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Kiran Gupta reviews his experience at Sydney’s newest pop-up sugar factory, Sugar Republic.
Sweet treats are a quintessential part of the Australian summer. From ice creams on the beach to bags of sickly sweets at the cricket, there’s nothing more Australian than a bit of sugar in the baking hot sun. Over the next few months as we head into summer, Sugar Republic is taking the Australian love of sweets to the next level, with a real-life lolly factory to rival something out of Willy Wonka that will bring out the little kid in everyone.
With over 15 immersive spaces over two floors dedicated to both iconic Australian lollies and international lollies, this place is a sugar lover’s heaven. In the heart of The Rocks, you can swim in a pool of marshmallows, climb inside a prize claw machine or even jump out of a birthday cake. Among my favourites was the giant 2m tall Allen’s lolly jar featuring the biggest collection of sweets I’ve ever seen (unfortunately, not the underrated Allen’s Sourz Snakes Alive which everyone but me seems to find way too sour). Accompanied by the art of Frida Las Vegas and the innovation of Lilian Ahenkan, there’s a feeling of modernity in amongst the nostalgia of rows of lollies.
Not to mention, the place is literally an Instagrammers delight. Every exhibit looks as if it is made for a Boomerang or even a TikTok. If you are looking for a new profile picture, this is the place to go. You even get a lolly bag and a soft-serve ice-cream topped with your favourite treats when you leave – major Cold Rock vibes.
So, as the academic year draws to a close and friend groups look to go out and do something fun before heading their separate ways, this is one thing I’d encourage you to find the time to visit. It’s a truly unique exhibition and an experience like no other. Even as someone who is generally not an exhibit fan, the scale and the nostalgia of this really was impressive (and the ice cream didn’t hurt either). It takes an hour to go around the building and is only open until 23rd of December so get in quick as this is one you cannot miss.
Dates: Open now for a limited time!
Location: 47 George St, Sydney (entry via Atherden St)
Tickets: On sale at sugarrepublic.com.au. Online bookings are recommended. Dine & Discover NSW vouchers are accepted at the door. $38 adults / $28 children under 16
Kiran Gupta attended Sugar Republic as a guest of the organisers.