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Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon was the editor of Time Out Sydney 2019-2022.

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 (233)

The best cafés in Sydney

The best cafés in Sydney

Autumn 2023 update: Autumn is here, and so too are cooler mornings and sunny days. In our humble opinion, it’s also the perfect time to catch-up with friends for brunch, take yourself out for coffee after a walk and dig into a hearty lunch. Here’s a bunch of excellent spots where you can do just that.   Sydneysiders are café people. We're constantly on the hunt for the city's best coffee, we won't bat an eyelid over shelling out $30+ a head for brunch, and we love nothing more than donning our finest sport-luxe activewear and catching up with mates on a weekend morning over eggs, fritters and crusty artisnal sourdough. But cafés aren't just for weekends. This is a city powered by caffeine and many a Sydney worker depends on a reliable go-to barista for a double shot and a bacon sanger to set them up right on the daily. So, whether it's a reward for tackling one of Sydney's most beautiful walks, a quick caffeinated catch-up, an indulgent hangover fix after a night at one of the city's best bars, or a workday coffee stop, these are the best Sydney cafés, according to our in-the-know Time Out Sydney editors.  Looking for lunch or dinner out? Check out Sydney's best restaurants.

The 15 best sandwiches in Sydney

The 15 best sandwiches in Sydney

Sandwiches? Well, they're the best thing to come out of slicing bread. The criteria is pretty simple: very good things in between two very good slices of well-sliced bread. No burgers, bagels, or scrolls. No half-hearted strings of romaine here, no siree. We also bypassed toasties (because that’s a whole other list) and bánh mì (they’re a league of their own). Here are the 15 best sandwiches (nothing more, nothing less) in Sydney. Want more cheap eats? Here are the best cheap eats in Sydney right now

The best restaurants and bars in Circular Quay

The best restaurants and bars in Circular Quay

It's one of the first places you'll visit as a tourist, a pre-theatre go-to and has some of the most iconic views in the world – but being a tourist hotspot means Circular Quay is not without its pitfalls. Skip the over-priced traveller's traps and check out these restaurants and bars that'll ensure the food and drink are as good as the view.  After restaurants in other parts of Sydney's city? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in the CBD.

Jetstar is giving away free return flights for a year to celebrate its 19th birthday

Jetstar is giving away free return flights for a year to celebrate its 19th birthday

Some things in life feel too good to be true, like winning free flights (both domestic and international) for a whole year. In this instance, however, the chance to jump aboard one of Jetstar's big white and orange planes for a year's worth of adventures could soon be your reality. In celebration of its 19th birthday, Jetstar is holding a competition – and as part of the grand prize one lucky person will score free flights to more than 86 destinations over the course of one year. Plus, you get an extra seat on all the flights to bring a mate, a date or your mum (prepare to become extremely popular).  The comp is called 'Feel 19 Again' (although anyone can enter, no matter what your age), and there are 12 domestic and six international return flights up for grabs. Jetstar is advertising this as a journey of self-discovery, self-reflection and world exploration for anyone who feels like their lives need it. Keen to get your youthful, 19-year-old sparkle back? You’re not alone.   Photograph: SuppliedYou could be here, on this tropical island (for free) So, how does the competition work?  As of 6am on May 25, 2023, you can now head over to Jetstar’s Instagram and answer in 19 words or less ‘If you could try any job for a day, what would it be and why?’. Jetstar wants you to call on your inner 19-year-old for the most peculiar, bizarre and funny answer as humanly possible with this, so think radical ghost hunting in Tokyo, not accountancy in Brisbane's CBD (although no shade, ei

The most underrated holiday destinations that you should be visiting in NSW

The most underrated holiday destinations that you should be visiting in NSW

If you veer off NSW’s beaten tracks, there are some amazing unsung holiday heroes where you can experience an amazing getaway without booking waaay in advance. Just because they're not popular, doesn't mean they're not awesome. Here are our picks for the most underrated getaway destinations in the state. ALSO RECOMMENDED: These are the best road trips in NSW These are the best carless getaways near Sydney These are the best hotels for a Sydney staycation

The best staycations in Sydney

The best staycations in Sydney

If you can't go on an interstate hop or make it overseas, don't overlook the wealth of holiday options you've got in your own backyard. Sydney has some of the finest guestrooms in the country, offering plush, luxe, thoroughly bougie comforts and indulgent experiences worthy of a staycation. We've picked out some of our favourites within Greater Sydney that are ready and waiting to take your booking. Here's our guide to the very best hotels in Sydney – from affordable to luxury. Looking for a room that's a little more out of the ordinary? Check out the most unusual places to stay in NSW.

