Make New Friends Over A Social Walking Tour Around Sydney

Make New Friends Over A Social Walking Tour Around Sydney

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Scenic Walks, Picnic Walks, Art Gallery Walks, Historical Walks, Night Time WalksAll Walks Tours Are Designed Around Learning And Conversation And Are A Great Way To Extend Your Social Network – Join our newsletter and come along to a walk soon.

A social walk is a great way for you to enjoy yourself with other people, and it provides interesting conversation.

We take a walk via Sydney’s best art galleries, parks, gardens and interesting shops, plus some cases we visit historical landmark tour locations.


City Lights Walk

City Lights Walk

The walks are not too long, but long enough to chat with new friends and we help you to meet others on the day.

Its a friendly relaxed atmosphere and ideal for learning conversation and networking with new people. All ages over 18 can attend.

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About The Walks:

  • How much per walk? – Our Walking Tours are priced from $20 per person
  • Walks are typically a few city blocks – not designed for exercise (as such) – but for education and socializing
  • Where? – Inner city suburbs near Sydney and the City the beaches plus special walking events like harbourside locations, art gallery suburban spots, twilight walks, historical landmarks and more
  • When? – typically about 2 or 3 hours at most starting at around the early afternoon on the weekends; Saturdays and also on Sundays
  • How many in the walk? Group sizes are typically 5 to 15 people – small enough to get to know people, and make friends easily
  • What’s after? – we finish off at a coffee lounge for a chat and networking – an easy way to create connections
  • What to bring? – Be smart, think of the weather – a hat, smart and comfortable clothing

Walking Since 2003 – in Sydney plus Brisbane and Melbourne cities

Art Galleries, Walks, 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, baby boomers, generation x, generation y, gardens, smart intellectuals, professional singles, events, dinner for six, speed dating, cocktail parties, art lectures, painting, workshops, seminars, meeting people, Harbour Bridge, climb The Opera House, Art House Films, Bondi Beach, Manly, Palm Beach. Make Business and Professional Networking Connections Power Walking, Fitness, First Timers, mature, young, professionals

Our Walks Cover: New South Wales (NSW), Sydney, Chatswood, Parramatta, Glebe, Double Bay, Kings Cross, Neutral Bay, Hornsby, Newcastle, Artarmon, Manly, Palm Beach, Avalon, Dee Why, North Sydney, Ultimo, Balmain, Bondi, Clovelly, Lane Cove, Gordon, Mascot, Mosman, Eastwood, Five Dock, Leichhardt, Liverpool, Kingsford, Milsons Point, Miranda, Merrylands, Penrith, Rose Bay, Redfern, Turramurra, Willoughby, Waterloo, Waverton, Vaucluse, Sylvania, North Ryde, Epping, Ryde, St Marys, Silverwater, Taren Point, Hurstville. Wagga Wagga, Tweed Heads, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Bega, Albury, Cobar, Bourke, Eden, Balina, Armidale, Taree. North South East West Central Coast Blue Mountains, Penrith, Elizabeth Bay, RSVP.

New Book The Local Sydney Tour Guide By David Newton

The Local Sydney Tour Guide [Kindle Edition]

By: David Newton

The Local Sydney Tour Guide eBook

The Local Sydney Tour Guide eBook

To many people Sydney is that city on the other side of the world which hosted the 2000 Olympics Games. Its also a city they first see when New Years Eve celebrations come round each year as our Sydney Harbour Bridge lights up with fireworks and fanfare of the harbour.

If you are visiting Sydney from overseas or from within Australia you need to have some guidance about where to go and some ideas on what you can see in your spare time.

