John Drummond's guide to Sydney

I usually fly with Qantas or KLM from London, but it's all much of a muchness.

by John Drummond, founder and chief executive of business ethics consultancy Integrity Works
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

HOW TO GET THERE: I usually fly with Qantas or KLM from London, but it's all much of a muchness. The plane has to stop en route as it's such a long flight, and I like to break the journey in Singapore. If I've got time, I'll spend a couple of days there.

AIRPORT TO TOWN: There are no trains from Sydney airport to the centre of town, so I usually get a cab. It's about A$40 (£16) for a 30 to 45-minute journey. My view is that, having spent about 22 hours flying, you owe it to yourself to take a taxi.

GETTING AROUND: I'm always taken aback by the size of Sydney, but I find it easy to get around. There are plenty of taxis, and there are great hydrofoils and water taxis that run 24 hours a day. A fast monorail runs between the City centre and Darling Harbour.

BEST HOTEL: I stay at the Shangri-La hotel (176 Cumberland Street, 00 61 2 9250 6000,, which is in the Rocks area, right by the harbour. If you want to soak up the views, it's the place to be. The service is fantastic too. After a long trip like that, you need all the help you can get.

BEST ROOM: I usually like to overlook the Opera House, but there are rooms with good views all round, of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, for example, or Darling Harbour.

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANT: There's a great restaurant inside the Opera House - Guillaume at Bennelong (Opera House, Bennelong Point, 00 61 2 9241 1999), run by chef Guillaume Brahimi. From inside, it has a wonderful view of the Opera House's architecture. The Rockpool is also good (107 George Street, 00 61 2 9252 1888). It was named restaurant of the year for 2004 by the Sydney Morning Herald, and has great seafood. Further afield, Sydney chef Luke Mangan runs Salt Restaurant (229 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, 00 61 2 9332 2566), which also has a good bar. My favourite is Mezzaluna at Pott's Point (123 Victoria Street, 00 61 2 9357 1988). It's away from the harbour, and has spectacular views of the rest of the city. It's the place to go if you want to reward yourself for a successful trip. They're all good places to take clients, and Mezzaluna is particularly good if you like cocktails.

BEST BARS: The Shangri-La has a spectacular bar called Horizons. It's especially good at night when the lights come on across the city. The staff are good, and if you talk to them nicely they'll fix you up with a table by the window. Salt has a nice bar, or you can take a jetski over to the bars at Manly Beach or Watson's Bay.

A FEW HOURS TO KILL? I'd take a trip to Manly. It's a half-hour on one of the JetCats, which leave from Circular Quay. Manly is a Sydney suburb with two fine beaches and good bars and restaurants - great if you just want to kick back and put on your casual clothes for a while. Watson's Bay is also nice, and is home to Doyles, the famous fish-and-chip restaurant (11 Marine Parade, 00 61 2 9337 2007). The Museum of Sydney (corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets, 00 61 2 9251 5988), built on the site of the old Government House, is fascinating. It conveys a real sense of Sydney's history from the arrival of the First Fleet onwards. The Opera House is always worth visiting. You can book something in advance, but it's also great for just sightseeing, both from the outside and the inside. Finally, the Royal Botanic Gardens (Mrs Macquaries Road, 00 61 2 9231 8111) are fantastic.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: Meetings in the Sydney Central Business District are quite formal, but elsewhere it's fairly relaxed. Do wear a suit. The Ozzies are pretty direct and will cut to the chase quickly; they'll also give direct answers, which is great. There's much good-natured banter about the relationship between Australia and Britain, but tread carefully.

SECRETS OF THE JET SET: By and large, people everywhere are all the same - they will treat you fairly and would wish to be treated the same way. So treat people with respect, even if they don't reciprocate. It's a good rule of thumb.

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