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Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon

Maxim Boon was the editor of Time Out Sydney 2019-2022.

This British-born culture vulture has been based in Australia since 2010, writing about the arts, entertainment and lifestyle scene for some of the country's top media outlets, including The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, Broadsheet, The Music, Daily Review, and of course, Time Out. When he's not at his keyboard you can find him in a theatre foyer, a rooftop bar or taking selfies with his thoroughly photogenic moodle Paddington.

Articles (235)

The 64 best cheap eats in Sydney right now

The 64 best cheap eats in Sydney right now

Spring 2023 update: It’s no secret that while beautiful, Sydney sure is exy. The good news is that we’re lucky to have a huge amount of cheap eats. And often they rival any dishes you would find in a fancy fine diner. We've rounded up our favourite places with prices that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Happy eating. Going out for a meal is sometimes a big occasion, worth the splurge. But it doesn't have to be that way. From banh mi to tonkotsu ramen, biang biang noodles to vegan burgers, and pretty much everything else in between, some of Sydney's greatest culinary hits are the cheapest. These are the ones well worth their salt. Want to spend less at the big-ticket players? Check out our cheap fine-dining hacks. Looking for a café to sit down at for coffee and brunch? Here's our guide to the best cafés in Sydney

The 62 best bars in Sydney right now

The 62 best bars in Sydney right now

Spring 2023 update: Can you feel the buzz in the air? We sure as hell can. Maybe it’s spring, maybe it’s just a great time to be alive. One thing’s for sure – whether you’re heading out on a date, want an after-work tipple, or in for a long session, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to ace bars in Sydney. Below, you’ll find the very best ones. This list represents our picks of the best bars in Sydney right now, from fresh faces to tried-and-tested temples of great drinks, ranked by our local editors, critics and fellow booze hounds including Time Out Sydney's Food & Drink Writer Avril. We’re looking for quality above all, with fun, flavour, atmosphere, creativity and options at every price point. Cheers to you, Sydney. After a watering hole that's a bit more casual? See our list of the best pubs in Sydney, here After a meal? Check out our best restaurants here

The 42 best rooftop bars in Sydney

The 42 best rooftop bars in Sydney

We're all about a secret underground dive bar or two – but in a city as beautiful as Sydney, it seems like a damn shame to retreat into the depths for every tipple. From a sundowner by the harbour to a sunny rooftop in the Inner West, our town is awash with sky-high watering holes. So we've rounded up the best spots in the city to sip a cold one under a gorgeous open sky. But drinkers beware: Sydney's rooftop bars play host to some of the most contested seats in the city, so get in early for a spot in the sun.  For more al fresco drinking try one of Sydney's best beer gardens or waterfront bars Looking for another top-notch watering hole? Check out the best bars in Sydney

The best restaurants in Sydney right now

The best restaurants in Sydney right now

Spring 2023 update: Happy spring! It’s a glorious time of year where the days are getting longer, the Jasmine is in bloom and our calendars are filling up. Keen to head outside to eat and drink your way around our wonderful city? You’ve come to the right place. Here's our list of Time Out's best restaurants in Sydney right now, from hot newcomers to time-honoured institutions, curated by our expert local editors and critics who have tasted their way through Sydney, including Time Out's Food & Drink Writer Avril.  How did we narrow it down to the very best? When deciding, we considered fun, flavour, creativity, value for money – and 'wow' factor. So yes, of course, you’ll find a fine diner inside the Sydney Opera House here, but you’ll also find neighbourhood pasta, hole-in-the-wall Thai and spots right by the sea. Keep a look out for some of our favourite newish restaurants, including North Sydney grill Poetica, NY-style steak house Clam Bar and gorgeous Indian diner Raja. (And, be sure to check out out guide to Sydney's best new restaurants.) Bon appétit. After a drink? Check out our favourite bars in Sydney Or: Our list of the best cheap eats

The 32 best restaurants in Surry Hills

The 32 best restaurants in Surry Hills

Leafy and buzzing Surry Hills might just be the neighbourhood with the very best of what this city has to offer in terms of eating and drinking. Whether it’s homestyle, hole-in-the-wall Indonesian or an all-out chef’s menu from a kitchen with nothing but open flames, each and every price point and palate is catered to on these streets, from the fringe of the city down to the bottom of Crown. Time Out Sydney's editors and critics, including Food & Drink Writer Avril, have chosen their favourite picks from the 2010 postcode. Go forth and eat well.  After a bargain? Check out Sydney’s best cheap eats

The best things to do in Sydney in September

The best things to do in Sydney in September

Throw off your doonas and discard your scarves: spring has sprung in Sydney. September not only heralds the arrival of warmer spring weather, but much like the trees and flowers waking up from the winter snooze, life is returning to the city – and we're here for it.  Shake off those winter cobwebs and go in search of gorgeous spring flowers around Sydney and the state, wander through one of the city’s colourful weekend markets, take a refreshing dip in one of Sydney’s best ocean pools, or if you really want to give yourself a thorough spring airing, bust out the birthday suit at one of Sydney's finest nude beaches. Stay fresh and brighten up your mind at a new theatre show and art exhibition, follow it up with a bottomless brunch, then soak up the fluttery sunshine in a lush beer garden –  or up high at a dreamy rooftop bar. It's also the perfect time of year to give your home, garden or balcony a glow-up with some leafy additions, so head to these top plant nurseries where you can pick up a few new fronds. Stay in a spring state of mind and head to one of these gorgeous camping spots near Sydney, and then go in search of wildflowers on one of the best (and easiest) day hikes in Sydney. 