What you’ll find in the book –

• 12 best cafes to visit and see something interesting about the city
• Sydney’s icons and where they found for you
• Accommodation suggestions that are affordable and scenic in Sydney
• Dining and nightlife suggestions where to find the foodie spots
• Where to find social groups to mingle with the locals
• Business networking social groups so you can mix with business people
• Best beaches to visit and where to find them
• See the harbourside – best ferry trips you can take within the city
• Great picnic spots around the city and how to get to them
• Helpful web links are right throughout the book to get local updated info

When I first came to Sydney I found the place overwhelming as there was so much on offer. But over time I gradually began to find lots of Sydney’s secrets and was surprised not all the locals even know them too. As a result of this I began my own social walking tours group to show people where they can find the great harbour views, the great café spots and some nice things about the city they weren’t expecting before.

As a visitor to this city – your time may be limited – but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing some very good places and to make memories of visiting Sydney on your own or with friends or family an exciting stay for you. Buy It Now.

5 Great Picnic Spots in Sydney

5 Great Picnic Spots in Sydney
© David Newton

1. Observatory Hill – Millers Point
A lovely area, with sweeping views of the harbour and the bridge to Balmain and North Sydney.

This place is handy to Wynyard Station and there are buses going there to Argyle Street right next to the park 431 or similar numbers covering the location. You can also access the spot from Kent Street via steps that go up and around to the park.

Cafes and eateries in the area are great for you to grab a snack before going to the park. Plenty of park benches or sit on the grass or maybe a small blanket or towel. Apart from the traffic of the bridge, the place is quiet. A few trees will give you shade on a sunny day as well as make it easy for you to enjoy the place.

2. Cremorne Point
This place is one of my favourites. It has easy access from the city via ferry or you can get a 225 bus from Neutral Bay to get there.

Stellar views of the city, plus it has a nearby café at Cremorne Wharf open 5 and half days a week. Bathrooms are located nearby and it provides a lovely walk if you wish to try out a few spots around the point. Most people tend to like the views city side.

3. Elizabeth Bay … a and b
(a) At the bottom of Ithaca Street is a small but beautiful park. It has bathrooms, a café (again small too) and a tiny beach. Plus parking for your car.

Often the place is filled by locals, as many Sydney people have never seen the spot. It’s a real find for you. There is a small marina and the park boasts of views out to Georges Heights and Mosman as well as Garden Island.

Elizabeth Bay House
(b) Right outside Elizabeth Bay House is delightful park complete with flowing water, fishes, flora and widescreen views of Sydney’s headlands areas and Port Jackson. I’ve taken many walk groups there over the years and am still amazed at how people find surprize at the views as well as such a pretty park.

4. Lady Fairfax Walk at Manly
It’s a bit of a walk from Manly via Darley Road or you can get there via bus 135 which gets you there in a few minutes from Manly Wharf.

After you walk thru the car park and onto the small walks track soon you’ll be at the lookout areas.

Stand back; the views are breath taking and lovely whatever time of day you get there. It’s a great spot for a picnic as they have many park chairs and its well sign posted too. PS this place is a great spot during the Sydney to Hobart Race starting on December 26th if you get there early enough.

5. Balls Head – Waverton
When I first went to this spot I was thrilled at how green it was. Trees, shrubs and its well positioned for picnics or BBQs too. Bathrooms on site and lots of little short walks dotted all thru the headland for you to explore.

You can drive right there and park your car. Or you can get a train to Waverton and walk down a few blocks and there it is. The place has had some recent upgrading and is more accessible than ever before. I love going there mid week its well worth seeing.

In Summary
We live in a pretty city. Sydney has lots to give both local and visitors a lot to enjoy. All it takes is to visit one place each week or month you live here with a full harbour of views and many beaches both north and south of the city.

Balmain’s Historic Urban Sprawl

Balmain’s Historic Urban Sprawl
© David Newton – 6/09/12

One of the places shrouded in mystery was the beginnings of Balmain. Surgeon William Balmain was on The Alexander a ship of The First Fleet which sailed into Sydney Cove 1788. Balmain was granted an allotment of land of which he did little with but parted with the land for a mere 5 shillings.

Gilchrist who developed the land later sold it for a stellar price and went onto better things. Nothing much happened at Balmain till at least 1839 when the suburb began a massive building spree.

Streets were laid out in all directions and you could see a jetty at the end of nearly all the streets that went into the harbour.

