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SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE The striking, modernist Opera House is Sydney’s most famous landmark. Designed by awardwinning Danish architect Jørn Utzon, it is home to the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Symphony, Opera Australia, and the Sydney Theatre Company, and hosts around 1,500 performances a year. Its design and construction proved to be an odyssey: building began in 1959 and was only completed in 1973, by which time Utzon had resigned after disagreements with bureaucrats (although he later reconciled with the work). The building is progressive in several ways – for its complex geometry, the use of computer aided analysis, and its innovative air conditioning system that uses harbour water.

Cover images: Dreamstime

Sydney is Australia’s largest city, a cosmopolitan world city of 180 nationalities, and the financial heartbeat of Australia. Indeed, the city contributes about a quarter of Australia’s GDP. As well as being a leading centre for culture, the arts, music, fashion, film, and entertainment, Sydney has also hosted significant sporting events, including the Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup. Sydney was founded when Arthur Philip (commodore of the First Fleet), with instructions from George III to develop a new colony, landed at Sydney Cove in HMS Supply on 26 January 1788 (now Australia Day). He named the new settlement after Lord Sydney (a British Home Secretary of the time). This was eighteen years after Captain James Cook had surveyed the harbour during his voyage in Endeavour. The first people of the region, the Australian Aboriginals, or ‘Eora’ (central Sydney is still referred to as ‘Eora Country’), have a history in the region going back many thousands of years. They were subjected to terra nullius, dispossession, disease and relative decline. Today, however, the Aboriginal culture not only survives but is an important thread in the culture of Sydney and Australia. Industrial development and the gold rushes of the 1850s (which spurred rivalry with Melbourne), firmly established the city around Port Jackson, or Sydney Harbour. Indeed, the city’s organic relationship with this stretch of water, with its numerous idyllic bays and beaches, is as important today as when Mark Twain wrote of the harbour in 1897: “It would be beautiful without Sydney, but not above half as beautiful as it is now, with Sydney added.”



Icebergs Dining Room and Bar 1 Notts Avenue. Tel: 9365 9000 Designed by architects Claudio Lazzarini and Carl Pickering, and run by Maurice Terzini, this eatery is seeped in sleek, crisp, design aesthetics, and serves superb Mediterranean food. It commands great views over south Bondi Beach. Longrain 85 Commonwealth Street. Tel: 9280 2888 Eat modern Thai inspired food in a superbly converted 110-year-old warehouse with long, communal

tables, a uniquely convivial atmosphere, and friendly staff. There is an excellent cocktail bar too. This eatery is pretty much a Sydney institution, and a must visit. Tropicana Caffe 227 Victoria Street. Tel: 9360 9809 Much loved by Darlinghurst, ‘The Trop’, run by Sergio Tezzo, is a down-to-earth Italian style eatery serving a mixed crowd in a friendly atmosphere. SHOPPING Some of the best shopping is found in Paddington, particularly for fashion, art, and design. Check out Ariel Books (42 Oxford Street; Tel: 9332 4581) for its wide range (particularly books on art, architecture, and design). Ariel also have a branch at 104 George St in The Rocks. Paddington is also home to Australia’s foremost fashion designers such as Scanlan & Theodore

(122 Oxford Street. Tel: 9380 9388), Zimmerman (24 Oxford Street; Tel: 9360 5769), or Leona Edmiston (88 William Street; Tel: 9331 7033), or Akira Isogawa (12a Queen Street; Tel: 9361 5221). One of the best department stores is the venerable David Jones, which has branches across Sydney and stocks a large, international range of well designed products. It is also worth dipping into Paddington Bazaar (at St John’s Church on Oxford Street) on Saturdays. For the home, Space Furniture deserves special mention. This six level store, designed by Nik Karalis, displays B&B Italia, Kartell, Zanotta, Edra and many more. There are numerous impressive lighting designs, as well as interesting gifts. Space Furniture also boasts the only Philippe Starck store in the world.

