Getting off the beaten path in Sydney!

From a bar named for an infamous English prostitute to the micronation, Empire of Atlantium!

Sydney, capital city of the Australian state of New South Wales, is a vibrant, sun-lit urban area brimming with interesting and diverse cultural backgrounds. Visiting the city’s renowned buildings and locations can certainly be a blast. However, you may discover that it’s just as amazing once you get off the beaten path in Sydney, or arguably even more so.

I was reluctant about paying my first visit to Sydney. It was half a world away, in a country I knew nothing about, but once I shook off all doubts and spent some time in New South Wales, I can confidently say that it is one of the best cities in the world. However, the most interesting thing happened once I ran out of famous places to visit. If you’re in the mood for a unique adventure, here’s what you can do off the beaten path in Sydney.

Love, Tilly Devine

Love, Tilly Devine, bar in Sydney, NSW. Photo by Olivia Jones.

Love, Tilly Devine, and off the beaten path bar in Sydney, NSW. Photo by Olivia Jones.

If you want to feel as if you’ve entered a monochrome noir film, pay a visit to the deviously hidden Love, Tilly Devine. When I walked down the alley right next to the Red Lantern Restaurant, it looked like shady gangsters in long coats were going to jump me. But, I approached the intriguing locale with a spring in my step. There’s something absolutely mesmerizing about it and once I sat down for a glass of wine served in an old-fashioned glass milk bottle, the story behind the joint did not disappoint.

Tilly Devine was an infamous English prostitute and career criminal. She dabbled in gang wars and illegal alcohol trade during the time of the prohibition in Sydney. Appropriately, there are over 300 different wines for you to browse and the bar menu changes every day.

The next time I visited, I started my night right here, but I also dressed the part – a vintage dress with a hat and a cigarette holder in my mouth (even though I don’t smoke).

Empire of Atlantium

If you have an extra day and want to visit something truly unique, take a road trip to the Empire of Atlantium. This micro-nation lies truly off the beaten path – around 200 kilometers away from Sydney (which is not particularly far in Australian terms).

It was founded in 1981 by three Sydney teenagers and up until this day, it has garnered nearly 3,000 citizens. Even though it’s not recognized as an official state by the UN, it has a post office, its own currency and it spreads across circa 0.75 km2.

Even before I arrived, I was absolutely flabbergasted to find out that Emperor George II (one of the three founders) offers Atlantium’s Government House to tourists via Airbnb. The locale itself, as well as the capital Concordia, is not particularly special. However, the entire setup is so weird! Talking with the residents about their strange mixture of liberal philosophies is something you will hardly forget for the rest of your life.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

Chinese Garden of Friendship. Photo by Olivia Jones.

Chinese Garden of Friendship. Photo by Olivia Jones.

When you get tired of the hustle and bustle, you can find peace in the oasis called the Chinese Garden of Friendship. Tucked away smack dab in the middle of metropolitan landscape, it attracts all the passersby with lush nature, hidden pathways, tea fragrance, and timeless beauty.

This green sanctuary contains an abundance of exotic plants and attention-drawing water features. It also helps that one can find great accommodation in the vicinity, including Holiday Inn Darling Harbour, ideally positioned so that you can make the most of your visit to Sydney.

For Chinese Garden visiting information, see:

Memory is Creation Without End

Sculpture by the Sea - photo by Olivia Jones.

Sculpture by the Sea – photo by Olivia Jones.

Sydney is brimming with interesting art exhibits and the path of museums can take a whole week to complete. However, there’s one particular exhibit that resonated with me a lot, and you can easily dub it an off the beaten path in Sydney experience. I probably would never have found out about this outdoor exhibit if my friend hadn’t recommended it. The most curious thing about it is that you’ll find it in the center of the city. However, it’s located in an area that rarely sees a lot of foot traffic and we had to go below the street level of the Cahill Expressway to reach it.

It’s called Memory is Creation without End and is basically an open-air exhibit of fragments that were part of demolished buildings throughout Sydney’s history. It is truly a quaint and haunting experience in equal measure and I wholeheartedly recommend it. For visiting information see:

About the Author

Olivia Jones Olivia Williams Jones is a psychologist and entrepreneur from Brisbane, mother of two beautiful children and proud owner of two silly boxer dogs. She is passionate writer, a traveler and conscious consumer, seeking healthy and sustainable products to incorporate into the lives of her family. Her motto is “Be the change you want to see in the world”.



Getting There

Here’s a map from Google to show you where to find these off-the-beaten-path places to visit.