At Balmain you’ll find a lot of sandstone buildings. The vast majority of which are heritage listed. What’s amazing are some of the wonderful, views looking back towards the harbour and the city at various spots around Balmain.

Ballast Park
Take some time to visit Ballast Park just a short walk from Morts dry dock area. You will see a great view of the city there. Plus it has some history on display showing items from archaeological digs done at the location recently.

Colgate Palmolive Buildings
These buildings are near the southside of the Balmain Harbour (near Thames Street Wharf) which are now apartments, but heralded a day gone by when soap and toothpaste were made in Sydney and have a rich history to this day.

Rozelle Development
Recently a new tower has been proposed for Rozelle, a suburb which is a part of the Balmain area. Like all things controversy reigns around how tall a tower should be and how it will affect the local shops and skyline. One thing you should see when you visit this part of town is the art galleries located there. Plus the place also has some of the best restaurants and cafes to enjoy too, so you will love it.

Great Cafes
Along Darling Street is a range of lovely cafes and eateries. Everything from bookshops to fine dining. But mostly cafes galore. What I like about the place is its liveliness.

Scenic views – when you get off the ferry at Darling Street and look back towards the city you’ll see an amazing view of the city. Walk up the street a bit and the views get event better. In my view one of the best spots would be at Balast Park as its quiet and away from the hum drum of the city and the park has been set out well.

How To Get There;
Buses – via 442 or 443 similar
Ferry – from Circular Quay or King St Wharf

The Joy Of Networking Over A Café Latte

The Joy Of Networking Over A Café Latte

How to create a successful social get together event
© David Newton – 4/09/12

Last month we had a great time at a café in the Lavender Bay area holding great views and charm on what turned out to be a cold and windy day.

However our company was warm and chatty and everyone had something to say and learn from each other.

We’ve done similar things in the past, and our walks are laced with cafes and mingling after our walks over yummy treats and drinking coffee.

Why is it so good?

I feel its due in part to the environment and that at a café people loosen up and begin to chat over things they enjoy in life. Having a simple snack makes it easy to see what others tastes are and to discover more about people in your circle.

Or for that matter to create a new circle of friends in a warm and happy setting.

Years ago I began holding dinner groups. However the dinners were fun and chatty too, but again what I discovered was how people opened up even more when we visited a café AFTER our dinner time. People seemed to open up even more and more connections endured amoung our group for the coffee drinking pleasure.

It doesn’t always need to be a coffee tea drinkers can have just as much fun too. Or for that matter hot chocolate lovers. Whatever your fancy, a warm cuppa a smile and some people to chat with can be a real pep up during your day.

Choosing an ideal café?

Not easy if you want to take a bit of time to enjoy it, here’s what I suggest; -
• A café that has its own bathrooms or that they are nearby
• Good seating arrangements – and a place that easy to hear conversation – avoid noisy overcrowded places
• Attentive waiting friendly staff who smile
• Good coffee! Test the place before you bring your friends
• A view of the waterside or an eye catching building
• Plus a good selection of eats and or sweets!

Some places I’ve found – no matter how nice they are – don’t want you to bring your social group back to them. Strange I know, but this type of thing has shocked me. Mostly from the point of view that all these places have their down times and to knock back a social group is dumbfounding.

However on the other hand if you do your research properly, you can find cafes that not only welcome you and your social group, but will go the extra mile and make it easier for you all to enjoy your stay there. Such places I feel are sent by the angels in the sky.

So how do you make sure a simple event like this works?

What I hear from other social groups is that they suffer dropouts at such events, but there is a way to stop this fully and make each event run smoothly.

