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Meet The Locals: Stylist Robynne De Courtenay

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Robynne de Courtenay has worked in the interior design space for more than 30 years.

She launched the boutique interior design and styling agency, Coloured Pencil, in 2003 and hasn’t looked back. We love seeing Robynne transform properties and I recently chatted with her about what great styling entails and how thoughtful design can transform a home.

Hi Robynne, it’s hard to believe that we are well and truly into 2022 – how has your design business been going?

The last few years have been – in spite of the pandemic – extremely busy, overwhelming and quite incredible. The design space has not slowed down at all. In fact, the Covid landscape has had the opposite effect. People have been spending more time at home, and they are continuing to do so. The focus is very much on creating a space that is both beautiful and functional.

Has the current landscape changed the direction of your work?

One of the things I am hearing people say is that because they are spending time at home, they are sitting back and looking in and out for the first time. This has really driven the restructuring of homes.

And you’re both an interior designer and a property stylist – and we love the styling you’ve done for us on many properties around Darling Point. Can you tell me what each hat you wear entails?

The key difference is in how I approach the styling. With interior design, I work closely with a client to achieve a certain result. It’s an intimate relationship and the process is often an emotionally driven journey. With property styling I need to be quick and adaptable, to think outside the box to continue creating inspiring spaces. My interior design experience gives my styling work its edge.

Can you tell me about what people are asking for in Darling Point?

One of the strongest directions in the design space overall is the desire to create more usable space, and we see this both in Darling Point and beyond. People are re-thinking how they live – and how they can live in a more relaxed space. I don’t see open plan living going anywhere, however, what I do see happening is the rethinking of spaces. Home offices have become a necessary feature, whether that be a nook, a junk corner or a separate room. And couples and families are realising that home works well when there are dedicated spaces to spend time both together and apart. Breakaway zones are becoming really popular and every little alcove is being rethought. People are realising they don’t need so much stuff… more quality. We have seen a throwaway away attitude to some materials. Now it’s really refreshing to see that people are after more meaning and desire to connect with the home.

It sounds as if people are realising just how important that relationship to the home is?

Yes, they are. The way we use our living spaces has shifted radically over the last couple of years. We work from home and we spend more time at home, and many of us have discovered how much we enjoy this way of life.

And how is this newfound way of living expressed in design aesthetics?

I’m finding that I’m receiving more requests for interior design work. We’re being asked to incorporate fireplaces into design schemes at the moment. Baths, too. Clients are seeking out top-of-the-range fixtures so that they can spend time relaxing at home in a much bigger capacity than previously seen. Simultaneously, clutter and extra maintenance is out.

It sounds as if it’s about the cohesion of functionality and aesthetics in 2022. How do finishes tie into this?

I think natural and organic finishes will continue to be very popular in 2022, and there is a lean towards clean and simple lines. I personally love to use natural stones and materials. Lacquer is a surprising accent that is looking to make a comeback.

What about outdoor spaces? What do you see happening there?

Gardens will continue to be a major focal point. Gardens can be balcony gardens or expansive home gardens – anything to do with nature is popular. Nature can also be brought inside and I love to use indoor plants when styling.

And what about colourways? What colours do you like to work with?

There is a trend towards more warmth and earthy tones across the board, with pops of colour scattered throughout. I am still loving citrus tones for accents. The Pantone colour of 2022 is Very Peri (purple/blue mauve), and it will be interesting to see how that evolves in the design space.

It sounds as if there is plenty to look forward to in the year ahead. What are you looking forward to most?

Personally, a holiday. Professionally, I’m looking forward to seeing some of the developments that we have been working on throughout the pandemic being completed in the next few months. It will be wonderful to see my beautiful clients move back into their redesigned homes. And in a general sense, I’m hoping to see more kindness shown to one another.

Thanks for sharing your insights with us Robynne. Home really is where the heart is.

For more information about Coloured Pencil visit colouredpencil.com.au. For design inspiration, be sure to follow Coloured Pencil on Instagram.

