Things To Do

Weekend Vibes | Why This Is Sydney’s Ultimate Culture Fix

By Elise Cullen
4th Jul 2019

Here at Urban List, we believe a weekend without trying something new is a weekend wasted. So, if you’re keen to spend a day out and about exploring new cultural and culinary destinations and want to immerse yourself in Sydney’s rich history, we have just the itinerary.

Sydney’s Barangaroo is a stunning urban oasis bursting with an abundance of activities, breathtaking views, lush greenery and cultural walks. It’s also home to a plethora of mouth-watering restaurants heroing the finest local produce and native ingredients—you can seriously jam-pack a weekend into one day and leave satisfied, yet eager for more.

Whether you have a few hours up your sleeve or a whole day to unwind and take in the tranquil surrounds of Sydney Harbour, here are a few reasons to add Barangaroo to your burgeoning list of weekend must-dos. 

Start Your Day Early

...And Soak Up The Harbourside Serenity

No matter what time of year it is, Sydney is blessed when it comes to sunshine and breathtaking views. Even when winter hibernation threatens to sink in, a picnic on a grassy headland with glistening water views is never really out of the question.

If you’re seeking a place of calmness and tranquility, Barangaroo’s six-hectare headland is the ultimate place. Boasting unobstructed views of Sydney Harbour, the award-winning Barangaroo Reserve is landscaped with more than 75,000 native plants and features idyllic coves and lookouts that’ll take your breath away. Bliss out on the lush grass and relish a little quiet contemplation, or work up a sweat walking along the spectacular sandstone shoreline. Our advice? Grab a bite, a good book and stretch out in the sun. Did we mention Barangaroo Reserve is also BYO booze-friendly? You’re welcome.

Time To Refuel

...And Savour Australian Flavours

A bustling trove of culinary triumphs, you’re certainly not short on a place to hole up and dig in at Barangaroo. Offering a world-class dining experience in one hub, the waterfront precinct has an array of restaurants and bars placing Australian produce and native ingredients on a pedestal—and rightfully so.

At the heart of it all is Barangaroo House. The architecturally stunning, three-level venue is home to three celebrated restaurants, House Bar, Bea and Smoke, and is the place to go if making a mealtime decision proves to be difficult. Bea’s droolworthy menu is particularly noteworthy with wood-fired local produce as the hero. Guided by the best of each season, Bea’s chefs source ingredients from local land and waters, treating it simply and respectfully. Kick back and tuck into generous, sharable portions of whole john dory with burnt grapefruit, tender calamari with chilli and ginger, and succulent, grain fed wagyu chuck tail. Oh, and be sure to start your feast off with a few plump Sydney rock oysters. 

Stretch Your Legs

And Take A Walk Back In Time

Sydneysiders might be aware of Barangaroo’s smorgasbord of deliciousness—it’s hard to ignore—but what they might not realise is just how culturally-rich and unique the precinct actually is. Named after the powerful Cammeraygal leader of the Eora Nation, Barangaroo tells the ancient story of the world’s oldest living culture through multimedia artwork and sandstone carvings scattered throughout the Reserve.

Roam the urban oasis to discover five sandstone rock engravings carved out by Aboriginal elders. The engravings act as a key to unlock five short films that depict the Aboriginal life cycles of the sun, moon and women, as well as honour Barangaroo, the woman. Each short film is an artistic and poignant portrayal of our Indigenous heritage, which is easily accessible through your phone or tablet. 

Catch The Sunset

With A Smorgasbord

Just a stone’s throw away from Barangaroo House is the vibrant and revered restaurant Banksii. Lovingly named after English Sir Joseph Banks, the first botanist to explore and document the botanicals of Australia, Banksii is an ode to his legacy and a celebration of Australia’s beautiful botanicals. Offering a delicious fusion of Australian flavours and Mediterranian dining, the menu takes you on a journey through the flavours of Australia with dishes like Balmain bug tortellini with seafood bisque and botanical salad, fresh mussels cooked in white vermouth, green olives and herb butter or the crowd-pleasing sticky beef brisket with caramelised pumpkin and roasted garlic. Whichever dish you finally choose, we can assure you, it won’t disappoint. We recommend nabbing a table outside and dine with a glistening water backdrop as you watch the sunset and the world go by.

Want more? Read up on Barangaroo’s culturally rich heritage here. Better yet, why not experience the above itinerary during NAIDOC week, from 7 – 14 July or check out the full events calendar. Start planning your visit now.

Editor's note: This article is proudly sponsored by Barangaroo Delivery Authority and endorsed by Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.

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