Sydney Attractions and Tourist
Sydney Opera House
‘s most distinctive landmark is arguably the Opera House. Work on this architectural masterpiece was begun in 1959. The opera was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II in October 1973. The first performance was Beethoven’s 9th symphony. The Opera House was nominated as one of the world’s new seven wonders. Open daily from 2 pm 0900 to 1700, and every 60 minutes a 60 minute tour starts. The entrance fee costs NOK 130 (90 for children).
Bondi Beach is one of the world’s most famous beaches, but don’t expect a quiet and tranquil paradise beach. Bondi is very lively and well-developed with apartment complexes, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. At the north end of the beach are bronze-brown muscle bundles and flex the biceps while the youths play volleyball and young families have a picnic. The south end of the beach is more popular with tourists, locals and surfers.
15 minutes drive east from central Sydney you will find the idyllic Bronte Beach. This white sandy beach is almost as much visited as the more famous Bondi Beach, which is 2.5 kilometers further north. Bronte Beach has great views of the cliffs close by.
This zoo opened in 1916 and has over 26,000 animals spread across 340 species. With 283 hectares, the Taronga Zoo is one of the world’s largest zoos. Most curiosity is linked to the peculiar Australian animals such as koala, kangaroo, dingo, Tasmanian devils, platypus and emu. Australia has more poisonous animals than any other country, and here you can meet them all, both snakes, spiders and scorpions.
Open daily from 2 pm 0900 to 1700, entrance fee NOK 160 for adults, NOK 90 for children.
This 1150 meter long and 49 meter wide bridge connecting Sydney city center with Sydney north is the city’s other world famous landmark. It was opened in 1932 and, with its 134 meters long, was Sydney’s tallest building. You can experience the panoramic view of Sydney from the top of the bridge by climbing to the top yourself. Bridgeclimb is open every day of the week, and the climb itself takes a total of approx. 3.5 hours. You should book this popular experience in advance as it is often fully booked.
Museum of Sydney
This museum deals with Sydney’s colonial history through multimedia, artefacts, maps and photos, and is built on the site of the city’s first governor. Built in 1788, this was Australia’s first government building and was uncovered during archaeological excavations in 1983. The
Museum of Sydney is located at 37 Phillip Street and is open daily from 6am. 0930 to 1700. Entry fee 50 NOK for adults, children half price.
This large park is named after its counterpart in London and has been a leisure area in Sydney since 1792. It has a past as both a cricket ground and a horse race track. Located east of the city center, it is a green and peaceful area with manicured gardens, the majestic Archibald fountain, monuments, a James Cook statue and a 40 meter high obelisk with Egyptian inscriptions.
With over 650 different creatures from Australian seas and rivers, this aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Here you can walk in acrylic glass tunnels under the water while sharks swim over you. In addition to fish, you can also see crocodiles, squid and seals, and a massive recreation of the Great Barrier Reef, where it lives over 6,000 animals.
The Sydney Aquarium is located on the east side of Darling Harbor and is open daily from 6am to 6pm. 0900 to 2200. Entrance fee NOK 140, children half price.
This is Sydney’s Science and Technology Museum, and the name derives from the old power station the museum is located in. Among the 400,000 exhibits, you’ll find a steam locomotive built by Stephenson in 1854, and the world’s oldest functioning steam engine from 1785. The
Powerhouse Museum is located in 500 Harris Street and is open daily from 6 p.m. 1000 to 1700. Entrance fee 50 NOK, children half price.
Sydney Toweris Sydney’s tallest freestanding building, and Australia’s second tallest. The tower is right in the center, at 100 Market Street, and looms 305 feet above the ground. It has been one of Sydney’s foremost tourist attractions since it opened in 1981, and is both a landmark and a stunning viewing tower. The observation deck is 250 meters, where you will find both a gift shop and a popular rotating restaurant. The 260-meter-high skywalk platform is open-air, and can only be visited on pre-booked tours.
The Australian Museum in Sydney is Australia’s oldest museum, founded in 1827, and is a leader in natural history, anthropology and science. The museum can also offer guided tours, and every Sunday at 1 p.m. 1400 there are live shows with didgeridoo and dance.
The museum is located at 6 College Street and is open every day from 7 p.m. 0930 to 1700. Entrance fee 50 NOK, children half price.
Tourist in Sydney
An easy way to see most things is to join a guided tour with one of the open sightseeing buses, with comments in optional language in earphones. Sydney’s City Tour has a route with twenty-two regular stops, where you can hop off, stay as long as you want, and hop on the next bus when appropriate. You can pre-order tickets and find more information on the internet, children up to 10 years pay about half the price.
Day 1 as a tourist in Sydney
Trying to catch all of Sydney’s attractions in two days is like trying to watch all three Godfather movies in half an hour; it is doable, but you will not get much benefit from it. We therefore concentrate instead on two of Sydney’s most interesting areas; Circular Quay and Darling Harbor.
Have a hearty breakfast at the hotel, this will be a long day with some walking. If you do not live in the Central Business District, you can take the metro to Circular Quay station. If you look out at the harbor, you’ll see today’s first stop, Sydney’s famous Harbor Bridge, about 500 meters northwest of you. The bridge is one of the widest (49 meters) in the world, and it was not until 1932 that the city’s inhabitants became the link between northern and southern Sydney. From Dawes Point Park, at the far end of the headland, you have a brilliant view of both the bridge and the other side of the bay of Sydney Cove with the Opera House.