The best restaurants in the CBD

The best restaurants in the CBD

Virtually every suburb in Sydney can boast a world-class eatery (or several), but none rival the CBD for the sheer number of sky-high culinary experiences on offer. We've cherry-picked the best tables to book in the heart of the city, whether you're stepping out for business lunch, a pre-show bite or a swanky degustation.  Foodies, here are some other stories that might tickle your fancy: Wallet looking a little empty? We made a list of hacks for fine dining on a budget in Sydney. Want something a little more casual? Check out our guide to the best cheap eats in the city. Nightcap anyone? Polish off your meal with a drink at one of these fine cocktail bars.    

The best cinemas in Brisbane

The best cinemas in Brisbane

Even as the world becomes filled with evermore screens there's still nothing that can quite touch the magic and nostalgia of a trip to the pictures. The smell of popcorn, the organ-rattling throb of the surround sound, and at many top cinemas, the luxurious option of Gold Class, keep movie lovers coming back for more. Narrowing this list down to the best cinemas in Brisbane was no easy feat. But for our money, these picture palaces are the silver screens you need to see. Wondering which flick to pick? Check out Time Out's latest movie reviews. More about real-life action than Hollywood blockbusters? Here's our ultimate Brisbane bucket list.

The best scenic drives near Brisbane

The best scenic drives near Brisbane

It’s time to rev your engine and leave the Big Smoke behind. Swap that view of suburbia and skyscrapers for the sights, sounds and scents of nature. To satisfy your weekend wanderlust, here are some of our favourite short scenic drives that you’ll find just beyond Brisbane’s city limits. Sort your road-trip playlist and head out to find the most scenic stretches of the Mid Brisbane River, wind your way up and down mountain roads that are firm favourites with motorcyclists and car enthusiasts, stop for a cuppa at a road-hog café or follow in the ancient footsteps of Minjerribah’s Quandamooka people. Alternatively, you can leave the wheels at home and explore nature on one of the best day hikes near Brisbane.

The best fish and chips in Brisbane

The best fish and chips in Brisbane

Brisbane may not have any inner-city beaches to speak of, but that doesn't mean Brisbanites aren't still partial to a seaside staple. For a fuss-free feed, you really can't go wrong with a hearty portion of fish and chips. And whether that's the old-school British variety – beer battered, vinegar spiked and liberally dusted with chicken salt – or one of the more refined gourmet spins that are increasingly popular amongst discerning diners, there's a catch of the day to suit every taste in Brissie.  We've wet our lines and hauled up a bounty of top fish and chipperies that are serving up the very best fish and chips in Brisbane. Hungry for more cheap and cheerful eats? Here's where to eat out in Brisbane on a budget. Or why not splurge on a meal at one of Brisbane's best fine diners?

21 things that all Millennials miss in Sydney

21 things that all Millennials miss in Sydney

According to Census data, Millennials now rival Boomers as the largest generation in Australia. So, now that this demo is all grown up, it's worth taking a stroll down memory lane to remember all of the classic good times we used to love back in the day when we weren't quite as adult as we are now. Join us on this nostalgic look back at all the venues and experiences in Sydney that made our teens and twenties so damn good. In search of a fun time right now? Check out the best dancefloors in Sydney. After somewhere great to eat? Here's our guide to the best cheap eats in Sydney. Goodgod Small Club (2010-2015) It looked like a party bar from the Flintstones, the drinks were brightly coloured, there were hot dogs on the menu, and out the back, the band room hosted some of the most varied and exciting parties in Sydney. It’s where you’d go for some late night Dutty Dancing, a Beyoncé dance class, quality pop culture trivia and unforgettable live gigs. Photograph: Supplied Q Bar (1993-2015) The giant Exchange Hotel venue sprawled along Oxford Street, with Spectrum, Nevada, 34B, and Q Bar all providing a perch for every kind of night owl that existed. But it’s the raging nights at Q Bar we miss the most. The Monorail (1988-2013) Look, it might not have been the most practical form of transport, but we miss the quiet train looping above the city like a silver snake constantly chasing its own tail from Darling Harbour up to the CBD and back again. Purple Sneakers at the Abercrombie

The best hot springs in Queensland

The best hot springs in Queensland

With the glorious weather in sunny Queensland, venturing to the hot springs might not be top of the itinerary. And sure, we all know and love the stunning waterfalls, national parks and beaches to visit while the mercury’s soaring. But the state’s springs are the natural MVPs when the colder months roll around. Plus, they are some of the most visually striking and geographically distinctive in Australia.  It’s not just about tranquil pools and bubbling baths – the road-trip respites and weekend getaways that are home to these waters are some of the most culturally significant and picturesque spots in the Sunshine State. So, whether you’re a budding photographer, big on science and history, or just in need of a damn good soak – these hot springs are the relaxing dips you’ve been looking for. Want to extend your stay out in nature? Check out these top camping spots near to Brisbane. 

