You’ll get to witness a wide range of culture in Sydney – more than you’d expect, Sydney is widely recognised as being one of the most diverse and multicultural cities in the world – almost 45% of the people who live in Sydney today were born outside Australia.
Complete with dreamlike buildings like the world famous Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Tower. Try having a drink at the waters edge overlooking the worlds most beautiful harbour or perhaps lunch at Icebergs overlooking Bondi beach a trip on a Ferry across the harbour to Manly Beach.
There’s a whole lot more and that’s without even mentioning the beaches of the famous Sydney coastline or the historical Sydney Rocks district. Expect history, good food, and plenty of sun – all in healthy dosages.
Here’s a look at the best places to visit in Sydney:
Sydney Opera House
“A building that changed the image of an entire country”
Fusing ancient and modernist influences, and situated on a site sacred to the Gadigal people for thousands of years, the sculptural elegance of the Sydney Opera House has made it one of the symbols of twentieth century architecture – a building that, to quote US architect Frank Gehry, “changed the image of an entire country.”
The Global Goals
The Sydney Opera House is proud to be the first major Australian arts institution to commit to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals – a to-do list for the world to address some of the most pressing issues of our time, including inequality, education and climate change.
Bridge Climb or Walk
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is more than a landmark. It’s much bigger and more important than that.
For Sydneysiders, we’ve driven it, walked it, drifted under it and had that wonderful feeling wash over them when first catching a glimpse of it through the window of a homeward-bound flight.
The heritage-listed steel arches are an iconic image of Sydney and of Australia – and we want to share it with the world.
Opened in 1932, “The Coathanger” as it is affectionately know to locals, holds a historic tale of construction that still fascinates locals and people from all over the world.
Positioned across Sydney’s breathtaking natural harbour, the Bridge has become one of the most photographed features of our beautiful city. It can be climbed for a fee dependant on which climb you choose or walk across it for free and return to the CBD by train.
After the harbour, The Rocks is the centrepiece of Sydney
Nestled at the foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and on the western shores of Sydney Cove, The Rocks is the foundation place of Sydney and Australia, and of huge historical significance. It is often described as “Sydney’s outdoors museum”.
The Rocks is a neighbourhood of historic laneways in the shadow of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Locals and tourists mingle at the open-air Rocks Markets, purchasing street food and handmade fashions.
The area has some of Sydney’s oldest pubs and many of the upscale restaurants have harbour views. The Museum of Contemporary Art offers local and international exhibits. Buskers perform along the busy harbour front promenade.
“1 minute from the waters edge and 1000 kilometres from care”.
The Royal Botanic Garden, which is just a short walk around the water’s edge from the Sydney Opera House, is situated in one of the most picturesque settings of gardens anywhere in the world.
The garden is on the shores of Farm Cove, on the eastern side of the Sydney central business district, and laid out on undulating harbourside land. From the top of the garden there are panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.
At the foot of the gardens a harbourside walking path skirts around Farm Cove, from the Sydney Opera House to Mrs Macquaries Chair, a sandstone bench carved by convicts in 1811 for the then-governor’s wife. The “chair” is situated on a point that offers some of the best views of Sydney Harbour.
Coogee to Bondi Walk – Bondi Beach
A day never to be forgotten.
A coastal walk between two of Sydney’s most important southern beaches along rocky foreshores and cliffs, highlighted by magnificent views, exquisite rock formations, overhanging rock ledges and plant and rock textures all bathed in brilliant light. Enjoy one of Sydney’s most iconic walks, taking in beautiful beaches, cliff tops and great cafes along the way. The six km walk takes two to three hours, depending on how often you stop, but you can also allow a full day to do the walk and enjoy a swim at each of the beaches en route.
In the summer season Bondi is a thriving cosmopolitan centre for sun, surf and fun. The beach is part of a large moon shaped bay of white sands and breaking surf.