Images: Dreamstime, Tourism Australia

EATING Coast The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bay Wharf. Tel: 9267 6700 Local legend Stefano Manfredi serves the best Italian delicacies in this well regarded and exquisitely designed restaurant, with views over Darling Harbour. There is an extensive Australian and Italian wine list.

Previous page: Sydney Harbour Bridge; nightlife near the harbour This page: A view of Bondi Beach; Sydney Opera House and skyline; lobster dish

NIGHTLIFE The Loft 3 Lime Street, King Street Wharf. Tel: 9299 4770 This is a good place to relax and have cocktails or high tea in Middle Eastern opulence inspired by a Moorish Kasbah. There is a spectacular 180 degree view of Sydney Harbour, and good live music too. The Fringe 106 Oxford Street. Tel: 9360 5443 Excellent cocktails are available at this friendly bar which has a Bohemian edge. There are also great DJs, and comedy on Monday nights. Yu 171 Victoria Street. Tel: 9358 6511 Yu is one of the best designed clubs in Sydney. This is a full-on, high-energy experience with a good, funky, atmosphere, great staff, superb DJs and music right through to dawn.

ART AND ARCHITECTURE Sydney is renowned for its art deco, modernist, and contemporary buildings. Important examples include Sydney Theatre (22 Hickson Road; Tel: 9250 1900), opened in 2004, and designed by Andrew Andersons. The theatre combines modernist architecture with elements from the penal colony era. Another interesting building is Rose Seidler House (71 Clissold Road, Wahroonga. Tel: 9989 8020) situated 30km north of the city, and designed by modernist architect Harry Seidler for his mother Rose. The striking, raised cubiform home, which is stylishly furnished, is open to the public on Sundays. Meanwhile, for a 1940s art deco building, the Museum of Contemporary Art (140 George Street; Tel: 9245 2400) is worth a visit. The building was originally the offices

of the Maritime Services Board. Its popular ‘Primavera’ exhibition focuses on young artistic talent. Art Gallery of New South Wales Art Gallery Road. Tel: 9225 1744 This is the leading museum of art in Sydney, housing an outstanding collection of Australian art (including by Aboriginal artists, such as Destiny Deacon and Ginger Riley), as well as significant collections of European and Asian art. The gallery’s building was originally designed by Walter Vernon and built at the close of the 19th century, and it also has a modern extension. Close by, in the area south of the Opera House, is another great destination: the Royal Botanic Gardens (Mrs Macquaries Road. Tel: 9231 8111) Founded by Governor Macquarie in 1816, these huge, lush gardens include a pyramidshaped glass house.




The British established a short-lived colony at Sullivan Bay in 1803, but it was only in 1835 that John Batman journeyed from Tasmania to negotiate with Aborigine elders for land on the north bank of the Yarra River. Here, the original settlement was built and expanded. It was soon named Melbourne, after British Prime Minister William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, and officially declared a city in 1847. In 1851, the Port Philip District (then part of New South Wales), became the separate state of Victoria, with Melbourne as its capital. During this time, and through the subsequent years, Melbourne’s Aborigine population sadly declined, through the effects of disease. The city expanded, however, with large influxes of migrant workers, including from China (Melbourne has Australia’s oldest Chinatown). Numerous architectural works are testament to the gold rush era; George Augustus Sala, a journalist of that time, described the city as ‘Marvellous Melbourne’. A downturn followed in the late 19th century, but the city returned to growth. Melbourne was the seat of Australia’s government in the early 20th century, and became an important manufacturing centre. With a strong economy, it is also seen as the ‘cultural capital of Australia’ (it was declared a UNESCO City of Literature in 2003), and is consistently ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world.

GOLD RUSH ARCHITECTURE Melbourne’s days as a thrusting gold rush town are reflected in the architecture of this illustrious Victorian city. This spirit can be seen in the Shrine of Remembrance in South Yarra, and the State Library of Victoria of 1856, at Swanston Street, including the magnificent La Trobe Reading Room, added in 1913. Other examples include Melbourne Town Hall (Collins and Swanston streets), built in 1870, which has hosted both Queen Elizabeth II and the Beatles, and the Capitol Theatre (113 Swanston Street). Here, the crystalline ceiling and light show are unmissable.


