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Sydney

Sydney city is located on one of the finest harbours in the world. Whether you are a water sport enthusiast, beach lover or city stroller, Sydney has much to offer.


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Sydney in 30 Seconds




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30 Seconds in Sydney

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Sydney

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The Harbour

Visitor activity is centred around Sydney Harbour. It is the location of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and the International Cruise Terminal at Circular Quay. New Years Eve celebrations take place around the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney to Hobart yacht race starts here. The transit point in Circular Quay is the boarding point for harbour cruises and ferries.




Harbour Views

Harbour Bridge

The world famous Harbour Bridge claims the title of not only the world's longest steel arch bridge but the largest. It's an instantly recognisable sight for anyone travelling to Sydney and provides amazing vistas of the Harbour, north to Mosman Bay and Cremorne Point and South to Woolloomooloo Bay. The bridge is a must see icon, apart from just viewing as ferries pass under and marvelling at the sight, the bridge can be climbed, walked and a tower can be climbed. All giving great views of Sydney and the harbour at different prices.

Harbour Bridge

Opera House

For most the Opera House signifies Sydney, it's the image we associate strongly with the city, while the Opera House is the iconic city building, the combination of the Opera House and Bridge in close proximity overlooking one of the world's best harbours, helps to make Sydney a must place to visit.

For most the Opera House signifies Sydney, it's the image we associate strongly with the city, just as we associate Australia with the Kangaroo and the Outback. It has been open for 41 years and originally was designed by an architect through a competition. As a structure, it is incredibly impressive, it's off white roofs imitating the billowing sails of the ships in the harbour. The view from around the base is as impressive looking either way as the Opera House lies in front and the Harbour Bridge directly behind. The Opera House was under construction from 1959 until it's opening in 1973. It was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon. For those interested in a brunch beside the water, this is the place to do it, with numerous coffee shops and restaurants located on the waters edge below the Opera House. Though the restaurant within the Opera House has amazing city views.

Opera House

Views from the Bridge

Fort Denison

Harbour Cruise

One of the best ways to enjoy the harbour and admire the combined views of the Opera House, Bridge and City is from the water. The cheapest way is to take a ferry between Darling Harbour and Circular quay, though there is no commentary to enjoy. Alternatively there are a large number of cruise options, departing from Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.

Harbour Cruise

The Harbour

Technically part of Port Jackson, Sydney Harbour is home to Harbour Bridge and the stunning Opera House.

The harbour itself was the location of the first European settlement in Australia and it play a large role in the recreational activities of many Aussies.

This is the place to be on New Years eve as fireworks stream up and over from behind the bridge, exploding in the most beautiful setting.

The Harbour

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Port Jackson

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The Quays

After the Opera House and Bridge, the next most famous landmarks are the Quays. While there are numerous quays along the length of the harbour, the two which immediately come to mind are Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.




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Between the Wharves

Circular Quay The Quays

For the next port of call, one doesn't have to move very far, located in the five minute walk between the Opera House and the Bridge, Circular Quay is the ferry point for the boats sailing across the harbour to Taronga Zoo or Mosman Bay.

It's still a well trodden route to work, especially in the summer months, so don't be surprised to see a queue at rush hours. These ferry trips provide an inexpensive tour of the harbour. The ferries move slowly enough to provide you with the full view of Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) a ferry trip is a must, especially on a sunny day. While the green and yellow Sydney Ferries have being ferrying tourists and city workers across the harbour for many many years, there are a number of faster ferries offering competition, though at higher rates. Circular Quay is also the connection point for Harbour and Whale Watching tours. Dwarfing all the local ferries are the International Cruise Ships which share the harbour and dock right beside the busy ferry wharfs. A pleasurable hour can be whiled away, just watching the ferry activity as they arrive, unload their passengers and within no time are heading out off Circular Quay. While the green and yellow Sydney Ferries have being ferrying tourists and city workers across the harbour for many many years, there are a number of faster ferries offering competition, though at higher rates. Circular Quay is also the connection point for Harbour and Whale Watching tours.

While the green and yellow Sydney Ferries have being ferrying tourists and city workers across the harbour for many many years, there are a number of faster ferries offering competition, though at higher rates. Circular Quay is also the connection point for Harbour and Whale Watching tours. Dwarfing all the local ferries are the International Cruise Ships which share the harbour and dock right beside the busy ferry wharfs. A pleasurable hour can be whiled away, just watching the ferry activity as they arrive, unload their passengers and within no time are heading out off Circular Quay.

