Potts Point and Woolloomooloo
These harbourside suburbs point to Sydney’s colonial past. Potts Point was the first deliberately designed suburb and neighbouring Woolloomooloo, which is linked by the McElhone stairs, is where naval ships first moored in 1856. They now share an enviable reputation for hip bars, enticing boutiques and cutting-edge theatre.
Things to do
A grand testament to colonial architecture is Tusculum, one of the original Potts Point mansions on Manning Street. An architectural bookshop is at the rear. Stroll east from here to the beautifully preserved Elizabeth Bay House, which in the 1830s was known as the finest residence in the colony.
Admire art deco buildings in Potts Point, such as Carisbrooke and Carinthia on Springfield Avenue and Franconia and Macleay Regis on Macleay Street. The old Metro Theatre, which staged the musical Hair in 1970 and housed the Oscar-winning movie studio that made Happy Feet, is in Orwell Street.
For small-scale musical theatre and cabaret, visit Hayes Theatre in Potts Point. If you’re lucky, a big name will be playing on the intimate stage. oung 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 hotel. Across the road are heritage pubs and Artspace exhibitions in the Gunnery.
An intriguing activity is visiting the Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre on Garden Island in Woolloomooloo Bay, It’s an active naval base, so you’ll need to take a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay and alight at Garden Island. Entry into the museum is free.
Eat and drink
Woolloomoo Wharf is home fine dining restaurants including Otto for Italian, China Doll for Chinese and Manta for seafood. Alibi is a plant based restaurant in the Ovolo hotel. Nearby is the famous pie cart Harry’s Cafe de Wheels.
Potts Point has a myriad number of food and drink experiences, including cheap eats in Llankelly Place. There are more upmarket restaurants along Macleay Street, including Bistro Rex, Macleay Street Bistro and Franca for Euro-style brasseries, Apollo for Greek and Monopole is a chic wine bar. For cocktails and city views, try the leafy The Butler.