay even more immersive and exciting. This is especially true in its most difficult room to date. An ancient, otherworldly object has been uncovered by the CIA, and your team of investigators has been tasked with unlocking its secrets – the latest conscripts to make such an attempt following the eerie disappearance of the agents who first tangled with the alien device. But where did it come from? What does it want? How will you unriddle its mysteries? You’ll have just 75 minutes to answer these questions and more, but don’t worry, you’ll also have a not-at-all deranged, totally not moody AI system with an inexplicable vendetta against Tasmania to help you. Immediately, the attention to detail in the room’s design transports us to a world of sci-fi intrigue, as you receive your first instructions in the decontamination chamber. The best escape rooms know how to gradually up the ante as the game evolves, and this is brilliantly achieved here with the disc

Christian Hull: What a Mess

Christian Hull: What a Mess

4 out of 5 stars

Christian Hull is the ultimate comic for the age of the gig-economy. He’s conquered cyberspace via every conceivable portal from TikTok to old skool YouTube; he’s charmed the literati with his memoir, Leave Me Alone, which was nominated last year for Booktopia’s Favourite Australian Book of the Year award; he helms a wildly successful podcast, Complete Drivel; and perhaps more than any other comedian out there, he’s a master of merch, flogging scandalising swag from dick-shaped soaps to offensive doormats. But does all that multifaceted success actually make him a good comedian?  For stand-up purists, the answer might be no. There’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about Hull’s sense of humour. Indeed, with a portfolio as sweepingly broad as his, it’s little surprise that much of his schtick plumbs for common denominators so low, they’re virtually subterranean. Is he the first stand-up to make fun of his own weight? No. Is he the first gay comic to gass endlessly about cocks? No. Is he breaking new comedic ground by spending a good third of his show talking about shitting himself? Absolutely not.  But what his comedy lacks in originality, it more than makes up for with the megawattage of his personality. There is a reason that Hull has managed to win hearts and minds across so many disparate media: he is profoundly, irresistibly, undeniably likeable – and channels an innately funny energy that many a stand-up would kill to possess.  This was on full display during the show

The Cipher Room: La Rébellion

The Cipher Room: La Rébellion

Zut alors! The team behind Sydney’s most immersive escape room challenges has once again upped the ante with the brilliant new edition to their Saint Peters venue. Hopscotching between several historical cues – summoning facets of the French resistance during Nazi occupation, the 1968 Paris riots and even a slight wink (albeit unintentionally) to the recent French election nailbiter – players become part of a band of rebels (or rather rebelles) attempting to overthrow an authoritarian government in the France of a dystopian near-future.  Those clued up on these references will appreciate the encyclopedic level of detail the Cipher Room's team has drawn on to create this alternate reality, but you really don’t need to be a history buff to still find the puzzles intriguing and the storyline thrilling. Players must follow the clever clues left by fallen brothers and sisters in arms to discover the location of a secret government bunker and steal a microchip that could bring down the whole despotic regime. But you’ll have to be tres vite – it’s 11pm and if the mission is not successful by midnight, the whole rebellion could collapse.  While the individual puzzles are ingeniously devised, it’s the way they are all so seamlessly woven into the narrative and the fabric of the room that makes this such a compelling experience. The gameplay nimbly shifts from intricate clues hidden in small details to jaw-dropping, cinematic reveals and special effects that frankly leave every other e

