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Things to do in the Eastern Suburbs

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

The Eastern Suburbs of Sydney: a collection of suburban enclaves nestled between the city and the sea, offering a unique mix of coastal living, urban sophistication, and a vibrant cultural scene. Renowned for its beautiful residential areas, high-end shopping, and stunning beaches, the Eastern Suburbs promises a myriad of memorable experiences to its visitors.

Visiting the Iconic Bondi Beach

A visit to Sydney's Eastern Suburbs would be incomplete without stepping foot on the golden sands of the iconic Bondi Beach.

World-Class Surfing Conditions

Surfing enthusiasts will be in their element here. With consistent waves, Bondi Beach is a haven for both beginner and experienced surfers. For beginners, several surf schools along the beach offer lessons to get you started.

Surfer on Bondi Beach
Surfer on Bondi Beach

Sunbathing and Beach Activities

For those who prefer a more relaxed beach experience, Bondi's expansive sands offer the perfect spot for sunbathing. With a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean, it's a great place to unwind. In addition, you can engage in beachside activities like beach volleyball or just take a leisurely stroll along the shore.

Bondi Beach in Australia
Bondi Beach in Australia

The Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk

Beyond the beach, one of Bondi's most celebrated attractions is the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. This 6km trail starts at Bondi Icebergs pool, winds its way along towering cliffs, through bustling beachside parks and offers some of Sydney's most breathtaking ocean views. Along the route, you'll pass by other beautiful beaches of the Eastern Suburbs, including Tamarama and Bronte.

Visiting Bondi Beach is not just about the beach itself. It's about the whole experience—the vibrant beach culture, the buzzing promenade with its array of eateries and shops, and the sense of community that makes Bondi truly special.

Exploring Watsons Bay

Watsons Bay, perched on the tip of South Head Peninsula in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs, is an idyllic destination offering stunning scenery, fascinating history, and delectable seafood.

Scenic Views and the Iconic Hornby Lighthouse

The bay is famed for its breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. One of the must-do activities in Watsons Bay is a walk to the iconic Hornby Lighthouse. Standing proud since 1858, the candy-striped lighthouse offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and Sydney Harbour. It's a prime spot for watching the sunrise or sunset, and if you're lucky, you may even spot migrating whales between May and November.

Hornby Lighthouse
Hornby Lighthouse

Camp Cove and South Head Heritage Trail

While in the area, make sure to visit Camp Cove, a quaint beach known for its calm waters and snorkelling opportunities. From here, the South Head Heritage Trail—a short but scenic trek—will lead you to the lighthouse.

South Head Heritage Trail
South Head Heritage Trail

Renowned Seafood Restaurants

No trip to Watsons Bay would be complete without enjoying its culinary delights, especially its seafood. Doyles on the Beach, the first seafood restaurant in Australia, is a perfect spot to indulge in fresh catch while overlooking the beautiful bay. The Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel also offers a fantastic dining experience, with its pub-style food and spectacular harbour views.

Whether you're a nature lover, a history buff, or a foodie, Watsons Bay caters to all. A visit to this seaside suburb offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and gastronomic pleasure.

Shopping and Dining in Double Bay

Double Bay is a chic harbourside suburb in the Eastern Suburbs. Known for its designer boutiques, art galleries, and sophisticated dining scene, it's a prime destination for those seeking a taste of luxury in Sydney.

Luxury Shopping Experience

The main shopping area is clustered around Transvaal Avenue and Knox Street, where high-end boutiques and designer labels like Scanlan Theodore, Cosmopolitan Shoes, and Belinda grace the streets. A walk through these fashionable lanes gives you a glimpse into the latest fashion trends, contemporary art, and unique homeware designs.

Double Bay Knox Street
Double Bay Knox Street

The experience of Double Bay shopping is enhanced by the beautiful tree-lined streetscape, with hidden delights found around every corner. Boutiques, hair salons, and various other establishments can be found nestled within beautifully decorated and repurposed charming Federation or Victorian era cottages and terraced houses.