Here’s My Tips For Café Meetups; -
• Wear a name badge prominently if you’re the organizer
• Let the café know (including staff) about your social group
• Meet at a prominent part of the café that’s unmistakable for newbies to locate
• Always choose a café where conversation can be heard (if you need sign language then drop that cafe)
• Have your mobile phone handy and mention the number to potential guests before they arrive. Believe it or not, if they don’t have a way to find you and no phone number – I can say for sure who wouldn’t give up?
• It’s not uncommon at all for more than 1 or more social groups to meet at the same time at the very same venue – so make sure YOUR GROUP can be found.
• Lastly – make sure your directions are clear – I once found 3 cafes with very similar names in the same block on the same street! Do your research and remember Murphy’s Law – if anything can go wrong it will and in the worst possible order

Finally – make a theme or conversation topic for your get togthers where possible, this ensures a 30% higher rate of attendance than just a meeting for meetings sake alone.

With all of my café meetings I promote them on more than just one website in my group. This also ensure we have good number for each event being held.

Cafes are fun. I’m very glad that the café craze began in Australia in the last 2 decades. Its amazing that despite all the business doom and gloom out there, coffees are one delicacy people are least likely to give up.

Quote Of The Day:

“Is it possible to get a cup of coffee-flavored coffee anymore in this country? What happened with coffee? Did I miss a meeting? They have every other flavor but coffee-flavored coffee. They have mochaccino, frappaccino, cappuccino, al pacino…Coffee doesn’t need a menu, it needs a cup.”
~Denis Leary

How To Make Friends While Walking

How To Make Friends While Walking

© David Newton – 31/08/12

Walking is often seen as a benefit to getting much needed exercise – however it can also be more than that and a medium for making new friends.

I had once moved into a new area and took myself out for walks around the streets every other day.

Now when you go out walking you tend to look around and notice things. That’s what I did – over time I noticed a pattern of seeing the same people also walking the streets near me.

You see when some one sees your face a few times – eventually one of you will say “Hi” to each other and maybe begin a conversation. This is exactly what happened to me on a few occasions and I made some very interesting friends.

As an example when I was living at Spring Hill there were a few people who we just kept bumping into each other time and again. It was fun. Likewise at Neutral Bay and at Doncaster. Over the years I’ve made many new friends and some are still in touch with me after all this time.

Its often the simple things that make you connect. Such as a smile or you bump into someone at a local café or supermarket. The chances are all in your favour with higher frequency of meeting them that you’ll  eventually start a conversation.

The secrets to connecting?

It boils down to a few basics;
• A warm smile
• Saying “Hello”
• Waving to them from across the street
• Plus acknowledgement of them when you see each other at a café or the bus stop etc

And finally, if you’ve struck up a conversation, don’t let it end there, ask to continue it over a coffee or invite them to an event you’re attending or something. Do something to link them back into your world.

I’ve done this many times and have found myself also being invited to everything from a movie night to parties and dinners with locals only a few doors away from me. When I grew up I was in a country town such as Wagga Wagga and its not at all uncommon in a smaller town for people to know more locals than in the big capital cities.

While its easy to sit and home and think you are alone, all I can say is that that type of thinking is a fantasy. Especially when there are so many people living within a 1k radius of where you live right now.

The only thing that stands between you and them is your attitude towards people and creating a warm and friendly inviting attitude towards people of all ages within your street, your block and your suburb.

You can begin today and start by smiling at people and saying “Hi” to them as you walk down the street.

Learn more on how to meet people on my other website;

What Made Manly well so Manly

What Made Manly well so Manly…
© David Newton

The Outback Lodge

The Outback Lodge

In the year 1788 when the First Fleet made their way past the headlands of Port Jackson into Sydney Harbour Captain Phillip stopped at Manly and noted that the indigenous peoples of the area looked “manly” a very strong tribe he noted. Thus it was coined for the location as Manly.

In the early days Manly was much easier to get to via boat than land. If you wished to go from Manly to say North Sydney it could easily take you 3 days due to heavy scrub and forest. However after roads were made this reduced to a few hours.

A ferry service was introduced by 1855 and has been running ever since. These days its only a 30 minute ferry ride to Manly from the city.

By the turn of the early 1900′s bathing came into common practice and as a result of the high drowning rates, a life saving service was created.

And about the same time the introduction of surfboarding was introduced. However it wasn’t till the 60′s and 70′s that a culture of surfing and beach lifestyle really took off.

