The Sydney Opera House is Australia's pre-eminent cultural center. Famous for its cutting-edge architecture, the building's series of white-tiled sails jut into the harbor at Bennelong Point, perched on a platform of pink granite. The iconic structure was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened in 1973. Recently declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Opera House has a range of venues under its sails, including the large Concert Hall, Joan Sutherland Theater, Intimate Playhouse, and Drama Theater.
When you visit Sydney it's more than likely you will spend time at Circular Quay, arguably Sydney's number one buzz place. Circular Quay is at the foot of the central business district and the older, historic end of the city. Everyone loves "The Quay". Much of its appeal lies in the great many outdoor eating areas set up nearby. There are great views of the Circular Quay from the Harbour Bridge.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, affectionately nicknamed the "coat hanger", was erected in 1932 after 6 years in the making. Just as US immigrants knew they had arrived when they saw the Statue of Liberty, the Sydney Harbour Bridge had the same significance for thousands of Australian immigrants. The bridge is open to pedestrians, bicycles and road traffic on a deck which is 49 meters wide. Visitors can go to the South Eastern Pylon (at The Rocks end of the bridge) and then climb the 200 steps to the top for brilliant views.
Sydney Opera House tour allows you to step inside this iconic landmark and discover the stories behindJørn Utzon’s remarkable achievement. You will learn what inspired him to base his design on ships’ sails and how he solved an engineering challenge considered one of the most difficult attempted anywhere in the world. You will explore the theatres where more than 1600 concerts, operas, dramas and ballets take place each year. Your guide will be on hand to lead you through every aspect of the building’s 14-year creation and 58-year history.
Darling Harbour is located 10 minutes from the city center. The harbor is named after Lieutenant-General Ralph Darling who was Governor of NSW from 1825 to 1831. The First Fleet arrived in 1788 but during the early colonial days only hungry Europeans scavenging for the harbour's plentiful shellfish would venture here. The Cockle Bay shellfish shells were used as a source of lime for the early construction in the colony. Factories, shipyards, warehouses and wharves rapidly grew in Darling Harbour's surrounding streets. The government redeveloped the area preserving its history and turning Darling Harbour into the recreational, cultural and sporting area it is today.
Located in Darling Harbor Australian National Maritime Museum holds the relics, documents and seafaring crafts of Australian maritime history. The museum has a number of permanent exhibitions as well as regular temporary exhibitions. Watermarks explores a coastal culture's love of water, in the museum's most spectacular exhibition space. In the ANZ Tall Gallery climb on board Kay Cottee's legendary globe-circling yacht Blackmores First Lady. Eora First People presents the culture of the Gadigal people who were the first inhabitants of this area. The Passengers highlights the challenges facing immigrants who made the journey to Australia.
Once inside the Taronga Zoo enjoy taking in the many exhibits at your own pace. More than 2,900 animals live here in 10 theme areas including Wild Australia, Wild Asia and the Great Southern Oceans. The enclosures mimic the natural habitat of each creature. Check the daily schedule for keeper talks focused on Australian animals: Tasmanian devils and koalas. Enjoy sweeping views of iconic sights such as Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Taronga Zoo has many picnic areas; feel free to bring a picnic basket and enjoy lunch with views of Sydney Harbour, or purchase food at one of the on-site cafes or restaurants.
Sydney Ferries provide a unique public transport service to the people of Sydney. For residents living adjacent to Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River, ferry travel is the most practical way of commuting to Sydney’s CBD. Ferry services also enable all Sydney residents and visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour and destinations like Manly, Taronga Zoo and Darling Harbour. Sydney Ferries have a long and proud history. Every year about 173,329 ferry services are scheduled, carrying 14.7 million passengers. Circular Quay is the hub of the network, providing access to 37 other wharves ranging from Manly to Darling Harbour.
A short 30 minute ferry ride across the world’s most spectacular harbour, Manly Wharf is a great place to start your Northern Beaches experience. Manly is a must visit Sydney destination offering waterfront restaurants, attractions, adventure and entertainment for young and old. You are invited to dine in one of the many restaurants and cafés, pick up some fish n’ chips, relax on the wharf, enjoy sensational views and simply take in the ambience of this cosmopolitan resort-style location. At the end of The Corso you can choose to venture either north or south along the aptly named North Steyne and South Steyne Reserves.