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Meet Jervis- our founder and bicycle rider!

jervis1. What’s your name (can include nicknames)
Jervis. I’m the founder of eXpertLocal.
2. What sorts of tours and experiences do you run?
I run a relaxed fun cycling tour that starts at Manly Beach and heads out to the picturesque Manly Dam and back. The view is divine and the ride makes it all the more worth it.

I also enjoy local cafes and exploring the coffee scene in Sydney.
3. What lead you to run these experiences?
I love being outdoors, exploring. I also really enjoy relieving the stress and hustle of a busy week by riding my bicycle.

So I see this as a great way for people to explore a very scenic part of Sydney, getting to meet new people and getting some exercise in the process. With the growth of Sydney bicycle culture, it seemed like a cool thing to try.
4. What’s your idea of a fun night out?
Discovering new foods and/or drinks at the same time meeting some fun easy going relaxed people.

Going to multiple destinations with a group and with someone who knows the local restaurant and/or pub scene well enough to ensure we try the right things is definitely what I like doing.
5. What’s the coolest travel experience you’ve ever had?
My first scuba diving experience. It was in Jamaica. I received a 5-minute intro/lesson at the resort swimming pool. A few minutes later I was in the ocean scuba diving with local (friendly?) sharks!

Talk about diving in the deep end!
6. Why do you want to meet people through experiences and activities?
Meeting people from different cultures and backgrounds is like travelling – without actually travelling. While showing other people your local area and lifestyle, you get to learn more about them, where they’re from, what experiences they’ve had. It’s a wonderful way to see the things you enjoy doing or even the places you live through a fresh pair of eyes.

I believe meeting people who have a similar interest as you is a great way to expand your friend circle. Its easier this way because you already have something in common to discuss and build from.


7. Describe your ideal tour participant
The fact that someone has booked my tour means that I already have something in common with them, which is basically what I would ideally want.

I also love meeting people from different background and cultures.

Spending time with people from other countries is the cheapest way to travel :)
9. What do you love about Sydney?

Variety. Sydney has the everything you want in a city. Food from all over the world, the most picturesque harbour, great weather, awesome beaches, and lots to discover. There is also great history from The Rocks to Parramatta to the Northern Beaches.

Sydney really is a wonderful, vibrant and inspiring city. I think we forget sometimes just how magical this city is. So if I can help people discover a new part or experience in Sydney they love, I’m winning.

10. If you could hang out with 3 people for a day, who would they be and why? 

(The late) Freddie Mercury – because he was a great performer and a musical genius.

Client Eastwood – because he is simply a legend.

Michael Jordan – because no one person has every had such a positive impact on a sport.

11. If you could go anywhere in the world and do anything, what would it be and why? 

Discover Peru and Chile, very slowly, with people who are a great source of knowledge about the local lifestyle.

Not only visit the main cities but drive through the country side exploring local villages, customs and food!

A South American adventure off the beaten track would be awesome.

You can catch up with Jervis via eXpertLocal! 

Discover the magic of Asia with Wee Lyn’s food tours

1. What’s your name (can include nicknames)
Call me “Lynn” or “Wee Lynn”. But please, not “Wee”.
2. What sorts of tours and experiences do you run?
My tours are food tours in authentic food hotspots of Sydney, with a dash of cultural immersion. You’ll learn or taste something new, and you won’t leave hungry…I promise!
You’ll also learn handy tips for easily making delicious food at home. You can have a holiday for your tastebuds without getting on a plane!
3. What lead you to run these experiences?
I love my food! I relish making new food discoveries and sharing them with people.
Sydney is such a diverse place. Many people want to be adventurous and go outside their usual haunts, but it’s daunting. After you’ve decided which eatery to enter, how do you decide which of the 63 menu items the kitchen excels at?
That’s where it’s useful to be taken around by someone who personally frequents these places!
Never feel compelled to order sweet and sour pork for the umpteenth time at the usual takeaway joint again. Come eat with me instead.
4. What’s your idea of a fun night out?
A barbecue with lots of good friends and happy kids, on an autumn evening when the final remnants of warmth still linger. There’ll be an array of meats, like chilli chicken wings, bulgogi sausages, Sichuan lamb skewers in chilli, cumin and beer sauce, Malaysian satay with the proper peanut sauce. Plus an array of salads made with dewy fresh produce from the Sydney Markets at Flemington. Topped off by a gelato scoop cake from my local gelataria, Feed. YUM!
5. What’s the coolest travel experience you’ve ever had?
It’d have to be backpacking in Japan on a skin flint budget. Every single day for 10 days, I encountered something so new that it blew my mind, be it tall Japanese girls dressed like Barbie dolls, or freshly caught tuna so large the fishmonger wielded a samurai-looking sword to cut it.
6. Why do you want to meet people through experiences and activities?
I get a kick out of satisfying the curiosity of adventurous people. It is gratifying to show off the delightful food that Sydney has to offer, and its great exchanging tips on making life in the kitchen tastier and easier.

