Potts Point and Woolloomooloo are beautiful, harbourside suburbs brimming with history, the former being the first deliberately designed suburb and the latter is where naval ships first moored in 1856. They're both now home to fantastic restaurants, cool bars, boutique shopping and cutting-edge theatre.
Things to do
Stroll the area and take in the colonial architecture. Tusculum is one of the original Potts Point mansions on Manning Street and an architectural bookshop is at the rear. From here, head east to the beautifully preserved Elizabeth Bay House, which in the 1830s was known as the finest residence in the colony.
Admire the area's Art Deco buildings, including Carisbrooke and Carinthia on Springfield Avenue and Franconia and Macleay Regis on Macleay Street. The old Metro-Minerva Theatre, which staged the musical Hair in 1970 and housed the Oscar-winning movie studio that made Happy Feet, is on Orwell Street.
Pop into nearby Becker Minty, an eclectic lifestyle store for a one-of-a-kind purchase, and Macleay on Manning, which sells a constantly changing selection of diverse homewares, lifestyle, art and gifts. Potts Point Vintage is great for high-quality clothes and collectables, find a sweet-smelling gift at The Little Candle Shop and pick up a floral arrangement at Poho Flowers.
Hayes Theatre in Potts Point puts on small-scale musical theatre and cabaret. If you’re lucky, a big name will be playing on the intimate stage. Young writers and performers are given a platform at the Old Fitz Theatre, a small venue at the back of the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Woolloomooloo.
Woolloomooloo's Finger Wharf is one of the world's longest timber wharves. Once a busy cargo dock, it’s now home to restaurants, a marina and Ovolo, a luxury hotel. Across the road are heritage pubs and Artspace exhibitions in the Gunnery.
Garden Island in Woolloomooloo Bay is an active naval base and home to the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre. Entry is free but to get there you’ll need to take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay and alight at Garden Island.
When the sun is shining, walk 10mins to Andrew Boy Charlton Pool. Public baths first opened here in 1860 and in the early 1920s, the famous Australian swimmer Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton achieved many triumphs here, including beating European champion Arne Borg when he was just 16 years old. Today, the eight-lane, heated 50m pool makes a prime spot for outdoor swimming, perched on the water’s edge with views across the bay. The complex also houses a learner pool, a sundeck and a café, as well as yoga classes and massage therapy.
The Finger Wharf, Woolloomooloo
Eat & drink
Woolloomoo Wharf is home to a number of fine dining restaurants including Otto for Italian, China Doll for Chinese, and Manta or Kingsleys for seafood and steaks. Alibi is a plant-based restaurant in the Ovolo hotel.
Nearby is the famous pie cart Harry’s Cafe de Wheels if you want a budget option alongside a great view. Flour and Stone serves up classic bakery delights, including coffee, pastries, cakes, and savoury sausage rolls and pies. The Tilbury Hotel’s outdoor courtyard makes for a sunny spot to enjoy bistro-style meals.
Potts Point has a myriad of food and drink experiences. Llankelly Place serves up intimate venues, such as coffee at Room 10 and wine at Dear Sainte Eloise.
Macleay Street is home to fancier restaurants including Bistro Rex, Macleay Street Bistro, Franca and Bistrot 916 for Euro-style brasseries, and The Roosevelt for chic cocktails. For drinks with a view, head to The Butler.
Set in a converted 1950s art gallery, Yellow is a vegan bistro from the award-winning team behind Bentley Restaurant + Bar. For more deliciousness, The Apollo makes tasty Greek share plates, Chaco Bar does adventurous yakitori inspired by the laneway restaurants of Fukuoka, Cho Cho San is a fresh take on Japanese izakaya dining, Fratelli Paradiso has a daily-changing blackboard menu of Italian food and Fei Jai’s ethos is Cantonese with a modern twist.
For a comprehensive guide to the food and drink offerings in the area, click here.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.