When you think of Sydney, the first image that comes to mind is probably Sydney Harbour. The Harbour Bridge, the Opera House – possibly the Botanical Gardens, the Rocks or Taronga Zoo – basically all near the CBD.
You could be forgiven for thinking that everything to see in Sydney is located on the water's edge. And while we Aussies love the water (have you seen what we fork out for a harbour view!), there is plenty more to be seen in the thriving suburban centres that have grown as the population spreads. So jump on a train and head up the line to one that has undergone a radical transformation in just the last generation. Welcome to St Leonards!
The North Shore is known for its abundance of recreational fields…
And nowhere is that more true than St Leonards with its pride and joy being the enormous Gore Hill Oval. Home to the mighty North Shore Bombers, this venue is a must for any Victorians pining over their beloved AFL. Even if a match is not being played, locals enjoy coming down for a casual game of cricket or 'throwing a shrimp on the barbie' (hint: if you really want to impress the locals, find a way to let on that you know Aussies don't actually say this). If you coming for some exercise, try a simple run around the oval or make use of the dedicated exercise equipment on the corner of Reserve Road and the Pacific Highway.
And before you leave the vicinity…
And have a slightly more morbid taste, head to the adjacent Gore Hill Memorial Cemetery. Know of a relative or famous grave you want to visit? Visit the Find a Grave website to, well, find a grave (Aussies make it pretty simple, don't they).
With over 16,000 graves, there is bound to be a story or two just waiting to be rediscovered – and, as one of the oldest cemeteries still in existence in Sydney, there is plenty of history, dating back to its foundation in 1868. Curious as to some of the famous deceased who have been interred in this antique locale? Here's a few to whet your appetite: Dave Gregory – the Australia cricket team's first test captain; St Mary of the Cross MacKillop - Australia's first ever saint (whose remains were later moved to a North Sydney chapel); Harrie Dalrymple Wood – famous rugby union player; and, of course, William Tunks – the first mayor of St Leonards and founder of the cemetery itself.
Is a leisurely stroll not enough exercise for you?
Then how about Climb Fit! Touting itself as Sydney's largest indoor rock-climbing and gym arena, this place means business. 200 plus climbing routes await adventurers of all abilities, as you scale the 8.5 metre-high walls or test your arms' strength and endurance on the gruelling overhangs. But that's not all – the facility's gym includes a full range of spin, circuit, cardio, boxing, yoga and core classes to get you in the best shape of your life!
St Leonards makes it easier to save…
Since that neighbourhood feel means that everything is within walking distance. But as the sun starts to set and you're in the mood for some refreshment, then you have to hop in the car to visit the suburb next door – Crows Nest. The Crows Nest strip has an abundance of small bars and fine restaurants that is always buzzing, no matter what day of the week it is. Try the FoxTrot for craft beers or the Hayberry for the juiciest burger ever. No matter where you start the night, you will inevitably end up at the most famous of all – the Crows Nest Hotel (and yes, the Aussies have affectionately shortened it to 'the Crowie').
Spend Less, Do More
Your Cheaperthanhotels Team
194 Pacific Highway, Greenwich
196 Pacific Highway, St Leonards
15 Atchinson Street
599 Pacific Hwy, St Leonards
54 Christie Street
9 herbert Street, St Leonards
6-16 Atchinson Street, St Leonards
1 Sergeants Lane Unit 2905