The 62 best cafés in Sydney right now

The 62 best cafés in Sydney right now

Spring 2023 update: Good morning, are you hungry? We sure are. Whether you like sunny fried eggs, bacon and avo, fluffy ricotta pancakes with honeycomb butter, or a full English fry-up for brekky, we’ve rounded up the best places in Sydney where you can get your morning fix. Two things these places all have in common? Killer food – and coffee. Head outside for brekkie at one of the places below – and enjoy this glorious spring weather. Sydneysiders are café people. We're constantly on the hunt for the city's best coffee, we won't bat an eyelid over shelling out $30+ a head for brunch, and we love nothing more than donning our finest sport-luxe activewear and catching up with mates on a weekend morning over eggs, fritters and crusty artisan sourdough. But cafés aren't just for weekends. This is a city powered by caffeine and many a Sydney worker depends on a reliable go-to barista for a double shot and a bacon sanger to set them up right on the daily. So, whether it's a reward for tackling one of Sydney's most beautiful walks, a quick caffeinated catch-up, an indulgent hangover fix after a night at one of the city's best bars, or a workday coffee stop, these are the best Sydney cafés, according to our in-the-know Time Out Sydney editors. Is it lunch time? Check out our guide to Sydney's best restaurants right now

The 20 best places to eat and drink in Circular Quay

The 20 best places to eat and drink in Circular Quay

It's one of the first places you'll visit as a tourist, a pre-theatre go-to and has some of the most iconic views in the world – but being a tourist hotspot means Circular Quay is not without its pitfalls. Skip the over-priced traveller's traps and check out these restaurants and bars that'll ensure the food and drink are as good as the view.  After restaurants in other parts of Sydney's city? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in the CBD.

The 20 most Instagrammable places in Sydney

The 20 most Instagrammable places in Sydney

There are no two ways about it, Sydney is one seriously photogenic place. And you don’t have to take our word for it: Australia was officially declared the most Instagrammable country in the world (according to Big 7 Travel's poll), with the majority of must-have geo-tags located in the Harbour City. With its winning combination of internationally-famous landmarks, astounding natural beauty and unbeatable weather, it’s little wonder the world is turning its lens on Sydney. And while we always recommend experiencing this city with your eyes rather than your camera, it’s also a well-known truth in this age of social media: if you didn’t ‘gram it, were you even there? It goes without saying that the Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Opera House and Bondi Beach are top of the pops when it comes to Insta. And further afield, there's a glut of fabulous photo-ops across NSW at destinations like the Blue Mountains, Hunter Valley and Royal National Park. But for those willing to make the effort, there's a treasure trove of ‘grammable gold to be found right here, within the city.  So, check out our 20 favourite Instagrammable locations in Sydney, get geared up and get ’gramming.   Barrenjoey Lighthouse A post shared by All We Need (@allweneedbv) on Apr 1, 2018 at 10:59pm PDT This epic mountain-meets-sea backdrop is worth the trek out to Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Barrenjoey Lighthouse marks Sydney’s most northerly point and will give you stellar views across the hourglass penin

The best Mexican restaurants in Sydney right now

The best Mexican restaurants in Sydney right now

For devotees of genuine Mexican fare, it's a great relief that Sydney is no longer only served by the tacky Tex-Mex, stand-and-stuff, burrito-centric eateries there were once the sole expression of the cuisine readily available here. There's now an exciting new wave of Mexican diners sweeping Sydney, with nary a pinata, sombrero or lucha libre mask in sight. We're not saying there isn't a time and a place for a bowl of liquid queso and a dorito or two - there really is - but with a culture and cuisine that spans thousands of years and dozens of regions, it's a crime to assume that Old El Paso and a cartoonishly large frozen Margarita is anything close to 'authentic'. Prime your palate for the true flavours of Mexico with our guide to the best Mexican eateries in Sydney, curated by Time Out Sydney's Food & Drink Writer Avril, and fellow critics. Keen to get around some killer spots for an arvo tequila or two? Check out Sydney's best rooftop bars right now Love spice? Check out our guide to Sydney's hottest Thai restaurants Thirsty? Have a look at the best bars in Sydney right now

The 52 best things to do in Sydney in 2023

The 52 best things to do in Sydney in 2023

We might be a little biased, but in our humble opinion, Sydney's got it all. Can you think of many other cities in the world that rival its natural beauty, rich heritage and history that dates back thousands of years, and its creative, culinary and cultural offerings by world-class pros. In fact, there's so much to see, do, sip and ponder here, you could be forgiven for feeling a little overwhelmed. Worry not, dear reader – we're making it simple for you. We've sifted through every good time the Big Smoke has to offer and put together a Sydney bucket list for the ages. Whether you're a new arrival or a born-and-bred local, this 2023 Time Out Sydney round-up of the city's must-do activities will let you experience Sydney from every angle. After all those great activities you're bound to be thirsty. We suggest you head to one of the best pubs in Sydney right now. 