7. Describe your ideal tour participant
Someone even vaguely interested in food is bound to have fun. It’s great taking around a group of people who know each other – they bond and have enjoy themselves. My tours cater to all types of people.
People with dietary or mobility requirements are also very welcome – just let me know in advance so I can make arrangements.
I’ve had guests from both ends of the spectrum when it comes to levels of culinary and cultural knowledge, but luckily the professional chef said he’d learnt something new and had fun too.
8. What do you love about Sydney?
How you can visit a suburb and be transported into a different country, complete with sights, smells and authentic food. And it’s all at our doorstep, waiting to be discovered.
9. If you could go anywhere in the world and do anything, what would it be and why?
Turkey, getting lost in a souk. I’ll be surrounded by ingredients to discover, foods to taste, and rugs and many other things of beauty. Heaven!

Like the sound of Wee Lyn and her love of food? You can enjoy it, too! Simply send her a message and book her Asian thrills food tour.

The adventures of iWine: matching wine with your music

An intrepid group of wine loving, music hounds grouped at the Old Growler in Woolloomooloo for the eXpertLocal tour iWine: wine matching with music.

From Aerosmith to Prince and everything in between, our host Jake made the most fun with a group of thirsty, adventurous Sydney siders. You may also know Jake from his wine matching with junk food. Jake is a passionate wine maker with loads of experience and a true showman’s flair. He is one of the brains behind a Bronte favourite, Garrick’s Wine.

In this tour, Jake and his offsider Tom ran a great evening for The Media Madams Scarlett Vespa & Debbie Carr from Eagle Waves Radio, Katie from Wanderlust at Bondi Beach Radio, smooth musician Arrnott Olssen and the gang from Sydney Chic. And of course our own Jervis and Sharon!

Check out the evidence of fun and frivolity. 

A great night was had by all.

Check out what Arrnott Olssen had to say: 

And we totally agree with Katie’s advice: 



Want to join the fun? Book your iWine experience today!

Meet eXpertLocal host Bek: Music, food, beer and labradors

1.   What’s your name (can include nicknames)

My name is Bek. My nickname is Nipper because I’m short and have the personality of an adele penguin. Adele penguins are the little ones that keep the bigger penguins in line and keep the rookery safe.

2.   What sorts of tours and experiences do you run?

I run quite a lot of tours in Bronte and surrounds. I am also passionate about the Sydney live music scene and creativity in general so am always up for something to do with that. Plus I love wine and beer, so I like sharing that with people who may not know where to go to find a good drop.

3.   What lead you to run these experiences?

Running tours in Bronte was my way of getting used to a new area after 15 years in the Inner West and Redfern. I also believe in supporting local business and the creative scene, so thought sharing these experience with others might help get create an audience for what they do and provide.

4.   What’s your idea of a fun night out?

I’m a sucker for a small bar or pub that isn’t too pretty, has character, and where I can hear my friends talk. I also brain crush on things that are special, so you’ll probably find me out at roof top markets, food truck Fridays, and chasing down a great craft beer with a decent feed.

5.   What’s the coolest travel experience you’ve ever had?

The most notable experience was travelling to the Red Centre and finding a town with barely 20 people living in it that had two pubs. I asked the guys in one pub why they needed two and he said “Coz girly, not everyone in town can drink in the same place”. Before he went on to offer me 2liters of beer he referred to as a “stubbie” and bag out half the townspeople.