Kimpton Margot Sydney

Kimpton Margot Sydney

The relatively understated exterior of the newly renovated Kimpton Margot Hotel – originally the offices of the Sydney Water Board, built in 1938, but more recently repurposed as the Primus Hotel until it was acquired by Kimpton in 2021 – does little to hint at the Gatsby-ready opulence of its soaring lobby and cocktail lounge, mere metres from the tarmac and traffic of Pitt Street. It’s a show-stopping first impression that surely ranks as one of the most stunning examples of the Art Deco movement in the city. And yet, while the decor of this new addition to Sydney's booming five-star hotel offering certainly takes its cues from the building’s design pedigree, it’s not an overly slavish homage. The heritage-listed surrounds do most of the talking – stepped plaster moldings; mixed marble floors; the eight striking vermillion-hued scagliola pillars – while plush curved lounges and elegant velvet chaises in creamy pastel tones, leafy planters and brushed brass table sconces channel a more modern riff on the 1930s aesthetic. Shelving units dotted with various vases, ceramics and assorted object d’arts, all appropriate to the period, help to sell this same style story while breaking up the expansive room into more intimate seating arrangements. You’ll find a similar mix of contemporary mod cons and Art Deco elegance in the hotel’s 172 guestrooms and suites. The deep blue, thick-pile carpets sport a classic golden chevron pattern while dark stained wood furnishing add an extra dim

MARY’s World Tour (of Sydney)

MARY’s World Tour (of Sydney)

One of Melbourne’s most infamous queer parties is finally making its Sydney debut so bust out the sequins, throw on a lash and break a few shapes because MARY is here. Bringing their disco beats to the Impy as part of Honcho Disko’s month-long takeover of the venue, DJs Sugar Plump Fairy and Mr Weir, plus special guest Matt Vaughan – aka Loose Ends – will be at the decks spinning this self-described ‘gay ass disco’s’ mix of glitter ball floor fillers and house delights. Hostess with the mostest Firefox will be on duty to keep the party vibes at a high, and as per MARY's legendary Melbourne outings, you can expect some extra sparkle and spectacle courtesy of surprise performances during the night.  Tickets are $30 and proof of vaccination is a mandatory condition of entry. All queers and their lovely mates are welcome: BYO dignity (but don’t expect to leave with it).

Gin Journey Sydney

Gin Journey Sydney

He’s been charming the gin drinkers of London since 2013, but now Gin Journey founder Leon Dalloway has brought his education bar crawl to the Harbour City. Discover the history of gin – and the best places to taste it – on this guided tour of Sydney’s boutique distilleries and hidden gin bars, including Poor Tom's Gin Hall and the Four Pillars Gin Lab. This minibus tour taking in the ultimate gin destinations in the city will let you sample five top gins and five superb cocktails while learning about this popular tipple's fascinating history, from its checkered days as ‘mother’s ruin’ to its present-day ascendancy and the botanical bonanza of contemporary Aussie gins. Each tour hosts a maximum of 19 people and visits at least four venues. This intimate afternoon event takes place every other Saturday, with tickets costing $125 per person plus booking fee, advance booking required.

Josh Glanc: Vroom Vroom

Josh Glanc: Vroom Vroom

3 out of 5 stars

There are very few absolutes in the world of comedy, but one thing that rings resoundingly true is that what we each find funny is entirely subjective. If you’re tickled by traditional stand-up, punchlines and observations, let us stop you right here: this show ain’t for you. But if you’re intrigued by weird comedic realms of bizarre ditties, oddball characters and LOLs that wallop you from left of field, welcome to your new happy place. Glanc isn’t like us. He really isn’t like anyone. Sure, there are surrealist skits aplenty at MICF, but Glanc’s singular imagination is a pinball machine of strange setups and stranger payoffs that defy anticipation in a way that is entirely his own. The gig flips the bird to the conventions of the average comedy show from the off, by beginning, well, before it actually begins, with a toe-tapping fast-food jingle brimming with audience participation that blindsides us before the acknowledgment of country has even been played. Whatever nods to the norm there may be are merely opportunities for Glanc to spin a gag in the opposite direction – even stepping onto the stage with an armful of props is a chance to make a joke. But it’s not just the unpredictability of Glanc’s comedy that makes it one of a kind. His rubber-faced delivery – at once larger than life and yet intricate in its details – makes the near-constant shifts in tone and intention absolutely clear. It’s a level of control that allows him to dip occasionally into more emotionally so

Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta

Da Orazio Pizza and Porchetta

Everything old is new again, which rings true on several levels at Da Orazio Pizza + Porchetta, chef Orazio D’Elia’s return to the same Bondi address that he first lent his name to back in 2013. When the OG Da Orazio vacated in 2019, mod-osteria CicciaBella took over the location – a relatively minor sleight of hand given that both restaurants were operated by hospo heavyweight Maurice Terzini, of Icebergs fame. However, D’Elia’s homecoming, along with the re-rebrand back to Da Orazio, is no longer a matter of same-same-different semantics. He returns as a solo venture, although it’s clear D’Elia shares his former business partner’s flair for stylish execution, both in and out of the kitchen. Much like the original Da Orazio, the interiors are simple, clean and bright. But whereas the space once channeled a nautical spirit, the 2.0 dining room takes its cues from ‘70s Italia. And not in an overly hammy or cliched way – this is retro done right. Every surface of the walls and ceiling (save for the cast concrete slab that looms over the kitchen – a striking presence in both the original Da Orazio and CicciaBella designs that would have been a shame to lose) is covered with the magnolia-painted popcorn stucco that developers have probably spent hundreds of thousands of dollars banishing from the dated Bondi apartment blocks you’ll find all over this corner of the suburb. Non-recessed downlights on exposed tracks and wall sconces in a deep tangerine hue tell a similar story of ye

News (605)

Central Station is scoring a new hospo and entertainment complex including a cinema

Central Station is scoring a new hospo and entertainment complex including a cinema

Central Station is something of a cocoon at present. Barriers and wooden sidings hide the works underway to create the new Metro areas of the station, including the creation of a new 80-metre tunnel connecting Chalmers Street to the Metro platforms, with a few tantalising areas of this imminently-emergent butterfly visible to commuters in a few quieter corners. But it’s not just the Metro extensions that will be transforming Sydney’s largest rail hub in the coming months.  The northern edge of Central Station, by Eddy Avenue and Eddy Avenue Plaza, is currently home to convenience stores and tacky souvenir shops, but under plans just released by the NSW Government, the stretch of the station adjacent to the light rail lines will be transformed into a new hospo and entertainment destination. Dubbed ‘Eddy’, it will feature art installations, restaurants, bars and shops. This major glow-up, which will also include a new cinema, radio station and ceramics studio, is one of several major development works aimed at revitilising the CBD and its surrounding areas, including the pedestrianisation of George Street and the new three-billion dollar tech park being created in Chippendale. The transformation of Eddy is expected to take just over a year, with works completed by July 2023. Check out these incredible skyscrapers that will be transforming the Sydney skyline by 2030.

We asked Sydneysiders what they'd like to see from the live music scene. Here's what they said

We asked Sydneysiders what they'd like to see from the live music scene. Here's what they said

When former premier Gladys Berejiklian announced in late 2019 that the wildly unpopular, economically ruinous and reputation-denting lockout laws were to be repealed, many operators in the nightlife sector felt certain that this would herald an after-dark renaissance for the city. Indeed, the state government’s move to soften noise pollution regulations, slash licensing red tape and appoint former Time Out managing director Michael Rodrigues as Sydney’s first ‘night mayor’ set the stage for a post-lockout boom for the nighttime economy. However, as fate would have it, another major challenge, arguably even greater than the six-year battle to end the lockouts, would deal another devastating blow to Sydney’s nightlife. Just as lockouts eased, lockdowns took their place, with businesses not just limited in their offering but shuttered altogether. Those venues that were able to weather the storm are now adjusting to the ‘living with Covid’ new normal, with every health restriction now lifted across the hospitality industry but the lingering impacts of a reduced workforce and community spread remain an issue. And it’s not just staffing headaches that are proving problematic for the hospo sector. The fallout from the two-years of on-again-off-again density limits, dancefloor prohibitions and home-delivery pivots continues to prove a sticking point to many businesses, particularly in the live music scene, when it comes to getting paying customers through the door.  Now that people c

Check out the $2.5 billion plans for the final stretch of the Barangaroo foreshore

Check out the $2.5 billion plans for the final stretch of the Barangaroo foreshore

