Focus on Sydney – A Driving Adventure

Thinking of heading to NSW for a driving holiday? We’ve found some hot spots for you to check out, and a car for you to do it in!

Sydney is a city that beckons to the world. Its crushing tangle of modern glossy high rises, grand buildings cemented in history and quirky row houses, offset sprawling parklands, stunning coastline and an abundance of natural wonders, all within reach.

The glamour and beauty of arguably Australia’s most well-known city, attracts visitors from near and far, so when we were invited to zip over for a few days to get amongst it, we couldn’t resist.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

We started our journey underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, a fitting location for the iconic city. Here we were swept up in the lights of Lunar Park, the alluring sparkle across the water from the Opera House, and the moorish food from Ripples Milsons Point, as we found out more about the purpose of our trip – a two day driving program with the Ford Focus. But it was so much more.

Sydney Opera House Sydney Harbour Skyline

Bright and early the next morning, a 5:30am wake up call was cruel but necessary but the epic sunrise that awaited me made everything worthwhile. Adelaide, like Perth, is renowned for stunning sunsets (which go perfectly with a happy hour glass of SA Shiraz), but Sydney knows how to turn it on, and whatever Ford bribed the weather gods with was worthwhile. An incredible pink sky turned our fleet of cars into something from a dream, and set the scene for a beautiful day.

Bondi Beach, Copyright Glam Adelaide 2016 Bondi Beach, Copyright Glam Adelaide 2016 Bondi Beach, Copyright Glam Adelaide 2016

Bondi Beach, Sydney

Ford Focus at Bondi Beach

Breakfast at the iconic Icebergs was a fitting location for our band of tourists, before fitting the road for some time behind the wheel.

Bondi Icebergs

I was paired with Tegan from Car Advice, in a move that I can credit Ford with as a moment of genius. There should have been cameras on the dashboard to capture our two days of outrageous laughs as we managed to defy the amazing new onboard navigation system – Sync 3 – and miss many a turn off.

During the trip we drove two models – the higher spec Titanium and the Trend, and whilst I enjoyed driving both, there were noticeable differences. The biggest thing for me was the lack of seat height controls in the Trend. As a vertically challenged human, the drive was far more comfortable when I could see over the steering wheel. In the Trend I just had to lower the wheel to get a better view.

The abundance of sensors was also fantastic in the Titanium, with lane sensors, front and rear collision sensors, and hands free parking a feature.

In one particular memorable moment, I was thrown behind the wheel of a Focus that had the windows completely blacked out. The goal was to use the sensors only, to drive forward, then do a reverse perpendicular park in between two function bars, laden with champagne and wine. Talk about pressure. But the car nailed the hands free parking, and I saved a stack of bottles from coming to an untimely demise. Incredible stuff. I’m pretty much a hero. I celebrated with wine of course, and by checking in to Peppers Manor House.

Tegan & Kelly

Tegan & Kelly

The Parking Challenge

The Parking Challenge

This rural gem is tucked away in Bowral, and seems like it was just plucked from the English countryside, complete with golf course and gardens to die for. Smothered in spring flowers and bulbs about to burst with colour, this picturesque getaway is apparently popular when the local tulip festival is on, or just for anyone who loves a little piece of paradise.


Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House Peppers Manor House

Bowral isn’t just home to Peppers, with The Australian’s Restaurant of the Year also tucked away in this gorgeous part of the world. With menus crafted from local dairy and livestock farmers, vegetable growers and wild native ingredient gatherers, Biota lives up to its reputation. As a special treat, our entourage was also invited to help prepare our own desserts, complete with the spectacular addition of dry ice. A must visit if you’re in the area.

A highlight of the trip for me had to be driving the hugging curves of the famous Sea Cliff Bridge, suspended over the ocean by giant concrete pillars. It’s a somewhat terrifying experience, packed with incredible views (with sheer cliff face on one side of you, and a raging ocean on the other), whilst still dishing up a pleasurable drive.

Ford Focus

Similar to Adelaide, there’s plenty of picturesque national parks and leafy drives just outside of Sydney, so along the way we coasted through the Royal National Park, had a bush lunch with a nosy echidna at the Mt Kiera Summit Park, experienced the winding roads of Jamberoo Pass, and took in a spectacular stop to soak up the views at Burrangoraong Lookout. All great routes, and destinations for a driving weekend.

In a memorable finish to the trip, we managed to land ourselves behind the larakin of the convoy, New Zealand’s Art Green (last year’s NZ Bachelor) and his gorgeous girlfriend Madeline Rice. Proving that it’s not just some over cautious 80 year olds that drive at 40kmph, the mischievous duo managed to keep the convey at bay while they took our group’s fuel economy challenge to a whole new level. Trailing slowly along behind them as we inched toward our next destination we learnt that although you can get the Focus fuel economy down to 3.1, it’s not something you can do and retain your sanity. NZ 1, Aussies 0. Game on Art. We’re coming for you.

Don’t Miss

Bendooley Estate’s Book Barn

Lunch at Cafe 2773

The campfire experience at Peppers Manor House

Sunrise at Bondi

Find out more about the Ford Focus here. 

Glam Adelaide was gifted the trip to Sydney to experience the Ford Focus, however this article has not been sponsored or paid for, and it expresses the author’s genuine views. 

Tegan & Kelly

Tegan & Kelly

Ford Focus Driving Trip

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