Where to Go: Sydney’s wonderful attractions
BRIDGECLIMB. Located on Sydney Harbour Bridge, Bridgeclimb is one of the city’s favourite pastimes. More than 3 million people have ventured across the catwalks, ladders and arches to get to the 134-metre-high peak, looking down over the shimmering harbour and across to the immense skyscrapers.
3 Cumberland Street, The Rocks. Adults from $198, children from $148. 8274 7777. bridgeclimb.com
COCKATOO ISLAND. Cockatoo Island is a UNESCO World Heritage island located in the middle of Sydney Harbour. Explore the island through its numerous walking paths and tunnels. Camp overnight, or learn more about the convict history of this former ship building dockyard. 8969 2100. Cockatoo Island, Sydney. cockatooisland.gov.au
DARLING HARBOUR. This waterside precinct is renowned for its vast array of restaurants, shops and tourist attractions including SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium, WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo, Madame Tussauds Sydney, the Powerhouse Museum, Australian National Maritime Museum, IMAX Theatre and children’s playground.
From the city, walk down Market or Bathurst Streets and across the footbridge. 9240 8500. darlingharbour.com
LUNA PARK SYDNEY. Luna Park is Sydney’s top entertainment precinct of many faces! Bring the family and enjoy a day of fun on The Wild Mouse—sydney’s favourite rollercoaster, the ferris wheel, Coney Island, mirror maze or the numerous other rides and attractions.
1 Olympic Drive, Milsons Point. Opening times vary, check online. Unlimited rides daily ticket costs from $22 to $52. 9033 7676. lunaparksydney.com
MADAME TUSSAUDS SYDNEY. The world famous wax attraction Madame Tussauds Sydney allows you to get up close and personal with over 70 of the world’s iconic celebrities and our very own Aussie stars! With nine exciting, interactive zones Madame Tussauds combines glitz and glamour with incredible history.
Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour. Daily 9am–8pm. Adults $40, children $28. madametussauds.com/sydney
PYLON LOOKOUT. Walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge then head up to the 200 stairs to the Pylon Lookout for mind-blowing panoramic views. There is an exhibition inside the pylon where you can learn more about the construction of the bridge. Cahill Expressway, Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney.9240 1100. pylonlookout.com.au
SEA LIFE SYDNEY AQUARIUM. Be taken on a journey of amazing discovery through 14 themed areas, including the Tropical Bay of Rays, Discovery Rockpool, South Coast Shipwreck, Dugong Island and more. SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium is also home to the world’s largest collection of Australian aquatic life.
Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour. Daily 9am–8pm. Adults $40, children $28. 1800 199 657. sydneyaquarium.com.au
SKYDIVE AUSTRALIA. Skydiving Sydney doesn’t get any more thrilling. Experience the ultimate adrenalin rush as you leap from the plane and freefall at 200km/h, then ride under the canopy and soak in the spectacular city or beach views. Jump at Sydney’s only beach skydive in North Wollongong or over the stunning beaches of Newcastle. It’s an incredible experience for the young and the old. 1300 663 634. skydive.com.au
SYDNEY OBSERVATORY. The Sydney Observatory at The Rocks is consistently ranked, by Sydneysiders, as one of the city’s favourite attractions. It’s the place to enjoy a starry night, watch a 3D show, and learn about the universe. The Observatory is also a favourite romantic destination for locals and runs shows by day and by night. 1003 Upper Fort Street, Millers Point. 9921 3485. sydneyobservatory.com.au
SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK. An easy train or ferry ride from Sydney’s CBD will get you to Sydney Olympic Park. Built for the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Sydney Olympic Park is now known as one of Sydney’s major sporting and entertainment venues. Australia Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park. 9714 7888. sydneyolympicpark.com.au
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE TOURS. Designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1973, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most famous structures. You can now see inside the world’s most recognisable sails on a variety of Sydney Opera House tours.
Guided Tours Desk, upstairs in the Box Office Foyer, Sydney Opera House. Tours leave every half-hour from 9am to 5pm daily. 9250 7250. sydneyoperahouse.com/tours
SYDNEY TOWER EYE. If you’re in Sydney for a day or even a lifetime, the views from Sydney Tower Eye make for an unforgettable experience! At 250m tall, Sydney Tower Eye offers stunning, uninterrupted 360-degree views of Sydney and its famous landmarks. SKYWALK at Sydney Tower Eye, is a breathtaking outdoor experience.
Level 5, Westfield Sydney, Market Street, Sydney. Daily 9am–10.30pm. Adults $26.50, children $17, for the Skywalk premium experience add $43.50 (adult). 1800 258 693. sydneytowereye.com.au
TARONGA ZOO. Located on the shores of Sydney Harbour, Taronga Zoo showcases over 4000 animals from all around the world. Get nose to nose with everything from emus to elephants, lions to lizards. There are regular shows and feeding times, with great photo opportunities.
Bradleys Head Road, Mosman. Daily 9.30am–5pm. Adults $46, children (4–15 years) $26, family $129.60 (two adults and two children). 9969 2777. taronga.org.au
WILD LIFE SYDNEY ZOO. Journey around Australia on an all-aussie animal adventure at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Come face to face with one of the world’s largest saltwater crocodiles ‘Rex’ at the amazing Kakadu Gorge. Meet their new Tassie Devils, Oreo and Big John, in Devil’s Den.
Aquarium Wharf, Darling Harbour. Daily 9am–6pm. Adults $40, children $28. 1800 206 158. wildlifesydney.com.au
BONDI BEACH. Australia’s most famous beach is popular no matter what time of the year it is. The golden sands and gentle blue waves are great for swimming and learning to surf. Walk along the shore, take a dip in the water or relax on the beach— Bondi is Sydney at its best. Campbell Parade, Bondi.