Gourmet Dining and Chic Cafes

The dining scene in Double Bay complements its shopping allure. From bustling cafes to fine dining restaurants, Double Bay offers an eclectic mix of gastronomic delights. Notable establishments like Matteo, Stockroom, and Mrs. Sippy serve a range of cuisine, from traditional Italian to modern Australian, all in chic and stylish settings. For dessert lovers, the famous Gelato Messina is a must-visit.

A Stroll through Centennial Park

Centennial Park, located on the fringe of the Eastern Suburbs, is one of Sydney's largest and most beautiful public spaces. Known as 'The People's Park', it's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wealth of recreational activities.

Exploring the Green Oasis

Covering 220 hectares, the park is a treasure trove of lush greenery, beautiful flower beds, serene ponds, and grand avenues of trees. Walking, cycling, or simply picnicking in this verdant expanse is a perfect way to unwind.

Recreational Activities

The park is a hub for outdoor activities. You can hire a bike or ride a horse, engage in sports at one of the many playing fields, or take a guided tour of the park's historical and natural sites. Children will especially enjoy the park's playgrounds and the educational programs at the Ian Potter Children's Wild Play Garden.

Centennial Park in Sydney
Centennial Park in Sydney

Wildlife Encounters

Centennial Park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including birds, bats, and possums. The park's ponds are filled with interesting aquatic life, and birdwatchers will delight in spotting different bird species.

Whether you are a nature lover, a fitness enthusiast, or someone who enjoys peaceful solitude, Centennial Park is a jewel in the Eastern Suburbs that caters to all.

Dining in the Park

In addition to barbeque facilities and picnic areas, Centennial Park boasts a number of dining options, ranging from kiosks to fine dining. Grab a snack or a fresh coffee, or sit down and relax and enjoy a made-to-order meal all while soaking up the peaceful park setting.

Taking a Dip at Coogee Beach

Coogee Beach, a hidden gem nestled in the Eastern Suburbs, offers the perfect beach experience with its calm waters, sandy beach, and vibrant atmosphere.

Coogee Beach in Sydney
Coogee Beach in Sydney

Beach Activities and Facilities

Apart from swimming in its clear, blue waters, you can try snorkelling or scuba diving at the nearby Gordons Bay, or embark on the cliff-top coastal walk that takes you from Bondi to Coogee. The beach also provides ample facilities including picnic areas, playgrounds, and outdoor fitness equipment, ensuring a day filled with fun and relaxation.

Swimming Conditions

Coogee Beach is protected from the bigger waves, making it a safer option for families and less confident swimmers. Additionally, the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club continuously patrols the beach, ensuring a safe swimming environment for everyone.

Dining by the Beach

After a refreshing dip, you can explore the nearby Coogee Pavilion or one of the many beachside cafes and restaurants for a hearty meal or a refreshing drink. With a wide variety of options, from fresh seafood to trendy health food spots, you're sure to find something to satisfy your appetite.

Admiring Art at the Art Gallery of New South Wales

Located just beyond the fringe of the Eastern Suburbs (to the west of Potts Point), the Art Gallery of New South Wales is a premier destination for art lovers.

Gallery Collections and Exhibitions

The gallery boasts a vast collection of Australian and international art. From Indigenous Australian art to European old masters, contemporary works to Asian calligraphy, the gallery is a testament to the diverse world of art. It frequently hosts major national and international exhibitions, making each visit a unique experience.

Facilities and Events

Beyond its impressive collections, the gallery offers a range of facilities including an art library, a modern cafe, and a stunning restaurant with views of Sydney Harbour. The gallery also hosts an array of events like lectures, concerts, and film screenings, providing visitors with a comprehensive cultural experience.

Sydney Harbour
Sydney Harbour

Whether you're an avid art connoisseur or a casual visitor, the Art Gallery of New South Wales offers an enriching and enlightening experience of the world of art.

Enjoying Vaucluse House

Located in the heart of the Eastern Suburbs, Vaucluse House is a slice of Sydney's colonial history, engulfed in lush greenery and tranquillity.

