SYD­NEY’S SHIN­ING LIGHTS

Re­cre­ation in Aus­tralia’s largest city is usu­ally an out­door ex­er­cise

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - CONTENTS -

Top things to do next time you’re in the buzzing city Down Un­der

SYD­NEY HAR­BOUR BRIDGE CLIMB Since 1998 it’s been pos­si­ble to climb this iconic bridge, and it’s be­come one of Syd­ney’s sig­na­ture must-do ac­tiv­i­ties, with more than three mil­lion peo­ple en­joy­ing the experience. Suited up in over­alls and clipped into safety har­nesses, the round trip takes around three hours, and can be un­der­taken dur­ing day­time, at night, or for sun­rise or sun­set. Ac­cess via Bridge Climb Syd­ney at 3 Cumberland St in The Rocks.

AUSTRALIAN NA­TIONAL MAR­ITIME MU­SEUM

The ANMM is not only a na­tional repos­i­tory of sea-re­lated col­lec­tions and ex­hibits, but also a ma­jor re­search fa­cil­ity in its own right. Lo­cated in the pop­u­lar Dar­ling Har­bour district, it cur­rently fea­tures ex­hi­bi­tions on pearling in Aus­tralia, arte­facts from Pom­pei and the Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year, as well as ves­sels such as a replica of James Cook’s En­deav­our, the HMAS Vam­pire (Aus­tralia’s last big gun ship) and the sub­ma­rine HMAS Onslow – all of which can be boarded and ex­plored. Ac­cess via Syd­ney Mono­rail’s Har­bour­side sta­tion.

THE ROYAL BOTANIC GAR­DEN Aus­tralia’s old­est botanic gar­den, es­tab­lished in 1816, this is a su­perla­tive ex­am­ple of the Bri­tish colo­nial pen­chant for flo­ral won­der­lands filled with plant life from around the world. Spread over 30 hectares of sweep­ing lawns, colour­ful flowerbeds and ma­jes­tic stands of trees, a stag­ger­ing 8,900 plant species are rep­re­sented here. A muchloved lunchtime spot for city work­ers, it opened a new at­trac­tion last year: an in­te­grated blend of in­door and out­door ar­eas called The Ca­lyx that hosts a fu­sion of the­atre, art and flora. Ac­cess via the Syd­ney Opera House Gate or from the top of Bridge Street.

SYD­NEY FISH MAR­KET Just to the west of Dar­ling Har­bour on Black­wat­tle Bay in the Pyr­mont district, this is the city’s premier des­ti­na­tion for both raw and cooked seafood. It’s all about fresh­ness and di­ver­sity of pro­duce: or­der lob­ster, prawns, fish such as seabass, and in par­tic­u­lar freshly shucked oys­ters, then sit down at a ta­ble on the wa­ter­front and en­joy… but watch out for the many op­por­tunis­tic gulls who will steal your food if you turn away for an in­stant. Ac­cess via Syd­ney Light Rail to Fish Mar­ket sta­tion.

FROM OLD TO NEW: THE ROCKS AND BARANGA­ROO The promon­tory di­rectly un­der the Har­bour Bridge is one of the last places to see build­ings dat­ing back to the 18th and 19th cen­tury – though the con­victs’ and wharf labour­ers’ houses have been spruced up and are now home to trendy shops, restau­rants, mar­kets and bou­tique ho­tels. Walk in a broad semi­cir­cle un­der the bridge and round Dawes Point to Baranga­roo Re­serve, the start of Syd­ney’s new wa­ter­front re­newal project, which fea­tures a head­land park, prom­e­nades, cul­tural spa­ces and great restau­rants. Ac­cess on foot start­ing at Cir­cu­lar Quay.

BONDI BEACH TO BRONTE BAY COASTAL WALK Syd­ney’s most fa­mous beach is a beautiful a cou­ple of kilo­me­tres to Bronte Bay. First you pass the Beach is backed by a green park and plenty of cafés (A$30/US$22).

TARONGA ZOO This has to be one of the best and most scenic zoos in the world, with stun­ning vis­tas across Syd­ney Har­bour to the city, over 4,000 an­i­mals to ob­serve in en­clo­sures care­fully con­structed to keep them as con­tent as pos­si­ble, and more than 20 keeper talks and shows every day, from a Freeflight Bird Show to a Sa­van­nah Sa­fari. Op­por­tu­ni­ties to feed an­i­mals such as gi­raffes and pen­guins add to the im­mer­sive experience. Ac­cess via ferry from Cir­cu­lar Quay (a 12-minute ride).

THE BLUE MOUN­TAINS If you have a day free then don’t miss the op­por­tu­nity to visit this amaz­ing moun­tain land­scape in­land of the city, which was in­scribed on the World Her­itage List in 2000. High­lights in the eu­ca­lyp­tu­soil in­fused Blue Moun­tains in­clude the quaint town of Ka­toomba with its su­perb Echo Point view­ing plat­form show­ing the Three Sis­ters rock for­ma­tion; the Na­ture Track to Went­worth Falls; Black­heath’s spec­tac­u­lar Govetts Leap; and the Ka­toomba Scenic Rail­way – the world’s steep­est fu­nic­u­lar rail­way con­nect­ing the top of the es­carp­ment with the thickly forested val­ley floor. Ac­cess via car or on the Train Link ser­vice – both take around two hours.

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