Downsizing In Darling Point

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Swapping a large home for an apartment with all the mod cons can be nothing short of liberating, and that’s motivating Australians of all ages to downsize their home.

Darling Point is a downsizer’s mecca

Darling Point has long been a sought-after destination for downsizers, and it’s easy to understand why. Only a stone’s throw from the city and all the amenities it offers, but with a quiet and leafy neighbourhood feel – not to mention a coveted harbourfront position – it has been drawing in downsizers since the original apartments were built here from the 1930s, into the 1950s and 60s.

The housing in Darling Point is tailor-made for the downsizer lifestyle. Stylish apartments and townhouses, many with harbour views and opulent interiors, make up the bulk of homes here. And there’s a real sense of history and community to be found in Darling Point, which many downsizers appreciate. We have everything from character-filled, classic Art Deco apartments, right through to contemporary penthouse apartments. Greenoaks Apartments is a fine example of a building rich in heritage but offering a sumptuous, luxury lifestyle.

Grabbing a coffee at the marina and taking a stroll in Yarranabbe or Rushcutters Bay Park, hopping on a ferry to Circular Quay or Double Bay, or taking a dip in the harbour at Double Bay, Redleaf or Seven Shillings beaches are all at your doorstep when you live in Darling Point. And Double Bay and Edgecliff, with all their services, shopping and amenities, are mere minutes away. With about 70 per cent of today’s downsizers choosing to move closer to the city or lifestyle areas, according to Domain, it’s easy to see why Darling Point tops the list for many people looking for a smaller home.

Why people downsize

People decide to downsize for a multitude of reasons, but for many, it’s a lifestyle choice. In fact, 27 per cent of downsizers are pursuing a better lifestyle when they make the move to a smaller home, according to research conducted by the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) amongst over 55s. Relocating from the suburbs to a central location like Darling Point means cafes, restaurants, amenities, and glorious harbour foreshore walks right outside your door.

Moving from a big home on a large block to an apartment or townhouse means reclaiming hours spent looking after the house and garden for leisure. Data from AHURI shows 18 per cent of downsizers choose a smaller home in order to cut down on property and garden maintenance. And the lock-up-and-leave lifestyle afforded by apartment living makes travel a breeze, with security providing the ultimate peace of mind. Plus, many Darling Point apartment complexes have lush communal gardens – like Ranelagh, President Towers, Hopewood Gardens or Thornton Place.

Smaller home living can reduce your utility bills as well as your carbon footprint, with less energy required to heat, cool and light a more compact abode. In fact, 27 per cent of downsizers are motivated by financial reasons, and for these people, 2022 is a good time to be making the move. Many downsizers are in a strong position this year, with Domain’s latest House Price Report showing that Sydney house values rose by almost $400,000 over the course of 2021. This growth – 33.1 per cent, the highest on record – was not matched by units, creating a record gap between house and unit values. This means that Sydney house prices are now double that of units. Some downsizers will be left with a large sum of cash after selling their house and buying an apartment, while others will use that financial advantage to purchase a higher calibre of apartment or townhouse.

Three top considerations for Darling Point downsizers

 

Space. Space is top of mind for many downsizers. Yes, they want to leave behind the sprawling family home, but they don’t want to feel cramped or restricted in their new residence. We see a huge demand from downsizers for three-bedroom apartments and penthouses here in Darling Point. We are also seeing more and more downsizers cleverly amalgamating two or three adjoining apartments to create their ideally sized home complete with the coveted Darling Point lifestyle. When you’re planning your downsizing move, take a moment to consider how many bedrooms and bathrooms you might need and what other spaces you’re looking for in your new home, such as a study, a balcony or car spaces.

Strata. For many people relocating from a house to an apartment or townhouse, downsizing is their first experience of strata or company title living. Both strata and company title are efficient ways of running a communally owned building, but they do differ from one another. Taking some time to understand each system before you buy your new home can make the whole process much smoother and easier.

