Sydney Travel Tips from a Local: Justin Miller

Justin Miller, local Sydney art advisor.
Manly Beach in Sydney.
Sydney's famed Contemporary Art Museum.

Justin Miller, Sydney Art Advisor

This Sotheby’s chairman turned private art advisor is known for his charismatic man-about-town style.


By Emma Sloley
Photography by Jason Loucas

Exciting Neighborhood for Art
Paddington is a glorious muddle of well-restored nineteenth-century terrace houses. A little farther afield is the impressive 2 Danks Street complex in Waterloo, housing a good selection of local contemporary art galleries (think a smaller version of L.A.’s Bergamot Station).
Must-Do Cultural Events
A live performance at the Sydney Opera House, along with an evening at the Sydney Theatre Company. The latter is an in-the-know gem of an experience—one of the largest theater companies in the English-speaking world, housed in a magnificent 100-year-old wharf. Check the program: You might score tickets to an evening performance featuring one of our country’s leading ladies, Cate Blanchett.

Delve into Australia’s Art Scene
Visit the Art Gallery of New South Wales, especially the rooms displaying Australia’s late-nineteenth-century impressionist artists. For contrast, head to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. On the other side of town, in semi-industrial, über-cool Chippendale, The White Rabbit Gallery has one of the largest collections of contemporary Chinese art outside of China.

Favorite Way to End the Day
Stroll to The Opera Bar, in the concourse approaching the Opera House, for a sunset drink. Or wend your way through the Royal Botanic Gardens, take in the spectacular harbor vistas, and then head to Potts Point, a hangout for a smart set of boisterous, fun-loving locals.
Casual Neighborhood Restaurants
Bottega del Vino and Yellow, both in Macleay Street, Potts Point, are great spots for a drink, while some of the best Italian food in town is around the corner at Fratelli Paradiso in Challis Avenue.
To Escape the City for the Day
Explore Sydney’s northern beaches. Head to Palm Beach, and hike up the old track to the lighthouse for the best views of the coast and sandstone cliffs. Enjoy lunch at The Boathouse, on the calm Pittwater. Explore Avalon on the way home, and don’t miss Yoda Food on its main street for some of the best southeast Asian street fare in the country.

Beach or Harbor?
That’s like asking if it’s better to drink Burgundy or Champagne in France. On balance, I would go for beach. For the energetic, head to Bondi and take a brisk stroll along the cliffs to Tamarama. For a slower-paced adventure, take a leisurely ferry ride across the harbor to Manly Beach for lunch at Hugos restaurant.

Get More Sydney Tips:
Restaurant Magnate, Nahji Chu
Boutique Owner, Eva Galambos
Hotelier Marc von Arnim

Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, July 2014.

The Art Gallery of New South Wales.