Relaxation wise, I had a very wonderful experience in Woolgoolga staying in a Glasshouse set in rainforest with its own spa and all the mod cons. It was probably the most relaxing ten days of my life. The town was also beautiful and full of friendly locals, organic food and superb cafes.

6.   Why do you want to meet people through experiences and activities?

I think we usually make new friends through like minded activities, so if I can meet some cool people who share my love of music, beer, wine and discovery, that’d be awesome!

I also find myself being the one who comes up with a lot of “this is where we should go” answers when friends come to stay, so it seemed like the logical next step!

And I want to demonstrate to people you don’t need to have bucket loads of cash to enjoy Sydney. You simply need to know where to look.

7.   Describe your ideal tour participant

Friendly, fun, cheery and not afraid to have fun.

8.   What do you love about Sydney?

I love that I can go and walk down at the Rocks and see such iconic beauty, and then travel to Redfern or Strathfield and see an entirely different style of life and wonder. And I love that people are still willing to meet new people, create wonderful things and that even if you have $5 in your pocket, if you know where to look, you can still find fun.

9.   If you could hang out with 3 people for a day, who would they be and why?

You said people, so that cuts out my loopy Labrador, Gibson. I’d probably want to meet up with some local innovators like Jared Ingersoll (chef and foodie entrepreneur), someone from Icon Park and Richard Branson to see how we can use the growth in food & wine, pop up scene and a little crazy entrepreneurial spirit to help the rock and heavy side of the Sydney music scene.

10.                What’s currently on your playlist?

Local blues rock band Tom Stone and the Soldiers of Fortune. Plus still very happy with playing NIN and QOTSA on repeat after their recent visit to Sydney- it was awesome!

11.                If you could go anywhere in the world and do anything, what would it be and why?

It’d be a tossup between taking photos in the jungle of Indochina or a rum tour in Cuba. I love projects such as Humans of New York and Sydney’s 52 Suburbs and how that captures people in their day to day so that explains Indochina. And the rum and Cuba because I think there’s probably a little Hunter S. Thompson in all of us and that’s where mine would come to the fore.

12.                Anything else we should know about you?

I am absolutely besotted with my Labrador, so if anyone wants to put up any dog friendly activities, I will totally be there!

You can meet Bek via her eXpertLocal profile and doing one of her many activities.


What’s on in Sydney in December with eXpertLocal

2013 certainly has flown by, hasn’t it? You can really feel the sea calling out to say hi, the beaches singing their siren song, and of course the sounding of wine and food flowing as we hit the festive season.

Here are our picks for December. Let’s get social!


Music for your ears

Kylie Minogue’s “Confide in Me” gains a beautiful new outlook in the hands of Jep and Dep. You can take in this lovely experience and purchase the single for yourself at the Jep and Dep single launch Brighton Up Bar, December 5th.

After 8 years of playing the traps, Found at Sea say goodbye to their drummer, Tim. Check out this last look at the original Found at Sea line up with special guests The Model School and Suzy Connelly at FBi Social, December 7th.

When the likes of the Thieves, the Mountains and the Civilians are on the same bill for only $10, you know you don’t need to ask twice whether you’ve got a good excuse to party on a Thursday. Catch them at the Brighton Up Bar, December 12th.

Friday the 13th of December sees the amazing Hollow Bones strip paint off the walls with their jangled rock that is bound to impress. Take your dancing shoes and make sure you hair is set for gale force blowing away-ness. Head to Spectrum, thank us later.

Prog rock never sounded so good with a bill including Solkyri as headline, pirate, Koranic and Melbourne’s Kalacoma all set to rock the walls right off FBi Social. If you like your music brave, experimental, loud and technically awesome, you have to be there Saturday 14th.

Head to Chinese Laundry for the diggin’est deck the halls from DJ decks around on December 21st. The Christmas Garden Party kicks off at midday and includes all kinds of musical happiness. Get your beat on at Christmas while also raising money for the Bushfire Appeal. Nice one.