Super. There are changes afoot to the downsizer superannuation contribution scheme that will make it available to more Australians this year. The scheme is designed to encourage the return of family homes to the market while increasing the super of those nearing retirement. If you or your spouse have owned your home for at least ten years, you may be eligible to contribute $300,000 from the sale of the home into your super. Couples can tip in up to $600,000. Until now, the scheme has only been open to people aged 65 or above, but the Federal Government has announced it will drop the age of eligibility to 60 from 1 July this year.

Looking for advice?

Deciding to downsize is a big decision, and it can feel overwhelming at times. My team and I have years of experience helping downsizers buy their dream apartment here in Darling Point, as well as assisting those selling their downsized home when they decide to move on. If you’re looking for advice or guidance, we’re always here to help. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

The Arts And Crafts Movement In Darling Point: Simply Elegant Architecture

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Stroll the streets of Darling Point and you’ll see some wonderful architectural examples in the Arts and Crafts style, a movement which began as a reaction against the Industrial Revolution.

Arts and Crafts: a reactionary style

In the 18th and19th centuries the Industrial Revolution ushered in the age of manufactured goods. And while the rise of factories brought consumer goods to the masses, this availability came at a cost: a decline in handcrafted items and a loss of craftsmanship.

By the 1860s, some of England’s craftspeople could bear this loss no more. Their answer was the birth of the Arts and Crafts movement.

A direct response to mass production, the movement favoured handmade goods and superior workmanship. Notable among the movement was William Morris, the English poet, socialist and designer, and founder of Morris, Marshall, Faulkner & Co. The interior decorations company aimed to capture the spirit and quality of work inherent in mediaeval skills and techniques. In fact, so committed to this approach was Morris that he refused to visit the famous 1851 Great Exhibition in London because of its championing of all things manufactured. He was aged just 16 at the time.

Arts and Crafts in Sydney

While the movement was in decline in England by the end of the 19th century, it had begun to take off elsewhere.

In Sydney, architects such as George Sydney Jones, Walter Liberty Vernon and John Horbury Hunt incorporated Arts and Crafts principles into their designs.

Architecturally, the Arts and Crafts movement rejected the small, stuffy rooms of earlier decades in favour of larger, more free-flowing interiors. It championed natural materials and, above all, expert craftsmanship.

The beginnings of these principles can be seen in two key Horbury Hunt designs: Fairwater in Point Piper, and Cloncorrick in Darling Point. Other notable Sydney homes of the style include St Kevin’s in Woollahra, the Hastings at Neutral Bay, and Darenth, in Strathfield.

Darling Point examples

The Arts and Crafts movement reached its peak in Sydney in the years between World Wars I and II, and Darling Point’s Babworth House is one the finest examples of this era.

But stroll along Darling Point Road and you’ll see a trio of homes where the simple elegance of the Arts and Crafts style can be viewed from the footpath.

The face brickwork of the houses at 42, 44–46 and 48 Darling Point Road singles them out as Arts and Crafts-influenced designs. The movement encouraged the use of “honest” materials like brick and wood and was opposed to more modern trends such as cement rendering.

At 42 Darling Point Rd, Osterley is a notable example of the inter-war Arts and Crafts style. Along with its brickwork, the home’s gabled roofs, timber eaves and tall tapered chimneys further point to its architectural heritage, features shared with its two neighbours. Other unique elements include an oval window above the home’s entrance and a pressed metal-roofed bay window to the right of the entrance.

Although Osterley’s original designer is unknown, in 1925 the home was converted into two apartments by prolific architect Claud Hamilton. Hamilton’s work is prominent in the eastern suburbs, with other examples being the Savoy in Darlinghurst and Byron Hall and Kaloola in Potts Point.

