Looking for a reason (or two) to go somewhere different rather than the Sydney CBD? Read on for a local’s guide to the Lower North Shore in Sydney.
Worthy of a day trip, this list is a stack of inspiration for things to do, great places to go and delicious food to eat along the way.
All of the locations featured are close to public transport too, so jump on a train, bus or ferry.
1. Start your day off with breakfast at The Moody Chef (St Leonards)
The Moody Chef is the perfect place to start your North Shore adventure. That’s thanks in large part to the warm and friendly staff who serve up all manner of healthy and delicious breakfast items. There are vegan dishes, gluten free options and bacon, lots of bacon.
The the shakshuka baked eggs and lamb merguez is a favourite among locals on Saturdays. They’re closed on Sundays so one tip is to get there early on a Saturday to beat the weekend rush.
- What: The Moody Chef
- Where: 1/30 Atchison St, St Leonards
- Getting there: From St Leonards Station take a 4min walk (280m) via Pacific Hwy and Atchison St
- Hours: Monday — Friday 6am until 5pm, Saturday 7am until 3pm.
- Cost: $20 per person on average.
- More info: themoodychef.com.au
2. Check out the best of Chatswood shopping precincts (Chatswood)
If you’re in need of some retail therapy, a trip to Chatswood could be due. Easily accessible via bus or train via the Chatswood Interchange, the area is a melting pot of popular high street chains, discount stores, boutique labels and traditional Asian restaurants.
The main strip, Victoria Ave contains all kinds of variety stores and small businesses, while the giant Westfield Mall is more of a chain store affair. Inside you’ll find fashion, lifestyle shops and a busy food court.
Further along the main strip is Chatswood Chase, Chatswood’s second main mall. There you’ll find luxury brands, a multitude of food options plus an organic /wholefoods area where you can load up on fresh fruit and veggies.
- What: Chatswood
- Where: Westfield Chatswood on 1 Anderson Street
- Getting there: From Chatswood Station take a 3min walk (230m) down Victoria Ave and begin your day at Westfield Chatswood.
- More info: westfield.com.au
3. Stop for a tasty lunch at the Treehouse Hotel (North Sydney)
There’s a reason the Treehouse Hotel is fast becoming one of the most popular spots in North Sydney.
Home to a leafy terrace, the setting that is light and breezy, and the food here is well worth checking out too.
You’ll find Hawaiian poke bowls, grass fed eye fillet and roasted pumpkin salad just to name a few. They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but best enjoyed with the sun overhead and a lazy afternoon ahead of you.
- What: The Treehouse Hotel
- Where: 60 Miller St, North Sydney
- Getting there: From North Sydney Station head West along Blue St and turn right onto Miller St. It’s a 4min (270m) walk in total.
- Hours: Open 6 days a week. Monday-Friday 7am until 12am. Saturday 2pm until 12am.
- Cost: $25+ per person
- More info: thetreehousehotel.com.au
4. Check out the spectacular views at Balls Head Reserve (Waverton)
One of North Sydney’s most significant areas of urban bushland, Balls Head Reserve is a picturesque picnic spot, and pet friendly too.
Located in the reserve are several well-established walking tracks (although it does get a little slippery when wet), with public toilets and a water fountain close by.
It’s not a huge area, but it’s big enough to provide you with a sense of calm and serenity just moments away from the bustling city.
It’s only a 10 minute walk from Waverton Station so if the weather is good, make sure you go for a visit — the views alone makes it well worth it.
- What: Balls Head Reserve
- Where: Balls Head Dr, Waverton
- Getting there: Located at the southern end of Balls Head Drive, Waverton, Balls Head Reserve is an easy 10 minute walk from Waverton railway station.
- More info: northsydney.nsw.gov.au
5. Sit back and enjoy dinner at Garfish Kirribilli (Kirribilli)
Located in the heart of Kirribilli is the popular Garfish restaurant chain, as their name suggests – seafood features prominently on the menu here.
Swing by for a healthy breakfast of poached eggs and smoked salmon or swap out the fish for kale and beetroot slaw.
For dinner you can’t go wrong with the king prawn linguine or crispy fried whole baby snapper.
- Where: 2/21 Broughton St, Kirribilli
- Getting there: From Milson’s Point Station take a 2min (140m) stroll down Burton St direct to the venue
- Hours: Open 7 days Mon – Sat 7.30am until 11pm. Sundays from 8.30am until 4pm.
- Cost: $35+ per person
- More info: garfish.com.au
There’s plenty more to be discovered in the Lower North Shore and its surrounds, so why not head out this weekend and explore the area in person?