Listings and reviews (115)

Lightning Ridge Bore Baths

Lightning Ridge Bore Baths

For many remote Australian communities, the pub is the local gathering point. In Lightning Ridge, however, folk get together for a dip. Located on the fringes of this opal mining town, these pleasant pools are considered to be some of the finest of the state’s naturally heated baths. Which makes the fact that they are both free to access and open 24 hours a day even more remarkable. Percolating through the area’s unique geology (one of only a handful of places in the world where black opals can be found), the water in these bore baths takes almost two million years to reach the surface, fed by the aquifers of Artesian basin that feeds the majority of the hot springs in NSW. Once it bubbles up, it emerges at a blissful temperature of 40 degrees, rich in minerals and salts. A dip after dark is a particularly popular local pastime, so we suggest, when in Lightning Ridge, do as the Lightning Ridgians do.  Keep perusing hot springs with our round-up of the best ones in NSW

Estate Coogee Beach

Estate Coogee Beach

The great shutdown of 2020 was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for the team at Estate, the three-in-one venue occupying the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Coogee. Its owners had only just unveiled the venue's multimillion-dollar refurbishment nine days before the sprawling beachside haunt was shuttered. So it’s a credit to the vision of head chef and creative director Matthew Butcher, that the split-personality concept behind Estate’s latest incarnation has emerged just as savvy post-lockdown, as the fragile new normal of going out in Sydney continues to evolve.  Not unlike its nearby neighbour, the Coogee Pavillion, Estate has maximised its appeal by having differently styled spaces geared to the needs of very different crowds. Making the most of its beachside location, the alfresco Terrace is pitched at a younger, casual clientele, who can kick back with friends, vodka soda in hand, as evening moves in over the Coogee sands just across the street. This leafy courtyard has its own dedicated bar, housed in a gleaming stainless steel Airstream-style trailer, and laidback, Coachella vibes that effortlessly transition to an after-dark party atmosphere with live music, DJ sets, a projector screening beachy flicks and twinkling bistro lights strung overhead. On the opposite end of the property, take a trip south of the border. The Taqueria is an eye-popping space channeling a cartoonish brand of Mexicana – all zesty tones, Aztec patterns, decorative cacti and Mach

Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

If you’ve ever wished you could step through the silver screen and into the thrills and spills of your favourite action movie, a trip to Warner Bros. Movie World might just be the next best thing. Inspired by the cinematic adventures of the eponymous film studio, this theme park is packed with white-knuckle attractions, just as you might expect from a theme park, but also a roving troop of live performers bringing beloved film characters – including Batman, Catwoman and the Joker – to interactive life.  The park is divided into five zones: Main Street, Kids’ WB Fun Zone, the Wild West, DC Comics Super-Villains Unleashed and the CD Comics Superhero Hub. Both live-action and animated filmmaking underpins every adrenaline-filled, edge-of-your-seat experience in the park, from the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster to the Hollywood Stunt Driver show.  There are gentler rides for younger fun-seekers, such as the Looney Tunes Carousel and Yosemite Sam’s Railroad, but if it’s scream-inducing excitement you crave, then the heroes and villains of the DC Universe are ready to raise your pulse. The DC Rivals HyperCoaster is the tallest, longest and fasted ride in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring a near-vertical 89-degree plunge into the dastardly lair of Batman’s arch nemesis, the Joker, as well as the world’s first non-inverted loops. If there is any serotonin left in your system after that, you can stop your heart once more on the Green Lantern Coaster, which has the steepest inverted drop i

Wet'N'Wild

Wet'N'Wild

This splashtastic attraction is not only the largest water park in Australia, it’s also perennially ranked amongst the ten most visited parks of its type in the world. Unlike other water parks, Wet’N’Wild is accessible year-round, even during the winter months, courtesy of Queensland’s famously mild climate. There are aqua attractions of every kind, from water play areas perfect for little kids to slides so extreme, even the bravest of thrill seekers would be wise to pack a second pair of trunks. But don't worry if you prefer your dips a little more relaxing. Between its four pools, 17 slides and two dedicated children’s areas, visitors of every age are well-catered for at Wet'N'Wild. The park is open daily from 10am until 5pm, and an adult day pass will cost you $74.

