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Australia’s favourite literary destination

(Photo of Walsh Bay by Zoë Sadokierski)

Sydney is a special place that has the rare ability to leave both locals and visitors in constant awe. Each year, we’re fascinated by the experiences Australian and international authors have at the Festival and in Sydney. Here are some of the unique perspectives we’ve had the pleasure of reading.

For New York Magazine‘s 2015 spring travel guide, their mission was to seek out ‘not just locals but local experts – those who are especially well versed in their cities’ newest and most noteworthy scenes’. Amongst the experts’ tips comes An Author’s Sydney by novelist Ceridwen Dovey. Ceridwen cites the program in Parramatta’s thriving arts scene and the view from a deck chair at the Festival hub in Walsh Bay as two of her favourite experiences. And for those who enjoy a decent walk, there’s the literary coastal tour. ‘Start at Bondi Beach and walk along the ocean path built into the sandstone cliffs. Between Bronte Beach and the Clovelly inlet, Waverley Cemetery houses graves of Australian authors including Henry Lawson and Dorothea Mackellar – and has some of the best views of the ocean’.

In 2014, American author and satirist Gary Shteyngart spoke at three of the Festival’s highlight events, and whilst the mission for his trip Down Under was to ‘eat some of the best breakfasts in the world, swim like a saltwater fiend in the city’s gorgeous outdoor pools, and hug a wombat’, he flattered us by naming the Festival one of ‘the classiest and best-attended of its kind’. But the adventures didn’t start and end at Walsh Bay. Gary’s curiosity and explorations took him to Darlinghurst for banana bread with espresso butter (there are numerous other great food recommendations, too), and an up-close-and-personal with kangaroos, koalas, and yes, the huggable wombat.

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Helen Macdonald recently wrote a piece for The New York Times on the experience of nature in Australia. Venturing out of the city to the iconic Blue Mountains just over one hour away from Sydney, Helen observed an array of foreign birds and wildlife and wrote ‘the peaks in the far distance reflect sunshine scattered through a haze of aromatic eucalyptus oil; the light has turned them a pale and dusty blue’. If there’s a more enticing sentence for the Blue Mountains than that, we’re yet to hear it.

Similarly, Anthony Horowitz made the most of his trip, taking in Sydney’s shimmering annual Vivid Festival – an opportunity to ‘gaze in wonder at the triple whammy: the bridge, the Opera House, the Botanic Gardens, all of which came to life in a way I had never seen before.’ Anthony declared to The Telegraph (UK), ‘Sydney is the most beautiful, exciting city in the world.’


Read the full articles:
New York Magazine‘s 2015 spring travel guide
Gary Shteyngart, “Eating Everything Sydney Has To Offer” in Travel + Leisure
Helen Macdonald, “Identification, Please” in The New York Times
Anthony Horowitz, “Sydney is the most beautiful, exciting city in the world” in The Telegraph

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