Inspiring Places

The First Time Amanda Berry Saw Sydney

Amanda Berry, who gravitates to cities by the water, was pleased to find Sydney as magnificent as she had imagined

Sometimes we grow up with images of a place, thinking we’ll never see them in real life. But when you finally get there, those images are just as magnificent as you expected. Sydney is one of those places.

I have a real affinity for towns and cities surrounded by water. It’s why I love Hong Kong. So much in Sydney happens around water – whether it’s going to Rose Bay, Woolloomooloo for the restaurants, or Bondi Beach.

Amanda Berry
Credit: Mike Pickles

The first time I went to Sydney was on holiday in the early 2000s. I did all the touristy things – the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb, the Royal Botanic Gardens, a tour of the Opera House – but what you remember about places are the people. I love Australian people: they’re so open, friendly and incredibly hospitable. They want to show off their city and take you to lovely places.

I’ve been to Australia multiple times since – back to Sydney and also Melbourne. I’ve driven 700 kilometres north of Sydney to Byron Bay (and saw the sea the entire way), but I feel like I’ve only seen a tiny bit of Australia. I’d love to go to Uluru and camp. I’d like to see Cairns and Perth. There are still many adventures waiting for me.

Amanda Berry is the chief executive of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta)

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