1. Visit the North Sydney Produce Market
Two times a month, the local community centre hosts the North Sydney Produce market. It is a bi-weekly farmers market and happens every first and third Saturday of the month. The market profits go to the community centre as well as the vendors. Market-goers can relax on the grass as live music plays and food is sold. Activities for children on the lawn are an attraction for families.
To get the inside scoop on how vendors source their ingredients and serve the community on a Behind the Scenes Market Tour. The entrepreneurs service Sydney with their products in home kitchens and Sydney’s best restaurants. As a bonus, on the tour, guests are given a bag to fill with goodies like free produce or pantry foods. (RSVP for free entry)
2. See Wendy’s Secret Garden
Wendy Whiteley’s secret garden was started as a neighbourhood project by longtime North Sydney resident Wendy Whitley. The garden is cared for by around 100 volunteers. It is multileveled and has a sparkling view of the Harbor Bridge and Luna Park. If you go on a weekday, you can see the local corporate workforce on their lunch break with picnics. Bring your own and join in on the fun.
3. Browse the Kirribilli Markets
Just below the North pylon of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Kirribilli markets are great to spend a day outside walking around. These local Saturday markets (market dates here) consist of vendors selling antique items, secondhand clothing, collectibles, home goods, and original art. There are so many items that you cannot find anywhere else so it is likely you may find something you need. Buying from the stallholders supports local artisans and the local economy. Many stallholders are happy to visit. Why not ask them about how they got started creating art or collecting beautiful items.
4. Take a Paint and Sip class in Crows Nest
Just up the road in Crow’s Nest the ‘Paint and Sip’ painting studio is great for learning skills in a social environment. No prior experience is required. The painting event is led by a painting expert with all of the materials provided. Bring your own wine or bubbly if you partake.
5. Visit The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability
The Coal Loader Centre for Sustainability is an old Coal Loader Platform that has been turned into a green roof and public open space. As a multi-use space the centre hosts artisan markets, live music events and educational workshops. Originally this is where coal was loaded onto ships in the harbour for transport. The remnants of the structure are still there. Solar panels line the lawn covered in native plants with a community garden. The coal loader cafe has reasonable prices with fresh food and coffee.
6. North Sydney Olympic Pool
North Sydney Olympic Pool has a view unlike any other. Today the pool, gym, sauna, and spa are open to the public. The pool is covered in the winter to protect from the cold. This fixture of the neighbourhood was built in 1936 and shortly afterwards hosted the 1938 Empire Games. Despite the name, this pool was not one of the event venues during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. It is named, rather, for the pool’s Olympic size.
7. Adventure to Luna Park
Luna Park has graced Sydney Harbour since 1935. The inception was based on the rides and attractions offered at Luna Park in Coney Island, New York. Is it a small amusement park with carnival rides, ice cream and fantasy architecture. The park welcomes families, couples and groups. Take note that pricing goes down after 6pm. Large groups, school groups and ‘corporate family days’ can also be accommodated here.
8. Visit Celcius Coffee Co.
Celcius Coffee Co. sits at Kirribilli Wharf. The cafe is in a tiny building adjacent to the ferry platform. The restaurant has a rustic design and is very clean. The food is fresh, unique, and tasty with specialty teas and coffees on offer. The main room can seat about 8 to 10 guests. It has a magical look to it, as though guests sit right on the water.
9. Visit Stanton Library
Visiting the library is an easy way to beat the heat. Stanton library offers author talks and other events. Ask the local librarians to assist you in getting a Library Card. If you haven’t got one, signing up is quick and easy. The bonus to having this library card is accessing the online Beama Film library. It is an online collection of indie films and documentaries.
10. Head into the bushland
Quench your inner thirst for nature by going on a walk on a trail or in a park. Finding bushland is an easy way to escape the city. Bushland areas line North Sydney. Find a pocket of bushland to walk or park to sit in here. One option among many is to walk from one reserve to another like a Badangi Reserve to Balls Head Reserve walk. These pockets of green offer easy or more strenuous walks depending on you and your group’s abilities.
Also published on Medium.