The Pole Dancer’s Guide To Sydney

ICYMI, I spent a year and a half of my life in Sydney, Australia. I’m very happy to have moved back to London and to Europe, where my friends, family and heart are, but my time in Sydney was fun, transformative and filled with events, beautiful landscapes, amazing food… and let’s not forget, it’s the city that turned me into a pole dancer! Sydney sure is a pole dancer’s paradise and this guide will reflect that, both on the entertainment and workout side. So without further ado, here’s my pole dancer’s guide to Sydney, which works even if you just like to watch pole, or just want to eat some food and drink some beer, damn it.

<img src="ChristmasInSydney.jpg" alt="Christmas in Sydney"/>

How to get there

I feel like telling you which companies fly to Sydney would be a bit dumb. I’m sure y’all know that flying to Australia from pretty much everywhere can be quite expensive and also long AF. Personally, I flew there from Sardinia, then went to Rome, with a layover in Abu Dhabi, and then got to Sydney. #ded

If you plan it ahead of time however, it doesn’t have to be super expensive. Websites like Skyscanner and Webjet constantly advertise really cheap deals, so monitor them and make the most of them!

Hotels

Where should you stay? I spent my whole year and a half in Sydney in the Eastern Suburb of Coogee, together with many other UK and Irish immigrants. The Eastern Suburbs can be a bit expensive, but they’re the ideal location to choose if you want to move there/get an Airbnb and experience the beach life. However, if hotels are more your bag, read below.

QT Bondi

 

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Our King Deluxe Bathroom showing off her sleek lines 💦 snapped by @travelmehungry 🌏 #hotels #bondi #deluxe

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I haven’t stayed at QT in Bondi but I did stay at QT Gold Coast in Surfer’s Paradise and I must say that, however cutesy, this hotel chain is pretty fab. Very instagrammable, with healthy buffets that could feed a pirate ship and ridiculously comfy beds, spas and you name it, QT is always a good bet.

Ovolo

 

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A little OCD like us? Wrinkleless beds are the best! 😁 📷Credit:@move_in_furniture

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Another instagrammable chain, Ovolo is by the Sydney Harbour and offers Ocean views on another side of town. It’s close to picturesque streets and to very good restaurants, such as Italian-inspired fine dining Manta.

Outdoors

Bondi To Coogee Coastal Walk 

Have you even been to Sydney if you haven’t done a Coogee to Bondi (or vice-versa) coastal walk at least once? It takes about two hours if you want to do it properly, even a bit longer if you like to take long stops to swim at each beach.

 

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Public holiday coastal walking ☀️🌊

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Following an even but steep trail of rocks and steps, the walk starts in Coogee, where plenty of bars and restaurants attract a variety of twenty-somethings and where most European immigrants end up moving. You then get to the stunning Gordon’s Bay, a rocky cove with bright ocean colours. Then there’s Bronte beach, with even more stunning colours, a big white beach and a salty water rock pool. There’s one in Coogee, too, but this one’s bigger.

After Bronte you’ll get to surfer town – Tamarama, just before Bondi. And then there’s Bondi itself – a long beach for sure, but also a really packed and noisy one. I have always preferred Coogee to Bondi for tanning, but Bondi’s side streets, with their restaurants and independent boutiques, are something else. Don’t forget to stop by Gertrude and Alice’s bookshop, selling rare books together with bestsellers and a cosy, neighbourhood vibe.

Bondi Icebergs 

In between Tamarama and Bondi there’s one of Sydney’s most photographed spots: the Bondi Icebergs pool with a restaurant upstairs.

I never made it to the restaurant, but the pool itself is a joy on a sunny day. $6 AUD gets you in for a whole day, and you can lie right in front of the water to take in the summer breeze.

 

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Tourist day out 🌊☀️✨

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Palm Beach

Now Palm Beach is not exactly in Sydney – you’ll have to take a few buses to get there, and it’ll take you a while. But it’s a gorgeous, giant beach perfect for surfing and kite surfing. It even has a cute little lighthouse at the top of a hill which is deadly to climb, but breath-taking in views. Imagine a line of sand in between two beaches – just try not to fall off while Instagramming it!

Eating Out

Sydney is famous for its top notch food. I didn’t do much fine dining out there, but I sure ate my way through the city. Here are a few of my favourite places. You will notice many of them are vegan – that’s because Sydney is vegan heaven. I legit have never had better vegan food than the one I had in Sydney (apart from in Melbourne).

Mary’s Newtown

Sydney’s favourite hamburger joint, Mary’s is pure Newtown, Sydney’s hippest area. Think Sindy Sinn graffiti on the walls, metal music blasted through the speakers, craft beer and runny burgers that are to die for. You’re welcome.

Chinatown 

I can’t pinpoint one place in Sydney’s Chinatown because most of them are awesome. Don’t go for the big chains – go for the tiny, low-maintenance looking family places. That’s where the best food is at.