Slowly but surely over the past decade, Barangaroo has been transformed from the featureless and forgotten outer edge of Darling Harbour into one of Sydney’s most vibrant hospitality and retail destinations. What was once a barren expanse of concrete and docklands now sports a native plant reserve, countless restaurants and bars, 21st-century-minded office complexes and the recently minted tallest building in the city, Crown Tower.  However, one stretch of the foreshore remains a building site, separating the reserve at the headland from the main drag of South Barangaroo leading down towards Darling Harbour and the city. Following a lengthy tender process and several years of behind-the-scenes development, we now know what this final part of the massive urban renewal undertaking will look like. It will go by the name Barangaroo Central, and it’s quite a departure from the skyscrapers that have dominated much of the construction work in the area in recent years. Render: Aqualand Created by a collective of architectural design firms, coordinated by lead contractor Aqualand, the $2.5 billion dollar project will feature a two-hectare waterfront park, culture venues, and of course, plenty of hospo and retail space. It’s been conceived as a foil to the neighbouring towers, with green spaces and eco-minded, mid-rise architecture front of mind. It will also be the location of the new Metro station that will provide easier access to the newly completed Walsh Bay Arts and Culture pre

All close contact isolation rules in New South Wales have now been lifted

All close contact isolation rules in New South Wales have now been lifted

NSW premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that as of April 20, people living in a household with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 will no longer be required to isolate themselves for seven days unless they also test positive. The lifting of this precaution means that there are no longer any close contact isolation rules in place in NSW.  Perrottet also announced that green dots, which had been used to manage social distancing, will be removed from public transport, and vaccination mandates for some professions will also be lifted. Masks will still be mandatory on all public transport vehicles and hubs including train stations and airports.   It was also announced that the Perrottet government would be discontinuing hotel quarantine saying, “Hotel quarantine has proven to be incredibly successful over the course of the pandemic, but from this position we are in now, hotel quarantine will cease.” Perrottet added that, while “this is not the end of the pandemic”, the hospitalitalisation and death rates in the state had reached a level where restrictions were no longer needed. “Today is a day where the people of our state can be incredibly proud to be in a position where we have an incredibly low death rate. We have put downward pressure on our health system and that is because of the efforts and sacrifices people have made.” The seven-day average of daily cases in NSW is currently 13,400 new infections, although health authorities have warned that the true number o

Sydney is scoring the world’s first ‘challenge room’ venue and a huge novelty golf course

Sydney is scoring the world’s first ‘challenge room’ venue and a huge novelty golf course

You’ve no doubt heard of smash rooms, splash rooms and escape rooms. Well, now Sydneysiders are set to become the first people in the world to get up close and personal with ‘challenge rooms’ at a global-first concept venue coming soon to Alexandria. Plucked from the madcap minds of the team at Funlab, the creators of popular mini-golf chain Holey Moley and Sydney’s new augmented reality darts bar La Di Darts, the Hijinx Hotel offers a series of interactive games, set within an eye-popping faux hotel, styled like Willy Wonka and Wes Anderson got drunk at a Bunnings. Render: Supplied/Funlab Visitors begin their visit in a fantastical hotel lobby that is all Art Deco grandeur and Alice in Wonderland madness. From here, there are 15 weird and wacky rooms to explore, each containing a fun game, such as Twister (with a twist) and the Floor is Lava. And because if you didn't 'gram it were you even there, each room has been conceived to deliver the most double-tap-worthy shots of you and your mates as you get to grips with the games. Guests have four minutes in each gaming space to score as many points as possible, which sounds like thirsty work, so it’s good news that the venue will also have a bar where visitors can catch their breath over a cocktail or two. Render: Supplied/Funlab The Hijinx Hotel will open to the public on June 3 at the same Alexandria venue where fan favourite Archie Brother Cirque Electriq is located. And that’s not all. A huge new Holey Moley venue, with

All testing requirements for international arrivals into Australia have been scrapped

All testing requirements for international arrivals into Australia have been scrapped

