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10 ways to be a little different in Sydney

Embrace what makes this city special by visiting ten places that are a little out of the ordinary

Little Creatures
Photograph: Supplied
By Sponsored Content |

Not one for following the herd? Neither are we. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Little Creatures to show you a few ways to get out of your comfort zone and embrace being a little different. Whether it's a balloon ride over the city or an underground comedy club, you’ll learn it’s good to be a little different here.

Do you find yourself visiting the same joint for your daily coffee fix? Do you meet friends at the same bar and order the same drink every time? The humdrum of working life can leave you stuck in old habits. Luckily, Sydney offers plenty of experiences guaranteed to reignite your love of the new and the unusual. So try a beer that’s a bit different this week, or swap a night in watching TV for a night at a pub opera. Find the part of Sydney that is really ‘you’.

Pumphouse Bar

Make your beer crafty at Pumphouse Bar


Located in the heart of Darling Harbour, this boozy joint was originally built as a pumping station in 1890 to supply water across city as a power source. It was saved from demolition in 1975 by the Heritage Council of NSW and is now leading the craft beer revolution and pumping beers into our pint glasses. Enjoy a Little Creatures pale ale with some beer battered flathead or some beer braised pork ribs on the balcony at the re-vamped Pumphouse Restaurant.

Live music at The Hero Of Waterloo

Relive a slice of Sydney’s history at the Hero of Waterloo

Millers Point

The Hero was built in a no frills era, and they haven’t added any in the intervening 170 years. Timber floors, convict-hewn sandstone walls and lantern light create the shell in which beer is to be drunk and songs sung by the fireside. Little Creatures Pale Ale is on tap, so grab a glass and hatch a plan to get into the Hero’s cellars where they keep the tunnel to the Harbour that was once used for smuggling rum and drunken patrons to waiting clippers.

Cocktails at Clock Hotel

Lord over Surry Hills on the balcony of the Clock Hotel

Surry Hills

The Clock is an institution in the Sydney pub scene and the place to be for balcony beers on Crown Street. The regal two-storey hotel occupies a commanding position on Surry Hills’ Crown Street, and while times change and slight décor adjustments are made over the years, the Clock essentially remains the same. An oldie but a goodie. Pick up a whole case of Little Creatures from their bottle shop on your way home!

Dessert 2 at Bang Street Food

Try something totally new at Bang

Surry Hills

Holy moly Bangladesh, your food is a revelation! Enjoy a dish you’ve never heard of before that’s inspired by the streets of Dhaka in this Surry Hills flavour haunt. Besides the food, one of the best things about this place is the dynamic atmosphere. Maybe it’s the on-trend, industrial-meets-designer interior, the jazzy neon lights, boldly monogrammed crockery, or friendly staff in their vibrant, tiger-themed T-shirts. Maybe it’s the playlist – think Cyndi Lauper, Shaggy, the Backstreet Boys and the always-entertaining ‘Hungry Eyes’ from Dirty Dancing.


Meet the volunteers at Two Wolves Community Cantina


You might have seen the graphic on the corner of Broadway and City Road lately – the heads of two wolves facing each other, lit up in neon yellow. It’s hard to miss. So what the heck is it? It’s a restaurant, actually. And not only that, it’s a restaurant where all the staff are volunteers, and all the money goes to charity specifically the Cardoner Project, a Jesuit organisation which sends youths overseas to work with developing nations. The cuisine is inspired by these countries, so you’ll be tasting Mexican, Vietnamese, Thai and more. The food is cheap as chips and will make you nostalgic for your uni days as you watch the students roll in for the 5-7pm $5 happy hour.

A pianist playing to a dancing audience
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Witness the stars rise at Oxford Art Factory


Is the Oxford Art Factory Australia’s answer to New York’s CBGB? It’s not that outrageous a suggestion when you consider the calibre of acts that have graced the 500-person band room over its ten years of operation. Did you know that Lady Gaga played her first Australian show there in 2008? Or that Dave Grohl still wears his Oxford Art Factory shirt that he got playing a gig here in his covers band, Chevy Metal?

Sydney Harbour YHA

Stay at Sydney Harbour YHA for an epic view

The Rocks

Nestled comfortably in the middle of Sydney's historic district, the Rocks, Sydney Harbour YHA has all the modern trimmings of metropolitan accommodation and is on budget. But the thing to really write home about is the view from the rooftop terrace of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House – wow barely covers it. The hostel is surrounded by colonial pubs and is only a short trip via public transport to the city's premier nightlife areas.

The Squire's Landing
Photograph: Supplied
Bars, Breweries

Enjoy a brew at the Squire's Landing

The Rocks

The newest James Squire Brewhouse is located at the very spot where a convict called James Squire first stepped ashore as part of the First Fleet. Raise a glass to the colony's first brewer at this venue within the Overseas Passenger Terminal at the Rocks. Beers served include the entire James Squire range, limited releases from Malt Shovel Brewery, and beers brewed on the premises. Enjoy pub fare or more refined dining, catch a live music performance, and take in the views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Ballooning over Macarthur
Attractions, Farms

Take to the skies with Balloon Aloft Camden Valley


Start the day drifting 300m above farmyards, mansions and pretty country towns. The longstanding Camden-based company Balloon Aloft were the first people to offer commercial balloon flights in Australia, over 35 years ago, and it’s still a spectacular way to spend a morning.

Above sydney in Helicopter
Photograph: Emily Lloyd-Tait
Things to do, Walks and tours

See Sydney’s best angle from a HeliTour


You can't help but feel like James Bond when you climb into the compact helicopter that is set to ferry you up over the Sydney CBD. You'll hover over Darling Harbour before hooking out towards Goat Island to make a majestic run at the Harbour Bridge. A loop around the harbour takes in Kirribilli House, Taronga Zoo, Bradleys Head, Rose Bay, Woolloomooloo, and Fort Denison. From here you'll head out towards the heads before taking a sharp right to track the Sydney coastline and making whisper soft landing back at the base.