25 things to do for $25 or less in Sydney

25 things to do for $25 or less in Sydney

Sure, Sydney’s hella exxy, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find some cheap as chips things to do that won’t leave a big hole in your bank balance. 1. Climb some boulders harness free (don't worry, the padded floors promise a soft landing) at 9 Degrees in Alexandria. For less than $25 you can nab a full week of climbing. $23  2. Connect to country with an Indigenous guided walking tour at Dharawal National Park in Campbelltown. It happens one Saturday each month, make sure to book. $15 3. Go for a dip at the heritage-listed Wylie’s Baths that sit below the Coogee coastal walkway. $6  4. Nab purr-fect coffee and meow-nificent cookies with the Catstronauts at Surry Hills’ Catmosphere Cat Café. $24 for weekday entry to the Cat Lounge   Photograph: Robert PolmearCatmosphere 5. Slurp down some epic noodle soup. We've rounded up our favourite bowls from around Sydney, here. From $15   6. Get a hit of the good feels that come with volunteering, by pitching in at Pocket City Farms for their Thursday and Saturday morning volunteering. $0  7. LOL all night long at the Running Joke on Level One of the Potts Point Hotel every Tuesday night. From $20 8. See the beaches on two wheels with a Cruiser Bike from Manly Bike Tours. $22 for an hour 9. Tuck into a sweet and fluffy tower of soufflé-pancakes at the Australian outpost of the widely popular Japanese chain, Gram, in Chatswood. $19.80 Photograph: Leigh Griffiths/Supllied 10. Work up a sweat with in a group fitness class for zero

Listings and reviews (110)

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest

4 out of 5 stars

Would an Earnest by any other name still be as eligible? Apparently not, according to the myopic affections of Gwendolen Fairfax (Megan Wilding) and Cecily Cardew (Melissa Kahraman), the two fickle bachelorettes with a rather specific kink for names at the heart of Oscar Wilde’s ‘trivial comedy for serious people’. And they aren’t the only puddle-deep paramours in this genteel world of afternoon tea and alter egos. Algernon Moncrieff (Charles Wu) and John Worthing (Brandon McClelland) are equally shallow in their wants, creating phony personas that allow them to save face in polite society while living it up on the side. The imperiously pompous Lady Bracknell (Helen Thomson) sums it up most succinctly: “We live, I regret to say, in an age of surfaces.” Who needs scruples, genuine or otherwise, when you look the part (and have the right name)? In James Gillray’s satirical cartoons of the early 1800s, the upper classes he so vividly lampooned literally embodied their elite excesses – gorged bellies, gaudy fashions and features warped into avian extremes. Later that same century, Wilde would unleash his own withering commentary on the gentry through the written word, but director Sarah Giles seems to have taken a leaf from Gillary’s book to amplify the wit and wisdom of Wilde’s final and most popular comedy.  This is slapstick with all the wit and subtly of Wilde’s razor-edged one liners, neither word nor action sparring for attention, but rather working together in harmony. In

Crown Towers Sydney

Crown Towers Sydney

August 2023 update: You can feel like a rockstar – for 24 hours, at least – with the Crown’s banging mid-week deal that’s currently on offer. We’ve been lucky to stay here and can confirm Sydney’s very first six-star hotel has the serious wow-factor, from the Instagram-worthy infinity pool to the bedrooms with unparalleled views of Sydney Harbour. For $800, you’ll get overnight accommodation in one of their drop-dead gorgeous rooms, breakfast for two the next day at Epicurean, and a bottle of Champagne on arrival. Plus, it comes with a $350 dining credit to use at one of the Crown’s restaurants – so you can dine on fresh pesto pasta at A’Mare, perfect steak at Woodcut, or fresh sashimi at Nobu. When you break it down, it works out to be incredible value. This is our favourite deal at the moment, but there are a bunch of others available too, like one called ‘Sneaky Sundays’, which is for $550 for a Sunday night stay. You’ll need to sign up to Crown Direct to access these deals, which you can do here. See you at the pool. - Avril Treasure ***** Read on for our review of Crown Sydney by Maxim Boon from 2021.  Having a strong emotional response to a toilet is a first for me. But as the high-tech, fully mechanised robot lavatory in my marble-clad bathroom automatically lifted its lid – as if to say, ‘Well hello there’ with a big, friendly grin – I couldn’t help but let out a little chirp of joy. Listen carefully and you’ll likely hear similar gasps of glee during your stay at the