Arts and Crafts: Property for sale in 2022

Osterley at 42 Darling Point Road is currently for sale and offers a unique opportunity to own a piece of Sydney’s Arts and Crafts history. Consisting of two apartments, the property is to be sold as one and presents the perfect canvas for a spacious family home. The upstairs apartment boasts four bedrooms and Harbour Bridge views, while downstairs consists of three bedrooms. It represents a rare opportunity to secure a large house, with unlimited potential in Darling Point.

To arrange an inspection, call me today.

Darling Point In The 1950s

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In the wake of World War II, Australia’s population soared, due in part to a drive by the government that saw 2 million immigrants arrive between 1945 and 1965.

With housing in high demand, suburbs like Darling Point were transformed from the 1950s as a development and construction boom took over Sydney.

The post-war housing shortage

It wasn’t just an increase in the number of people that caused a housing shortage in Sydney in the post-war era. Residential construction had stopped in the war years and building materials were in short supply.

During the war, the Landlord and Tenant (Amendment) Act 1941 discouraged investment in rental housing, further adding to the housing squeeze once the war ended.

By 1947, the housing crisis was so severe that three ex-servicemen and their families resorted to squatting in Greenoaks Cottage. Something needed to be done.

Darling Point mansions make way for flats

In July 1954 a brief article in a newspaper called Construction noted that a five-floor block of flats had recently been completed on Darling Point Rd. The article stated that the building was “one of the largest recent developments in the district”. The transformation of Darling Point had begun.

As the decade progressed, the path towards Darling Point’s high-rise apartment blocks became increasingly clear. The suburb’s old mansions, their glory days behind them, caught the eye of developers as Sydney was scoured for places to accommodate the growing population.

Woollahra Municipal Council began approving subdivision plans, leading to the sell-off of some mansions. These were subsequently demolished, and over the next decade some of Darling Point’s iconic apartment buildings took their place. One was Glenhurst Gardens.

Glenhurst Gardens

In 1878, solicitor George Evans built a family home, Glenhurst, on Yarranabbe Rd. After Evans’ death, the house and land passed through numerous hands, eventually landing with the Stuart family.

By the 1950s the Suart family had decided to sell. Unlike today, large harbourside homes weren’t in high demand at the time, and the house was passed in at auction. So the Stuart family, being in construction, decided to demolish the house and build flats to cash in on the decade’s housing demand. Glenhurst Gardens was born.

Earlier this year, buyers were given a unique glimpse into 1950s life at Glenhurst Gardens. The apartment of resident Nan Kearins, who died at the age of 101, came up for sale. She had kept her two-bedroom apartment on the seventh floor of Glenhurst Gardens in original 1950s condition, right down to the pink-tiled bathroom and classic mid-century décor. The proceeds of the sale went to the hospital she had worked at.

Darling Point flats in the news

Darling Point flats sometimes made the news in the 1950s – not necessarily for the right reasons. One flat on Mona Rd was the scene of a murder in June 1952, a so-called “crime of passion” by a man who lived at Roslyn Gardens, Elizabeth Bay.

Another flat, this time on New South Head Rd, was also the scene of a crime in 1950 when a woman shot a man with the intent to kill him.

In August 1954, a man-made a lucky escape from his third-floor Yarranabbe Rd flat when a blaze took hold in the middle of the night. He ran through the flames to escape to the street below.

Building into the 1960s

The Darling Point building boom started in the 1950s but continued into the 60s and 70s with the landscape of Darling Point transformed into the suburb we know today.

Looking to buy or sell in Darling Point? Call me today.

How To Renovate Your Darling Point Property Intelligently

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With COVID-19 forcing people to spend more time at home, renovations have never been more popular.

One survey carried out by Architecture & Design Magazine revealed no less than one-in-three Australians planned to renovate their home over 2021, with an average spend of $26,000. This means that our economy could receive a $52 billion renovation injection over the next 12 months.

I’ve sold more property in Darling Point than any other agent and my experience has shown me that, in our local area, there are certain things you need to do if you want to add value to your property. There are also certain things you need to do to avoid overcapitalising.

With that in mind, here are my top five renovation tips.

