How to play in Australia’s richest hood

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Australia’s richest neighbourhood, Point Piper, shimmers from a spectacular location on the world’s most beautiful harbour — Sydney Harbour.

Aerial view of Point Piper looking across to Sydney CBD Credit: Ethan Rohloff – Destination NSW

Aerial view of Point Piper looking across to Sydney CBD
Credit: Ethan Rohloff – Destination NSW

The tiny peninsular suburb (with only 11 streets) boasts its own bay, secluded beach and private yacht club.

Price tags for mansions run as high as $50 million. In fact, its main drag, Wolseley Road, is ranked as one of the most expensive residential streets in the world. At 1km long.

So where do the peeps of Point Piper play when they tire of multi-million dollar views and private yacht club décor?

Well, they head down the road to the glitzy harbourside village of Double Bay, also cheekily known as Double Pay.

And thanks to Australia’s egalitarian nature, it’s where you can play too. Here’s a quick guide to playing in Australia’s richest hood.

Getting there

The most appropriate way to arrive is, of course, by boat. Take the Watsons Bay ferry service from Circular Quay to Double Bay — a 12 min ride. From the wharf, it’s a 15 min walk to the edge of Point Piper. But take your time, there’s too much to see.

Beaches

Lady Martins Beach is Point Piper’s own secluded cove. With head held high, access the beach from a narrow lane beside the private Royal Prince Edward Yacht Club, near the end of Wolseley Road. In all, this walk from the wharf, which passes the mansions, takes about 30 minutes.

Seven Shillings Beach at Double Bay has a shark-netted harbour pool with boardwalks and sunbaking pontoons. While you could paddle near the ferry wharf, most people head around the point (via the road) to this beach, which is officially the closest swimming beach to the city. Access is from Blackburn Gardens alongside the Woollahra Municipal Council building, at 536 New South Head Road. This is a 15 min walk from the ferry wharf.

Shopping

Double Bay’s leafy streets are known for upscale intimate shopping, and the odd red Ferrari which purrs along them.

Shop for fashionable clothes, jewellery, homewares and furnishings in boutiques along the commercial strips of Cross Street, Transvaal Avenue, Knox Street and Bay Street – all within a 10 min walk from Double Bay wharf.

Eating and drinking

Sunning on the deck at Australian 18 Footers League, Double Bay

Sunning on the deck at Australian 18 Footers League

Australian 18 Footers League is a sailing club conveniently perched on the wharf at Double Bay.

Feast on casual lounge food or restaurant fare, including the popular seafood platter. Head to the deck to soak up those harbour views. Address: 77 Bay Street, Double Bay. See www.18footers.com.au.

Mrs Sippy is a café, restaurant cum funky bar that occupies a white Victorian terrace along one of the village’s tree-lined streets.

Food offerings include light café style and restaurant fare. People watch outside on the veranda or from a pavement table.

Address: 37 Bay Street, Double Bay. See www.mrssippy.com.au.

Staying there

InterContinental Sydney Double Bay is a spanking new luxury hotel – opening November 2014. Buzz surrounds the Mediterranean-style rooftop terrace offering gin cocktails and harbour views. Yeah.

Address: 33 Cross St, Double Bay. See InterContinental Sydney Double Bay.

Stickybeaking

While you can certainly walk the streets of Point Piper for a gander, the mansions are best admired from the water. Catch a ferry from Double Bay to Rose Bay (the next stop along the Wastsons Bay route), which travels around the peninsular of Point Piper.

Although you won’t get too close for a proper stickybeak, you’ll be at a much safer distance to mutter about the disparity of wealth.

Rob Dunlop

More

Explore more of Sydney Harbour’s best bays, beaches and bars with Thirst for Sydney. My award-winning app features walking and ferry routes, maps, photos, insider tips, bar and food reviews, and a real-time feature so you connect and meet up with locals and travellers along the way. See thirstforsydney.com.