48 HOURS IN: SYDNEY
This city is without doubt my new favourite - by a country mile!
It has everything you'd want from a short urban break - beautiful beaches, beautiful people and a buzz which will get you hooked.
I spent a couple of days here on my way to a wedding in New Zealand and will definitely going back for more soon!
If, like me, you're only going for a mere stretch of hours rather than days or weeks, take this brief guide as a must do.
How to travel: take the Airport Link http://www.airportlink.com.au/maps/city-map/ to your hotel but from henceforth - walk! The weather is unbelievably good and it is a small enough city to navigate on foot. If you want to use more public transport, make sure you get an Opal card - the equivalent to the London Oyster.
Where to stay: we stayed in the Novotel in Darling Harbour http://www.novoteldarlingharbour.com.au/ a very easy to find and central location to rest your eyes, don't worry or spend too much on hotels here - you won't be using it much!
Where to visit: Circular Quay/The Rocks where you'll find Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Take a ferry from here to Manly to get amazing views of the cityscape and to visit the beautiful beaches.
How to exercise: I was in training for the London Marathon when I was here so I had to fit in a long run! I left our hotel in Darling Harbour at around 7am with my brother to run out to Coogee Beach and along the coastal path to Bondi. The most immense run of my life and doing the tough bit along the stunning coast line kept me going. The jubilation of running over the cliffs and getting my first sight of the beach was a real boost! The run in total took about two hours but if you want just an energetic walk from Coogee to Bondi - it's about an hour or just over 5km.
Where to relax: Obviously Bondi Beach! This place really lived up to my expectations and so many beautiful people to gawp at! If you need entertainment or raised heart levels make sure you test out the surf or go to the iconic Icebergs Swimming Pool http://icebergs.com.au/conditions/ where you can do lengths whilst being pelted by waves.
Where to eat: EVERYBODY is so healthy, toned and fit so the order here needs to be clean and green! Straight after our run we headed to Trio http://www.triocafe.com.au/ which does a very impressive Aussie brunch (eggs, sourdough, feta, spinach... the lot!). It's a must to eat in Circular Quay - take your sundown photos with the bridge and opera house and then head to the Opera Kitchen http://www.operakitchen.com.au/ for the freshest seafood!
Where to shop: EVERYWHERE. Seriously, you haven't been swimwear shopping until you've been to Sydney. I went wild in places that sold Seafolly - so much cheaper and much more choice than in the UK - after all, this is the home of the brand. For obvious reasons Lulu Lemon - again cheaper. I also found Bondi Active (leisurewear) and Kikki K (stationery) quite fun.