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
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
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: http://www.darlingharbour.com/
Memory is Creation Without End
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: http://www.cityartsydney.com.au/
About the Author
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”.
Here’s a map from Google to show you where to find these off-the-beaten-path places to visit.