Dreamworld

Dreamworld

In Australia’s kingdom of giant theme parks, this one wears the crown. The largest theme park on the Gold Coast (and that’s really saying something) is home to a dizzying variety of rides as well as live performances, interactive shows and animal attractions including Tiger Island, where you can come face-to-face with some of the world’s rarest big cats. While its nearby neighbour Warner Bros. Movie World may boast a few record-setting coasters, Dreamworld pips it to the post with the sheer number of attractions. Adrenaline addicts can put their tonsils to the test on scream-worthy rides like The Giant Drop, the world’s tallest vertical free-fall tower ride, or BuzzSaw, an open carriage coaster that proudly boasts that its single waist harness restraint leaves riders “with little to cling on to”. If terror is not your drug of choice, then there are plenty of rides with a lower fear factor, such as the Rocky Hollow Log Ride as well as 11 rides dedicated to smaller children, including the Bananas in Pyjamas Maze and the Dorothy’s Rosy Tea Cup Ride.

Iron Gate Estate

Iron Gate Estate

Built to resemble the kind of rustic taverna that has stood for generations under the Tuscan sun, this charming winery, with its warm umber walls and terracotta tiles, is a dead ringer for the real deal. The driveway is even lined with fruiting olive trees - a relatively common crop in the Hunter, but here it adds to the Mediterranean theatre of the place. Once you’re settled in on the terrace overlooking the vines, you can enjoy a sommelier guided tasting as you imagine yourself far away in the heart of the Med.

Australian Standing Stones

Australian Standing Stones

In the north of the state, deep within the New England Highlands, you’ll find Australia’s very own Celtic Country. Gaelic connections run deep here, dating back to the first European frontiersmen who explored this region in the early 1800s. While they may not boast quite the same ancient provenance as their British inspiration, the mystical ring of standing stones erected here in 1992 is nonetheless a declaration of how thoroughly the spirit of the Celts resonates in these parts.

Katie Noonan: Joni Mitchell's 'Blue'

Katie Noonan: Joni Mitchell's 'Blue'

The pride of Queensland, Katie Noonan, is one of the finest singer-songwriters of her generation. So it’s fitting that she should lend her voice to the extraordinary work of another generation-defining songstress. Joni Mitchell’s legendary album Blue is a collection of songs that holds significance for countless music lovers, but it was also an outpouring that was especially important to Mitchell herself. As she so perfectly put it: “It’s the purest emotional record that I will ever make in my life… there’s hardly a dishonest note in the vocals.” Noonan is no stranger to pouring pure emotion into her music, earning her a reputation as one of Australia’s most dynamic and versatile performers, not to mention seven platinum records, 27 ARIA Award nominations and five ARIA Award wins. Alongside guitar virtuoso Ben Hauptmann, she will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of Blue by bringing her distinctive musicality to bear on timeless Mitchell classics like A Case of You and River. “Blue is an album that unequivocally changed my life,” Noonan says. “From a compositional, lyrical and vocal performance point of view it has inspired me deeply. I love that the album was gifted to me from another female artist, and it is an album I regularly recommend to up-and-coming female artists also. Joni’s artistry and music genius is unparalleled, and I absolutely love singing her songs.”

Palazzo Versace

Palazzo Versace

Be warned minimalists: if restrained, uncluttered, paired-back aesthetics are what you seek in a getaway destination, the rococo-on-steroids, aggressively-opulent surrounds of the Palazzo Versace will not be for you. However, if 24-carat luxury and celebrity chic of the gaudiest variety is more your thing, you’ll find it in spades at this gilded resort brought to you by a legendary fashion house.  The Palazzo Versace definitely falls into the category of ‘bucket list’ stays, and not just because of the bragging rights that come with staying at such a renowned “six-star” establishment (although technically, despite what you may have read, the hotel is officially rated five stars, the highest ranking available in Australia). Beyond the glitz and sparkle of the interiors – where everything you see and touch, down to the cutlery in the restaurants and throw pillows on the bed, are Versace branded – the attentive level of service reaches heights few other hotels on the Gold Coast can match. And the Palazzo doesn’t just look good. The hotel's three hospitality venues  – the seafood buffet Il Barocco; fine diner Vanitas; and Le Jardin where the hotel’s signature high tea is served – plate up flavours every bit as luxe as the décor.  For the average mortal, the sheer excess of the Palazzo could be overwhelming, so it’s best to lean into the alternate reality this hotel conjures. Why not pretend you’re a trust fund baby with billions in the bank as you recline by the oh-so ‘grammable

