The view of Sydney Opera House against a backdrop of Sydney Harbour Bridge is reputed to be one of the most recognised sights in the world. Relatively small, as great cities go, with a population of around 4 million, this is a city which has it all: iconic structures, fantastic beaches, stunning vistas, a cosmopolitan atmosphere and fabulous weather. It is most definitely on the must-see list for any visitor to Australia and even if you have visited before, you will want to return again and again.
First time visitors should head straight to Sydney Harbour. It's one of the most photographed locations in the world, and nothing compares to seeing the harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House with your own eyes. Be sure to book a BridgeClimb for the opportunity to scale the summit and enjoy unbeatable views!
The main hub of the harbour is Circular Quay, where ferries arrive and depart continuously linking the various areas of Sydney. Circular Quay also has some of Sydney's best restaurants and is home to the Queen Victoria Building, another must-see attraction which dats back to 1898 and now houses a shopping mall. Adjacent to Circular quay is The Rocks, an historic part of Sydney which saw the first colonial settlement in 1788. Carefully restored buildings house shops and galleries, as well as cafes, bars, restaurants and pubs.
From Sydney Harbour, cross the pedestrianised Pyrmont Bridge to lively Darling Harbour, one of the city's largest dining, shopping and entertainment districts, which has a full calendar of outdoor events, as well as plenty of indoor activities.
For a bird's eye view of Sydney, head to the summit of Sydney Tower Eye and enjoy panoramic vistas stretching across the city to the Pacific Ocean and the Blue Mountains to the west. At the top of the tower is the Sydney Skywalk, a moving, glass-floored viewing platform.
Additional city attractions include the Royal Botanic Gardens, a true oasis in the heart of the city, home to an outstanding collection of plants from Australia and overseas; Hyde Park, which is Australia's oldest park and contains the ANZAC Memorial building and visitor centre along with nearly 600 mature exotic and native trees; and the award-winning Taronga Zoo, where admission includes daily keeper talks and shows and access to Sky Safari, Sydney's only cable car.
Also not to be missed are Sydney's picturesque beaches, Bondi and Manly. Lying east of the city, Bondi Beach has something for everyone: surf and sand, glitzy bars and cafes, a farmers market, boutique street stalls and not forgetting a carefree, sun-drenched lifestyle. Head north and you'll Manly Beach, a popular playground whether you are looking to surf, swim, shop or wine and dine.
- Historic architectural landmarks
- Vibrant culture
- Parks and gardens
- Museums and galleries
- Superb shopping
- Award-winning restaurants
- Bondi and Manly beaches