Twenty four year old girl studying languages and creative writing, coming home to Sydney after five years exploring the world.
Published November 9th 2011
Living in Sydney is a an incredible gift - no matter where you live in the beautiful city, you're never more than fifteen minutes away from something exciting. Sydney boasts magical waterfronts, incredibly varied landscape, and thousands of indoor activities.
When it comes time for the big first date, here are three great options for quality, fun and romance.
1. The Bridge Walk
Now I'm not talking about the official 'over-the-bridge' walk - I mean crossing along the pedestrian paths below. It might not sound like much, but at night - especially on a warm evening - the harbour views are spectacular and as my mother always says, "the best way to get to know someone is by going on a walk together".
The walk from Milson's point to The Rocks itself only takes about twenty minutes, but it allows enough time for hand holding, boat spotting and a romantic kiss at the end (if you're lucky!)
Start the night with dinner at Milson's Point - go simple for a first date - Thai food is always a winner. Then, after your leisurely stroll across the bridge you'll have done enough walking to earn some delicious gelato down by at Circular Quay.
Hopefully at this stage you'll know your date a little better and have enjoyed some beautiful food.
2. Barrenjoey Lighthouse
As unbelievable as this may be, we grew up with a holiday house at Palm Beach. Luckily for us, my grandmother had bought a sweet vacation home back in the day when that was possible - and even - and we spent decades at that perfect place - climbing the rocks, swimming, sunbathing and getting somewhat undrinkable thick milkshakes at the Beachcomber.
Now the atmosphere has somewhat changed, but one part of Palm Beach that remains just as mysterious and exciting is the climb up to Barrenjoey Lighthouse. You will find the lighthouse just past Pittwater, in a park just north of Palm Beach.
There are a few options for the one kilometre trek up Barrenjoey Head. The first is to just do it yourself, using the easy path - it's easy to follow and though there are some steep parts and it can get fairly bushy, there's lots of places to sit, rest and check out the view as you climb.
The second choice is to take a guided tour. They run on Sundays every half hour and you don't even need to make a booking. The tours cost $3 for adults and $2 for children. Now the guided tour is great to hear a little history, but it may not have the romantic feel you're looking for in a first date.
Once you're at the top you'll be able to see back along the Sydney coastline and the Ku-Ring-Kai National Park, so a nice end to the walk is a picnic lunch - bring along a blanket and you'll be able to enjoy the food, the view and your date.
A slightly cheaper alternative to Taronga Zoo, the Sydney Aquarium is a relaxed and fun first date. Located on the waterfront at breathtaking Darling Harbour, it's easy to grab a train and head into the city and enjoy the fascinating underwater world.
The aquarium is home to over 12,000 aquatic animals from 650 species in spectacular habitat displays, including the world's largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit and fascinating underwater walkways.
Going to the Aquarium brings out the child in all of us - it's thrilling going from tank to tank and looking in the windows at the beautiful fish, the colourful jellyfish and those chilling sharks just inches away through the glass.
It's a great choice when you're with someone new as you'll have time to walk, talk and get to know each other, while taking the 'first date' pressure off because there's so much to do and see, you won't have time for awkward silences!
After you've enjoyed the enchanting undersea exhibits, you can take five steps out onto the gorgeous Darling Harbour where there are countless restaurants and parks to relax, eat and soak up some Sydney culture.
I recommend the Sydney Aquarium because it's something different, and something memorable for a first date - sting rays might not be romantic, but they're definitely exciting and every relationship needs fun and excitement.
So now you have no excuse - go take that special someone you've been thinking about on a special date that'll give them something to tell the grand-kids.