QT Gold Coast

QT Gold Coast

While each hotel in the QT’s nationwide portfolio channels its own distinctive style, there’s a consistently quirky originality to their respective looks and feels that lets you immediately know you’re in a QT establishment the second you enter. But this artsy-luxe aesthetic isn’t mere design chutzpah for design chutzpah’s sake. Taking their cues from local history, QT hotels pay homage to the heritage of their surroundings and the Gold Coast outpost is no exception.  Summoning the spirit of the Gold Coast’s golden ear of the ‘60s and ‘70s, when this stretch of Queensland was a playground for the great and good of Australia, the retro, disco-fabulous style of the hotel’s lobby pairs these winks to past with playful yet modern finishes. Major renovations in late 2019 have refreshed all of the hotel’s 293 rooms and suites, picking up flashes of the kaleidoscopic colours and yesteryear chic seen in the lobby, set against a crisp, white, beach-shack style complete with ‘Queensland beach house’ beds. Where the QT Gold Coast stands apart from its sister sites is its resort spirit, exemplified by its stunning pool lido and proximity to the lapping waves of the Pacific ocean. The expansive pool area transports guests to Miami, with its sharp, East Coast Deco monochrome design and tropical landscaping. Guests can lay out under the clear blue Queensland sky on a sun lounger, or seek shade in one of the classy cabanas while enjoying a refreshing drink from the Spring pool bar, which spe

Dorsett Gold Coast

Dorsett Gold Coast

With its burnished gilt ceilings, rose gold columns and thick-pile azure carpets lapping like waves against a parquet marble shore, the lobby of the Dorsett is a masterclass in Gold Coast glitz. And while this small but perfectly formed hotel may not be quite as resort-scaled as some of its nearby neighbours, its luxe finishes, boutique charm and thoughtfully curated facilities can certainly hold their own against any of Surfers Paradise’s bigger accommodations. The 313 guestrooms channel a similarly glamorous aesthetic, with palm frond artworks and gold leather headboards. Bathrooms are fitted with rain showers and complimentary Elemis toiletries as standard. Those guests staying on higher floors also get access to the hotel’s Executive Club, a relaxing space perched on the 19th storey overlooking the beach, serving breakfast and complimentary evening cocktails and canapes, away from the hustle and bustle of lobby and pool spaces.  While there is no in-house restaurant beyond the room service menu, the hotel’s location in Broadbeach places it in the heart of one of the best dining destinations on the Gold Coast, with outstanding and numerous options just minutes from your room. Guests can also access certain facilities at Dorsett’s nearby sister venue the Star, including the spa and fitness centre. For those content to take a few laps, the stunning Isoletto Pool Club features an infinity pool plus sun loungers, cabanas and spectacular ocean views. 

Sky Point Climb

Sky Point Climb

At 270 metres above street level, SkyPoint Climb, atop of the Q1 building in Surfers Paradise, is one of Australia's highest external building walks. Upon reaching level 77 and stepping out into the SkyPoint Observation Deck, climbers emerge into the bracing open air dressed in a full body suit and harness to ensure absolute safety. Led by a ‘Climb Guide’, visitors ascend up towards the crow's nest located at the highest point of the building, where they can admire the stunning 360-degree views of the Gold Coast region including the golden beaches, city skyline and lush green hinterland. All climbers get a photo and a certificate so they can relive the experience again and again. The Sky Point Climb takes approximately 90 minutes including a briefing session and the time on the Climb course, although visitors are welcome to remain within the SkyPoint Observation Deck after they’ve touched the Queensland sky, to continue enjoying the birdseye views of this beautiful slice of the Queensland coast.

News (642)

Taronga TV brings livestreamed animal antics into your home

Taronga TV brings livestreamed animal antics into your home

When tourist attractions began closing in 2020 due to the pandemic, zoos and animal parks all over the world, including in Sydney, turned to live streaming to share their animal antics online, a gambit that has proven to be wildly successful. Taronga Zoo upped the ante with the launch of Taronga TV, a digital platform streaming animal enclosures, behind-the-scenes 'sneak peeks’ and after-hours footage revealing what the keepers and animals get up to when the park is closed to the public. On days at home, you can keep the kids (or yourself) occupied with educational video talks featuring the likes of yellow bellied gliders and squirrel monkey babies. Or chuck on live feeds from the elephant enclosure, the lion's den or the tiger's lair to lighten up your work-from-home days.  Alongside this streaming content, there is also an archive of online resources for teachers – or parents looking for school holidays distractions – featuring fun yet educational materials about exotic wildlife, local fauna and the natural world. Click through to Taronga TV here. Want to get out of the house? Here's our guide to the best easy day hikes in and around Sydney.

