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+ Richard Quest

Richard Quest, the well-journeyed presenter of CNN’s Business Traveller program, tells GENEVIEVE TSAI why he always finds Sydney—and its sparkling harbor—so alluring

Published on Jun 10, 2010

Richard Quest

My love affair with Australia’s largest city began with my first visit in 1991. Landing at Sydney Airport, there was a huge feeling of “Wow—from the northern hemisphere, I had finally made the destination to which so many aspire to visit.” Halfway around the world from my native England—I’d done it!

Over the years, this relationship has matured. I can sit for hours in the Botanic Gardens looking at the vista of the Sydney Opera House, framed spectacularly by the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Watching the yachts on the harbor, I get a true idea of what architect Jørn Utzon intended with his signature shells. I always take in a concert just to enjoy dinner at the Bennelong restaurant and then drinks sitting on the steps afterwards—all with the lights of North Sydney (like a mini Hong Kong) adding a touch of Asian spice to this Pacific pearl. For me, Sydney has it all. The seafood is excellent and whether at The Rocks or Watson’s Bay, you don’t need to spend a fortune to eat well. The beaches are plentiful and there’s always a quite cove or cranny to be found. Sydney has truly married the metropolitan with the beach.

I always think that Sydney Airport is both the happiest and saddest of places. At arrivals you see relatives being reunited after many decades, seeing grandchildren for the first time. And then at departures, the sadness as those same relatives part, knowing that distance, time and money may mean they never see each other again.

For 17 years I have visited Australia at least once a year. It is a place where I relish those magic words “Welcome to Sydney, where the local time is …” Even after all these visits I still silently say, “Yeeeeessss!”


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