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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! 

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!

Say no to a boring St Valentine’s Day with eXpertLocal

Oh Sydney, it’s that time of year again when Cupid puts on a funny little outfit and does something super special. And by super special, we mean definitely not the same old, same old. So say no to boring bits and say yes to seriously good loving with the eXpertLocal selection of things to do this St Valentine’s Day.


Run around in your undies

What could be more romantic than running with thousands of other Sydneysiders who are wearing nothing but their undies, a charitable heart and a very cheeky smile? Now you can with the Cupid Undie Run! Giving you the opportunity to get some exercise, support a children’s tumour prevention charity and not have to go through the pain of deciding what to wear on St Valentine’s Day is what this event is all about! So show some love for fitness, health and err…letting a few things hang out at the Cupid Undie Run on Feb 9th. Register your participation here.


Stretching the limits of love

What do dressing in bright yet comfy clothes, visual displays, neon lighting and yoga got in common? Why St Valentine’s Day at Sukha Mukha Yoga of course! A home for all kinds of yoga classes and monthly community documentaries, Sukha Mukha yoga is holding “Glow with the Flow” on February 14th, where you and your partner can dress in vibrant colours and be immersed in music, lighting, gentle stretching, deep relaxation and a whole lot of fun. Singles are also welcome (great place to meet someone open minded perhaps?). What a great way to get limber for love! Book your spot now.


Four pawed friendship assured

Who says romance has to be all about the people? Here’s an event where it’s well and truly gone to the dogs! The gang from pet friendly App Doggible are holding a doggy love in party for pooches at 10am to 1pm on Sunday 16th February. Meet at Federation Valley Centennial Park (near Loch Avenue and Grand Drive) and you and your four paws can mingle with dogs and people. Games, tricks, prizes and a chance to meet the tallest dog in the world abound. This is a great event for families, couples who want to include their fur babies in St Valentine’s Day celebrations, or singles who would like to meet like minded people while spending time doing something you love. Find out more on the Doggible Facebook page.


Did someone say singing pub minstrels?

Popping to the pub for a decent 3 course meal is a Sydney favourite, but the gang at the Unicorn Hotel in Paddington have included a delightfully devilish twist. You and your beau will be serenaded by roving minstrels at the Unicorn throughout the evening. With a glass of bubbles in hand and a rendition of your favourite cheesy love song, The Unicorn is bound to be a place for awkward blushing and romance giggles this February 14th! More details available here.


I’d like a light red with a dash of Prince, thanks

Have you ever tasted a wine and thought “Hmmm, tastes a little like Madonna with a touch of P!nk?” – Well, now you can with the iWine matching music with wine experience. Jake is a masterful wine maker who loves a good wine tasting – with the tunes pumping of course! Find out if you prefer your Alicante with Aerosmith or your Barolo with Beethoven at this very interesting event held Monday 17th February. Wow your date with your innovative take on the winsome wine and wonder of St Valentine’s Day! Book now.


Honey, how about a pub crawl?

Newtown has a lot of romance. From the street art to the gentle hum of traffic on King st, Newtown is the place to go if you want to meet people of all kinds. That’s why eXpertLocal are running a special edition of the Newtown “Search for the perfect beer” crawl! This February 14th, you and your date (or singles you can be matched with), will be taken on a romantic discovery of Newtown and the beery haunts. Search for love, or search for the meaning of perfect love, as you undertake a Newtown pub crawl that’s all heart. Book now to avoid disappointment!


Mixing business with pleasure and social responsibility

For the thinking man’s bit of crumpet, we have our very own marketing manager Rebekah speaking at WeCo on February 20th on “why social responsibility needs to be a part of business”. Joining her are Brook McCarthy from Yoga Reach, Joel Hauer from WeCo and a bunch of passionate social responsibility and business minded people. So if you want to romance your mind a little, this is the event for you. It’s free and refreshments are supplied. Talk about romance for your career! RSVP here.


See? Not a single long stemmed rose or Hallmark card in sight! So what are you waiting for? Choose your version of a love in this St Valentine ’s Day, Sydney!



Your guide to getting started on eXpertLocal

Looking for a summary of how to get started on eXpertLocal? Check out our guide.

Think about what you love

Yes, it really is that simple. What kinds of things do you love sharing with your friends? What’s something you know a lot about? What’s a topic that really excites you? What are the things you really love doing? Sharing those moments, ideas and adventures with other people are what eXpertLocal is all about.

Write it down

From your favourite kind of Saturday picnic through to knowing all the cool little places to go in a particular suburb, your experience really needs to have a little form to it so other people can understand. So break down your idea and think about:

  • Why do you love doing this particular activity?
  • Who are the kinds of people you’d love to share it with?
  • What tools do you need to make your experience happen?
  • Where would you stage your experience?
  • Why would people really enjoy your experience?
  • When would you be able to conduct your experience?

Enjoy the freedom

One of the best things about eXpertLocal is there isn’t a boss telling you how to run your experience. What you want to do is what you write down. We can certainly help you write your tour, but everything from the length of the tour to the subject matter, through to how many people can go and what it entails is entirely up to you. AND you can try out your experience, and change it when you want to. This is your opportunity to design your ideal job with support!

Check out the info that matches your situation

We know it can be a little daunting when you first consider running your own tour. That’s why we’ve written inspirational blogs that give you ideas on the types of tours you may want to host on eXpertLocal. And you can take advantage of our profile tips and advice on writing a cool experience.

You can find tips on writing a really cool experience as an individual or get the lowdown on running tours for your business. You can promote your community ideas and free experiences, too.

