Is there anywhere in Sydney – nay, Australia – more romantic than the Sydney Opera House? It’s iconic, it’s instantly recognisable, it’s surrounded by the stunning harbour. It even plays a pivotal role in one of this year’s most anticipated romantic comedies: no spoilers, but it’s very cute

But this stunning icon is more than just a pretty face – beneath the sails you’ll find some of Sydney’s best food and culture. Next time you’re wondering how to impress your long term love (or a new situationship), you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better place for a first (or hundredth) date. Here’s an itinerary to help plan it.

Lunch at Midden by Mark Olive

Celebrated chef Mark Olive, a Bundjalung man, has spent decades teaching Australians about native bush foods. Impress your date with a feast at his restaurant Midden. Expect outstanding dishes that showcase the best of the bush, like wallaby shanks, chicken stuffed with warrigal greens and served with quandong sauce, and wattleseed pavlova. Midden’s offerings include a $49 lunch menu, native high tea (worth it for the kangaroo mini pies alone), and a five-course degustation with paired wines.

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Archie Rose gin and tour

What’s better than a tour of one of the most iconic buildings in the world? A tour with gin. Discover the history and experience the buzz of the Opera House at Midden with a gin and tonic in hand, courtesy of Archie Rose. Afterwards, taste your way through Archie Rose Harvest gins paired with smashable snacks from Midden and unbeatable views. You’ll even get a jar of the distillery’s own raw honey to take home.
February 23 to March 22, 2024

Gatsby: At the Green Light

A date at the Opera House wouldn’t be complete without a show. While you can’t go wrong with anything on the program, Gatsby: At the Green Light is among our top picks. Inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, this cabaret show features all the good stuff: death-defying aerial performances, awe inspiring vocals that’ll get your toes tapping, insane choreography and seriously spectacular costumes.
Must close March 24, 2024

Channel your inner Jay Gatsby and book a decadent meal to go with your show. Gatsby: The Dining Experience is a dinner and show experience featuring three courses and paired wines in one of the most intimate and hidden spaces of the Opera House.
February 2 to 24, 2024

Josh Thomas’s Let’s Tidy Up

Comedian Josh Thomas (the award-winning author and star of hit TV shows Please Like Me and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay) is hilariously relatable, and isn’t afraid to discuss taboo topics. His new show Let’s Tidy Up, now showing in the Opera House Playhouse, is no exception. In his own words, it’s about “how much we’re meant to accept how shit we are”. Written with playwright Lally Katz of The Rabbits (2015), Neighbourhood Watch (2011) and Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd (2009) acclaim, expect a show that’s complex, emotive and wipe-your-tears-away funny.
Must close February 18, 2024

Royal Botanic Gardens

On the doorstep of the Sydney Opera House, you’ll find the equally beautiful Botanic Gardens of Sydney – the perfect spot for a pre-dinner or post-show wander. A footpath starting at the Opera House takes you alongside the harbour and through the Gardens. Look out for eels in the pond, cheeky cockatoos and giant (but harmless) fruit bats hanging from the trees. Hot tip: time this part of your date around sunset. Thank us later.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Sydney Opera House.