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The harbor city of Sydney is one of the best places to go if you are planning a trip to Australia. It is the biggest city in Australia as well as the oldest place where early European settlers developed their colonies. Sydney is a grand city and it is difficult to imagine a time when this was a place where offenders and convicts in European countries were sent for exile. There are so many things that you could do in Sydney, so many places to look out for! The attraction to Sydney not only lies in the grand cityscape but also in the surrounding wilderness where you can go for exhilarating day trips. So, without much ado, let's dig into all the fun activities that you should be looking out for when you are in Sydney.
The Sydney Opera House
The Sydney harbor is a stunning place to find yourself and the remarkable Sydney Opera House stands out among everything that the harbor has to offer. This is a magnificent building designed to mimic billowing sails or shells and puts up one of the grandest appearances in the world. This could be understood from the fact that the Sydney Opera House is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are many ways you can enjoy this prestigious monument. You may enjoy an exquisite meal in one of the restaurants, tour through the complex as part of a guided tour, or immerse in the grandeur of it as you glide by on a harbor cruise. If you visit Mrs. Macquarie's Chair, you will get some stunning photo opportunities!
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Just like the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is another stunning and iconic attraction that Sydney has to offer. It was built in 1932, is supported by gigantic double piers on either end and is the largest arch bridge constructed from steel in the world! If you just want to gaze at the beauty of the bridge, you can either cruise below it, or pass through it in a car or on a train! However, if you want to truly experience the bridge, you have to climb to the top. Reaching the top of the bridge at 135m is one of the top adventure activities that you could do in Australia. You might even opt for one of the guided tours to the top that takes you through the history and many interesting anecdotes about the bridge and takes about 3.5 hours.
The Rocks, named after the rocky coast on the western edges, is the place where the Europeans first started to settle. It was also the home to Gadigal aboriginal people before the European settlement. Thus, you can understand how historically significant this place is to live in general in Australia.
There are many interesting places that you should be looking out for as you visit The Rocks. Cadman’s Cottage, Sydney’s oldest building, constructed in 1816 is located here as are over 100 other such heritage sites. You should head to The Rocks Discovery Museum to get a lesson in how this place transformed from the aboriginal lands to the hotshot tourist place that it is now! There are many amazing restaurants and cafes here that you can try or enjoy some relaxing time in one of the quaint galleries.
Royal Botanic Gardens
The Royal Botanic Garden in Sydney is situated a short walk away from the Opera House and was established in 1816, making it the oldest one in Australia. Palm groves, towering trees, ferns, orchids, succulents, and rainforests, tropical, and oriental plant species include some of the flora available in this garden spread over 30 hectares of land. You have to check out the Palace Rose Garden which boasts 1,800 roses at full blush! You should also visit Cadi Jam Ora- First Encounters Gardens which recounts the tale of the Gadigal aboriginals.
Queen Victoria Building
Queen Victoria Building is one of the go-to places if shopping is on your mind! This Romanesque-style building dating back to the 1890s was recently restored around the 1980s as a shopping complex and has outstanding features to look out for such as mosaic flooring and stained windows. 20 smaller domes are circling a huge central dome within the premises. Over 200 different brands have set up shop in this building and you can find most things such as apparel, homeware, galleries, designer boutiques, and so on.
Beaches in Sydney
Beaches are one of the most attractive things to look out for while you are in Sydney. There are hordes of beaches around the harbor city with calm waters ready to offer you some of the most amazing times in Sydney. Bondi Beach is one of the most attractive locations among tourists and is about 15 minutes away from the main city. If you happen to take the walk from Bondi to Coogee Beach along the coastal walking trail, you will come across some of the most remarkable vistas that Sydney has to offer. If you are traveling via public transport only, then Cronulla beach is the best choice for you. If you are looking forward to going surfing then the beaches in Collaroy, Dee Why, and Narrabeen in the northern part of the city are your best bet. If you head to Manly Beach (30-min ferry ride from Circular Quay) you could also avail surfing instructions. The beaches have a cool ambiance and you can visit the many shops and restaurants they offer.
St. Mary’s Cathedral
St. Mary’s Cathedral, situated near Hyde Park, was established between 1868 to 1882 and stands as testimony to the humble beginnings of Catholicism in Australia. The cathedral is a remarkable monument and features a neo-Gothic style of architecture. It is topped by twin spires and the building was designed on the lines of the Lincoln Cathedral while the façade reflects the style of Notre Dame in Paris.
The Barangaroo Reserve is spread across 22 hectares of land near the ocean and has a stunning collection of 75,000 local trees and shrubs. There are also separate paths for walking and cycling through the amazing reserve while you’ll also find many shops, restaurants, and exhibition spaces here! It is named after the female indigenous leader while the Europeans were settling in Australia and were opened in 2015. You should head for the Wulugul Walk which is one of the most popular activities in Barangaroo. It is a waterfront promenade covering 6 hectares and has many unique attractions that you should look out for.
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