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See authentic Sydney like a local in a 1964 Holden touring car

My Sydney Detour guide Richard and his 1964 Holden
My Sydney Detour guide Richard and his 1964 Holden
Photo: Laurie Jo Miller Farr

Meet Richard, A Sydneysider

Did you know that in the capital of New South Wales, a Sydneysider is what they call a local? If you're making your first visit to Sydney, Australia, there's a Sydneysider you really want to meet. Richard Graham runs "My Sydney Detour." It's a private sightseeing company introducing you to the authentic local scene, which Richard likes to call "the city, the beaches and the bush."

So cool
When was the last time you sat in the front passenger seat (on the other side, of course) of a shiny baby blue meticulously restored 1964 EH Holden Premier? Yes, that's your front row seat for the day to explore the hidden side of this stunning city with a charming gentleman. For those, like me, who didn't know....Holden is quite special, the only car built for Australians by Australians, in production since 1908.

VIP treatment
Richard will drive by to collect you from your hotel accommodation, private residence or cruise ship for a tour from three hours or longer, as you prefer. By the time I got downstairs in the elevator to join Richard, the hotel doorman and passersby were admiring the Holden. You do get used to that as the day unfolds. Get ready for seeing Sydney-off-the-beaten-track and for hearing anecdotal insider bits and pieces that leave you thinking this is the best city and this is the best city tour ever.

Have it your way
The other thing that's special is your tour. No two are alike, because Richard's clients help determine just what he'll show and share with all the passion and know-how that only a native can muster. If you're bonkers over beaches, you'll see a good deal more than Bondi. If National Parks are your thing, you've not seen views from bluffs like these. Perhaps an urban crawl through art galleries, neighborhood coffee shops and meeting local artisan makers? Absolutely.

Sydney rocks
If you'd rather just leave the tour itinerary to Richard, you won't be disappointed. We stopped at a cemetery overlooking the surf, walked over a historic bridge to a well-hidden lake with prehistoric rock formations at the edge of the bush, ate lunch at a sweet restaurant where the chef toured us through his cottage garden, donned aprons for a handmade butter producer's factory tour, took great photos from a hilltop spot with superb harbour views, shopped sunflowers at a farmers market, and shared cappuccino and conversation with local artists in a neighborhood coffee shop.

There's no question that Sydney is a superb city, graced with a stunning setting. It is thanks to Richard's touring skills that your Sydney visit will be unforgettable.

Read more about My Sydney Detour, and if you're going to Sydney, tell Richard hello!