Circular Quay

Campbell's Cove

Campbell's Cove is a small inlet jutting into Circular Quay close to the International Cruise Terminal. The cove is fronted by a series of old warehouses converted into restaurants, which are popular with visitors and locals. Along the north side of the cove is a modern hotel.

Campbell's Cove

Circular Quay Part 2

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Circular Quay

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Manly

Manly is to the North of Circular Quay, from which you can catch a Green/Yellow ferry ( about 40 minutes ) or a high speed Catamaran. There are also buses that cross the Harbour Bridge on way to Manly.




Manly Manly

Manly is to the North of Circular Quay, from which you can catch a Green/Yellow ferry ( about 40 minutes ) or a high speed Catamaran. There are also buses that cross the Harbour Bridge on way to Manly.

The North and South Heads, which form the entrance to the harbour, separate Manly from the city region. The ferry arrives and docks in Manly Cove on the inner harbour side. From here it is just a short walk,past cafes, pubs,shops,restaurants,beach stores, to Manly Beach.

As Manly is one of the most popular destinations in Sydney expect the ferries and beach to be crowded at weekends. Enjoy some leisure time, surfing,body boarding, swimming or sun worshipping or take one of the scenic walks along the coast.

The Manly Scenic Walkway has two parts. The inner harbour Spit Bridge to Manly Cove Route and the Ocean side Manly Beach to North Head.

Manly

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

The walk from the Spit Bridge to Manly is interesting and a great way to spend some time over the weekend. There are some great views of the city as you wander along the coastal track.

Spit Bridge to Manly Walk

Manly Beach to Shelly Beach

The walk starts along Manly Beach and heads south looping around Shelly Beach. Shelly Beach lies within a small cove and forms part of the National Marine Park. Sea life, including crabs and shell fish are protected within the area, as are the many Water Dragons, which can easily be seen lazing in the bushes along side the walkway. Along the walkway there are a number of restaurants, at busy weekends it is best to reserve a table.

Manly Beach to Shelly Beach

Lookout Point

After Shelly Beach the path has steps rising uphill at the back of Shelly Beach. Once at the top there are views over Manly Beaches and to the far north, while turning around there are views over the ocean and along the cliffs which protect Manly Beach from storm surges.

Lookout Point

The Quarry

From the look out point the path changes into a rugged stones track. It leaves the coast for a bit and rises through bush and shrub land. The track then passes through a hole in what's quite a massive wall. This is the boundary wall of the sand stone quarry , from where some of the stone in Sydney buildings was obtained. Passing through more shrub the land continues to rise until it opens out in a delightful lake. The lake is the result of water accumulating in the quarry excavations. Listen closely and you will hear frogs croaking, while in the shrub there is a myriad of wild life. The area has a beautiful range of wild flowers that bloom through the seasons.

The Quarry

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Manly New South Wales

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Eastern Beaches

Just a short 30/40 minutes bus ride from the city or a train ride from central with a change to bus at Bondi Junction and you are in the Mecca of NSW surfing and boarding beaches. Probably the most well know beach is Bondi, though the beaches at Tamarama, Bronte and Coogee are worth visiting.




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Bondi Beach Eastern Beaches

Bondi at weekends and particularly at holiday times can be jammed with sun worshippers, surfers and body boarders. Bondi and surfing have been synonymous for almost half a century. Arrive there on most mid mornings and you will see school groups, bundle out of vans, grab their boards off the roof or trailer and head running to the waves.

Bondi has traditionally being associated with back packing, but there are signs that the backpackers are moving on as higher class accommodation is being built.

If you are looking for a different beach experience head to some of the wonderful beaches between Bondi and Coogee or head up the coast to Watsons Bay ( inside harbour).

Bondi Beach

Coogee to Bondi

If you walk south from Bondi along the cliff edge, you'll soon come to the Coogee to Bondi Walk. This frequented walkway, by locals and tourists alike offers some of the best sea views in the whole of NSW, only a stones throw from the city.

It's undeniably beautiful and along the walk there are plenty of small quieter beaches to dip your toes into. Coogee beach is not as large as Bondi but has more subdued seaside town feel. It is also served by a regular bus route back to central.