Historical Significance

Vaucluse House is one of Sydney's few 19th-century mansions still surrounded by its original gardens and wooded grounds. Once the home of William Charles Wentworth, father of the Australian Constitution, it tells the tale of Sydney's colonial past and the transformation of society.

Architectural Beauty

The house itself is a Gothic Revival style mansion, complete with castellated parapets and towers. Visitors can explore the drawing room, dining room, library, and bedrooms, all exquisitely furnished in the style of the 1840s. The gardens around the house feature an immaculately kept kitchen garden, a beautiful fountain, and a backdrop of sweeping harbour views, making it a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll.

Discovering Paddington Markets

Every Saturday, Paddington Markets turn the peaceful suburb into a vibrant marketplace, showcasing local craftsmanship and culinary delights.

Market Offerings

Over 100 stalls set up shop every week, offering everything from fashion, accessories, and homewares to paintings, photography, and food. It's the perfect place to discover emerging designers, taste locally made delicacies, or find a unique gift.

Local Artisans and Food Vendors

Paddington Markets are renowned for their support of local artisans. Each stall provides an opportunity to meet the maker, discuss their craft, and buy directly from the source. Food vendors at the market bring a wide variety of cuisines, ensuring a treat for the taste buds while you browse.

Unwinding at the Royal Botanic Garden

Travelling west along the coast from the Eastern Suburbs towards the city centre, the first thing you’ll come to is the Royal Botanic Garden, a tranquil retreat amid the hustle and bustle of Sydney.

Unique Plant Collections

The Royal Botanic Garden houses an impressive collection of native Australian and international plant species. The Garden also regularly hosts plant-related exhibitions, tours and other educational experiences.

Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney
Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney

Tranquillity in Nature

Visitors can enjoy a leisurely walk, engage in bird-watching, or simply relax and admire the harbour views. With its unique blend of botanical beauty and serene environment, the Royal Botanic Garden provides a refreshing escape for residents and visitors alike.

Eastern Suburbs offer so much

The Eastern Suburbs of Sydney offers an eclectic mix of historical sites, shopping destinations, gastronomic experiences, and natural beauty. Whether you're a history buff, a food lover, or a nature enthusiast, the Eastern Suburbs has something to cater to every interest. So, go ahead and immerse yourself in the unique experiences this vibrant area has to offer.


Specialist Orthodontist Input by Dr Martin Fine BDS, MSc, MSc

Dr Martin Fine

Dr Martin Fine

Specialist Orthodontist Dr Martin Fine, BDS, MSc (Orthodontics), is based in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs. With over 30 years' experience in private practice, Dr Fine has expertise working with a wide variety of orthodontic appliances, including braces and Invisalign. He has presented at orthodontic conferences globally, and has taught postgraduate orthodontic students at the University of Sydney. Dr Fine is a member of both the AAO (American Association of Orthodontists) and the ASO (Australian Society of Orthodontists), and is a former president of the Alpha-Omega Dental Society's Sydney Chapter.  In the past, Dr Fine's research has been featured in the Angle Orthodontist journal. Dr Fine is committed to providing outstanding patient care using the latest and most effective techniques. Most recently, Dr Fine has developed and introduced the innovative FineLine clear aligner system, which has been specifically developed to meet the needs of patients at Fine Orthodontics.

Written by Danielle Long, writer

Danielle Long

Danielle Long.png

Danielle Long is a writer at Fine Orthodontics. She holds graduate qualifications in English and Education and is an integral part of the team at Fine Orthodontics. Danielle Long has been assisting in the orthodontic care process at Fine Orthodontics for over fifteen years, working closely with the team to provide exceptional patient support, communication and coordination of treatment plans. As a writer and an orthodontic treatment coordinator, Danielle Long's primary responsibilities include facilitating exceptional patient education and communication, ensuring seamless coordination of treatment plans, and providing support to the clinical orthodontic team at Fine Orthodontics.

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