1. Think about who’s likely to buy your property

I’ve sold many original properties to buyers who’ve renovated them to make a good profit. But most buyers don’t renovate their homes to sell; they renovate them to make their own lives more pleasant. Even if that’s the case for your renovation, you should still keep the property market and potential buyers in mind.

After all, your property will only ever be worth what people are willing to pay for it. So, if you’re hoping that your renovation will add value to your home, it needs to be in line with what potential buyers want and also what they value in a home.

This is especially true if you’re doing major renovation work. For instance, in our experience downsizers buying into Darling Point want level access, low maintenance and anything that lets them live a lock-up and leave lifestyle. Growing families may pay more for an extra bedroom and bathroom, a parents retreat or a rumpus room.

If you can give potential buyers what they want, it will create competition and increase the value of your home.

2. Consider the property itself

While buyers looking at $10 million to $20 million family homes might expect a designer kitchen with high-end appliances, buyers of a regular one-bedroom starter flat won’t. Putting these in your home probably won’t add much value at all. A luxury apartment with harbour views may be a different story.

Similarly, if you have an expensive home and renovate with a budget fit out, you’re probably just pouring money down the drain. Any buyer will want to redo the home themselves and will factor that in – or subtract it – from what they’re prepared to pay.

The rule here is to always make sure the value of your renovations is appropriate for the value of your home.

That said, Darling Point is a premium area and buyers will often pay for quality. It’s just that there’s sometimes a fine line between quality and indulgence. If you engage in the latter, you may not always recoup your money.

3. Use professionals

Home renovation shows can leave you feeling that designing and carrying out your own renovation is simple. Anyone who’s actually gone through the process will tell you that nothing could be further from the truth.

That’s why we always advise people to use proper, licensed professionals to do any work. This is particularly true when your home is an apartment, and you need to be super careful of adhering to strata requirements, so your renovation doesn’t adversely impact the building or neighbours.

We also recommend using an interior designer and architect for any substantial renovations. People will often seek out and pay more for architect-designed homes and, while DIY may save you some money upfront, it will likely cost you a lot more in the long term.

4. Spend on what does matter

There are things that do matter in any renovation. For instance, creating a stylish and functional kitchen and bathrooms. Extra cupboards and built-in storage are always coveted.

Since the pandemic, we have seen a huge demand for study spaces, office nooks, or any type of space that can be used to work from home. We are also increasingly seeing many buyers attracted to homes with green credentials – from recycled rainwater in the garden, to double glazing, solar panels, passive solar design, and more.

5. Ask an agent

Darling Point is predominantly units, which often restricts the type of renovation you can undertake – it’s much harder to add bedrooms for example. But one of the biggest trends we’ve seen in recent years is people thinking big, and merging two units or apartments into one. Or reconfiguring a unit altogether, in a complete transformation.

A good real estate agent can use their local knowledge to help you understand what your home is worth now and what it’s likely to be worth post-renovation. By having your home appraised and letting you know what other homes in the area are selling for, they’ll be able to help you gauge how much to spend.

Get in touch with me today if you’d like to discuss your renovation.

Pets In Darling Point Apartments: The Latest Rules

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Australia has one of the highest pet ownership rates in the world.

In fact, according to the Pet Industry Association website, more Australians live in a home with a cat or dog than with a child. And with Australians spending more than $12 billion every year on four-legged friends, it’s clear pets are here to stay.

Whether you’re a dog or a cat person, or some other furry, scaled or feathered creature is your best friend, pets can provide valuable companionship and comfort. But not everyone wants to share their apartment block with them.

The rules around pet ownership is an issue that affects both owner-occupiers and tenants, but particularly those in apartments. With 87% of all the properties in our suburb apartments, and 34% of all the properties in Darling Point rented according to Census data, it’s a topic I get asked a lot of questions about.

So, what are the strata regulations around pet ownership in Darling Point’s many apartments?

What’s the law on pets and strata properties?