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

5 out of 5 stars

As an undoubted masterpiece of 20th-century musical theatre, Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s gory fable Sweeney Todd has proven to be a relentless muse for directors all over the world. Since its Broadway premiere in 1979, this story of a revenge-fuelled barber’s murderous reign of terror has been transplanted into East London pie shops, ‘70s council flats, Depression-era slums, and a whole laundry list of other unexpected settings besides. And yet, sometimes the best creative tack is to stick to the tried and true – so while the Sydney Opera House debut of this grim and gothic production may not seek to reinvent the demon barber of Fleet Street, it still delivers a show that goes straight for the jugular. Director Stuart Maunder offers us a Penny Dreadful come to life. Out of the shadows and smog, a horrid troupe of Victorian spectres – gin-soaked harlets; flat-capped dock workers; disdainful gentry – emerge to warn us of the dangers skulking in the darkness. Right from the off, the white-knuckle hysteria of Sondheim’s merciless vocal extremes and the hints of the Dies Irae funeral march cut through with an unnerving taint of dissonant harmony gets the blood pumping and sets the 19th-century melodrama tone this production channels. Roger Kirk’s staging of grimey wooden scaffolds and soot-stained brick walls coupled with Philip Lethlean’s eerie lighting design amps up this period energy further still, summoning the dank gloaming of London’s cobblestoned streets and the ve

Old Government House

Old Government House

Set in 105 hectares (260 acres) of parkland, Old Government House was constructed between 1799 and 1818 on the foundations of Governor Phillip’s original 1790 thatched cottage. Built by convicts, it became the decision-making centre of the colony and served as the country getaway for the first ten governors of Australia. Over the decades, its has at times also served as everything from a vice-regal residence to a boarding house for local schoolboys.  Today it's a world heritage listed site, recognised as Australia’s oldest public building, having been restored to its original glory by a multi-million-dollar revamp in 1990s. It also boasts the nation’s most important collection of Australian colonial furniture, as well as early textiles and significant homewares from the time of the colonial governors.

Qualia

Qualia

Nestled in the heart of the Whitsundays, this jaw-dropping resort is a true paradise for luxury seekers and nature enthusiasts alike. With its breathtaking location on Hamilton Island, Qualia offers serenity and natural beauty in spades, packaged with an understated luxe vibe that doesn’t brag about its five-star credentials. The resort's architecture and design seamlessly blend with the surrounding landscape, creating a harmonious atmosphere of tranquility. Each of the 60 private pavilions boasts stunning views of the Coral Sea and lush tropical gardens, ensuring a sense of A-lister exclusivity. At Qualia, guests can indulge in world-class amenities, including an infinity pool, a state-of-the-art spa, and gourmet dining options that showcase the finest local produce. The resort also offers a range of activities, from snorkeling and diving in the pristine reef to exploring the nearby Whitehaven Beach, consistently ranked among the world's most beautiful sandy shores.

Gilberton Outback Retreat

Gilberton Outback Retreat

Set against the rugged wilderness of the Queensland outback is a hidden gem for those seeking an authentic Australian experience with luxury finesse. Situated on a sprawling cattle station, this secluded retreat offers a perfect blend of adventure, tranquility and natural beauty. Guests at Gilberton are treated to an immersive outback experience, surrounded by sweeping landscapes, ancient gorges, and pristine rivers. The retreat offers a range of accommodation options, from charming heritage-listed cottages to luxurious glamping tents, all designed to provide five-star comfort while embracing the rustic charm of the location. From exploring the rugged terrain on guided hikes and 4WD tours to discovering the rich Aboriginal heritage of the area, there’s no shortage of opportunities to connect with nature and learn about the region's history. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching barramundi in the nearby rivers, while stargazers can marvel at the brilliance of the night sky undisturbed by city lights. Gilberton also prides itself on providing exceptional hospitality and personal service, ensuring that guests feel welcomed and well taken care of throughout their stay. The retreat's commitment to sustainability and conservation adds an extra layer of appreciation for the natural wonders on its doorstep.

Daydream Island Resort

Daydream Island Resort

Found in the spectacular Whitsunday Islands, this is a tropical paradise that certainly lives up to its name. This stunning island retreat offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, luxury, and adventure that you’ll be wistfully pondering for years after your trip. With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush tropical gardens, Daydream Island is a haven for beach lovers and water enthusiasts. Guests can snorkel and dive amidst vibrant coral reefs, embark on sailing adventures, or simply unwind on the soft sandy shores. The resort's remarkable Living Reef, an expansive outdoor aquarium, allows visitors to get up close and personal with a variety of marine life. Accommodation options at Daydream Island range from stylishly appointed rooms to spacious suites, all featuring modern amenities and stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. The resort also boasts an array of dining options, from casual beachfront eateries to fine dining restaurants, ensuring that every culinary desire is met. For those seeking relaxation, the Daydream Island Spa offers a range of indulgent treatments and therapies, while the resort's swimming pools and private cabanas provide the perfect setting for ultimate relaxation. Families are also well catered to, with a dedicated kids club and a host of activities and entertainment options for children. The resort's quiet commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices is also a bonus for those more environmentally-minded travellers.