Taxi Level 1, Transport Hotel, Federation Square. Tel: 9654 8808 Michael Lambie, another local legend, runs this eatery, famous for quality modern Australian cuisine served in a huge glass and steel dining area overlooking the river and Flinders Street Station. Longrain 40-44 Little Bourke St, corner of Punch Lane. Tel: 9671 3151 This is the sister of the original Longrain in Sydney, with its large,

shared tables and fine Thai cuisine, including delicious betel leaves with smoked trout. Momo 123 Collins Street. Tel: 9650 0660 For Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food, served in lush and beautiful surroundings, this acclaimed, award-winning restaurant is unbeatable. SHOPPING Central Melbourne has a full retinue of department stores, such as Myers and David Jones on Bourke Street Mall. Part of Collins Street, particularly up from Swanston Street, is home to luxury brands and high fashion, such as the impeccable Le Louvre (74 Collins Street; Tel: 9654 7641). Meanwhile, the numerous laneways are full of interesting bars, galleries, eateries, boutiques and specialist shops, including Flinders Lane, Hosier

Lane and Block Arcade. Nicholas Building (37 Swanston Street) and the art nouveau Curtin House (252 Swanston Street) are both also well worth a visit. Curtin House has a rooftop cinema and the Toff in Town music and performance venue. Little Bourke Street (between Spring Street and Swanston Street) is Chinatown, much of which dates back to the 19th century. For bookshops, Metropolis (Level 3, Curtin House; Tel: 9663 2015), and Readings (309 Lygon Street, Carlton; Tel: 9347 6633) are excellent choices. NIGHTLIFE Gertrude St Enoteca 229 Gertrude Street, Fitroy. Tel: 9415 8262 One of the best wine bars inMelbourne, with the wine list favouring European grapes. The food here is exciting and inventive, including terrines, housemade tarts, and a great

Images: Dreamstime, Tourism Australia

EATING Cutler & Co 55-57 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy. Tel: 9419 4888 For ‘Mod Oz’ food (modern Australian food with Asian flavours), fabled Melburnian chef Andrew McDonnell’s new establishment in Fitzroy is a must, in its crisp, architectural surroundings. McDonnell also has other eateries in the city: Three One Two in Carlton, and Cumulus Inc on Flinders Lane.

Previous page: Melbourne’s financial centre; Shrine of Remembrance This page: Fresh grilled fish for lunch; Royal Arcade shopping centre; Federation Square at night; Arts Centre

range of cheeses. The bar is also renowned for its fresh cakes. Retreat 280 Sydney Street, Brunswick. Tel: 9380 4090 If friendly pubs and live music are more your thing, this large establishment caters for wide musical tastes – from blues on weekdays to dance music on weekends.

ARTS There is no way to escape the arts in Melbourne (and who would want to!) because the scene is woven into the very texture of the city. Art flourishes in the CBD, St Kilda, Fitzroy, and right across the city.

George Lane Bar 1 George Lane (off Grey Street), St Kilda. Tel: 9593 8884 This bar is a homely affair that foregoes precise, cool cut design aesthetics: a relief to some.

Muma Monash University Museum of Modern Art, Ground Floor, Building 55, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton. Tel: 9905 4217 A half-hour journey from the city but worth the trek if you want to see contemporary Australian art, in well regarded and expertly curated exhibitions.

Prince of Wales Bandroom 29 Fitzroy St, St. Kilda. Tel: 9536 1168 A local institution in the heart of bohemian St Kilda, this venue is famous for live music, including such international acts as Lenny Kravitz, Scissor Sisters, and Coldplay.

Australian Centre for the Moving Image Federation Square. Tel: 9663 2583 ACMI offers a full programme of events, talks, and festivals, across a diverse range of cinematic genres and related subjects, and is always engaging and full of interest.