Make your brain sparkle

How does sampling lots of different food trucks, a pop up bar and live entertainment sound? Like a fun Friday? It’s happening people- check out Food Trucks United on Friday December 6th.

Check out what you can do at the Arthouse Hotel when you join Doctor Sketchy’s art class. You can choose from BYO art supplies right through to a cool arty setup and dinner.

End the year on equality in IT note when you get your Geek Girl on with the Geek Girl Panel at Atlassian on December 10th.

You can ponder if letter writing and memes really do make a difference at the Amnesty International Panel Debate on ‘A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words’ on December 10th.  

Want to make more out of your Christmas without the guilt associate with food waste? Check out this nifty workshop Pocket, Plate and Planet run by Parramatta City Council on December 13th.

Need a little deep thinking over dinner and some business to boot? Hub Sydney’s Deep Dinner sounds like it’s perfect for you. See you there every third Tuesday of the month.

Embrace your inner Spock and check out the latest in short film sci-fi goodness at the WD Project Sci-Fi Awards on December 19th.


Shopping for the good gifts

Soak in the indie art and design that is the Finders Keepers Market at Eveleigh on the eve of Friday 6th and all day Saturday 7th of December.

Take a joyride to the beautiful Avoca Beach and enjoy the Avoca Christmas Fair on December 8th.

Summer is here and now it’s time for the Hornsby Twilight Markets, a perfect place to find a gift for someone special!

Visit the foodie heaven that is a Simon Johnson Pop Up Shop all the way through til December 27th.

Mosey on over to the Entertainment Quarter for their EQ markets every Saturday.


Christmas Day, your way

Looking to party?

Why not join the Collaborative Christmas party?

Get your word nerd on with the Copywriter’s Yuletide Fest.

Celebrate co-working and end of year hubberation at Hub Sydney.

Let your Entrepreneurship shine at The Entrepreneur’s and Self Employed Christmas Party


If you are having a solo Christmas, there are several wonderful places you can go and make new friends.

They include:
Bondi’s Chapel by the Sea as a guest or volunteer

The Christmas Day Picnic for orphans, singles, workers and more.

The Wayside Chapel’s Christmas Day Street Party.


Plus you can also Cole, take a glorious walk around the Rocks Pubs, experience Chinatown at Night, discover beautiful Bronte, or play guitars by the sea.

For all these and more fun activities, head to

Up close and personal with eXpertLocal

Why does eXpertLocal exist?

eXpertLocal wants to change the way tourism, small business and the creative scene are approached by putting the power back in the hands of the locals.

Take for example a Newtown cafe, they face steep competition. eXpertLocal gives them the opportunity to offer an extra layer to their business- whether that’s cooking classes, after hours poetry and coffee nights, or special dining events- and deliver them to an audience that is seeking a different take on their local area.

Or take the Sydney music scene. We know there are great bands out there and punters who want to see those bands. But bands don’t have money to self market and punters may not have friends who are willing to risk on an unknown band. So the two don’t often find each other because it’s a bit of a risk to take, spending your weekly entertainment budget only to find the gig you are seeing isn’t so great after all.

If we can provide a tour that brings them together, eXpertLocal can disrupt that cycle of venue closure, or at least encourage positive steps towards a brighter future.

What kind of people would use eXpertLocal?

The simple answer to that is someone who likes doing more than just the same old thing all the time.

eXpertLocal provides an experience you wouldn’t get from a standard tour operator because we encourage our guides to be original, promote what they are passionate about, and welcome community groups and free activities, too.

There is more focus on the Host, too. eXpertLocal gives customers the ability to research the Host based on feedback, their profile and establish contact (and a rapport) before booking. This presents a strong feeling of authenticity for the experiences offered and a high level of trust for the customer.

What problem does eXpertLocal solve?

It is difficult to find tailored and specialised activities unless you spend hours doing research on Google. eXpertLocal aims to give customer’s tools that cut down research time. For customers, it’s about moving beyond the boring, everyday and seeking authentic experiences.

It’s also a way to meet new people through like minded interest. Having to establish friendship groups when you move to a new city or even as you transition to a new stage of life can be quite daunting. So using the service to find people who care about the same sorts of creative pursuits, sports or interests can work wonders in bridging that gap and taking the pressure off finding new people to share time with.

Finally, eXpertLocal provides everyday people with the ability to earn money through your knowledge or passion. It turns those magic knowledge bases we all have into something tangible we can share and even make a little pocket money from.

And this is not a daydream either. Consider how many travel, food and fashion bloggers make money from their passions and ideas. If you really want to make a go of starting your own journey to self employment through tours and experiences, we’re more than happy to help!

Why did you start eXpertLocal?

After 12 years in the corporate world I was ready to do something that would actually bring me the most excitement. While watching the series “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”, it always intrigued me how Tony always had hosts treating him to the local culture and cuisine.

The question that kept coming to mind was… “How did he find these people?”

They always took him to the best places to sample the authentic local cuisine. I realised if I wanted to uncover who actually made the best deconstructed lamington or where local surfers chose to go to in order to avoid the crowds, I wouldn’t have a clue.
So the theme became discovering exciting experiences with the right people. Discover things that make us feel alive, excited!

By showing people that getting out and being social, experiencing something through another person’s eyes in real life, is more fun than in front of a screen.

What does eXpertLocal need from people?

In order to carry out this mission, we need people to put their best foot forward and share what they love. Run a tour, think of a quirky event, promote your community activities, set up a tour group for your gig- try it out!

With both free and paid experiences, it really doesn’t hurt anything to give your imagination a little free reign and dream up something you’d love to share with another person.

Discovering Bronte: Moving is more than packing and trucks

Our marketing chick Rebekah takes time out from the usual eXpertLocal blog to explain why she sees the value in eXpertLocal.

I lived quiet contentedly in and close to Redfern for almost a decade. I loved the suburb’s vibe and mix of culture. I loved being able to pop up for cultural events near the Block (yes, beyond what the media liked to tell you, life on the Block in Redfern was not all crime and problems). I loved watching the soccer training at Tech Park with a beer in hand at the Alexandria Hotel (it’s on the border, but seriously, it’s Redfern!). I loved strolling down to Redwater Markets at Redfern Park, seeing a cheery smile from the guys at First Drop Cafe or drawing at The Dock, popping in for my latest lecture about how I don’t treat my shoes well enough from Roger or raiding the Discount shop on Redfern street.

The noise, the sometimes odd encounters at the pub and the fact I could walk to the city were things I truly didn’t want to give up.

I loved Redfern so much I even set up Redfern Rocks on Twitter and Facebook so I could bust myths, show the beauty and share what I loved about life in Redfern.

Yet in 2012, I was priced out of the market rent wise. My partner and I, and our loopy Labrador simply couldn’t find a house big enough for the 3 of us in Redfern for the money we could afford.

So I gave away the Twitter account to a couple I thought loved the area as much as I do, packed up my house, and moved to the Bronte/Waverley border.

Goodbye city, hello sea

A sea of sound got replaced with quiet. Instead of walking for half an hour and finding myself in the city, I found myself at the beaches Bronte or Clovelly. The crazy life of Surry Hills Shopping Centre (or as I liked to call it, Redfern Mall) became replaced with the shiny glass and expensive public furniture of an enormous Westfield. I felt awkward and weird. Ridiculous I know, but I think I went a little bit into culture shock.

Not knowing where to go or what to do in the first few months really sucked. I only had one friend who knew the area really well, and that was form him growing up as a teenager, 15 odd years ago. So unless I wanted to play hooky and have a sneaky smoke in the park (no Mum, I don’t), I was plum out of luck.

The more I read online reviews of local shops or things to do, the more cynical I became. A lot of places I got excited about were often long gone, closed or something else entirely. Working from home, I needed to feel like I could leave the house with a “place to be” or a purpose. But because I didn’t have a clue where I was most of the time, I started to feel a little annoyed and really out of place.

What I really wanted was the connection.

I wanted to go to places and have people know my name, have a chat and feel not quite so alone.

It started me thinking about some of my expat friends living here or overseas, or friends who’d studied and worked overseas. And it reminded me again of what it was like to leave a country town, go to a big city uni and not know anyone at all, or the place I was living in, and how that felt.

Pulling my bottom lip off the ground, I did things that made me feel more and more comfortable with each adventure. I started with the local dog park. This grew to going to the coffee shop, Eugene’s. Then there was the beautiful Bronte to Clovelly sea walk with camera and dog. That grew into a beer at the Clovelly Hotel with friends followed by dinner by the beach at Swell and breakfast at Three Blue Ducks.

Now I love the area, but gee it took some time to get my head around living in a new place!

It’s not always that simple.

Sometimes, you don’t have a dog or a couple of friends who are willing to drive for half an hour for a meal but you still want to get out and about and discover a place without it being a tourist experience. Or maybe the language of the place you are in isn’t what you speak. Maybe the culture is really alien and having some inside knowledge would be very, very helpful.

eXpertLocal is about giving that freedom back to people. And that’s why I believe in the project, run tours and want to use my skills to get people to know about it and use it. I want newcomers to a city or suburb, or someone who just wants to try something new, to be able to do that with a couple of positive, supportive people to have a chat with while they do.

So if you feel like a fish out of water in Sydney, come do a tour with me. Or if you can relate to that feeling, why not share what you now know by running your own tour?

It takes a small step, but it’s worth it.

You can catch Rebekah’s dog Gibson as he tweets about Bronte life (and life as a happy Labrador) via @Bronte_labrador.

The Best Hangover Cure: Surfing Sydney Style

Any seasoned surfer will tell you nothing beats a hangover like a dip in old salty. That’s why we’ve hit up some Sydney surfers for their off the beaten picks and places for the all important hang over cure.

Italian Sandshoes
Made for the surfer who is after a hangover cure, Oak Park or ‘sandshoes’ is a nice swell. It’s in the far south of Cronulla near Bass and Flinders Point and easily the best wave in Cronulla. Known for easy take off, long rides and waves which hollow out nicely, ‘sandshoes’ provides awesome waves provided the locals will let you on that is! After a hard day’s surfing, there is also nothing better than visiting the many beachside restaurants of Cronulla.

Balinese Breaks
A pub which most people would want to be buried in for the sensational view of the Pacific Ocean and surrounding cliffs from its Balinese inspired beer garden, the Scarborough Hotel marks the spot for a local surfing love.

Just on the other side of the New Ocean Road, the beach is 5-10 minutes on foot down a near vertical goat track. If you don’t mind lantana (we mean lots of lantana) and are cool with heights, it’s well worth it. Getting back up is a great work out on the legs and something to keep in mind when surfing so some energy for the trip back is spared, but the post surf view, food and a couple of glasses of good stuff at the end are well worth the effort.

Go the ‘Gong
The border between southern Sydney and northern Wollongong are well represented in the shape of the Headlands Reef at Austinmer and Sandon Point at Thirroul. The Headlands Reef is just a walk down from the Headlands Pub car park and into slightly sketchy yet fast, no nonsense waves. Sandon Point in contrast is quietly whispered about as a world class wave area comparable to Shark Island and the Superbank. As a point break, it has a left and right and sometimes impossibly long, paddling rich waves.

Both are rewarding and are favourite spots for those who love getting their toe in the water and nailing a wave.

Expert Alert
In Sydney’s south is the famed Voodoo. This is a place for the pro and kamikaze surfers only (no kids and no novices please!), but well worth the heavy beating you can be served for those really good at and keen on their surfing.

The breaks are inconsistent, but when they are on form, you can expect 3ft to 10ft breaks to thrill and challenge. Serious territory for those who know their surfing techniques and certainly not for the novice, Voodoo cracks out the sweat of even the fittest water lover and is known for sharks and urchins. The rewards are fantastic.


We hope you enjoyed our mini tour of the secret surfing spots of Sydney and surrounds, especially when feeling the post party headache set in.

Feel free to share your favourite picks up North!

Make new friends, meet interesting people and uncover the things that make a place special with eXpertLocal! Join in the fun of existing tours or host your own today.

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