First look: A huge new artificial surf park is coming to Sydney's Olympic Park

First look: A huge new artificial surf park is coming to Sydney's Olympic Park

Update, March 2023: Construction is underway on Urbnsurf Sydney, and it will open in 2024.  Sure, Sydney has a helluva lot of surfable shoreline, but before too long, Sydneysiders will be able to get their surf on, day or night, even when Mother Nature’s waves aren’t up to the task, at Sydney Olympic Park. Following in the footsteps of Australia’s first urban surf park, which opened in Melbourne back in December 2019 and is pictured above, Sydney’s very own Urbnsurf will be a similarly state-of-the-art facility, using Wavegarden’s innovative ‘cove tech’ to generate surfable waves every eight seconds. When operational, it will be fitted out with LED lighting that will allow punters to make use of the steady supply of surf after dark, and there will be areas suitable for all forms of boarding, from shortboards to longboards, bodyboards to kneeboards, and even bodysurfing. Best of all, the controlled environment makes Urbnsurf the ideal place for surf noobs to cut their teeth without the risk of being slammed by a surprise wipeout. In addition to the surfing pools, the Urbnsurf complex, which will be located across 3.6 hectares near Sydney Olympic Park, will also sport a high-performance centre, working spaces, a leisure pool for families, a skate park and a new surf academy with expert coaches. It’ll also be a great destination for relaxing, complete with beach cabanas, a hot tub, a café and even a rooftop bar. Prefer your surf experiences au naturale? Check out our rundown of

First Look: the $48-million refurbishment of the Bondi Pavilion is finally finished

First Look: the $48-million refurbishment of the Bondi Pavilion is finally finished

Just six years shy of its centenary, the Bondi Pavilion has been brought into the 21st-century. Following a two-year, $48-million restoration, the venue overlooking Australia’s most famous beach is preparing to welcome back the public to its modernised and upgraded facilities from September 21. Photograph: Supplied This top-to-bottom glow up includes an art gallery, flexible cultural spaces for events and performances, a welcome centre and box office, an enlarged pottery studio, and renovated changing facilities and bathrooms. The Bondi Story Room is an all-new digital heritage space featuring state-of-the-art amenities that will ensure the pavilion will be a thriving arts and culture hub fit for 2022. Visitors can also enjoy two new dining venues, a restaurant and a café, as well as inviting outdoor spaces, such as the landscaped internal courtyards and new grand entrance on the north face of the pavilion.  Restorations have been made to heritage features, such as the original terracotta roof tiles that were first installed in 1928, but these sit side by side with important innovations such as a suite of 220 solar panels that will ensure 70 per cent of the building’s energy needs will come from renewable sources. The lead architect on the ambitious project, Peter Tonkin of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, ensured that a combination of historical respect and dynamic modern design for today’s communities was essential to the development process. “The Bondi Pavilion is a fin

A new public square named after Queen Elizabeth II is being built in Sydney’s CBD

A new public square named after Queen Elizabeth II is being built in Sydney’s CBD

In the latest in a series of major public works announced by premier Dominic Perrottet, a new public square named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II is to be built in the heart of Sydney's CBD. Parts of the NSW Registrar-General’s building on Macquarie Street will be demolished to make way for the outdoor space which will also create more direct access to the Domain parklands from the CBD. Within the square there will be a monument to the late monarch, who died on September 10, aged 96, after reigning over Commonwealth countries including Australia for 70 years.  “We will have this great plaza opened up for the people of New South Wales to enjoy, to appreciate, but most importantly, to remember the service and dedication of Queen Elizabeth to the great people of New South Wales.” The new square is part of plans to revitalise the heritage-listed precinct where some of the very earliest surviving parts of Sydney can be found, between the Domain and the CBD, running parallel with the Botanic Gardens all the way to Bennelong Point and the Opera House. Extensions to some parts of the historically important buildings were added in the 1970s and “should never have been built in the first place,” according to Perrottet. Despite his publicly known position on Australia becoming a republic, prime minister Anthony Albanese hailed the new Queen Elizabeth II square as a “visionary project”, adding that it was “an appropriate and fitting tribute.” The prime minister also made clear earlier th

Will Australians get a day off to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II?

Will Australians get a day off to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II?

