If beautiful Paris is the city of love and grand Verona the city of romance, then Sydney is the city of - um - quirky dates? Sure, it may not have the same ring to it, but there's a whole bunch of fabulous Sydney date ideas just waiting to be explored in our fair city, and there's no better time than summer.
Admittedly it's not been much of a summer so far, but in the (optimistic) hope that Sydney will turn on its usual sunny charm, here's a list of some of the finest date ideas, guaranteed to sweep your other half off their feet and into your arms.
Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk
A taste of the gorgeous scenery on offer during the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. Image courtesy of the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk website
Stunning scenery? Check. Perfect opportunity for a cool dip in the ocean? Check Easy access to ice cream? Check. In my book, that's a perfect date.
Take advantage of one of Sydney's gorgeous coastal walks and enjoy a relaxed afternoon taking in the sights, the surf, and probably one of the great cafes along the way. The Bondi to Coogee is one of the best. It takes around two hours to complete (that's at a relatively gentle pace, but allow more time if you plan to stop for a bite to eat or a swim). It is a perfect way to spend the day. If you like it you can always fuel up on the other side with lunch then turn around and come back.
Best for: a chilled out afternoon date
Splurge Level: free! Although you should probably stop for an ice cream along the way.
Location: Bondi South to the Northern end of Coogee Beach
One for the old school romancers or Grease fans, a date at the Blacktown Drive-in Cinema is sure to impress. It's the only remaining drive-in cinema in Sydney and, although a bit of a trek, it's definitely worth it.
The novelty factor of being able to control the volume of a big screen flick is not to be underestimated, and you don't have to put up with the ever-so-irritating rustle of lolly bags in the row behind.
To really impress your date, pack a picnic dinner, and grab choc-tops for dessert from the snack-bar. A real winner! Gates open at 7.30 pm, and movies start at 8.30pm.
Best for: a quirky second date. Bring a picnic!
Splurge Level: it's an impressive date without a big splash-out price tag. Tickets range from $11.50-$15.50, though Cheap Tuesdays mean all tickets are just $10! Cash only.
Enough said, really. Read up beforehand and wow your date with knowledge to rival David Attenborough ("but of course the dwarf tree frog has no parotoid gland, as we all know"). Small cuddly animals and a sunny day = perfect date.
Best for: releasing your inner child
Splurge Level: a bit on the expensive side, with adults tickets at $44 and concession $31.50. Parking is another $16. Best to bring a picnic lunch – it's more romantic, and cheaper. Win!
Location: 1 Bradleys Head Road Mosman NSW 2088. It's just a 12 minute ferry ride from Circular Quay, or you can jump on a 247 bus from the city. Easy peasy.
We're so spoilt in Sydney, what with all the gorgeous beaches and the (usually) terrific summer weather. It all makes for some of the most special dates. Why not jump on board a ferry and head out to Watson's Bay for fish and chips at Doyles? Or make your way towards drinks at Darling Harbour or a ride on the Ferris wheel at Luna Park. An inexpensive and effortlessly romantic date. Check the weather forecast though, and make sure your date doesn't get sea sick.
Best for: a true Sydney experience.
Splurge Level: a return adult ticket is only $6.60. Bargain!
Anyone who stays up past their bedtime and has dessert instead of dinner must be super cool, right? Right!
For a date idea that's bound to impress, head to one of the plethora of dessert cafes cropping up around Sydney town. For me, it's got to be Adriano Zumbo at The Star. The Masterchef darling's latest venture is more an explosion of colour than a café, and serves up a range of the playful (and delectable!) treats Zumbo is known for. Here comes the best bit: there's a dessert train. Yep, you read that correctly – there's a dessert train. Why are you still reading, off you go!
Best for: sweet tooths and wannabe chefs.
Splurge Level: up to you really – treats range from a mere $3 to the stunning $25 cakes.
Shop 1, Cafe Court, The Star,
80 Pyrmont St
Pyrmont, NSW 2009