Just below the bridge is the historic and very cozy district of The Rocks. The district has its name after the first buildings, which were built in sandstone. The Rocks were long regarded as a slum for prostitutes, criminals and sailors, but today the street scene is dominated by cafes, bars, restaurants and small local souvenir shops. Bring with you the historic buildings of Cadman’s Cottage and Sydney Observatory.
Walking down George Street, you will pass Sydney’s Contemporary Art Museum on your right before turning in front of Circular Quay. Here, at the very bottom of Sydney Cove Bay, the first British ships arrived in 1788, and most Australians consider this the nation’s birthplace. Customs House is located on this site today, and was built in 1845. Here you will find various exhibitions, eateries and the City of Sydney Library. On the top floor you will find the Cafe Sydney restaurant, where you can have lunch with a fantastic view of the harbor, the bridge and the Opera House.
Continue along Circular Quay east, take a few hundred yards down Phillip Street and visit the interesting City Museum of Sydney. It is located on the site where the first government house was built in 1788, the remains of which are part of the exhibition that deals with the town’s history from 1788 up to our time. Entry fee 50 NOK for adults, children half price.
Return to Circular Quay and continue north towards Australia’s most famous building, the beautiful and distinctive Opera House, which was opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1973. The Opera House was nominated as one of the world’s new seven wonders. Open daily from 2 pm 0900 to 1700, and every 60 minutes a 60 minute tour starts. The entrance fee costs NOK 130 (90 for children).
If you continue into the park just south of the Opera House, you will soon come to Government House, a Gothic Renaissance building that was the residence of the governor in the 19th and 20th centuries. Here lived all the heads of state and royalty who were visiting Sydney, but today it is a museum. A few hundred meters south of this lies Sydney’s Conservatory of Music, right next to the city’s beautiful and well-kept botanical garden.
Are you still ready to go and see more, there are a number of interesting buildings in Macquarie Street, which runs north / south next to the park. Here you first come to the State Library of New South Wales, which was built in 1845. Just below you have the State Parliament House, where the colony’s board held meetings from 1829. The state parliament still lives here. Further down the street lies the Sydney Mint Museum in a building from 1811, where the first British coin ministry was located outside England.
After a trip back to the hotel for a much needed shower, and some aftersun cream, it’s time to start thinking about a better dinner. Take a taxi to Market Street or the Metro to the City Center station. You will not be able to avoid noticing the 305 meter high Sydney Tower. The entrance fee costs around NOK 120, and a lift brings you up to the gallery level of around 250 meters. There is a rotating restaurant and bar, 360, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the entire city while eating Australian or French cuisine. The restaurant also has a good selection of wines, and is open until 10 p.m. 2230, or until 2330 on Saturdays.
Day 2 as a tourist in Sydney
We head to Sydney’s other major tourist attraction area, Darling Harbor. Darling Harbor is located west of the Central Business District. You can take the metro to Darling Park Station, and just north of this you have today’s first stop, the magnificent Sydney Aquarium with over 650 different creatures from the Australian seas and rivers. This is one of the largest aquariums in the world. Here you can walk in acrylic glass tunnels under the water while sharks swim over you. In addition to fish, you can also see crocodiles, squid and seals, and a massive recreation of the Great Barrier Reef, where it lives over 6,000 animals. Entrance fee NOK 140, children half price.
This visit can easily take several hours. Afterwards, stroll across Cockle Bay on the over 100-year-old Pyrmont Bridge walkway. On the other hand, you are right next to the highly interesting Australian National Maritime Museum, which has several historic ships and boats on display as well as presenting Australia’s long maritime history.
Now it’s probably time for lunch, and after strolling around Darling Harbor you’ll find the nice and affordable Blackbird Cafe on the east side of Cockle Bay. Here you can sit on the outdoor terrace with great views of Darling Harbor and have lunch at prices that should be well done to find better in this tourist area.
We suggest a stroll south through Tumbalong Park, where you’ll also find Sydney’s magnificent Chinese Friendship Garden, a gift from Sydney’s Friendship Village in China, Guangzhou. On the right side you have Sydney’s Convention and Exhibition Center, and if you fancy another museum visit, the Powerhouse Museum is just south of this. This is Sydney’s Science and Technology Museum, and the name derives from the old power station in which the museum is located. Among the 400,000 exhibits you will find a steam locomotive built by Stephenson in 1854, and not least the world’s oldest functioning steam engine from 1785. The museum is open daily starting at. 1000 to 1700. Entrance fee 50 NOK, children half price.
Afterwards you can continue straight east and you will come to Market City, where you will find the famous Paddy’s Market. This is Sydney’s largest and liveliest market, where you can buy most of affordable clothing, books, CDs and LPs, fruits and vegetables, flowers, birds and fish. Further east, Sydney’s Chinatown is located in and around Dixon Street. The city’s Chinese residents have lived here since the 1920s. The street signs have Chinese characters, and you will find large traditional Chinese entrance halls with carved kites and a myriad of Chinese health food stores and restaurants.
Continuing east, you reach George Street, a busy street leading up to The Rocks. Here you will also find several interesting and historic buildings, such as Sydney’s magnificent Town Hall (no. 483), built of Victorian-style sandstone in 1880. Adjacent is Australia’s oldest cathedral, St. Andrews, built in 1868. Vis-à -to the City Hall is the huge Queen Victoria Building shopping center with its distinctive dome, built in 1898.
For dinner, consider taking a taxi or subway back to Darling Harbor and visit the excellent Indian restaurant Zaaffran on the west side of the harbor. The price level is very good considering that the restaurant may have Sydnes best view of Darling Harbor. And afterwards, the road is not long to one of Sydney’s best nightlife areas, with hundreds of bars and nightclubs within walking distance.