Coogee to Bondi

Tamarama Beach

Following the coastal path from Bondi to Coogee you soon come to Tamarama Beach. This is a sheltered cove, with sandy beach and sheltered cove. The Tamarama surfing club was one of the first setup in Australia. The path way follows the outline of small sandstone cliffs eroded by the strong prevailing winds, some of the eroded rocks have strange cutouts and formations.

Tamarama Beach

Clovelly Beach to Gordon's Bay

The next place of note is Bronte, which is about an hours walk from Bondi. Bronte has what is probably Sydney's best rock formation pool. As the sea currents are strong at this point, most people, especially families swim in the sea water pool. The area has cafes, grassy park with trees and a children's playground.

Clovelly Beach to Gordon's Bay

Coogee Beach

While the name comes from the Aboriginal language and can be translated as rotting seaweed, there is no need to be concerned as Coogee is probably one of the cleanest and interesting places along the coastal path. The beach is the largest, with a long curving sandy sweep. The walk from Bondi takes about 2 hours (of course depending on how fast you walk or how often you stop to take in the sights ) There are many cafes and restaurants close to the beach. Like Bronte there are also open air sea pools. You can return to the city by bus. The bus takes about 40 minutes.

Coogee Beach

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Bondi Beach

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The Rocks

The Rocks is the site where European's first settled in Sydney. While it has changed over the 200 year period, there are still reminders of the origins of the city. The area is just beside the west promenade of Circular Quay behind the Museum of Contemporary Art and bounded by the raised road/train way heading to the Harbour Bridge.




The Streets

As many of the original buildings were demolished, the names of the streets give an indication of the kind of business activity which took place in the area. Obviously Mill Lane had a mill but guessing what kind of activities went on in the Suez Canal would be more difficult. If you have given up trying to guess the answer is prostitution along the street and in the nearby brothels. The Suez Canal had a notorious reputation and was known for good or bad through out the city. The Rocks Square was the scene of confrontation between environmentalists trying to save the historic buildings from demolish ion in 1973 and the authorities who were keen to see the entire area redeveloped. The government in 1975 after opposing the environmentalists gave in to public demands and put protection orders on the remaining buildings. Throughout the Rocks there are some notable buildings such as Gannon House, built by a convict.

The Streets

Millers Point

Millers Point lies on the upper west side of the Rocks. This historic residential area can be accessed by walking under the arched tunnel behind the Lower Rocks on Argyle Road or by walking around to Dawes Point and up the Lower Fort Street. The tunnel known as Argyle Cut was started in 1843 using convict labour, though before its completion in 1859, the convicts were replaced by council labour, using explosives to bore through the massive rock. The cut provided easy access from Milers Point to the Rocks and allowed the area develop. Today, Miller's Point is a reminder of what the Rocks might once have looked like, with its terraced roads of historic style houses, village greens and narrow streets. The area maybe changing over the next few years as many of the older homes are sitting on prime development land with great views of the harbour.

Millers Point


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Darling Harbour




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The Water Front

Pyrmont Bridge

Ferries

Vivid

Every year the harbours come alive, and Darling Harbour is no exception, during the Vivid Festival.

Vivid

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Darling Harbour

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A touch of China

Until the early years of the 20th century, the Chinese played a significant part in the development of the city. Today the Garden of Friendship and China Town represent a small part of this contribution




Chinese Garden of Friendship

The Chinese Gardens of Friendship takes you into a little part of China, with flowing waterfalls, small lakes, exotic plants, zig zag bridges, pagodas, pavilions and some rather large Koi fish. Relax and unwind in this tranquil part of the city. There is an entrance fee for the gardens.

Chinese Garden of Friendship

China Town

Further south of the Chinese Gardens of Friendship is China Town. At times during the year, particularly during the Chinese New Year, the area is awash with red and yellow paper lanterns, colourful streamers, dancing dragons and the smell of incense. Throughout the year the area is a popular eating place, with many Chinese and Asian restaurants.

China Town

Paddy's Market

Paddys Market is alongside China town. To get to the market or Chinatown you can take the light rail tram from Central Station, or one of the many stops along its route as it meanders along through Prymont passed the The Star Casino, around head, passed the fish market and out through Glebe. Looking for low coast clothes, good vegetables, children's toys then you can find them and more in the market.

