It's unfair, but some people are simply rolling in cash. If you have a pay-as-you-please budget, or you have a nice business account to play with, then this 2-day itinerary to Sydney will help relieve your itch to spend. Even if you don't have a bankroll, some of the options in this itinerary can be done for free, or on the cheap.
Day 1: Sydney & Bondi
Firstly, you need to make sure you're staying in the best possible hotel. I'd probably try to get a room with a view of the Sydney Opera House at the Park Hyatt Sydney, or opt for a nice colonial-style room at the Observatory Hotel. If you feel like something a bit more modern, then why not try out one of the Star Suites at Star City in Darling Harbour. These split-level suites are amazing, and as they are a couple of rungs below the hotel's most expensive suites, you can sleep safe in the knowledge that you're getting to spend up big without quite breaking the bank.
You've settled in, but you need breakfast. You could always be boring and eat in your hotel, or you could jump in a cab and head to Bill's in the inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst. The scrambled eggs, eaten around a communal table, have become a Sydney institution of sorts.
Now it's time to do some serious sightseeing. For those with a head for heights you can't have a better experience than climbing across the Sydney Harbour Bridge with Bridgeclimb. The views of the city and its wonderful harbor are awe-inspiring. If that doesn't get your attention, how about discovering the city on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with Blue Thunder Motorcycle Tours?
You should have worked up an appetite by now. Time for lunch, and a taxi with a difference. Hop aboard a Sydney by Seaplane and zip across Sydney Harbour and all its wonderful attractions before heading north along the glorious coastline.
Of all the lunch options, I'd opt for the Berowra Waters Inn, set in bushland on the beautiful Hawkesbury River (tel. 02/9456 1027; www.berowrawatersinn.com). This is one of Australia's greatest dining rooms, positioned right on the water's edge and nestled among the gum trees. Chef Dietmar Sawyere serves up internationally acclaimed cuisine, and there's a stunning wine collection.
By the time you arrive back in Sydney you might feel like a bit of a rest back at your hotel, or you could keep pressing on with a late afternoon visit to Bondi. The cliff-top walk from Bondi Beach to Bronte via trendy Tamarama is free, but that shouldn't stop you spending time on it. The views out across the pounding surf and far out to sea are just perfect.
It will be time for a cocktail by the time you get to Bondi. The panoramic views at the Icebergs Dining Room & Bar will take your breath away. If you still have an appetite after that huge lunch, this is the place for dinner, too.
After a bite to eat (and maybe a wickedly addictive gelato from Pompei's) head back to town for a nightcap. You could try the Ivy for some sophisticated cocktails with the in crowd, or flop into a plush lounge with a glass of Dom Perignon at Hemmesphere in the Establishment Hotel.
Day 2: Manly
I'd be tempted to go for breakfast somewhere different today, where the usual tourists don't frequent. Take a taxi across the Sydney Harbour Bridge to exclusive Mosman, and drop in to one of the cafes along Balmoral Beach. The smartest joint here is the Bathers' Pavilion Restaurant (tel. 02/9969 5050; www.batherspavilion.com.au), which does a nice line in French toast with rhubarb, fresh fig, and mascarpone cheese, as well as eggs Benedict and slap-up bacon-and-egg meals. Make sure you bring your swimsuit! The water's calm and there's quite a social scene.
Call a cab (or catch a local bus up the hill to Mosman shops -- buses leave from opposite the beach -- and then take a cab) and head onwards to Manly. It will take about 20 minutes. Spend the morning in Manly, either just lazing on the beach, diving with sharks at Oceanworld Manly, or taking a private surfing lesson for the fun of it from Manly Surf School. Have a quick lunch in one of the beachfront restaurants -- you can't go wrong with any of them -- before catching the fast ferry back to Circular Quay.
If you don't fancy a quick zap around on one of Harbour Jet's jet boats, you could opt for a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens, stopping off to see the fruit bats hanging from the trees. Options from here include a look at the paintings in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, or a short walk up Macquarie Street to look at some of the historic colonial buildings, such as Hyde Park Barracks.
Break up a little afternoon shopping with a coffee at the Old Coffee Shop in the Strand Arcade.
Freshen up back at the hotel and then head out for a cocktail or two. A great bar with a view is the Opera Bar (tel. 02/9247 1666; www.operabar.com.au), nestled beside the Sydney Opera House. It's truly magical.
Then the culinary highlight of your 2-day tour awaits -- an evening at one of the world's best restaurants, Tetsuya's. Expect an inspirational gourmet journey the likes of which you may have never experienced before, with matching wines. Just make sure you book well in advance!
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.