Malthouse Theatre 113 Sturt Street. Tel: 9685 5111 This theatre often tours across Australia, and internationally, promoting numerous contemporary Australian works. The impressive building (dating back to 1892 and originally a brewery), now houses three theatres, rehearsal studios, and a bar and café. The centre is a thriving hub for the arts community, including the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne International Arts Festival, Victorian Opera, and many more. Koori Heritage Trust Cultural Centre Walkin’ Birrarung Tour This highly recommended two-hour tour of the heritage of the Yarra River details the important and rich culture of the Aboriginal people, as well as profound changes Melbourne has brought to the area over many years.


Jason Aberin, concierge of the Sydney Hilton

ASK THE CONCIERGE Our concierge in Sydney provides insider tips on the numerous and diverse attractions of Australia’s largest city. BEST RESTAURANTS Sydney is known for its celebrity chefs, gourmet food, and awardwinning restaurants. We recommend Aria by Matt Moran and Quay for their spectacular views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. For meat lovers, Neil Perry’s Rockpool Bar & Grill is simple and uncomplicated, featuring wood fire grilled meats and seafood. For something truly Australian, Wolfies at Campbell Cove (Sydney Harbour) offers kangaroo and crocodile meat. SPAS AND SALONS The Day Spa (at The Rocks) is renowned for massages, beauty treatments, and its starlit indoor swimming pool. Meanwhile, the Alysium Spa also offers an excellent range of rejuvenating massages and body treatments, using luxury Payot products. NIGHTLIFE Make sure you visit Darling Harbour which has more than 30 bars, live music and DJs. Check out Cargo Bar or Bungalow 8 on King St Wharf. A visit to Sydney is not complete without seeing the famed Kings Cross area which now boasts some of the city’s most exciting nightspots including Piano Bar, The Sapphire Suite and Hugos.

SHOPPING The Queen Victoria Building is a must-see for its beautiful architecture and world-class shopping. Also visit Pitt Street Mall and the Strand Arcade for Australian design. On the weekends, The Rocks Markets are excellent for gifts and local products and a good way to spend an afternoon. Meanwhile, the Westfield Development, opening in late 2010, will make the CBD a premier shopping destination. MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES The Australian Museum provides wonderful insights into Australian history from early settlement days, and also explores the country’s unique flora and fauna. For science buffs, the PowerHouse Museum is excellent, covering everything from fashion to engineering. GETTING AROUND The Rocks Walking Tour is highly

recommended, while the Hop On Hop Off Bus is also a great way to travel around and see the sights – including Bondi Beach. For harbour cruises, Captain Cook Cruises provides great tours of the small bays and secluded inlets that make up Sydney Harbour. Also make the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb to take in spectacular views of the harbour. HIDDEN GEMS Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, at the outermost point of the Royal Botanic Gardens, was carved by convicts for Governor Macquarie’s wife. It is a great place to photograph the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Meanwhile, Susannah Place Museum is a surviving example of working class terrace, originally built in 1844. The museum explores the lives of workers and families who laboured during Sydney’s early years.


Ellen Westarp and Sam Slattery, concierges at Hilton on the Park Melbourne and Hilton Melbourne South Wharf respectively

ASK THE CONCIERGE Our concierges in Melbourne give an insider guide on the many facets of Australia’s rewarding cultural mecca. BEST RESTAURANTS For Italian cuisine, look no further than Caffe E Cucina on Chapel Street in South Yarra with traditional Italian waiters and a genuine café culture. Meanwhile, Shannon Bennett’s award-winning Vue De Monde on Little Collins Street is renowned for superb French food in degustation style, with an open kitchen and beautiful surroundings. SPAS AND SALONS Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula, one and a half hours from Melbourne, offers hot springs, spa facilities, mineral pools, massages, and mud baths, in beautiful, natural surroundings. In the city, Papillon Day Spa, at Yarra’s Edge, is also worth a visit. NIGHTLIFE Melbourne is famed for live music and laneway bars. In St Kilda, the Esplanade (or the ‘Espy’ as it’s known locally), has been a top live music venue for generations. For jazz in the CBD, visit Bennett’s Lane Jazz Club, or the Paris Cat, or visit the laneway bars. Cookie on Swanston Street and Misty’s Bar on Hosier Lane are both excellent. SHOPPING Enjoy discount shopping on Bridge Road in Richmond or find a bargain