As of April 18, international arrivals into Australia will no longer need to produce a PCR or RAT result before boarding their inbound flight. Previously, a negative test was required within 72 hours of departure in order to be eligible for entry into Australia. All arrivals will still be required to show proof that they have received at least two doses of a vaccine before they enter the country, and some airlines are maintaining their own policy of requiring a negative test result to board an aircraft. Passengers will also be subject to the rules of any layover destinations they transit through on a long-haul journey. The shift away from the federal government’s once strict Biosecurity Emergency Determination policy is also good news for the return of cruises to Australia, since they were banned on March 15, 2020, in the wake of the Ruby Princess snafu, which allowed hundreds of passengers infected with coronavirus to enter Central Sydney. The first ship to dock in Sydney Harbour since borders were closed more than two years ago arrived in port at the previously dormant Overseas Passenger Terminal on Sunday, April 17. Tug boats carrying celebratory water canons added some fanfare to the arrival of P&O’s Pacific Explorer as it dropped anchor at around 10.30am, although only 250 crew were on board and no passengers. It’s the first vessel of the various cruise fleets that once serviced Pacific voyages to arrive back in the Southern Hemisphere after spending much of the past two

Sydneysiders will be able to travel on public transport for free for 12 days in April

Sydneysiders will be able to travel on public transport for free for 12 days in April

Now, this is what we call one hell of an apology. At the request of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union (RTBU), to make amends for the sudden closure of the entire rail network across Metro Sydney for one day in February, which left tens of thousands of commuters unexpectedly stranded, the NSW government will be making public transport across its entire network free for 12 consecutive days from April 14, right in time for the Easter holidays and Anzac Day. While it was only the rail network that was impacted by the day-long closure of the rail network, which was shut down by the government-run Transport NSW in response to planned industrial action by the rail union, every mode of transport in the PT network will be fare free during the 12 days of gratis travel, including trains, the light rail, buses and ferries, not including privately operated ferries. However, the airport rail line will not be included in the freebies, and point-to-point bus services will also still be charged. Check out these great ferry rides you'll be able to ride for free.

Traveling by plane this long weekend? You could be waiting two hours to get through security

Traveling by plane this long weekend? You could be waiting two hours to get through security

If you’ve had the misfortune to travel domestically by plane in the past couple of weeks, you’ll know that getting through security at Sydney airport has turned into a nightmare. Due to staff shortages, which have caused the flow of passengers through security to move at a snail’s pace, the orderly queue area marshaled by handy rope lines has barely scratched the surface of the snake of stressed-out travellers that now winds its wild way throughout the domestic terminal. Similar issues are also impacting other airports around Australia, notably Melbourne, where queue times for security peaked at two hours over the Grand Prix weekend. But if you thought recent scenes were bad, the Easter long weekend is set to push the chaos to new heights. Waits to get through security are expected to reach two hours or more, as thousands of people head interstate for their four days of freedom. One of the biggest issues exacerbating the security staff crisis has been the Covid isolation rules, which did not previously class airport security personnel as ‘essential workers’, exempt from isolating due to a household contact once a negative test result is returned. However, after security wait times reached shocking lengths in recent weeks, an amendment to the rules on Friday, April 8, now means that security staff are now classed as essential workers. However, this may not ease the situation for several weeks, airport authorities warned, due to a general dearth of trained employees and a highl

Sydney has officially received more than a full year’s worth of rain – and it’s only April

Sydney has officially received more than a full year’s worth of rain – and it’s only April

In news that will be a surprise to absolutely no one currently enduring the relentless downpours in NSW, the Bureau of Meteorology has revealed statistics showing that the Greater Sydney region has already received more rain than the estimated yearly average, just three months and seven days into 2022. BOM’s yearly projection was for 1,213mm of rainfall over 12 months, but by April 7, Sydney had received 1,223.8mm. These worrying stats come hot on the heels of BOM forecasts predicting that the unprecedented rains that have inundated the East Coast of the country for months are likely to continue until at least the end of autumn. Flood warnings and evacuation orders have been issued to parts of Sydney’s south in recent days, and extraordinary scenes have been captured on camera of waterfalls flowing from some of Sydney’s coastal suburbs, including in the affluent neighbourhood of Vaucluse where high winds were blowing these newly formed waterfalls backwards. View this post on Instagram A post shared by The Sydney Morning Herald (@sydneymorningherald) However, BOM’s forecasts for winter 2022 offer some faint silver linings to some very dark clouds. The powerful La Niña that has driven the incessant Big Wet is waning, albeit more slowly than is typical. This means more recognisable conditions should return to the Harbour City by June or July, but any hope of salvaging some semblance of summer seems to have gone down the drain.  Confused about why Sydney has had