Paddy's Market


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Prymont

Prymont Peninsula lies to the west of Darling Harbour. It is home to The Star Casino, residential and office units.




Peninsula Prymont

Prymont Prymont Peninsula lies to the west of Darling Harbour. It is home to The Star Casino, residential and office units. Walking around the Prymont waterside is interesting as it's much much quieter than Darling or Circular Quay. There are a number of wharfs which act as small marinas, which help to create a maritime ambience. Of course, Prymont Bridge starts at the lower end of the peninsula where it joins with Darling Harbour. The fish market is on the lower west side of Prymont. From the bridge if you walk along bridge road ( up hill ) then follow the road down the hill you will come to the fish market in Blackwattle Bay. Alternatively take the light rail around the peninsula till its stops near the market.

Peninsula

Fish Market

The fish market is a working fishing market, with small trawlers arriving back in port after spending a day or two trawling the waters from Newcastle to Woologong. Tours will take you a visit where you can wander through the fish stalls or along the pier. Though of course you can take the tram and do a self tour. Within the market there is a large food hall where you can sample many fish varieties if you order one of the large platters.

Fish Market


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The Parks

The city has a number of parks and gardens such as Hyde Park and the Botanic Gardens south of the harbour which are close to the CBD and Opera House. The three main parks Botanic, Domain and Hyde Park are interconnected, so it's easy to stroll through Hyde Park and continue on to the Domain and Botanic Gardens.




Botanic Gardens The Parks

A short 6 minute walk will take you to the Botanic Gardens. The gardens lie along the shore of Farm Cove, stretching almost as far as Woolloomooloo Bay. This is area is one of the first places to be farmed way back in the early 1800s. The gardens were established in 1816 and celebrate their bicentennial in 2016. Over 9000 plant species, many of them Australian, all clearly labelled, can be found throughout the garden. The spring as many of the plants first bud and bloom after the Sydney winter is an especially beautiful time. The gardens has a fernery, where a range of worldwide ferns grow in a shady moist environment. The Camellia Garden has more than 1000 camellia plants. Tropical begonias can be found in the Begonia Garden. This is an area where you can walk through beautifully laid out paths, passing scented trees and blooming flowers. If your time is short there is a small train that tours the garden throughput the day.

Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens

For the plant lovers, there are guided walking tours. The gardens used to be home to an enormous colony of flying foxes, a species of bat. However, their presence there destroyed 22 types of tree and thus permission was given to move them out. Since there have been speakers in place playing sounds to irritate the bats, none have roosted in the gardens since 2012. Entry is free to the gardens.

Botanic Gardens

Mrs MacQuaries Chair

The Botanic Gardens on the edge of the harbour is popular with visitors and photographers as the view of the harbour and bridge is usually spectacular.

Of course at that time in 1810 there was no Harbour Bridge or Opera House, but the harbour was amazingly beautiful just like today.

The governor had this seat carved from the sandstone rock so his wife could enjoy the harbour views and rest while strolling around the coastal path.

Mrs MacQuaries Chair

Hyde Park

Hyde Park is home to the ANZAC War Memorial for the soldiers who fought and died in WWI and WWII. WWI is held to a special importance in Australia as it serves as their Nation Birth Myth, where the whole country came together as one to fight a common enemy. ANZAC day is on the 25th of April and is a national holiday for the country.

Hyde Park has been a public park since 1810. It was a venue for cricket, boxing and wrestling championships and horse racing. Both convicts and military took part in the competitions. Today it is a place to relax, have a picnic or BBQ and relax in the shade of a tree and admire the view of the close by CBD.

Hyde Park

Woolloomooloo

While the area around Woolloomooloo was at one time a busy drinking quarter, it has been rejuvenated and become much more upmarket with the restoration of the long wooden wharf warehouse. The warehouse back in the early 1900s was the centre of a standoff between the trade unions and an alignment of developers and government agencies. The latter were on the verge of demolishing the warehouse to make way for something more modern. The unions on the other hand, had the vision to see what the building could become with the correc attention to detail.

After a three year standoff, during which union members refused to work on the development the government changed tack and introduced a restructuring program.

The beautiful wooden structure we have today, with its restaurants and hotel is a result of the union campaign.