About the Photo

The photo in the header above is reprinted with a Creative Commons license from Pixabay. Photographer: Contributor 12019.

Other photos in this article were provided by guest author, Olivia Williams Jones, an Editor at High Style Life.

Pin Me

By Matthew Cattell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Original By Matthew Cattell (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons – adapted by Linda Aksomitis

10 Fascinating Facts You Didn’t Know About Crime Over the Centuries

From our fascination with the fictional crime fighter of the late 1800s, Sherlock Holmes, to the dozens of true crime detective magazines that first emerged in the 1930s, we find crime fascinating. It's so interesting that we even have a National Museum of Crime and...

5 Quirky Towns to Visit in the American West

This is a guest post reblogged from travel blogger, Julie McNamee's blog. Article by John Reynolds, photos by Flickr links. The American West offers vast deserts, rugged mountains, lush forests, scenic ocean beaches, and plenty of quirkiness. We look at five towns...

5 Reasons to Visit North Alabama on Your Next Vacation

North Alabama is just a hop-skip-and-jump away from well-known  vacation destinations like Atlanta,  Nashville, Chattanooga, and more, but it offers a treasure-trove of unique out-of-the ordinary attractions and things to do that you won't fine anywhere else. My last...

Alabama’s Beautiful Little Stone Church Built Around a Rock

The Sallie Howard Memorial Chapel is a small stone church near Mentone, Alabama, with a huge boulder for its chapel. Built by adventurer, Milford Howard.

Anderson Japanese Gardens–One of North America’s Best Japanese Gardens–Friday Feature Photos

I'd never visited a Japanese Garden before I got the chance in Rockford, Illinois, so I wasn't sure what to expect. While I couldn't find more recent lists, the Sukiya Living Magazine ranked Rockford's Anderson Japanese Gardens as number one in both 1999 and 2004, so...

April Showers Bring May Flowers — Gardens to Visit in the Spring

April showers bring May flowers -- this line started out life as a British proverb first found written down in the late 1800s. It was part of the fuller phrase, March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers. Then, in the 1920s, oddly enough, two song lyrics...

Discover Carhenge Pop Culture Roadside Attraction in Nebraska

The free Carhenge pop culture roadside attraction in Nebraska is a replica of England’s Stonehenge built from same sized vintage cars painted grey.

Fabulous Fall Walks in one of Georgia’s Most Beautiful Historic Places

Berry College is one of Rome, Georgia’s, most popular attractions. And I can guarantee you’ll find fabulous fall walks at its historic places!

Garden Walks–Take a Walk on the Wild Side at the Rip Van Winkle Gardens

Garden walks often showcase carefully manicured beds of flowers, pruned shrubs, and spaced and manicured trees. New Iberia's Rip Van Winkle Gardens provided an experience of a different sort. Ferns, instead of being ankle or knee high, towered over David's head....

Getting off the Beaten Path in Sydney, Australia

Some tips on attractions that will take you off the beaten path in Sydney – from a bar named for an historical prostitute to a micronation!

How Many of the World’s Strangest Museums have You Visited?

Museums used to get a bad rap as being full of dusty pieces of antiquity--stuff kids needed to see to fulfill the requirements of 5th and 6th grade social studies programs. Not any more! Today's museums are as diverse as snowflakes. [learn_more caption="Do you know...

Huntsville Botanical Garden–Fun for the Whole Family

March is one of those winter months that can seem longer than 31 days...but in Huntsville, Alabama, it's easy to get some "spring" in your step with a visit to the Huntsville Botanical Garden. Why March? Well, the garden celebrates Huntsville Blooms from March 15,...

I slept at the Ice Hotel!

Fog hugged the evergreens, the only color in a white world. I shivered. The hotel looked like something the Wicked Witch had made out of snow instead of gingerbread. Could I really sleep in a room made entirely of ice and snow? I'd already visited Quebec's Ice Hotel...

Meeting the Ghosts of Bardstown

Many people visit historic sites with the hope of finding ghosts. I don't. However, I've always been envious of others who walk around a centuries old room on tours, let their fingers linger on a few of the do-not-touch pieces, nod, and say with confidence, "Oh,...

Quirky Eating Spots–Old Sautee Market–Sautee-Nacoochee, GA

Old Sautee Market – Sautee-Nacoochee, Georgia I enjoy fine dining, but even more than that, I like finding new spots and trying food that's a little quirkier, whether it's in the preparation or the seasonings. It's all about the taste! Any eating place that features a...
Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2017 Linda Aksomitis
Acknowledgements: Article text and photos by Olivia Wil more...
All Rights Reserved
All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove