Destination NSW: Turn a trip to Sydney to see Hamilton into an amazing weekend escape

Hamilton in Sydney.
Photo credit: Newshub.

I'm sure you've heard about the musical that's on everyone's lips around the world but is currently only on stage in Sydney.

Hamilton has attracted an entirely different audience into theatres to experience a musical and is the ideal show to hit the stage as the world goes through this long period of uncertain self-identity and learning about what colonisation was really about, and how its shockwaves continue to this day.

Hamilton the Musical in Sydney.
Photo credit: Destination NSW

Performed almost entirely in song, rap and hip-hop, Hamilton is a story about the 'Founding Father' Alexander Hamilton. 

It's writer Lin-Manuel Miranda says Hamilton is about Americans then, as told by Americans now, and I could not think of a better way to describe it.

Hamilton Musical in Sydney.
Possibly my favourite character. Photo credit: Destination NSW

I don't need to go through the many awards it's received, and the stacks and stacks of five star reviews that appear in newspapers around the world.

Instead, I want to talk about how lucky Sydney is to have this production in town. The most popular musical right now in the world, and it's only on stage in Sydney, just a three hour flight away from Auckland. It's such a great opportunity, I'm about to go and see it for the second time since the bubble opened.

Plan a trip to Hamilton

It's not possible to do a travel story about going to see a musical called Hamilton without making some sort of joke about going to Hamilton in the Waikato, so with that heading it's done and there won't be anymore, I promise.

Newshub Travel in Sydney.
Photo credit: Dan Lake/Newshub.

If you are a theatre fan or have a bit of extra money to spend and want to do something special, then a Sydney theatre weekend getaway is completely doable.

Once you've done the paperwork, everything else in terms of flying seems normal. Except for good things such as near non-existent queues at border security.

Where to stay?

If you like a more traditional hotel that covers off the basics with exceptionally high standards, then Park Hyatt Sydney is a good pick for you. Tucked away under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the views look out at the Sydney Opera House and the harbour. 

Park Hyatt in Sydney.
Photo credit: Dan Lake / Newshub.

Once you've sorted out your room and worked out what button does what, head to the pool. The first time I stayed here, I skipped the pool experience. To quote Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman: "Big mistake, huge."

Pretty Woman.
Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures

I also spent a night at the Crystalbrook Albion in Surry Hills.

This is a much smaller and more hands-on type of hotel compared to the Park Hyatt, but that's how it should be as it caters to a completely different market.

You know when you're walking towards someone on the street and you step left to avoid them, but so do they, then you step right, then left, and right again, and you end up almost face to face?

A Sydney hotel.
Crystalbrook Albion bedroom and front courtyard area. Photo credit: Dan Lake / Newshub.

That's kind of the feeling I have about Crystalbrook Albion. It totally knows where it wants to be and is pounding the pavement to get there, but hasn't quite worked itself out in terms of some of the basics, and common sense process.

It is in an ideal location, especially for me as just about all of my friends live around this area so it was perfect to catch up with them all in the short time I had in town.

Pre-show dinner

I would say I'm not a massive food person. The idea of watching Masterchef puts me to sleep. There are many different food experiences to be had, but so long as it is nice and simple to eat and I am in good company, then that's enough for me.

Sydney restaurant.
Photo credit: The Star

Having said that, if you are wanting to turn seeing Hamilton into a romantic night out (and you should by the way), then there are more options than you could throw Nouilles au fromage fondu et lait dans un bol at.

Photo credit: Sokyo

Before the show, I went to Sokyo which is in The Star, a part of the entirely newly developed Pyrmont area by the water.

While I'm not usually a fan of the shared plates style of dining, this really is the best way to experience Executive Chef Chase Kojima's creations.

There's such a variety of fresh, delicious items on the menu. It's probably most known for its sashimi, but there's also tempura, grilled meat, and dozens of different elements to each serving that combine to make every small slice unique.


Be prepared for crowds, so take a mask if it makes you feel a bit better. When I was there, we were all made to wear them in the foyer.

Destination NSW and Newshub in Sydney for Hamilton the Musical.
Make sure you take a mask with you. Photo credit: Newshub. / Destination NSW

Also be prepared for some really energetic fans. I was having flashbacks of Justin Bieber arriving at Auckland Airport with how excited some of them were.

Definitely get a programme, but do that afterwards or at half time. There's no time to read through it when the show is on, because BOOM, it's straight into it. Speaking of which - do not be late to your seat.

Good to know: Hamilton is being performed at the Sydney Lyric Theatre, so make sure you get familiar with its location and know your travel time well enough to arrive early.

Breakfast time

If you can get a booking then head to Cafe Sydney. It has a smart casual dresscode, so keep that in mind - but it's massive selection of wine and food options totally make up for any extra time you had to take to get ready in the morning.

And then, there's the view from the cafe's balcony. I don't think I need to say anything more about it.

Park Hyatt in Sydney.
Park Hyatt Sydney Rooftop Swimming Pool. Photo credit: Hyatt

Once you've finished there, if you don't have a flight to catch, you really can go anywhere. With no tourists from other parts of the world, there are no queues anywhere. Do a 60 minute tour of the Sydney Opera House and learn about the heartbreaking story of its architect. 

Or do what I should have done... go to the pool at the Park Hyatt Sydney. 

Hopefully next time around, I'll right my wrongs and dive right in.

Dan Lake visited Sydney as a guest of Destination NSW.