If there was one day trip you should make on your next visit to Sydney, our favorite would be to the bucolic northern beaches. Think of them as The Hamptons of Australia – several beautiful, yet diverse, beach communities dotted along a peninsula about an hour or so from central Sydney. From surf-casual to the more posh, each with its own undeniable Aussie charm.

And the best part? Getting there in a seaplane which takes off from the pretty suburb of Rosebay, just 15 minutes from the center of the city. Passengers have a bird’s eye view of Sydney (Opera House included) and its spectacular beaches and waterways for the entire 30-minute flight. Grab that window seat if you can.

Some culinary picks for any newbie include … The Boat House in Palm Beach. This super-styled, casual and very tasty spot is packed every opening hour. Sitting on the dock with a bucket of prawns and cold glass of rosé just seems right, anytime of the day. A Palm Beach mainstay is Barrenjoey House, a boutique hotel with a modern, contemporary restaurant overlooking the Pittwater, perfect for a leisurely lunch or dinner a deux or with friends.

The Newport, originally The Newport Arms, has been transformed into one of the hottest spots on the northern beaches. Its sprawling location overlooking Pittwater is made up of several, seamlessly interwoven outdoor dining areas ensuring it has something for everyone. Great for families and large groups of mates during the day, come evening it takes on a casual sexy vibe.

Where to stay? If you miss the last flight home or have had a bit too much to drive, stay at the recently renovated Jonah’s, the best hotel on the northern beaches. The hotel also offers some great packages with Sydney Seaplanes for day and overnight experiences.