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Sydney-off the Tourist path. A visit to the Zoo and MORE!!! Go see Mosman!

dsc01711.JPGIf you are over visiting Taronga Zoo while visiting Sydney, don’t miss out on the lovely little village of Mosman. Believe it or not- you can turn your zoo visit either into a bush walk, a beach trip or some massively amazing boutique shopping.

From the zoo parking lot you can take a bus up into Military Road which is the main artery of the area. The shops start at a great little pub the Buena Vista and continue all the way up to Spit Junction. At Spit Junction- to complete your trip- you can catch a bus back into the CBD instead of trekking all the way back to the Ferry.

A taste of the shops on offer- an authentic Italian bakery, specialty cheese shop, boutique dress shops galore, handbags, French Jewelry, Homewares, Art, and pretty much anything high-end your little heart desires.

If shopping isn’t your thing- you can either get the bus from the zoo that goes to Balmoral, or take Raglan down from Military Road to discover an awesome little local beach. Balmoral is a Harbour beach but is basically at the mouth of the harbour. It is ideal for families as there are not many waves. However the views are stellar and there is plenty of interesting rock formations to climb around on while pondering the world. Fish and chip shops, café’s and a few gourmet eateries are on offer. There is a bottle shop (liquor store) if you suddenly are attacked by a desire for a gorgeous chilled Sav Blanc. Beautiful spot.

Back on by the zoo- you can take the walking trails that lead around to a nice secret neighborhood secluded beach at Clifton Gardens. The walk is a fun and challenging trail through woodlands and coastal areas. Once you arrive at Clifton Gardens, there are bathroom and picnic facilities. A little further along the other side of the beach is an amazing little café built in a nook of the old Military base. If you are really up for an adventure- take the stairs up from the café and run amuck in the old fortress and gun installations near the point. Yes, Obelisk beach is a nude beach.

Anyway, Mosman often gets a bad rap by most guidebooks as too residential. I would definitely disagree. Even if you are on a budget, it is really fun to wander through the shops, lay on the beaches, and walk through the local scenic walks. People are incredibly friendly and always willing to help with directions for a first time visitor. A fantastically pleasant day that is off the typical tourist paths. You can get a really good taste for the rich life Sydney offers to those who call it home.