Woolloomooloo

Views from the Parks

Connected to the Botanical Gardens, Hyde Park is right in the centre of downtown Sydney. It is located near St. Georges Street, one of the busiest in the city and is served by its own Metro stop, Museum Station. As the Metro station suggests, two Museums overlook into the park, the Australia Museum and the Hyde Park Barracks Museum.

Hyde Park has been a public park since 1810. It was a venue for cricket, boxing and wrestling championships and horse racing. Both convicts and military took part in the competitions. Today it is a place to relax, have a picnic or BBQ and relax in the shade of a tree and admire the view of the close by CBD.

Views from the Parks


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Things to do.

Looking for something apart from surfing, ferry hopping, bridge climbing, park strolling then consider a trip to the zoo or join a whale watching tour.




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Climb the Bridge

There is the opportunity to scale the bridge, walking up the south side to its peak, attached to a cable line. This is not for the faint of heart as up 134 metres above water, it can get fairly windy. It is also expensive, excluding most from attempting the feat, though recently a less expensive third climbing option has been introduced. The Bridge Climb Sampler taken 90 minutes is the cheapest tour and you get to walk halfway to the top of the bridge. The next least expensive, taking 2.5 hours is the BridgeClimb express. The full package called the BridgeClimb is 3.5 hours. The climbs offer spectacular views of the harbour. Climbs planned for the May - June Vivid Sydney should be booked well in advance.

Climb the Bridge

Cockatoo Island

The largest of the small islands located in the harbour, Cockatoo Island began it's life as a penal colony in 1839. In 1869 it converted to a dockyards and remained that way until 1991. it has since become a UNESCO world heritage site and has become a popular camping ground for the residents of Sydney. The camp ground attracts 20000 a year, and is usually packed to its 2000 capacity at New Years eve when it is an amazing viewing spot for the fireworks display. It's served by a regular ferry and day trips are easily arranged. For those looking to stay, early booking is advised and it is priced at $50 per night at weekends for a 4x4 camping site for up to 4 people.

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Cockatoo Island

Taronga Zoo Things to do.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in Sydney, this world famous zoo overlooks the harbour from the northern side and houses a wide range of native and foreign animals. Talks on the animals from the trainers are a frequent occurrence daily and there is more than enough to satisfy even the casual animal lover.

A highlight is the daily training of the elephant, when the zookeepers give a male bull treats in return for catching a throwing a football. Best of all, the zoo is kept in great condition and there are few worries of animals being mistreated. Definitely a zoo worth seeing. Tickets are $44 for adults and $22 for children.

Taronga Zoo

Whale Watching

Joining a whale watching tour can be one of the highlights of a visit to Sydney. Hump back whales migrate north from Antartica to the warmer waters north of Queensland, where the adult females usually give birth to a calf. In springtime they return south, this time with a young calf endow. The mother feeds the calf throughout the journey with her milk which can look like toothpaste. When the whales return to the colder waters they can eat once again, feeding off the abundant chill. Tours leave from both Circular Quay and Darling Harbour and other places along the coast, during both phases of the migration.

Since the 1970s when a protection order was placed on what was then an endangered species, whale numbers migration have increased from a few 100 to over 20,000.

Whale Watching

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Taronga Zoo

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Lachlan Macquarie

Lachlan Macquarie the colonial administrator of Sydney from 1810 to 1821 played a major part in the social, cultural and architectural aspects of the city.Many of the buildings throughout Sydney are named after him.




MacQuarie Street Lachlan Macquarie

Named, like many points of interest, after and by Lachlan Macquaire, the 5th and last colonial administrator of Sydney. The governor saw Sydney more than just a penal colony but a place where a grand city could be established. He commissioned a number of the sandstone buildings on the street. A convict Francis Greenway who had been an architect in England was selected by Macquaire to design some of the grandest buildings in present day Sydney. The list of his designs includes the Government House located in the Botanic Gardens, the Conservatorium Museum, the State Library of NSW, the Mint and Parliament House and the Barracks all on or near Macquarie Street. The Sydney Hospital was built by two entrepreneurs and the colonies surgeon. They barred a deal to build the hospital for a three year monopoly on the rum trade. Hence the hospital is colloquially known as the Rum Hospital.

MacQuarie Street

Further Reading on Wikipedia : Lachlan Macquarie


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Copyright Trav Vid Jul 25 2017

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