While Australians slept on the night of September 8, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully surrounded by her family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was the longest-ever reigning monarch, serving 70 years on the throne. In the past, major events in the lives of the British royal family have been marked with a public holiday or bank holiday in Commonwealth countries. So, will there be a day of national mourning in Australia?According to leaked plans of the Queen’s funeral arrangements, known as ‘Operation London Bridge', there will be an official day of mourning. The plans, leaked by Politico last year, suggest the funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in London in ten days, and a commonwealth-wide two-minute silence will be held at noon Greenwich Meantime, 9pm AEST. It has now been officially confirmed that the funeral will take place on September 19. However, Australia's official ‘day of mourning’ will take place on September 22, and a national public holiday has been announced to coincide with this. There may also be another day off to mark the coronation of the Queen's successor, His Majesty King Charles III. While there will already be detailed plans in place for the coronation, it will not be a hurried ceremony and will almost certainly take place early next year. The globe-trotting queen: here are the 117 countries visited by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her lifetime.

Here's how Australia will memorialise the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Here's how Australia will memorialise the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II

On the morning of September 9, Australians woke to the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign had come to a close. The Queen passed away surrounded by her family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, after several months of declining health. She was aged 96. There will now follow a number of formalities in Commonwealth countries including Australia to memorialise and mourn the late Head of State. Firstly, the Australian parliament will be suspended for 15 days as a mark of respect, echoing similar moves by the UK and Canadian governments as well as other Commonwealth countries and territories. Unlike the UK, however, which will now observe two weeks of national mourning, Australia will only mark a single day of mourning, with a memorial service on September 22 and a national public holiday has been announced by the prime minister to coincide with this. Australians can expect to see flags on monuments, landmarks and political buildings across Australia fly at half-mast until the day after the Queen’s funeral, which is scheduled to take place in London on September 19.  The monarchy’s representative in Australia, governor-general David Hurley, will address the nation at 6.55pm on September 9 to acknowledge the Queen’s passing on behalf of her Australian subjects. Prime minister Anthony Albanese, along with Hurley and the acting commissioner to the UK Lynette Wood, will make the journey to London in the next week or so to see the Queen lying in state, attend the stat

A national public holiday has been announced to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II

A national public holiday has been announced to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Prime minister Anthony Albanese has announced that there will be a national public holiday on September 22 to mark the death of the Queen. The day off will coincide with a national memorial service to be held in Canberra following the Queen’s funeral service in London on September 19. Despite his pro-republic stance, the prime minister said that “now is not the time” to discuss Australia breaking with the crown, adding that he recognised many Australians would be grieving the loss of the Queen. “This is a time of national mourning that we’re engaged with and Thursday the 22nd will be an opportunity for the nation to come together,” Albanese said at a press briefing on September 11. Here are all the details of how the queen is being memorialised in Australia.

NSW’s Sydney rock oyster supplies are being decimated by a deadly disease

NSW’s Sydney rock oyster supplies are being decimated by a deadly disease

One of the quintessential flavours of Sydney is under threat and it could have major impacts on supply for years to come. The entire stock of Sydney rock oysters in Port Stephens, just north of Newcastle, has been lost to the QX disease, a parasite that specifically targets Sydney rock oysters. Instances of the parasite were first seen in the Port Stephens oyster farms in August 2021, but it has spread more persistently during 2022, leading to the loss of 100 per cent of the region's oysters – numbering in the hundreds of thousands of individual oysters – which accounts for 16 per cent of nation’s supply. The impacts of this mass die-off could be felt by consumers for years, as it is likely to take that long for the oyster beds in this area to recover. In addition to the loss of Sydney rock oysters, Pacific oyster yields in Port Stephens have been smaller than usual over the past year due to unexplained mortality unrelated to the QX disease but possibly linked to repeated flooding in the area. The impacts of the QX outbreak have already resulted in a number of oyster farms in Port Stephens closing down, and more are likely to fold as it could take more than a year before they can begin supplying restaurants again. While QX disease is deadly for oysters, it has no impact on human health. A survey by NSW Primary Industries indicates that the QX outbreak is currently contained to Port Stephens, which will be a relief to the state’s largest oyster farms on the South Coast around

Bureau of Meteorology confirmed: heavy rains and flooding forecast throughout summer

Bureau of Meteorology confirmed: heavy rains and flooding forecast throughout summer