Gilberton Outback Retreat

Gilberton Outback Retreat

Set against the rugged wilderness of the Queensland outback is a hidden gem for those seeking an authentic Australian experience with luxury finesse. Situated on a sprawling cattle station, this secluded retreat offers a perfect blend of adventure, tranquility and natural beauty. Guests at Gilberton are treated to an immersive outback experience, surrounded by sweeping landscapes, ancient gorges, and pristine rivers. The retreat offers a range of accommodation options, from charming heritage-listed cottages to luxurious glamping tents, all designed to provide five-star comfort while embracing the rustic charm of the location. From exploring the rugged terrain on guided hikes and 4WD tours to discovering the rich Aboriginal heritage of the area, there’s no shortage of opportunities to connect with nature and learn about the region's history. Fishing enthusiasts can try their luck at catching barramundi in the nearby rivers, while stargazers can marvel at the brilliance of the night sky undisturbed by city lights. Gilberton also prides itself on providing exceptional hospitality and personal service, ensuring that guests feel welcomed and well taken care of throughout their stay. The retreat's commitment to sustainability and conservation adds an extra layer of appreciation for the natural wonders on its doorstep.

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

Ku-ring-gai Wildflower Garden

In a city that’s far from shy about showing off its natural beauty, it’s a surprise that one of its prettiest corners may well be one of its best-kept secrets. Adjacent to Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park in Sydney’s North, there’s a whopping 123 hectares of wildflower gardens surrounded by Sydney sandstone bushland. Every plant found here is native, although not necessarily local – these colourful blooms have been sourced from across Australia, including 18 threatened species of flora. The gardens were first planted in 1968 as a sanctuary for Indigenous plants and animals. Today, in addition to their array of floral delights, the gardens also feature running paths, fitness areas, picnic spots, and the charming, heritage-listed Caley’s Pavillion and patio, although this is currently closed for renovations. There’s also a wildflower nursery where you can pick up some beautiful Australian plants to take home, and a visitor centre where you can learn more about the garden’s history and get information on guided bushwalks and other events.

Estate Coogee Beach

Estate Coogee Beach

The great shutdown of 2020 was a particularly bitter pill to swallow for the team at Estate, the three-in-one venue occupying the ground floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Coogee. Its owners had only just unveiled the venue's multimillion-dollar refurbishment nine days before the sprawling beachside haunt was shuttered. So it’s a credit to the vision of head chef and creative director Matthew Butcher, that the split-personality concept behind Estate’s latest incarnation has emerged just as savvy post-lockdown, as the fragile new normal of going out in Sydney continues to evolve.  Not unlike its nearby neighbour, the Coogee Pavillion, Estate has maximised its appeal by having differently styled spaces geared to the needs of very different crowds. Making the most of its beachside location, the alfresco Terrace is pitched at a younger, casual clientele, who can kick back with friends, vodka soda in hand, as evening moves in over the Coogee sands just across the street. This leafy courtyard has its own dedicated bar, housed in a gleaming stainless steel Airstream-style trailer, and laidback, Coachella vibes that effortlessly transition to an after-dark party atmosphere with live music, DJ sets, a projector screening beachy flicks and twinkling bistro lights strung overhead. On the opposite end of the property, take a trip south of the border. The Taqueria is an eye-popping space channeling a cartoonish brand of Mexicana – all zesty tones, Aztec patterns, decorative cacti and Mach

Lightning Ridge Bore Baths

Lightning Ridge Bore Baths

For many remote Australian communities, the pub is the local gathering point. In Lightning Ridge, however, folk get together for a dip. Located on the fringes of this opal mining town, these pleasant pools are considered to be some of the finest of the state’s naturally heated baths. Which makes the fact that they are both free to access and open 24 hours a day even more remarkable. Percolating through the area’s unique geology (one of only a handful of places in the world where black opals can be found), the water in these bore baths takes almost two million years to reach the surface, fed by the aquifers of Artesian basin that feeds the majority of the hot springs in NSW. Once it bubbles up, it emerges at a blissful temperature of 40 degrees, rich in minerals and salts. A dip after dark is a particularly popular local pastime, so we suggest, when in Lightning Ridge, do as the Lightning Ridgians do.  Keep perusing hot springs with our round-up of the best ones in NSW

Warner Bros. Movie World

Warner Bros. Movie World

If you’ve ever wished you could step through the silver screen and into the thrills and spills of your favourite action movie, a trip to Warner Bros. Movie World might just be the next best thing. Inspired by the cinematic adventures of the eponymous film studio, this theme park is packed with white-knuckle attractions, just as you might expect from a theme park, but also a roving troop of live performers bringing beloved film characters – including Batman, Catwoman and the Joker – to interactive life.  The park is divided into five zones: Main Street, Kids’ WB Fun Zone, the Wild West, DC Comics Super-Villains Unleashed and the CD Comics Superhero Hub. Both live-action and animated filmmaking underpins every adrenaline-filled, edge-of-your-seat experience in the park, from the Scooby-Doo Spooky Coaster to the Hollywood Stunt Driver show.  There are gentler rides for younger fun-seekers, such as the Looney Tunes Carousel and Yosemite Sam’s Railroad, but if it’s scream-inducing excitement you crave, then the heroes and villains of the DC Universe are ready to raise your pulse. The DC Rivals HyperCoaster is the tallest, longest and fasted ride in the Southern Hemisphere, featuring a near-vertical 89-degree plunge into the dastardly lair of Batman’s arch nemesis, the Joker, as well as the world’s first non-inverted loops. If there is any serotonin left in your system after that, you can stop your heart once more on the Green Lantern Coaster, which has the steepest inverted drop i