One of my favourite things about Sydney’s Chinatown is that often the staff are really Chinese, often first generation, and the food is truly authentic and sells for a bargain. I remember sharing nine courses with two friends and going away having paid $33 AUD for all of us! Chinatown dumplings left a whole in my heart.

Gigi’s Pizza 

 

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🍆🍆🍆🍆🍅🍅Loving @sar_mcintyre’s pic of the melanzane 👌 via @veganaustraliashare #pizza #melanzane #avpn #woodfiredpizza

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If I told my fellow Italians my favourite Sydney pizza was vegan they will probably crucify me, but it’s true. When you will try Gigi’s pizza, you won’t even believe it’s vegan. With high quality ingredients and a restaurant that sees people queue around the block every day of the week, Gigi’s is Newtown’s worst kept secret.

Poké

Sydney made me fall in love with pokè even before I started bingeing on London’s version of it. Salmon and Bear in Newtown, or Poké in Coogee, make fresh, tangy pokè salads that are great to take to the beach or to have at the restaurant with a glass of prosecco.

Coco Bliss

Vegan, colourful smoothie bowls topped with yummy tropical fruit or raw chocolate. What’s not to like? Coco Bliss is a Queensland born chain that has now opened up in a variety of Sydney locations, including Coogee. They might not be the most filling meal ever – I get hungry even just an hour after having them – but they’re a fantastic snack typical of Sydney. You can find amazing bowls in most places, but this chain was my fave.

Golden Lotus

I mean… just eat in Newtown all your life and get it over with. You seriously could get by trying every King Street restaurant and you’d be happy. Golden Lotus is another excellent example. A vegan Viet joint with yummy phos and salads, it’s also cheap for the area and it’s always packed. There must be a reason, right?

Where To Drink

When I moved to Sydney I gave up drinking for six months and went on a health kick. Lol. That’s over, and luckily I’ve got some recommendations for you.

The Grifter Brewing Company 

This Enmore brewery is as hip as it gets, with huge tables for communal drinking and plenty of beer flight options. Grifter often host street food pop-ups so you can have something to chew on while sipping your beer.

The Midnight Special

 

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Great 📸 of the bar by @anthonychristie1 We’re open from 5pm today

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A Newtown dive bar inspired by American dives… what else could you want? Food pop-ups and great cocktails served in the dark rooms of this unique dive make The Midnight Special a place you can’t miss.

Bucket List Bondi

 

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Cute Bondi nights with @emmajnorris92 💕🏝

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All the who’s who of Bondi drink here, and the reason is pretty straight-forward: The Bucket List is a pretty terrace bar with views of the beach and of its breath-taking sunsets. Worth a visit!

Coogee Pavilion

 

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Cheers to another weekend that was🍹 #regram @maya_gypsy

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Another magnet for the pretty people of Sydney, the Coogee Pavilion is a giant building with an oyster bar, a great pizzeria, a sushi corner where chefs cut fish in front of you, a bar and a restaurant. In the mornings, it doubles up as a cafè and workspace for freelancers. You HAVE to check it out, bearing in mind the atmosphere can be very “fashion influencer” meets “surfer dude” and that might not work for everybody.

Young Henrys 

This iconic Newtown brewery is basically a playground for adults. Unique decor with small trucks, lights and street art, Young Henrys is very rock n’roll and its beer is pretty much the most popular in Sydney. Unmissable.

Jacoby’s Tiki Bar

Y’all know I love my Twin Peaks, and this cocktail bar inspired by the show’s weird Doctor Jacoby with his obsession for Hawaii looks like a treat. Unfortunately, it opened when I had already moved away but it’s on my list to try as soon as I’m back!

Going Out

Frankie’s Pizza By The Slice

Literally my favourite bar in Sydney, Frankie’s is hidden in the city’s Central Business District and it looks like a traditional NYC style pizzeria. But as soon as you go through the doors next to the bar you’re in a full-on rock and metal dive bar with pinball machines, gigs and fun aplenty. Its pizza is great too – New York, rather than Naples.

 

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Let’s rip. @smokestackrhino @screamingeagle.official @augusta_band from 9. HAPPY HOUR from 4.

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Frankie’s is where my fellow pole dancers and I would go after rock n’pole classes at Sydney Pole. Damn, I miss this place.

 

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Tonight, PHANTOM, oldskool clubhouse Rock. Pinz are tip top as per also. #aerosmith #kiss #metallica #gunsnroses #ironmaiden

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The Landsdowne Hotel

 

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TONIGHT: CLOWNS DOORS 8PM 📸@tillimedia

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A former classic Sydney venue that had shut down and was subsequently refurbished, The Landsdowne is a club and live music venue that reopened RIGHT AFTER I LEFT, DAMN IT. They decided to add two poles to its dance floor AND opened too late preventing me from showing off my skills. How dare they. They also host go-go dancing performers so you can’t miss this it.