Looking at Manly today there is so much to see – to do.

Shelly Beach is a popular hideaway spot at the end of Bower Road and also has a great little café and restaurant to visit.

If you go up Darley Road it will take you all the way up the hill past the hospital and towards the Quarantine Station and beyond that to Lady Fairfax Walk which overlooks the headlands area. The views are amazing.

These days Manly has a very lively food culture. You can get everything from fish and chips to wonderful meals. There are a whole range of cafes and bakeries to choose from too.

You can also see a movie at The Manly Twin cinemas. And you should also check out the food spots on the wharf too nearby.

How to get there – Ferries depart Circular Quay about every 30 minutes or via bus – the bus terminal is located at Belgrave Street a short walk from the Manly Wharf.

Stay at Manly at The Outback Lodge
5 Smith St Manly – Call Sheryl 0411-395-059

Art and Food at Surry Hills

Art and Food at Surry Hills

© David Newton

It seems to be the ideal combination art which I love spending time seeing and yummy food places to relax at afterwards. Seems like the gods have been listening.

What I’ve always liked is to walk around the Burton Street area – starting at Darlinghurst. I’ve taken many an art walk through this place and told them of its history. These days its the NAS (National Art School) so things have changed.

Nearby are some well established art galleries and the place is dotted by cafes amidst the old buildings in the area.

On the other side of Taylor Square – which by the way looks more like a triangle really is home to many more art galleries on the Surry Hills side of the lengthy Oxford Street area.

In the last 4 years I’ve done many walks in this arty location and seen many art galleries come and go. Only a few remain and have a stable customer base.

Oxford Street is famed for its nightclub life and has the highest rate of nightclub related crimes in the city. Binge drinking and liquor shops seem to go together in this spot. However as long as you avoid the place at night time its pretty safe and sound during the day time.

City Traffic – grrrr
Every time I visit this place I keep thinking I need ear muffs as its so busy traffic wise. My suggestion is that when you walk the streets here to really follow the level crossings. Cars seem to have no time to stop or slow down even on the side streets. So you can’t assume anything in a quiet street will stay that way.

Food Glorious Food!
Maybe its the highly competitive nature of the place or that its got a good population to support the local shops or both. Either way you have lots of choice and great service at the cafes. When you’re out and about there, walk to Bourke Street and try out Ocello they have great cheese and wine there and a dazzling display of food.

How To Get There:
Buses – get the 333 or 380 which travel to Taylor Square every few minutes from the city.
Train – walk from Museum Station up Oxford Street about 10 mins steady pace.
PS remember to bring your appetite with you!

Sydney’s Rocky Start

Sydney’s Rocky Start
© David Newton – August 16, 2012

On a Saturday afternoon at 1pm January 26th 1788, Sirius landed at what is now called Circular Quay. Well they had to pick a Saturday as they wanted to check out the nightlife soon as they got here.

Travel Sickness And More
Back then they had landed near what was a perfect stream called Tank Stream where Pitt Street now lays. First Fleet Park next to the now George Street was a mere scraggy sloped area and the nearby “Nurses Walk” was where the first tent hospital was started. Apparently travel sickness was more than just a 1 day thing; people really were struck down by all sorts of heath matters going on sailing ships of the late 1700’s

Harrington Street Wall Pictures
Back then The Rocks as we call it today was a rocky area and steep in places too. If you take a walk around Harrington Street today you’ll see some pictures of what the place looked like in early days. Walk to the location beside the underpass, and both side of that location have historic paintings of pictures taken in the early days of The Rocks.

Cumberland Street Walk
One of the best places to view the whole Circular Quay and Rocks area is Cumberland Street. Recently its been beautified at the Grosvenor Street end. So when you take walk from there all the way back to the Sydney Harbour Bridge you’ll see amazing views of the harbour and unique views of all the street life in The Rocks.