News (642)

Taronga TV brings livestreamed animal antics into your home

Taronga TV brings livestreamed animal antics into your home

When tourist attractions began closing in 2020 due to the pandemic, zoos and animal parks all over the world, including in Sydney, turned to live streaming to share their animal antics online, a gambit that has proven to be wildly successful. Taronga Zoo upped the ante with the launch of Taronga TV, a digital platform streaming animal enclosures, behind-the-scenes 'sneak peeks’ and after-hours footage revealing what the keepers and animals get up to when the park is closed to the public. On days at home, you can keep the kids (or yourself) occupied with educational video talks featuring the likes of yellow bellied gliders and squirrel monkey babies. Or chuck on live feeds from the elephant enclosure, the lion's den or the tiger's lair to lighten up your work-from-home days.  Alongside this streaming content, there is also an archive of online resources for teachers – or parents looking for school holidays distractions – featuring fun yet educational materials about exotic wildlife, local fauna and the natural world. Click through to Taronga TV here. Want to get out of the house? Here's our guide to the best easy day hikes in and around Sydney.

First look: A huge new artificial surf park is coming to Sydney's Olympic Park

First look: A huge new artificial surf park is coming to Sydney's Olympic Park

Update, March 2023: Construction is underway on Urbnsurf Sydney, and it will open in 2024.  Sure, Sydney has a helluva lot of surfable shoreline, but before too long, Sydneysiders will be able to get their surf on, day or night, even when Mother Nature’s waves aren’t up to the task, at Sydney Olympic Park. Following in the footsteps of Australia’s first urban surf park, which opened in Melbourne back in December 2019 and is pictured above, Sydney’s very own Urbnsurf will be a similarly state-of-the-art facility, using Wavegarden’s innovative ‘cove tech’ to generate surfable waves every eight seconds. When operational, it will be fitted out with LED lighting that will allow punters to make use of the steady supply of surf after dark, and there will be areas suitable for all forms of boarding, from shortboards to longboards, bodyboards to kneeboards, and even bodysurfing. Best of all, the controlled environment makes Urbnsurf the ideal place for surf noobs to cut their teeth without the risk of being slammed by a surprise wipeout. In addition to the surfing pools, the Urbnsurf complex, which will be located across 3.6 hectares near Sydney Olympic Park, will also sport a high-performance centre, working spaces, a leisure pool for families, a skate park and a new surf academy with expert coaches. It’ll also be a great destination for relaxing, complete with beach cabanas, a hot tub, a café and even a rooftop bar. Prefer your surf experiences au naturale? Check out our rundown of

First Look: the $48-million refurbishment of the Bondi Pavilion is finally finished

First Look: the $48-million refurbishment of the Bondi Pavilion is finally finished

Just six years shy of its centenary, the Bondi Pavilion has been brought into the 21st-century. Following a two-year, $48-million restoration, the venue overlooking Australia’s most famous beach is preparing to welcome back the public to its modernised and upgraded facilities from September 21. Photograph: Supplied This top-to-bottom glow up includes an art gallery, flexible cultural spaces for events and performances, a welcome centre and box office, an enlarged pottery studio, and renovated changing facilities and bathrooms. The Bondi Story Room is an all-new digital heritage space featuring state-of-the-art amenities that will ensure the pavilion will be a thriving arts and culture hub fit for 2022. Visitors can also enjoy two new dining venues, a restaurant and a café, as well as inviting outdoor spaces, such as the landscaped internal courtyards and new grand entrance on the north face of the pavilion.  Restorations have been made to heritage features, such as the original terracotta roof tiles that were first installed in 1928, but these sit side by side with important innovations such as a suite of 220 solar panels that will ensure 70 per cent of the building’s energy needs will come from renewable sources. The lead architect on the ambitious project, Peter Tonkin of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects, ensured that a combination of historical respect and dynamic modern design for today’s communities was essential to the development process. “The Bondi Pavilion is a fin

A new public square named after Queen Elizabeth II is being built in Sydney’s CBD

A new public square named after Queen Elizabeth II is being built in Sydney’s CBD

In the latest in a series of major public works announced by premier Dominic Perrottet, a new public square named in honour of Queen Elizabeth II is to be built in the heart of Sydney's CBD. Parts of the NSW Registrar-General’s building on Macquarie Street will be demolished to make way for the outdoor space which will also create more direct access to the Domain parklands from the CBD. Within the square there will be a monument to the late monarch, who died on September 10, aged 96, after reigning over Commonwealth countries including Australia for 70 years.  “We will have this great plaza opened up for the people of New South Wales to enjoy, to appreciate, but most importantly, to remember the service and dedication of Queen Elizabeth to the great people of New South Wales.” The new square is part of plans to revitalise the heritage-listed precinct where some of the very earliest surviving parts of Sydney can be found, between the Domain and the CBD, running parallel with the Botanic Gardens all the way to Bennelong Point and the Opera House. Extensions to some parts of the historically important buildings were added in the 1970s and “should never have been built in the first place,” according to Perrottet. Despite his publicly known position on Australia becoming a republic, prime minister Anthony Albanese hailed the new Queen Elizabeth II square as a “visionary project”, adding that it was “an appropriate and fitting tribute.” The prime minister also made clear earlier th

Will Australians get a day off to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II?