The Imperial Hotel 

A good old-fashioned LGBTQIA+ friendly Erskineville pub which happens to host pole performances. And everybody goes and cheers them on. Cause pole in Australia isn’t a niche anymore. It’s a thing. Your dad knows about it. Your dad comes to showcases. The cat’s out of the bag.

The Midnight Shift by Heaps Gay

Heaps Gay are a super-cool Sydney company who organise queer-friendly parties featuring acts by some of my former pole mates from Sydney Pole. They’re now hosting nights out at the newly re-opened legendary queer nightclub Midnight Shift and the pics look SICCKKKKK so you should go cause I can’t.

Events

Miss and Mister Pole Dance Australia

Could I write a pole dancer’s guide to Sydney without mentioning the biggest event of the fucking year? God, so much swearing. Talking about Australia so much is getting to me. Aaanyway, Miss and Mister Pole Dance Australia are a hell of a show, created by Bobbi from Bobbi’s pole, and featuring some of the most stunning performers in Australia, some of whom I was lucky to call my teachers. It happens every year and it produced this gem:

And this gem:

And this one too:

Book a ticket. ‘Nuff said.

Sydney Writers’ Festival 

One of the biggest cultural events of the year, the SWF hosts authors from all over the world talking about everything from feminism to social media trolling. When I went I met Gloria Steinem. It’s that cool.

Vivid Sydney

Every year, the most famous buildings in Sydney get literally lit before Winter in a pretty light show that is free, crowded and worth going to. Layer up, cause it gets chilly.

Pole Dance and Fitness

Did I mention that pole in Sydney is a thing? There are loooads of studios in town, but the ones here are the ones I came across when I was in town, the ones I follow. Non-Aussie polers: many pole studios in Australia use brass poles. Brass poles are a magic trick that make you slip less than chrome or steel poles. But some people are allergic to them, and they’re not a thing in Europe. So be careful before you use them if you haven’t used them before – it might feel weird!

Sydney Pole

I am a little biased, but Sydney Pole is the most fantastic place in the entire planet. It’s been doing so good it opened three more locations outside of Sydney, but the original Camperdown studio, close to my university, is where my pole journey began and I will always look at this place with love.

With a welcoming vibe for all levels and all people, star instructors and a showcase every three months, SP is more than a studio: it’s a family for whoever enters. Plus, it offers a super complete set of classes, from silks to lyra, from twerk to pole choreography, from barre to floorwork. And it’s instagrammable AF.

Pole Dance Academy

Another uber-famous studio, PDA is owned by world-famous pole sisters Michelle Shimmy and Maddie Sparkles, whom you must follow on Instagram RIGHT NOW, whether you like pole or not, because they are witches. What they do is sorcery. Too perfect. Out of this world. If I ever go back, I’ve got to book one of their workshops.

Bobbi’s Pole

Another world-famous pole studios with branches all over Australia and Asia, Bobbi’s is an institution. As mentioned above, it launched Miss Pole Dance Australia and employs all-star teachers. Try it out!

Sky Sirens

Following the trend of instagrammable studios, Sky Sirens is GOALS. It’s a boudoir. Not even a studio. With its pink and red interiors, it’s made for the stunning pole, lyra and burlesque routines it teaches. It makes me want to glam up. One day, I’ll have a wiggle on one of its poles.

The Living Room Yoga School

 

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springtime 🌻

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Ok, ok, yes, I was a health wanker in Sydney. OK? I had to make the most of my life there. But this is the absolute best place where you could be a health wanker. On top of one of Coogee’s most famous restaurants, Barzura, the Living Room Yoga School has only one big room where classes take place, and it’s always packed. Why? Because its teachers aren’t yoga wankers, but are actually helpful, encouraging and they make you feel relaxed. Oh, and that tiny little detail… the room is beach-facing, so your downward dogs are punctuated by the sound of the waves.

Photoshoots

Are you really a Sydney pole dancer without an OTT photoshoot? I had two as a send-off when I left, and they were both great for different reasons.

The Black Light Sydney

Emma Salmon from The Black Light is a Brit who fell in love with Australia and who became a pole dance institution. She photographs the most famous pole dancers at pole studios, in hotels, warehouses and has now even launched a Victoria’s Secret style shoot. Her pictures will make you feel like an actual badass.

Lioness Photographer

A fellow Sydney Pole dancer, Nikki McLennan from Lioness Photographer will take pics of you in random situations and with different costumes to make the real you come out. When she took pictures of me, I ended up being photographed almost butt-naked in the construction site behind her studio. It was glorious.

I leave you with this. This was 100% me, with more ass shaking and no apartment in Bondi. And I am not even sorry.

Via BuzzFeed
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2 thoughts on “The Pole Dancer’s Guide To Sydney

  1. Thanks for sharing your take on Sydney. My favorite place to tan my boobs was definitely the ladies baths in coogee! Also, for those ladies who want a more relaxed (down to earth) pole experience, studio exclusive is my new home.

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