Take some time to stop at The Big Dig located at the YHA on Cumberland Street, it will give you a humbling look back into how people lived and the hard times many people had to endure while they lived at The Rocks prior to the Sydney Harbour Bridge being built. A far cry from today’s café and foodie outlook of The Rocks indeed.

Getting there: Many North Shore buses stop at Lang Park opposite 1 York Street and you can get a 431 bus from George Street to The Rocks or a train to either Circular Quay or Wynyard to get yourself to this most historical part of Australia.

Cool Cafes At Kirribilli

Cool Cafes At Kirribilli
© David Newton – 8/08/12

Maybe one of the best little spots for walking around and enjoying the harbour is Kirribilli next to Milsons Point and North Sydney.

For about a decade now I’ve been a big fan of going to Freckle Face Café this place is behind the Westpac Bank in Burton Street.

This café is good for the reason that they won’t bug you when you’re eating your meal of coffee, and you can sit either indoors or outdoors. Its also easy to ask friends to join you for a cuppa as the place isn’t noisy like other cafes are in the area.

Another place nearby – but definitely small is the Coco Chocolates shop in Bligh Street, one block down from Burton Street. Order yourself a hot choc from this place and then take your time to drink it. They usually give you a sample of chocolate on the side of your cup when you order which makes it a fun drink.

If the weather is ideal for it, take yourself (and your favourite cup of coffee) for a walk down to the Jeffery Street Wharf. You will have an uninterrupted view of Circular Quay and The Sydney Harbour Bridge. The park area under the bridge is ideal for a picnic and some tables and benches for you to make that easy.

Some Saturdays there is a Kirribilli Market, and it makes the place a whole lot of fun to visit.

But aside from that its just an easy going place to visit and take time out from the busy city. The only time of the year when you will see this area totally packed out would have to be at New Years Eve – when the whole place is full to the brim of visitors vying for a position to see the harbour bridge light up at midnight with fireworks.

Getting there: 1. best to grab a train to Milsons Point or get the 230 bus or similar to Milsons Point – from the north shore.

Coffee And A Relaxing City View At Cremorne

Coffee And A Relaxing City View At Cremorne

© David Newton – August 8, 2012

the first time I went to Cremorne Point was at night time. A long time friend of mine drove me down the spot before I moved to Sydney in mid ’95 we sat down at stared back at the city as the lights of the city were just far away enough so you could see the whole area.

It wasn’t until a few months after did I see Cremorne Point during the day and still didn’t see all of it in the year 2000 another friend then showed me the wonderful Shell-cove walk and then the place really started to grow on me.

Café at Cremorne Point Wharf
It’s only a very small café called Sophie’s Choice – and its right on the wharf itself. On weekends its only open up to mid day on Saturday and its open during the week for people getting their ferry to Circular Quay each day.

Mosman Rowers Club
Just around the corner of the Cremorne Point walking track is the Rowers Club. It’s a great place to grab a bite to eat such as fish and chips and a drink with that and enjoy the Mosman Bay views.

Mosman Bay Wharf Café
If you walk just over to the other side of the Rowers Club you’ll see the Mosman Wharf, again right inside the wharf is a café with seats and relaxing views. A park is nearby and also a small corner shop with newspapers and takeaway snacks.

You’ll be amazed at the homes in the area, mostly federation styled homes and some nice parks on the point. Worth a look at when you have time to stroll the location, it’s all paved and very easy to walk over.

The place was very popular back in the mid 1800s and ferries were packed with Sydneysiders wanting to enjoy the views on weekends. Around 1900 part of the Cremorne Point area was a coal and gas mine. However mining was stopped and closed down due to suburban development. Coal and gas is located approx 800 mtrs below the surface but its quality isn’t the best due to lava flows according to history records of the area.

Shell-cove is an area where indigenous peoples found food and sustenance plus today you will see many notices showing you what animals and fauna are still there.

How to get there; best way is via the Mosman Ferry which departs from Circular Quay or by the 225 bus to Cremorne Point or 230 bus to Mosman Wharf then walk up to the point from there. Well worth the time and grab a coffee while you enjoy the place.