Will Australians get a day off to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II?

While Australians slept on the night of September 8, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II died peacefully surrounded by her family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She was the longest-ever reigning monarch, serving 70 years on the throne. In the past, major events in the lives of the British royal family have been marked with a public holiday or bank holiday in Commonwealth countries. So, will there be a day of national mourning in Australia?According to leaked plans of the Queen’s funeral arrangements, known as ‘Operation London Bridge', there will be an official day of mourning. The plans, leaked by Politico last year, suggest the funeral will take place at Westminster Abbey in London in ten days, and a commonwealth-wide two-minute silence will be held at noon Greenwich Meantime, 9pm AEST. It has now been officially confirmed that the funeral will take place on September 19. However, Australia's official ‘day of mourning’ will take place on September 22, and a national public holiday has been announced to coincide with this. There may also be another day off to mark the coronation of the Queen's successor, His Majesty King Charles III. While there will already be detailed plans in place for the coronation, it will not be a hurried ceremony and will almost certainly take place early next year. The globe-trotting queen: here are the 117 countries visited by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II during her lifetime.

Here's how Australia will memorialise the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II

Here's how Australia will memorialise the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II

On the morning of September 9, Australians woke to the news that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's 70-year reign had come to a close. The Queen passed away surrounded by her family at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, after several months of declining health. She was aged 96. There will now follow a number of formalities in Commonwealth countries including Australia to memorialise and mourn the late Head of State. Firstly, the Australian parliament will be suspended for 15 days as a mark of respect, echoing similar moves by the UK and Canadian governments as well as other Commonwealth countries and territories. Unlike the UK, however, which will now observe two weeks of national mourning, Australia will only mark a single day of mourning, with a memorial service on September 22 and a national public holiday has been announced by the prime minister to coincide with this. Australians can expect to see flags on monuments, landmarks and political buildings across Australia fly at half-mast until the day after the Queen’s funeral, which is scheduled to take place in London on September 19.  The monarchy’s representative in Australia, governor-general David Hurley, will address the nation at 6.55pm on September 9 to acknowledge the Queen’s passing on behalf of her Australian subjects. Prime minister Anthony Albanese, along with Hurley and the acting commissioner to the UK Lynette Wood, will make the journey to London in the next week or so to see the Queen lying in state, attend the stat

A national public holiday has been announced to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II

A national public holiday has been announced to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II

Prime minister Anthony Albanese has announced that there will be a national public holiday on September 22 to mark the death of the Queen. The day off will coincide with a national memorial service to be held in Canberra following the Queen’s funeral service in London on September 19. Despite his pro-republic stance, the prime minister said that “now is not the time” to discuss Australia breaking with the crown, adding that he recognised many Australians would be grieving the loss of the Queen. “This is a time of national mourning that we’re engaged with and Thursday the 22nd will be an opportunity for the nation to come together,” Albanese said at a press briefing on September 11. Here are all the details of how the queen is being memorialised in Australia.

NSW’s Sydney rock oyster supplies are being decimated by a deadly disease

NSW’s Sydney rock oyster supplies are being decimated by a deadly disease

One of the quintessential flavours of Sydney is under threat and it could have major impacts on supply for years to come. The entire stock of Sydney rock oysters in Port Stephens, just north of Newcastle, has been lost to the QX disease, a parasite that specifically targets Sydney rock oysters. Instances of the parasite were first seen in the Port Stephens oyster farms in August 2021, but it has spread more persistently during 2022, leading to the loss of 100 per cent of the region's oysters – numbering in the hundreds of thousands of individual oysters – which accounts for 16 per cent of nation’s supply. The impacts of this mass die-off could be felt by consumers for years, as it is likely to take that long for the oyster beds in this area to recover. In addition to the loss of Sydney rock oysters, Pacific oyster yields in Port Stephens have been smaller than usual over the past year due to unexplained mortality unrelated to the QX disease but possibly linked to repeated flooding in the area. The impacts of the QX outbreak have already resulted in a number of oyster farms in Port Stephens closing down, and more are likely to fold as it could take more than a year before they can begin supplying restaurants again. While QX disease is deadly for oysters, it has no impact on human health. A survey by NSW Primary Industries indicates that the QX outbreak is currently contained to Port Stephens, which will be a relief to the state’s largest oyster farms on the South Coast around

Bureau of Meteorology confirmed: heavy rains and flooding forecast throughout summer

Bureau of Meteorology confirmed: heavy rains and flooding forecast throughout summer

