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Sydney - The Heart of Modern Australia

Situated on Australia's south-east coast, Sydney is the country’s biggest metropolis with a population of just over four million and the state capital of New South Wales.

As many people mistakenly believe, it is not the capital city of Australia (Canberra holds that right).

The city was inhabited for tens of thousands of years by Aboriginal tribes until the first British colony was established in 1788.

Home to the iconic Sydney Opera House, its unique setting, with miles of coastline, a breathtaking harbour and mountainous parklands is complemented by a warm tropical climate.

Sydney is renowned as a dynamic, cosmopolitan and multicultural city. Its restaurant and cafe scene is enhanced by outstanding local fresh produce and world-class wine.

Top 10 things to do in Sydney

Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point in Sydney Harbour, close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973, the modern design is one of the most recognisable buildings of the 20th century and has become a symbol not just for the city but for the whole country.

Featuring two main auditoriums and over 1000 rooms it has an annual audience of 2 million for its performances featuring concerts, plays, and operas.

Daily tours of the Opera House take the visitor through the entire structure as well as backstage.

Harbour Bridge

Completed in 1932 the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Sydney's most famous landmarks.

Locally nicknamed "The Coathanger", the bridge took 8 years to build and connects the Southern Central Business District (CBD) to the North Shore and carries rail, vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

The Bridge Climb is Sydney’s most popular attraction. Climbs run throughout the day, from dawn to dusk, can take several hours and should be booked well in advance. Upon reaching the summit, the views of Sydney are spectacular and worth every step to the top.

Sydney Harbour Bridge has been the focal point of much tourism and national pride. As part of the fireworks display on New Year's Eve each year since 1998, the Sydney Harbour Bridge has what is referred to colloquially as the "Bridge Effect", in which a light display on a framework is used to complement the fireworks.

Sydney Tower

Located in the center of the commercial district, Sydney Tower (also known as Centrepoint) is Sydney's tallest free-standing structure, and the second tallest in Australia.

Inside, visitors can take experience OzTrek, a “virtual reality” ride that highlights the geography and cultural history of the continent.

The tower itself has two observation decks open to the public. The first observation deck is at 250 m (820 ft) above ground level with a fully-enclosed viewing platform featuring 360 degree views of the city and surrounds.

The second is the Sydney Tower Skywalk platform at 268 m (879 ft) above ground level. It has an open-air viewing platform and is only accessible as part of planned and booked tours. This deck is an open-air, glass-floored platform circling the tower and extends out over the edge of the main structure.

Shops as well as a rotating restaurant are also available.

Bondi Beach

Bondi Beach is known as the hippest of Sydney's beach areas.

Located 7 kilometres east of the CBD, the beach is about one kilometre long and is a popular destination for surfers. The south end of the beach is generally reserved for surfboard riding.

There is an underwater shark net shared during the summer months with yellow and red flags defining safe swimming areas.

Bondi is more than just the beach, there are many excellent cafes, seafood restaurants and bars & clubs on the seafront and all the way back to Bondi Junction.

The Rocks

The Rocks, located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, is an inner-city suburb, tourist precinct and historic area of Sydney by day and a busy pub scene by night.

The Rocks is different in character and atmosphere from the commercial and retail heart of Sydney, with an abundance of local attractions. Explore narrow streets and stroll along its cobblestones.

As the oldest area of Sydney it enjoys a conservation program that has preserved the heritage and character of the area with vibrant pocket of cafes and restaurants and interesting tourist shops and stalls.

On weekends and at festival times, there is usually free entertainment, with outdoor concerts and street theatre. Many of The Rocks' pubs offer live music - jazz, folk and pop.

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Manly Ferry

The Manly ferry is one of the best ways to see Sydney Harbour.

The 30 minute ferry trip starts at circular quay and gives the best views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, plus the outer harbour.

You then land at Manly, a beautiful beach on the north shore, where you can swim, walk or just have a coffee while waiting for the return ferry ride.

A great way to see Sydney and appreciate just why it is considered to be one of the most beautiful harbours in the world.

Royal Botanic Garden

As the largest of three major botanical gardens open to the public in Sydney the Royal Botanic Gardens are situated overlooking Farm Cove, directly east of the Sydney Opera House.

The area is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful settings you will see anywhere, with the gardens filling an area of land between the harbour and the eastern part of the central business district.

There are large trees with a wonderful shade canvas and this makes the best spot imaginable to stop and have lunch - sitting on the grass and taking in the harbour views.

The gardens have more than one million specimens and there is even a hop-on hop-off "train" for the less energetic.

Australian Museum

Located in College Street and originally known as the Colonial Museum or Sydney Museum, The Australian Museum is the oldest museum in Australia featuring collections of vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, as well as mineralogy, paleontology, and anthropology.

The Museum of Sydney is on the site of Australia’s first Government House, built in 1788. Spread over three floors, the Museum has a number of top class standing exhibitions as well as ever changing special exhibitions and events.

One of its galleries traces Aboriginal history from the Dreamtime to the present.

Queen Victoria Building

The Queen Victoria Building, or QVB, is a Victorian building in the CBD. The site was once home to the George Street Markets, and was selected for the construction of a grand government building.

Currently a shopping centre, it has had a variety of roles in its life including a concert hall, municipal library and offices for Sydney Council.

The QVB fills an entire city block bound by George, Market, York and Druitt Streets and its dominant feature is the mighty centre dome, consisting of an inner glass dome and an exterior copper- sheathed dome. Stained glass windows, including a cartwheel window depicting the ancient arms of the City of Sydney, allow light into the central area.

There are many interesting and charming exhibitions and attractions throughout the building over its four main shopping floors.

Sydney Aquarium

Situated on the eastern (city) side of Darling Harbour to the north of the Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney Aquarium contains a large variety of Australian aquatic life, displaying more than 650 species comprising more than 6,000 individual fish and other sea and water creatures from most of Australia's water habitats.

Opened in 1988, during Australia's bicentenary celebrations, it is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Some of the displays are housed in the main exhibition hall and others are housed in floating oceanariums that have underwater tunnels allowing visitors to examine marine life at close quarters.

The Great Barrier Reef complex comprises of a tropical touch pool, a live coral cave, coral atoll, two circular gateway displays and a massive Great Barrier Reef oceanarium.

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Temperature & Rainfall Guide for Sydney

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Great Airfare Deals to Sydney

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