One of Sydney’s top zoos is now home to the city’s only rhino

One of Sydney’s top zoos is now home to the city’s only rhino

Calling all Sydney animal lovers: meet Tino, an adorable seven-year-old white rhinoceros who as the latest resident of Blacktown’s Sydney Zoo now holds the distinction of being the city’s only rhino. The big bulky beauty arrived via air freight from New Zealand in a custom-built crate and is now enjoying the wide-open savanna of the zoo’s African precinct, alongside the zebras, giraffes and ostriches that also call this part of the popular animal attraction home.  Tino is ready to meet his new Antipodean fans in time for the school holidays, but he’s not the only reason to head out west for a wild day out. Sydney Zoo is also home to more than 4,000 animals and boasts an aquarium, a huge precinct dedicated to primates and the nation’s largest reptile and nocturnal animal house. Take a walk on the wild side as these top Sydney animal attractions.  

One of the world’s best luxury hotel brands is opening its first Australian location in Sydney

One of the world’s best luxury hotel brands is opening its first Australian location in Sydney

Tourists have been in short supply in Sydney for the past couple of years, for obvious reasons, but before the era of RATs and jabs and QR codes, the Harbour City was already in the throes of a five-star hotel boom. The Darling Harbour Sofitel and Crown Resort at Barangaroo led this charge, with the nearly complete W Hotel, and recently opened Ace Hotel and Kimpton Margot also ready to heap luxury upon incoming guests. But if there was any concern that this five-star fad was on the wane, news that one of the world’s most revered luxury hotel brands is set to open its first Aussie location in Sydney is here to set you straight. Managed by the Hilton Group, the Waldorf Astoria, best known for its legendary Park Avenue branch in New York City, is synonymous with a level of luxe extravagance that few other high-end hotels can match. Expected to open in early 2025, the Sydney outpost will rise from the current location of Gold Fields House – an outwardly unremarkable CBD office block that nonetheless has the distinction of being one of the city’s first modern high-rises. The new hotel will feature 179 rooms and 41 suites across 28 storeys, designed by Japanese agency Kengo Kuma and Associates, the creative team behind the striking nest of wooden ribbons that encases the Exchange Building in Darling Square. Once complete, the Waldorf Astoria Sydney will be Circular Quay’s premier marquee accommodation, which given the fact that the Shangri-La, Four Seasons and Park Hyatt all call t

Wet and wild: Sydney’s neverending rains are having some strange effects on local fauna

Wet and wild: Sydney’s neverending rains are having some strange effects on local fauna

You’re over the rain. We’re over the rain. All of us, everywhere, are over the rain. And yet, it looks like we’re in for at least a few months more of this endless Big Wet. Oh joy. But the relentless downpours aren’t just raining us off the beaches and flooding large swathes of the state. They are also having some strange and sometimes unsettling influences on local wildlife, so apologies in advance for this impending doom scroll. Firstly, and most terrifyingly, sightings of funnel web spiders, the world’s most deadly critter, are on the rise throughout the Greater Sydney region, including on the Central Coast, in the Blue Mountains and in Newcastle. The usually reclusive but highly venomous eight-legged menaces are retreating into people’s homes to escape the waters that can flood or damage their distinctive webs and burrows. And while they will not seek out an attack, they are prone to aggression if they feel threatened, say by a human screaming and attempting to squish them with a shoe. Because of the increase in reported sightings, authorities are urging the public to get clued-up about what to do should they receive a bite. If you find yourself on the wrong end of this arachnid’s substantial fangs, clean the bite area thoroughly, immobilise the bitten extremity with an elastic bandage and seek immediate emergency treatment. Above all else, don’t panic – while serious, funnel web bites are easily treatable and there hasn’t been a confirmed fatality in Australia since funn