Hopes were raised in June when the Bureau of Meteorology declared that the whopping multi-year La Niña weather event, responsible for soaking Sydney for two consecutive summers, was finally weakening. However, any optimism about a return to sunny skies was dampened just one month later in July, when early indications hinted that another rain-inducing weather event, the Indian Ocean Dipole, could send yet more downpours Australia’s way. BoM has now confirmed its summer forecast, and not only are we likely to have another soggy summer, but devastating floods are also highly likely in some parts of northern NSW. The north coast around Byron Bay and Lismore is likely to see yet more floods, with the BoM issuing a warning that this region is likely to experience severe storms in the coming months and throughout the summer. The alarming forecast prompted federal emergency management minister Murray Watt to urge residents of NSW to “be prepared”, adding assurances that the Albanese government would be accelerating its efforts to install mitigation methods that could control the danger of flooding in the most at-risk areas.  During a press briefing at Parliament House on August 31, the BoM also warned that intense rainfall and the possibility of damaging storms and giant hail were likely across the East Coast of Australia. After almost three years of above-average rainfall, with a new 60-year record set in Sydney in late August, groundwater levels are already saturated. BoM climatolo

It's official: Enmore Road has been voted Sydney's coolest street

It's official: Enmore Road has been voted Sydney's coolest street

If you didn’t know it already, you do now. According to Time Out's annual global survey of the very best of urban life, Enmore Road, the pumping heart of the Inner West, has just been named the coolest street in Sydney for 2022. Tucked snugly between Newtown and Marrickville, Enmore Road is the beating culture highway that gives the Inner West its trendy name. No matter the time of day, this street is abuzz with a rainbow of diverse people, sparkling shows and fabulous food and drink, with this street a place where nothing is the same twice.  On a jaunt down Enmore Road, you’ll find yourself on an adventure that rolls from day to late night. Hard hitting coffee can be had at Cafe Shenkin, while jaw-dropping breakfasts are to be inhaled at Saga, where exotic and brilliant pastry concoctions reign supreme. Throughout the day, explore a whole host of epic shops, including the perennially dreamy Swop, and, for all those that like fringed suede jackets; travel to the wild West over at Route 66.  All this is hungry work, which is good, because Enmore Road knows how to deliver when it comes to grub. Whether it be lunch or dinner, you have the opportunity to dance between multiple countries on one street, with epic Egyptian falafels to be had at Cairo Takeaway, legendary Lebanese on offer at Emma’s Snack Bar, and succulent Nigerian going off at Little Lagos. Also, no meal on Enmore Road is complete without a scoop of groundbreaking gelato from Cow and Moon. Obviously.  Along with din

Telstra payphones across Australia are being transformed into free Wi-Fi hotspots

Telstra payphones across Australia are being transformed into free Wi-Fi hotspots

In our modern world of ubiquitous smart devices and 5G connection speeds, you may well have found yourself wondering, who the heck uses payphones anymore? And yet, these relics of yesteryear’s communication conveniences have remained a steadfast staple of most Aussie streets.  Telstra has now announced that it will drag Australia’s payphones into the 21st century by making them Wi-Fi hotspots, and what’s more, connecting will be free to access. While the majority of the nation’s 12,000 Telstra payphones will remain regular ol’ telephones for now, from today 3,000 will be offering Wi-Fi, with the aim of making the entire network Wi-Fi enabled within a year. Telstra payphones have previously offered Wi-Fi to Telstra customers as a plan inclusion, but since offering unlimited data on its contracts, that perk has become redundant, leading the telco to think altruistically rather than retiring the feature altogether. You can find the payphones that are now Wi-Fi enabled via the Telstra website. Want less Wi-Fi, not more? Check out this national network of 'Zero-G' off-the-grid holiday spots.

A new 'floating island' of skyscrapers is being built on top of Central Station

A new 'floating island' of skyscrapers is being built on top of Central Station

It’s a favourite saying of estate agents that the most precious commodity in the world is land – it’s the one thing they’re not making any more of. But just try telling that to the brains behind ambitious new plans to conjure an expansion to the CBD with the creation of a ‘floating island’ of skyscrapers, constructed over several of the currently open-air platforms of Central Station. The $11-billion development will transform the skyline at the southern end of the CBD extending into Chippendale with a space of more than 24 hectares featuring towers as tall as 34 storeys. Render: NSW Government Under the plans, an expansive deck will be constructed over the regional and intercity rail lines departing from the main Central Station terminal (city circle and local lines will remain outdoors), with a footprint large enough to accommodate 15 large buildings. A 24-metre pedestrian avenue, three new footbridges spanning the rail corridor separating Chippendale and Prince Alfred Park, and two new squares to be named Central Square and Central Green will also create public spaces that are likely to prove valuable to the residents of the four suburbs – Surry Hills, Redfern, Chippendale and the CBD – that will border the development. An extension will also be made to the Goods Line, extending from Railway Square all the way to the historic Mortuary Station. Render: NSW Government The plans are part of the long-term efforts to establish the area around Central Station as Sydney’s ver