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It?s a one-hour flight or 10-hour drive from Melbourne to the ?Harbour City,? otherwise known as Sydney. Immortalized in films like Muriel?s Wedding, where it was described as the ?City of Brides,? and Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, where it was portrayed as the preeminent gay oasis of the eastern hemisphere, Sydney lives up to its reputation as an alpha world city. Staying at the Intercontinental Hotel, it?s hard to not be swept away by the romance of Sydney. Amazing views of nearby botanical gardens and the Sydney Opera House can be viewed from certain lucky rooms. The hotel?s Caf? Opera serves up fresh fish, while the hotel?s Cortile lounge is recommended for High Tea (remember you?re in what was once the crown jewel of the old British Empire).
It?s impossible to visit the Sydney and not see the Jorn Utzon-designed opera house up close, or from the inside. Tours are available, and there?s plenty to see beside architecture; restaurants, shops, and a recording studio are tucked inside the concrete sails. Of course, there?s the actual performance space of the hall; there is no better place to see La Boheme than in the Sydney Opera House.
For the Sydney equivalent of Melbourne?s Global Ballooning, there?s the legendary Sydney BridgeClimb, which gives you panoramic views of the ocean-hugging metropolis. These are 3 ? hour guided experiences that can take you to the summit at dawn, day, or twilight; it?s a breathtaking sight worth the workout.
Sydney?s legendary Bondi Beach cannot be missed. The relatively small area -- less than one mile long -- is packed with beautiful people (many gays), cerulean waves, and plenty of restaurants to get your brunch or drink on. All of Sydney is crammed with great dining options -- it?s a foodie town -- but a real Bondi Beach standout is Icebergs Dining Room and Bar. Beautiful views of Bondi?s yellow sand compliment delicious Mediterranean cuisine.
One of the best aspects of Australia is the friendly and gorgeous people, just don?t buy into the stereotype -- not all the men are huge and blond. Sydney, in particular, is one of the most diverse cities on Earth. This means oodles of eye candy for every type. After your Australian romance ends -- be it metaphorical or literal -- and you climb aboard the A380 to return to normality, there?s no question you?ll be gloomy. But, trust me, the wide seats, wine, slippers, and hor d'oeuvres will definitely cushion the blow.
Part One | Part Two