Hopes were raised in June when the Bureau of Meteorology declared that the whopping multi-year La Niña weather event, responsible for soaking Sydney for two consecutive summers, was finally weakening. However, any optimism about a return to sunny skies was dampened just one month later in July, when early indications hinted that another rain-inducing weather event, the Indian Ocean Dipole, could send yet more downpours Australia’s way. BoM has now confirmed its summer forecast, and not only are we likely to have another soggy summer, but devastating floods are also highly likely in some parts of northern NSW. The north coast around Byron Bay and Lismore is likely to see yet more floods, with the BoM issuing a warning that this region is likely to experience severe storms in the coming months and throughout the summer. The alarming forecast prompted federal emergency management minister Murray Watt to urge residents of NSW to “be prepared”, adding assurances that the Albanese government would be accelerating its efforts to install mitigation methods that could control the danger of flooding in the most at-risk areas.  During a press briefing at Parliament House on August 31, the BoM also warned that intense rainfall and the possibility of damaging storms and giant hail were likely across the East Coast of Australia. After almost three years of above-average rainfall, with a new 60-year record set in Sydney in late August, groundwater levels are already saturated. BoM climatolo

It's official: Enmore Road has been voted Sydney's coolest street

It's official: Enmore Road has been voted Sydney's coolest street

If you didn’t know it already, you do now. According to Time Out's annual global survey of the very best of urban life, Enmore Road, the pumping heart of the Inner West, has just been named the coolest street in Sydney for 2022. Tucked snugly between Newtown and Marrickville, Enmore Road is the beating culture highway that gives the Inner West its trendy name. No matter the time of day, this street is abuzz with a rainbow of diverse people, sparkling shows and fabulous food and drink, with this street a place where nothing is the same twice.  On a jaunt down Enmore Road, you’ll find yourself on an adventure that rolls from day to late night. Hard hitting coffee can be had at Cafe Shenkin, while jaw-dropping breakfasts are to be inhaled at Saga, where exotic and brilliant pastry concoctions reign supreme. Throughout the day, explore a whole host of epic shops, including the perennially dreamy Swop, and, for all those that like fringed suede jackets; travel to the wild West over at Route 66.  All this is hungry work, which is good, because Enmore Road knows how to deliver when it comes to grub. Whether it be lunch or dinner, you have the opportunity to dance between multiple countries on one street, with epic Egyptian falafels to be had at Cairo Takeaway, legendary Lebanese on offer at Emma’s Snack Bar, and succulent Nigerian going off at Little Lagos. Also, no meal on Enmore Road is complete without a scoop of groundbreaking gelato from Cow and Moon. Obviously.  Along with din

Telstra payphones across Australia are being transformed into free Wi-Fi hotspots

Telstra payphones across Australia are being transformed into free Wi-Fi hotspots

In our modern world of ubiquitous smart devices and 5G connection speeds, you may well have found yourself wondering, who the heck uses payphones anymore? And yet, these relics of yesteryear’s communication conveniences have remained a steadfast staple of most Aussie streets.  Telstra has now announced that it will drag Australia’s payphones into the 21st century by making them Wi-Fi hotspots, and what’s more, connecting will be free to access. While the majority of the nation’s 12,000 Telstra payphones will remain regular ol’ telephones for now, from today 3,000 will be offering Wi-Fi, with the aim of making the entire network Wi-Fi enabled within a year. Telstra payphones have previously offered Wi-Fi to Telstra customers as a plan inclusion, but since offering unlimited data on its contracts, that perk has become redundant, leading the telco to think altruistically rather than retiring the feature altogether. You can find the payphones that are now Wi-Fi enabled via the Telstra website. Want less Wi-Fi, not more? Check out this national network of 'Zero-G' off-the-grid holiday spots.

A new 'floating island' of skyscrapers is being built on top of Central Station

A new 'floating island' of skyscrapers is being built on top of Central Station

It’s a favourite saying of estate agents that the most precious commodity in the world is land – it’s the one thing they’re not making any more of. But just try telling that to the brains behind ambitious new plans to conjure an expansion to the CBD with the creation of a ‘floating island’ of skyscrapers, constructed over several of the currently open-air platforms of Central Station. The $11-billion development will transform the skyline at the southern end of the CBD extending into Chippendale with a space of more than 24 hectares featuring towers as tall as 34 storeys. Render: NSW Government Under the plans, an expansive deck will be constructed over the regional and intercity rail lines departing from the main Central Station terminal (city circle and local lines will remain outdoors), with a footprint large enough to accommodate 15 large buildings. A 24-metre pedestrian avenue, three new footbridges spanning the rail corridor separating Chippendale and Prince Alfred Park, and two new squares to be named Central Square and Central Green will also create public spaces that are likely to prove valuable to the residents of the four suburbs – Surry Hills, Redfern, Chippendale and the CBD – that will border the development. An extension will also be made to the Goods Line, extending from Railway Square all the way to the historic Mortuary Station. Render: NSW Government The plans are part of the long-term efforts to establish the area around Central Station as Sydney’s ver