at the DFO at South Wharf. Meanwhile, Chapel Street in South Yarra is excellent for the latest in fashion design. For everything under one roof, visit Chadstone Shopping Centre, just 15 minutes from the city, home to big brands and local, independent designers alike. Meanwhile, the Queen Victoria Markets are always worth a visit. MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES The Melbourne Museum is an essential destination, hosting eight galleries, and is also home to Australia’s most famous racehorse, Phar Lap. The IMAX cinema is next door. Moreover, Scienceworks in Spotswood, just over the Westgate Bridge, is a fun, interactive experience for all. GETTING AROUND Many Melbournians cycle, and so take a tour with Murray Johnson from Rentabike at Federation

Square. This four-hour tour reveals the history and architecture of Melbourne. The Great Ocean Drive is also a must. Drive past the 12 Apostles, Otway Lighthouse on the shipwreck coast, take in the wildlife, and don’t miss Bell’s Beach. HIDDEN GEMS Collingwood Children’s Farm, just 10 minutes from the city, has a small petting zoo, gardens, vegetable patches, bike tracks, a café and a bakery. Fitzroy neighbourhood is great to explore, with its many bars, cafés, and markets. Visit Little Creatures Dining Hall on Brunswick Street and hire a bike (for free). Meanwhile, North Melbourne is like a small town; at the Leveson Hotel enjoy the beer garden, watch the football, or have a meal. Back in the heart of Melbourne, Fitzroy Gardens is a place to escape. Take a tour of Captain Cook’s cottage while enjoying the serenity.



HILTON IN SYDNEY Located in the heart of the city, within easy access to all of Sydney’s top destinations, Hilton Sydney is an iconic landmark, with the city’s largest hotel gym, business and conference facilities and award-winning restaurant and bars. Savour the culinary expertise of celebrity restaurateur and chef Luke Mangan at glass brasserie, relax with a cocktail on the rooftop terrace at Zeta bar and enjoy live entertainment in the opulent and historic Marble Bar. Hilton Sydney 488 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000 Tel: 612 9266 2000


01 02 03 04


The Hilton Sydney Zeta Bar terrace Interior of glass brasserie The 25m heated pool



01, 02, 05 Hilton Melbourne South Wharf: Relaxation Suite at Night, Nuevo 37 and the Charcuterie Tower 03 Spa Suite at Hilton Melbourne Airport 04 Pool at Hilton on the Park Melbourne




Hilton Melbourne South Wharf, beside DFO, is close to the CBD, Docklands, and South Bank, and connected to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Hilton on the Park Melbourne is opposite the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne Park, and Fitzroy Gardens. Hilton Melbourne Airport is the only hotel connected by covered walkway to the airport, 60 seconds from the terminals. Hilton Melbourne Airport Arrival Drive, Melbourne Airport, Melbourne, Australia 3045 Tel: 613 8336 2000  

All images © 2009 Hilton Hotels


Hilton on the Park Melbourne 192 Wellington Parade, Melbourne, Australia 3002 Tel: 613 9419 2000



Hilton Melbourne South Wharf 2 Convention Ctr Place South Wharf, Melbourne, Australia 3006 Tel: 613 9027 2000


South Korea China Japan





Sri Lanka Thailand Malaysia

French Polynesia


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Hilton Lake Taupo

Hilton Melbourne Airport Hilton Melbourne on the Park Hilton on the Park Melbourne


Hilton Sydney

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Hilton - Sydney & Melbourne