What to Expect: The curve of the bay and the rocky outcroppings called Ben Buckler and Mackenzies Point make the waves just right for surfing here at Sydney’s beloved beach, whose name rhymes with the Aussie greeting “G’dye.” Laid-back surf-and-beach culture dominates everywhere—along the half-mile-long white-sand beach, on the wide promenade, in the adjacent 10-acre park, and throughout the neighborhood beyond. And while surfing rules, many Sydneysiders come out just to see the sunset. Still, when conditions are right—which is most of the time—surfers in black wet suits are the predominant species in the sea.
What to Do: Grab your “cossie” (swimming “costume”) and take a surfing lesson with the experts at Let's Go Surfing. When you’re done and ready for lunch, walk three blocks inland to the Gertrude & Alice Café Bookstore, named for Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, where you can browse used books, settle into a comfy couch, or munch on “modern Australian cuisine” like mushroom and leek soup or sweet soy chicken with broccoli; there’s no menu, just a changing list of a dozen specials.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.