Follow the prompts (and ask for help)

A great way to check out what kinds of experiences may work on eXpertLocal is to check out the other tours. You can also register for our Meetups and come and meet other hosts, ask questions and get to know the team behind eXpertLocal.  And if you need an extra hand getting your tour into shape, you can email us directly via to workshop your idea or even have your idea written up!

eXpertLocal is as simple (or as complicated) as you want it to be. So why not take that long held dream of the kind of experience you’d love to share from idea stage to the next level?

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below.

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

eXpertLocal: What are we trying to do?


The amount of creative artists, small business owners, soloists looking for inventive ways to fund their lifestyle, locals who want to preserve their lifestyle and students trying to make ends meet as they fall under the crush of Sydney’s high rent is phenomenal.
On the other side of the coin, there are people who love discovering new things in their city, want to be able to go out without it costing an arm and a leg, who have friends who aren’t always willing to be adventurous and try new things, who are looking to see live music based on recommendation, and want to genuinely love this city of ours.

So why is getting both sides of the fence so difficult?
We’ve heard a lot of nervous whispers from people about how collaborative consumption is a lovely theory but doesn’t work well in practice. We’ve also faced off with the high profile closures of a few other sites in the same arena that were gaining more traction. This plus our own insecurities and worries, it’s a wonder we’re still here. But we are. And the reason why is very, very simple.

This is a problem worth solving
Anyone who has walked down Oxford street recently will see what happens if we don’t support local businesses. Things fall away. Every single gap toothed window with a For Lease or For Sale sign was someone’s dream and livelihood- from the building owner to person with the idea for the shop and their staff- has lost out because for whatever reason, it wasn’t sustainable.
Dreamers like the eXpertLocal team wonder:
“What would have happened if there was a giant online marketplace where you could go to discover those shops?”
“What would happen if someone ran eating, drinking or shopping tours through Darlinghurst or Paddington?”
“What if each business had the opportunity to create different events and experiences that separated them from the competition?”
“What would happen if the audiences for those businesses felt like taking a risk on the area, safe in the knowledge they had a local’s knowledge?”
The truth of the matter is, whether you are talking about the shops or the dining on Oxford street, or you’re talking about the small bars that are popping up in Redfern, Surry Hills and Newtown, Sydney’s live music scene, bringing people to suburbs they don’t know or promoting community events that benefit locals, the situation is pretty much the same.
eXpertLocal is a big online marketplace designed to attract people who want to try something different. For free or paid, food or fun, it doesn’t really matter.

We work with you
eXpertLocal is a new business and we’re learning as we go along, too. As such, we will work with you to craft events and activities that work for you. If you need help, ask. It’s what we’re here for.
The basic premise behind eXpertLocal is Jervis was inspired to see the amazing cuisine around the world and wonder where that discovery comes from, how the more authentic travel experience can be fostered, and how we can learn a little about each other through experiencing what each of us holds dear.
Bek was attracted to that idea because she knew just how much things can change when you give a community something to attach to, believe in and interact with through her own project, My Redfern Rocks. She’s also got a vested interest in fostering a creative scene for Sydney that is lively and strong, considering she’s a writer, artist and music lover.
Scott is a bit of an entrepreneur, and believes eXpertlocal is an opportunity for those with a hidden talent and passion waiting to be explored. Being a living example with Art Crawl, he wants to give the next person an opportunity to live their dream and make money from it. Scott’s out consistently hustling and finding the next person, maybe it could be you.

We can’t do this without you
The success of eXpertLocal depends on YOU supporting us. How can you do that?

♦ Attend an experience

♦ Host an experience of your own
♦ Share the experiences we have with your friends
♦ Read, share and comment on our blog
♦ Join the conversation via Facebook and Twitter
♦ Suggest tours you’d like to see via
♦ Introduce us to people you think would make great hosts via
♦ Give us feedback so we know what works and what doesn’t via

Because at the end of the day, this is about you shaping the eXpertLocal you want to see. So anything you offer that aids in the process is OK by us!

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.

What’s On in Sydney in April

Looking for fun things to do this April, Sydney? Lucky eXpertLocal has got you covered!

The Royal Easter Show

Fun for kids of all ages, the Royal Easter Show is a great place for fun, food and family! Kicking off 21st of March and running over the Easter Long Weekend and until April 3rd, The Royal Easter Show has everything from the traditional prize winning cakes through to show bags jammed full of chocolate and toys.

Want to open a small bar in Sydney? Then you can’t go past the City of Sydney official Small Bar 101 Seminar on Wednesday April 3rd.

Young and in Sydney

Are you aged 12 to 24 and living in Sydney? Then don’t forget Sydney Youth Week! From safe cycling classes to all ages block parties, Youth Week celebrates the fun and frivolity associated with being young in Sydney’s largest city. This is a perfect excuse for uni students new to Sydney to host their very first eXpertLocal tour, too! From the 5th to the 14th of April.

Creepy and Kooky Theatre

Musical + Addams Family = very awesome! Running from March 20th to the 21st of April, the Broadway adaptation of one of TV’s most famous families, The Addams Family, is bound to please. Just add eXpertLocal tour guide, post show coffee conversation and you’re on a winner!

Looking for an eXpertLocal tour in April?

You can get some Sydney live music at the Proper Music School, Union Hotel, Newtown and see Charles Jenkins, Jo Meares and Ryan Linnegar (Found at Sea) Thursday 4th April.

For your doggy fix, you can’t go past Puppy Dog Playdate! in Waverley during the day on April 6th.

You can tour the fantastic theatre Sydney has to offer with the Sydney Theatre District Tour on April 6th.

And finally, our suggestions for the great places to catch a little Anzac Day action would have to be:

The Alexandria Hotel in Alexandria

The Norfolk in Redfern

The Coogee Bay Hotel

The Harbord Diggers

Newport Arms Hotel

Hotel Steyne

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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