According to NSW strata by-laws, pets are allowed in strata properties, with written notification to, and approval from, the owners’ corporation. This includes apartment blocks, townhouse complexes and villas. Owners of an assistance animal must provide evidence to the owners’ corporation that the animal is an assistance animal.

However, earlier this year two apartment buildings in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs won the right to a blanket ban on all pets throughout the buildings.

But in October 2020, the NSW Court of Appeal overturned the right of strata schemes to pass by-laws banning pets in strata complexes, after a five year legal battle fought by a resident of the Horizon Building in nearby Darlinghurst over a miniature schnauzer called Angus.

Angus has been allowed to stay, and the law now states that a blanket ban across a whole building is not permitted anywhere in the state, and that such a ban would be in breach of NSW strata scheme legislation.

So I no longer need strata approval to get a pet?

It’s not quite so straightforward. The new ruling only refers to a blanket ban on an entire building. It’s unlikely that any existing requirements around written notification within an individual building, and for individual residences, would be affected. And it’s important to note that written notification applies to both owners and tenants, who must both seek permission.

What about tenants, specifically?

If you rent, you are subject to both the strata requirements of your building and also the requirements of your lease.

Many properties in Darling Point are investment properties, and some landlords may be reluctant to allow pets in their properties for fear of damage or disruption. But the reality is most pet owners are responsible, and most well-trained pets are much loved and well-behaved. In fact, accepting pets can be a way to attract a wider pool of tenants.

If you’re a tenant with a pet, it can be a good idea to get written references from previous landlords or create a pet CV, showing you are a responsible pet-parent and that the animal is well cared for. A cute photo never goes astray!

The Tenants’ Union of NSW has a helpful, comprehensive list for tenants. The main points it outlines are:

  • Within the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 (NSW) there is no clause to prohibit a tenant from keeping a pet. There is also nothing requiring you to ask a landlord’s consent before you get a pet.
  • Keep in mind, however, that landlords are allowed to include a clause in your lease stating that no pets are to be kept at the property. Check the details of your lease, or talk with your landlord or agent.
  • Most strata schemes will include by-laws about pet ownership. These might, for example, state that a pet can be owned after consultation and approval by the body corporate (which is the same as for owner-occupiers). Your landlord or real estate agent must provide you with a copy of any strata by-laws within seven days of you moving into the property.
  • You have a responsibility to other residents to ensure your pet is not noisy or a nuisance, otherwise, you could breach your tenancy agreement. Again, this common courtesy also extends to owner-occupiers.

Still confused?

If in doubt, it’s always best to check the strata requirements for your particular building or complex before buying or renting. Whether you are an owner-occupier or a tenant, you must comply with the strata by-laws and if you’re a tenant, you also need to consult your lease.

Looking to buy or sell in Darling Point? Contact me today.

Best Darling Point Walks

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Darling Point is a suburb just made for walking.

As a gorgeous harbourside peninsular with leafy, green tree-lined streets, stunning views, and picturesque parks, it doesn’t get much better. Here are some of my favourite walks, both in and around the area.

Take your dog, the kids, or a picnic, and discover Sydney’s great natural beauty while maintaining social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before you head off, check the council websites linked to for the current operating conditions of any park facilities.

McKell Park, Darling Point

Nestled along the shoreline of the Sydney Harbour with sweeping views of both the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Heads, McKell Park is Darling Point’s hidden gem and a perfect haven for a stroll, explore or picnic. Landscaped terraces slope gently down to the foreshore and public ferry wharf amongst manicured lawns and mature native trees. Due to its magnificent harbour setting, the park is normally a popular wedding venue, and the heritage-listed Canonbury Cottage at the centre of the park is available for hire.

