Beautiful one day, perfect the next.
Epochal buildings, magnificent beaches, award-winning restaurants, historic riverside towns – do these sound familiar to your ears? Why not, each speaks out loud about belonging to Australia’s largest cosmopolitan city – Sydney.
A wonderland of national parks and forest mountains, Sydney is also a bit of an flaunter – sun-blazed beaches stretching the length of the famous harbour opening up into the Pacific, and glittering views of an impressive city skyline once the sun goes down.
At a glance, Sydney is an exhibitionist home to the listed below photographed-landmarks to visit in Sydney that should account to every tourist’s checklist!
Sydney Opera House
Sydney’s star attraction is the Sydney Opera House that juts into Sydney Harbour, sparkling like the gem it has become for the city and Australia likewise. Reminiscent of billowing sails, curved and angular all at once, the Sydney Opera House is not just a landmark but a grand feature of modern architecture. This graceful building is shaped like shells. Snap a photo while gliding by on a harbour cruise, relax at one of the restaurants, stroll around its exterior, or take an organized tour of this magnificent structure, which encompasses theatres, studios, exhibition rooms, a concert hall, and cinema. This World Heritage site is definitely worth a visit whether you are an architecture buff, opera connoisseur or an awe-struck tourist.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Superbly impressive in its own way, the Sydney Harbour Bridge or “Coat Hanger,” as the locals call it, is an elegant work of art in grey steel. Supported by massive double piers at each end, it was built in 1932 and remains the world’s largest steel arch bridge. Connecting the harbour’s north and south shores in a single curve rising 134m above the water, climbing this bridge is a once in a lifetime experience. A breathtaking panorama of the city and harbour is what it treats the tourists with.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
An extraordinary display of international, Aboriginal and modern Australian art, the Art Gallery of NSW is one of Australia’s foremost cultural institutions. Surrounded by beautiful park lands, its building dates back to 1885 and houses spacious light-filled galleries and Grand Courts with indigenous art ranging from works by the European masters and Asian artists, to expressive in-vogue art from around the world. A must-visit place for all art-lovers.
Taronga can be a great way to spend at least half a day in Sydney, even for visitors who wouldn’t normally squeeze a zoo into their plans. Enjoy close-up encounters with exotic wildlife plus brilliant views of the Sydney skyline at Taronga Zoo. Nuzzled on a point along the north side of the harbour, the zoo inhabits prime Sydney real estate in the posh suburb of Mosman. The zoo’s boasts of its most enticing draws – Lemur Adventure Park, Koala encounter, and Seal show. Over 340 species are spread over the zoo’s eight geographic regions, that take guests right by African waterholes, through South American aviaries, across the Himalayan mountains and to the Great Southern oceans – all within a leisurely walk down the hill. A visit to Taronga is usually a full day, but for some globetrotters, this won’t be enough.
A short distance from the city centre is Sydney’s favourite ocean playground, the Bondi beach. Bondi derived from an Aboriginal word, ‘Boondi’, meaning ‘water breaking over rocks,’ became a public beach in 1882 and there are still glimpses of its heritage. Surf, sun, sea, and sand is what this beach is all about. What makes Bondi so unique is that it’s the only south facing ocean beach in Sydney – most face east, straight out to sea. This volcanic amphitheatre receives the southerly swells between two headlandas, converting them into perfectly barrelling waves. You may need more than a day, probably a whole season to explore this pristine beach.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Lush and peaceful, with great harbour views, the Royal Botanic Gardens are a tranquil oasis amid the hustle and bustle of the colony. Established in 1816, encompassing 30 hectares of themed gardens with towering trees, palm groves, orchids, ferns, and flocks of fruit bats, the resplendently landscaped gardens offer plenty of attractions such as the Palm Grove, home to over 140 types of palm, as well as a succulent garden, a her-barium, and the Tropical Centre, housed in a striking pyramid-shaped glasshouse. The magnificent foreshore walk is a highlight: it stretches from the Opera House around Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, past the scenic Andrew ‘Boy’ Charlton Swimming Pool to the Domain and the Art Gallery of NSW. While at the gardens, visitors can enjoy views of Government House, the official residence of the governor of New South Wales.
The maritime-flavoured, historic heart of Sydney, the Rocks happens to be a flourishing tourist centre and a home to some of Sydney’s best state-of-the-art restaurants. While wandering, you will manage to find traces of an earlier time: narrow alleys, tiny workers’ cottages, and perfectly-preserved working-men’s pubs, the oldest in the country. Today, more than 100 heritage sites and buildings jostle along the narrow streets including Sydney’s oldest surviving house, Cadman’s cottage, built in 1816.
There is so much to do and see in this magnificent city that it’s difficult to imagine this vibrant state capital was once a brutal convict colony. Grab your backpacks and find yourself on the next flight to Sydney! No way can you try to cram it all into one trip! So visit, revisit and re-revisit!