Things to do in Sydney: Luxury experiences that will blow your mind
18 February 2016
Sydney dazzles. Beautiful harbour views, sparkly azure water, year-round perfect temperatures (well, almost)… it's that city that tourists rave on and on about.
For those who have deep pockets or are looking to impress with an extraordinary and memorable day out, there is a range of luxury tours that showcase Sydney in a different light.
The high life
Out to impress? Like really impress? A private ascent up the Sydney Harbour Bridge might just be the experience you're looking for. Standard climbs are usually for up to 14 people, but with the private climb it's just whomever you invite plus a personal climb leader.
Many celebrities have opted to take on Australia's icon this way, including Hollywood actor Vince Vaughn, international model Gigi Hadid and British celeb chef Jamie Oliver. When Bill Gates booked his private climb he even went a step further and booked out a few climbs either side of his – for a little extra alone time… as you do.
Need to know: Private climbs can be booked around the clock and at any time with enough notice. Pricing is for 14 standard climbers and this varies by day of the week, time, and whether climbing during peak or off-peak season. See www.bridgeclimb.com.
A thoughtful, seasonal meal that highlights Australia's finest produce matched with top-grade wines overlooking a picturesque beach, perhaps catching sight of majestic whales in season, is as good as it gets… Right?
It gets better. You can arrive in true panache to Jonah's, one of Sydney's most iconic and old-standing restaurants comfortably perched atop a hill overlooking Whale Beach. Jonah's Ultimate Dining Experience gets epicureans to their table in a Rolls-Royce Drophead, a Mercedes S Class or a BMW 7 Series – and back home in the ultra smooth ride too.
It's a given that heads will turn during the journey there and back – and that's half the fun. The other half appears in copious amounts of delicious food and wine teamed with that picture-perfect view.
Need to know: A chauffeured experience in a Rolls-Royce Phantom to and from the CBD (and surrounding suburbs), including a two-and-half hour dining experience, is priced at $795 per person. If travelling in a Mercedes S Class or BMW 7 Series the price is $395 per person. See www.royaletravel.com.au/package-jonahs.
All hands on deck
One of the best ways to take advantage of Sydney's spectacular harbour is by taking to the water. Contemporary Hotels' motor yacht, first commissioned and owned by Shirley Temple (and named The Hiilani by Shirley herself) offers a one-of-a-kind Sydney cruising experience.
Adrien Brody, Stephen Dorff, Nina Dobrev and Bruno Mars are just a few of the celebrities that have cruised Sydney's shores in The Hiilani since it has been made available to charter.
The vessel can stop off in Rose Bay if guests want a VIP dining experience at Catalina, or in Double Bay for VIP access at Pelicano. Alternatively, if visitors wish to stay on board all needs are taken care of with impeccable Stedmans catering services. The idea is that there is no strict itinerary and those on board can customise an experience to suit.
Need to know: Day charters (four hours minimum) are priced at $1,450; overnight charters (24 hours) are priced at $9,500; and weekend charters (48 hours) all-inclusive for up to nine people range from $20,000 to $25,000. See www.contemporaryhotels.com.au/accommodation/sydney/hiilan
For adventure aficionados who like their escapade of choice adrenalin enthused, the Luxe Houses' Jet Fighter experience is the way to see Sydney. Launched in 2014, this activity is for high flyers who want to see Sydney from above… speed and somersaulting included if so desired.
Seeing just how sprawling Sydney's cityscape is from up high really presents the metropolis in a different light – and fearless adventurers can choose from three different tours, called 'missions' (although the experiences can also be customised). All missions start at Bankstown Airport and take place in the Dragonfly – a Cessna A-37B ex-military twin-engine jetfighter.
Need to know: A 15-minute flight is priced at $1800 per person; 25 minutes is $2250 per person; and 35 minutes is $2700 per person. See www.luxehouses.com.au/jet/jet-fighter.
The writer was a guest at Jonahs.