Sydneysiders are spoilt for choice when it comes to bars – there's a den to suit every drinker, be it small, loud, themed or set in a sub-zero climate. If there's one bar that sums up the Sydney holiday vibe though, it's got to be the Island Bar, where stunning views and drinks to match deliver a perfect summer experience.
The bar, which makes its home on striking Cockatoo Island, opened last summer and immediately won favour with yuppies, hipsters and oldies alike, proving that the bar really has something for everyone. Now it's back, much to the delight of patrons – only this time it looks like the secret has got out, and there may be a longer queue at the bar waiting to get their hands on the bar's signature cocktails (try the Hendrick's Martini – yum!).
The former grain storage facility is certainly not your typical bar, but sun umbrellas and deckchairs work surprisingly well with the old shipping containers to create a mid-harbour oasis, away from the hustle and bustle.
Regular DJs entertain the crowd, with soulful mixes that achieve the perfect relaxed but energetic balance. If you want something more, there's also currently a giant LED screen set up for the Rugby World Cup (I know! How much better can it get!), so punters can grab a slice of wood-fired pizza and cheer the players on.
Cockatoo Island is only a 15-minute ferry ride away from the city, making it close enough to be convenient but far away enough from the city to relax and pretend you have your own private island. Perfect.