Sydney, Australia is famous for its magnificent nature and two landmark structures, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Sydney is built around its huge harbor where most of the main attractions and the city center are located at the southern shore. It is a beautiful city and you’ll find there is no shortage of things to do and see in Sydney.
The Harbour Bridge
The Harbour Bridge which was constructed during the 1930s Depression is the widest single span bridge in the world. Today, The Harbour Bridge is the major link between Sydney’s southern and northern suburbs. The Pylon Lookout museum is located at the Harbour Bridge’s southeastern pylon where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the harbour and city from its viewing platform. Alternatively, you can book a 3.5 hour climb to the bridge summit and enjoy priceless views from the top of the bridge.
Sydney Aquarium is located at Sydney’s Darling Harbour. Sydney Aquarium presents a fascinating view of the underwater world which includes over 12,000 aquatic animals from 650 species, saltwater crocodiles and giant sea turtles. Sydney Aquarium showcases the world’s largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit and amazing underwater viewing tunnels with sharks and stingrays swimming above your head and your kids will love the touch pool and the marine mammal sanctuary. Be sure to grab the tickets online as the prices are lower.
Sydney Opera House
In 2007, Sydney Opera House is listed as a World Heritage site and till today, Sydney Opera House is Sydney’s most famous and the most photographed landmark in Sydney. Sydney Opera House was designed by a Danish architect, Joern Utzon which had such a long and troubled construction phase that completion of the building is considered a miracle. Visitors can book guided one hour tours every day, between 9am to 5pm, every half an hour. There are also two-hour backstage tours which include breakfast daily at 7am
The Rocks is Sydney’s most historic district, the birthplace of modern Australia and is one of the city’s most popular destinations. The Rocks is Sydney’s main port with warehouses lined the waterfront, backed by hotels, banks, offices, merchant shops and brothels. Today, The Rocks is transformed into a hot spot of quaint boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Try not to come on Saturday though because it will be extremely crowded.
The best way to enjoy breathtaking views of Sydney is to visit the top of Sydney Tower. This 1000-foot golden- turret-topped spike is Sydney’s tallest building and the view from its indoor observation deck covers the entire Sydney’s city area and most often, you can see as far as the Blue Mountains which are more than 80km away. There are two restaurants in the Sydney Tower’s turret, great for an after-hours cocktail
There are more than 30 ocean beaches within Sydney, all with rolling surf and golden sand. If you prefer calmer waters, there are several more around the harbor. On the south side of the harbor, there are Bondi and Coogee beaches and Manly beach is located on the northern side of the harbor. Of all the Sydney beaches, Bondi beach is the most famous and the most crowded with surfing is one of the most popular activities. However, the waters in Coogee beach are calmer with a grassy headland overlooking the beach equipped with an excellent children’s playground. Manly beach is similar to Bondi beach, where locals and travelers crowd the 2km long stretch of white sand to swim and surf. Manly beach can be reached via Manly Fast Ferry taken from Circular Quay.
Robert Campbell was a prominent Scottish merchant who is commonly known as the “father of Australian commerce.” Campbell broke the monopoly that the British East India Company held over whale and seal products, which were Sydney’s only exports back in those days. In 1838, Robert Campbell began to build 5 sandstone bays which is now formerly known as the cove’s Campbell’s Storehouse, home to waterside restaurants. The cargo pulleys can still be found hanging on the warehouses upper storeys.
Museum of Sydney
This museum which was built on the site of the First Government House, explores the early period of Sydney’s European colonization through pictures, objects and new digital media techniques. The original structure can be seen through the lobby’s glass floor. Convict society, aboriginal culture and the gradual transformation of Sydney’s early settlements are documented through a giant showcase of chattels and goods recovered from years of archaeological diggings. Located outside the museum is one of the most interesting exhibits, the fascinating Edge of the Trees sculpture, the first artwork collaborated by a European artist and an Aboriginal.
Located in the harbor’s north shore with stunning views of the harbor, Sydney’s Taronga zoo is home to a wide variety of Australian fauna, including the famous koala. The animals here are well taken care of and their natural habitats are well simulated in spacious enclosures. Due to its hillside location, some areas of the Zoo can be steep and it can be tiring for a complete tour of the Zoo. It is advisable to grab the free map distributed at the Zoo entrance and plan your most comfortable route. From the city, the best way to get to Taronga Zoo is take the ferry from Darling Harbour or Circular Quay. In Circular Quay, grab the A$49.50 ZooPass, a combined ticket for ferry and zoo. After you’ve reached Taronga Wharf, take the cable car or a bus to the main entrance located up the hill. For A$260 per adult, you can book the “Roar and Snore” program and stay overnight in the zoo and also inclusive of two behind the scenes tours, a night tour, dinner, breakfast, drinks and you get to sleep in a luxurious tent.
Hyde Park Barracks
Before the arrival of Governor Macquarie, convicts were able to roam freely every night. In 1819, determined to enforce law and order, Macquarie engaged architect Francis Greenway to design this Georgian-style classical building which is now known as Hyde Park Barracks. Today the Barracks is home to great collection of exhibits that explore the prison lifestyle. Back then, rats did a great job by preserving relics such as artifacts and scraps of clothing for their nests underneath the floorboards. A room on the top floor is strung with hammocks, exactly as it was when the building housed convicts
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