Rushcutters Bay Park, Rushcutters Bay

Rushcutters Bay Park has been a welcome haven for locals during the COVID-19 shutdown, thanks to its wide-open outdoor spaces with plenty of room for walkers, joggers and wanderers alike. This beautiful harbourside park has a lovely long scenic foreshore walk, which you can stroll, jog or run, from Yarranabbe Park to the Reg Bartley Oval. There are also tennis courts, sports fields, an outdoor personal fitness station, and the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, where the boats set sail for the annual Sydney to Hobart Race (it also has a fabulous bar and restaurant). The Rushcutters Bay Kiosk is a popular spot to grab a takeaway coffee or bite to eat.

Steyne Park, Double Bay

Conveniently close to Double Bay’s main shopping strip, Steyne Park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle and relax, exercise or entertain the kiddies at the playground. From Darling Point you can walk here via several routes – Marathon Road, Greenoaks Avenue, or New South Head Road. Off-leash dog walking is allowed at Steyne Park, making it a popular spot for those with canine friends. Being on the foreshore of Double Bay, the park features fantastic harbour views. Facilities here include a junior cricket pitch, picnic tables, boat ramp, gazebo and public toilets, making it ideal for a quick visit for a stroll or a leisurely afternoon outdoors in the sun. The park is also easily accessible by bus or ferry.

If you want to stretch your walk a little further, head further along to Redleaf Beach and Point Piper, where you can look back towards Darling Point. Those practicing for the City to Surf may like to venture even further, to Rose Bay or beyond. You can get a good workout on the way back too, going up the hill to Darling Point.

Arthur McElhone Reserve, Potts Point and Beare Park, Elizabeth Bay

Darling Point sits in the middle of the harbourside Double Bay to Potts Point walk. Depending on your pace and how often you stop, this iconic 2.8km walk could take you anything from 45-minutes to two hours to complete. From Double Bay the walk runs along New South Head Road, taking in sweeping Rushcutters Bay Park, which becomes Bayswater Road, leading up and into Potts Point with its many shops and cafes. The many magnificent views and sights to enjoy along the way include the charming waterside Beare Park – an idyllic spot to stop and linger, perhaps enjoying coffee and a bite at The Lookout Café (1 Ithaca Road, Elizabeth Bay). On your way along Onslow Road up to Potts Point, be sure to check out historic Elizabeth Bay House, a heritage Colonial-style property. The tiny park opposite the house (Arthur McElhone Reserve), with its koi ponds and peaceful harbour vista, is unquestionably one of Sydney’s loveliest hidden surprises. Around Potts Point there are, of course, many cafes and restaurants to stop and refuel from your efforts, as well as standout examples of Sydney’s Art Deco architecture to appreciate.

Trumper Park, Paddington

From Darling Point it’s just a short stroll across New South Head Road to Paddington, and if you head down Glenmore Road you’ll find Trumper Oval. Trumper Oval is actually built on a reclaimed swamp, and was originally named Hampden Park Oval. It was renamed in 1931 after local cricket legend Victor Trumper. It’s been home to AFL for over a century, and also boasts a grandstand, night lights, cricket pitches and a playground. From here, you can enjoy the trees and the views and wander up through the gorgeous trails of Trumper Park to the Tennis Courts. Beware – this walk contains a lot of stairs, but the tranquillity of this little bushland pocket and its pond (complete with ducks) is well worth the effort. You certainly wouldn’t know that you’re directly behind Edgecliff station.

Cooper Park, Bellevue Hill

Bellevue Hill’s Cooper Park, an 18-hectare public reserve, is a bushland oasis in the heart of the city. Sure, it’s a decent 30 minute walk to get there from Darling Point, but if you’re a keen walker it’s well worth it. If that’s a step too far, you can always drive to Lough Playing fields and park the car. Cooper Park’s network of cliff walks and bush trails are connected by moss-covered bridges, with the naturally flowing creek that winds its way through the park being surrounded by native trees and shrubs. In such amazing, almost rainforest surrounds, the cares of the city seem a million miles away. A number of recreational facilities in the park include playing fields, picnic tables, tennis courts, a kiosk and public toilets.

Looking to buy or sell property in Sydney’s Darling Point?

Get in touch with me today.