Spanning the length of the beach, and across busy Campbell Parade, is a string of eateries, shops, hotels and tourist outlets for the souvenir hunter, which bustle with activity most of the time.
Coogee is a relaxed coastal suburb. Its broad, sandy beach appeals to both swimmers and surfers, and the ocean pools cut into the headlands are popular with families. There are laid-back pubs and bars on the beachfront, while the surrounding streets are filled with alfresco cafes. Joggers take in dramatic ocean views on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. Nearby Gordon’s Bay has snorkelling trails and rich marine life.
The Spit to Manly Walk – Manly Beach
The beauty of the surrounds on the 10km Manly to Spit Bridge Coastal Walk is breathtaking: groves of trees with tangled limbs, sculptural rock shelves and dramatic cliffs that change hue at dawn and dusk, reflecting the first and last rays of the sun over the sea.
The track unravels through a mix of bushland and harbourside trails and series of short tracks crossing between stunning beaches, bays and inlets. The walk is well sign-posted and takes around three to four hours to complete, depending on your fitness level and how many times you stop along the way.
Whether you want to spread a towel out and enjoy the soft white sand all day, surf its waves or explore its depths while snorkelling or diving, there’s something for everyone. For those that prefer to look at it, it also makes a great backdrop for picnics or walking and cycle tracks.
Manly is where the world’s first surfing contest was held in 1964, making it one of Australia’s most famous beaches. The iconic beach has a submerged reef, or bombora, this creates the waves that inspire the world’s best surfers to travel to our shores.
Bradleys Head and Chowder Bay
It is easily accessible and is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park and managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
The Parks service has created a recreational area at Bradleys Head, with grassed areas, stone paths and steps, and seats placed strategically at points where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Sydney Harbour.
The views from Bradleys Point are memorable with excellent views of the Opera House, Sydney CBD and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
For a taste of natural beauty in the heart of the city, head for Chowder Bay, near Mosman, in the northern precinct of Sydney Harbour National Park.
From the picturesque palm-dotted beach, you’ll gaze across the scenic waterways to South Head. Enjoy a refreshing dip in the calm waters and unpack the picnic hamper on one of the shady tables. The nearby historic military buildings and Clifton Gardens Wharf now house lively cafés and restaurants.
Watsons Bay and South Head
Is located on the southern head of the entrance to Sydney Harbour. To the east is the Tasman Sea and to the west is the Harbour with a glorious view of the city of Sydney in the distance.
Watsons Bay is where Governor Phillip first landed in Australia. It’s also recognised as Australia’s oldest fishing village, having been established in 1788.
The Bay is famous for being the home of the first Doyles Restaurant. The site on which the restaurant now stands is where Doyle originally sold his daily fish catch in 1845.
From the wharf you can walk north past Lady Bay (see their nude beach) and on to South Head and see the Hornsby Lighthouse. Alternatively, you can walk south past The Gap and take in Signal Station and Macquarie Lighthouse. See the site of the wreck of the Dunbar.
Darling Harbour is one of the Sydney CBD’s buzz places comprising cafes, restaurants, shopping complex with food hall, maritime museum, Chinese gardens and entertainment attractions.
A former dockside area, the small harbour has been transformed into a major tourist site and leading convention and exhibition centre. It now hosts an extraordinary number of waterfront restaurants and its wharves are home to a number of cruise and function boats.
Darling Harbour is split in two by the historic Pyrmont Bridge, with attractions on both the southern and northern sides of the bridge.
Entertainment takes place on a regular basis at points around Darling Harbour and on Saturday evenings there is a fireworks display over the southern part of the tiny harbour.
The capital city of the western suburbs of Sydney, Parramatta is famous as a destination for people travelling to the Blue Mountains. Situated in the heart of the city, is bustling plaza surrounded by many important landmarks, particularly the large shopping complex, Family Law Courts as well as the Old Government House and Parramatta Park.
During our next blogs, we will talk about: