AM: We took an early flight and had a glass of bubbles on board to get us in the holiday mood. Clearing Customs was a breeze early in the morning and we were picked up and taken to The Grounds of Alexandria for brunch. This complex of cafés and entertainment venues in a former pie factory in the inner-city suburb of Alexandria is well worth the visit for its amazing deconstructed coffees, fabulous home-style food, organic gardens and even a few farm animals.

Next we were off to our stylish serviced apartment at Fraser Suites in the CBD. We had pre-booked all the events we planned to do in Sydney and if you are on a short trip I recommend you do this too. Helen Fraser from Ultimately Sydney lifestyle tours met us at Fraser Suites and took us on her Gourmet South tour. This takes around three hours and was nice and relaxing and because there were so many free samples along the way no lunch was needed. We went to an old-time Italian deli, a winemaker, a boutique brewery, a cake bakery and more; it was extremely varied with lots of tastings.

PM: Then it was back to our apartment to glam up a bit for a sumptuous high tea with bubbles at the 5-star Primus Hotel in Pitt Street. We carried an extra bag with flat shoes and a tee shirt because our next stop was the night-time Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. Off came the glam clothes and on went the not-soglamorous grey jumpsuit they provide you with! It was fabulous to do this climb at night; we could see for miles and as we were fortunate enough to be there during the annual Vivid Sydney month when the city comes alive with lights and music and cultural events, it was like walking above a disco dance floor!

Back in our glamorous clothes again we walked to the Rocks and had dinner at the iconic Waterfront Restaurant facing the Sydney Opera House. I hate to say this but we had no energy left to visit one of the popular bars for a cocktail or two. But we did enjoy our walk back to our hotel through the happy crowds enjoying the lights and music.


AM: We started our day with the Backstage Tour at the Sydney Opera House. Our guide was wonderful and besides being knowledgeable about the Opera House she had many stories to tell about the personalities who have performed here. Then we headed off to the Skywalk at the Sydney Tower Eye where we had amazing views and a hilarious guide and we all enjoyed the experience.

PM: After brunch we were off to Taronga Zoo where we went on a Wild Ropes aerial adventure followed by a look at some of the amazing Australian animals featured at the zoo. We then treated ourselves to a water taxi over to Darling Harbour for a visit to the Star Casino and some shopping. We had dinner at Black by ezard, a contemporary grill restaurant in the Star complex and then, unfortunately, it was time to leave for our late-night flight home.

What would you recommend to other readers who are going to Sydney? Let them know in the comments below.