MANLY BEACH. One of Sydney’s favourite beaches is just a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay. This aquatic playground offers many exciting water activities like surfing, scuba diving, windsurfing, parasailing and snorkeling. North Steyne, Manly. hellomanly.com.au
MUSEUMS AND GALLERIES
ART GALLERY OF NEW SOUTH WALES. The Art Gallery of New South Wales is one of Australia’s leading and most popular museums, offering five levels of art. Experience the extensive collection of Australian art, Aboriginal art, the Asian wing with works from China, Japan and South-east Asia and see European art from the Renaissance to Victorian times.
Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney. Daily 10am–5pm, Wednesdays until 10pm. Free admission. Special exhibitions may be ticketed. 1800 679 278. artgallery.nsw.gov.au
AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM. The constantly changing schedule of temporary exhibitions covers a huge range of subjects and the permanent exhibitions are a joy for adults and kids alike. Collections not to be missed include First Australians and Wild Planet.
Corner of College and William Streets, Sydney. Daily 9.30am–5pm. Adults $15, concessions $8, children under 16 free. Extra charges apply to special temporary exhibitions. 9320 6000. australianmuseum.net.au
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM. Australia’s dedicated maritime museum is located right on the water’s edge at Darling Harbour. Their core exhibitions explore maritime aspects of Indigenous culture, European exploration, immigration, sport and leisure, defence and Australia’s maritime links with the USA. Climb aboard the HMAS Vampire, Australia’s largest museum vessel and the last of the country’s big gun ships.
2 Murray Street, Darling Harbour. Daily 9.30am–5pm. Permanent galleries free entry. Big Ticket: Adults $30, child 4–15 years $18, family $75. 9298 3777. anmm.gov.au
MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART AUSTRALIA. The MCA is Australia’s Museum of Contemporary Art, dedicated to exhibiting, collecting and interpreting the work of today’s artists from across Australia and around the world. With a continually changing program of exhibitions and stimulating events there’s always something new and inspiring to see.
140 George Street, The Rocks. Daily 10am–5pm except Thursday 10am–9pm. Free admission. Special exhibitions may be ticketed. 9245 2400. mca.com.au
MUSEUM OF SYDNEY. The Museum of Sydney is on the site of Australia’s first Government House, built in 1788 by NSW’S first Governor, Captain Arthur Phillip. The buildings’ foundations were successfully excavated by archaeologists in the 1980s and are now a centrepiece of the museum. The museum extends over three floors, exhibiting colonial history, documents, furniture and art, and indigenous culture. Corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets, Sydney. 9251 5988. sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/museum-of-sydney
POWERHOUSE MUSEUM. The Powerhouse Museum contains a unique and diverse collection that spans history, science, technology, design, industry, decorative arts, music, transport and space exploration. Their programs have a strong focus on the ideas and technologies that have changed our world, and the people who created them.
500 Harris Street, Ultimo. Adults $15, children under 16 free, pension/concessions $8. 9217 0111. powerhousemuseum.com
THE ROCKS DISCOVERY MUSEUM. This family-friendly museum tells the story of The Rocks area of Sydney from pre-european days to the present. Housed in a restored 1850s sandstone warehouse, the museum is home to a unique collection of images and archaeological artefacts found in The Rocks. The exhibits are filled with interactive fun, using touch screens to bring the history of the area alive.
Kendall Lane (enter via Argyle Street), The Rocks. Daily 10am–5pm. Free admission. 9240 8680. therocks.com
SUSANNAH PLACE MUSEUM. Susannah Place has been home to more than 100 families throughout history. Learn their stories in this original terrace of four houses that has survived modern development. Don’t forget to pick up a unique souvenir at the delightfully re-created 1915 corner shop.
58–64 Gloucester Street, The Rocks. Daily 2pm–5pm. Adults $12, children (under 15 years) and concessions $8, family (two adults and two children) $30; members/children under 5, free. 9241 1893. sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/ susannah-place-museum
PARKS AND GARDENS
AUSTRALIAN BOTANIC GARDEN, MOUNT ANNAN. The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan is Australia’s largest botanic garden with more than 416 hectares for visitors to discover. The Garden features themed areas such as the Wattle and Banksia gardens, 7km of mountain bike trails and more than 20km of walking tracks. Mount Annan Drive, Mount Annan. Daily 10am–5pm (except Christmas Day). 4634 7900. rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
BARANGAROO RESERVE. Barangaroo Reserve offers spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, ANZAC Bridge and surrounds. The six-hectare headland has been planted with over 75,000 trees and shrubs. Stroll around the foreshore on the Wulugul Walk, lie back on the Stargazer Lawn or bask in the vast multipurpose space of The Cutaway. Enter via Argyle Place or Towns Place, Walsh Bay. barangaroo.sydney
BLUE MOUNTAINS BOTANIC GARDEN, MOUNT TOMAH. Stroll through 78 acres of magnificent landscaped gardens housing Australia’s most extensive cool-climate collection. Themed displays include the Plant Explorer’s Walk, the ancient Gondwana Forest with prehistoric Wollemi Pines and the southern hemisphere’s largest rock garden.
Bells Line of Road via Bilpin. Mon–fri 9am–5.30pm, Sat–sun 9.30am–5.30pm. 4567 3000. rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
CENTENNIAL PARKLANDS. Centennial Parklands is a beautiful recreation area in the middle of Sydney’s iconic Eastern Suburbs. Home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, Centennial Parklands is a playground for both adults and children alike. It is one of the few inner city parks with horse-riding facilities as well. Oxford Street, Sydney. 9339 6699. centennialparklands.com.au
CHINESE GARDEN. A gift from China’s Guangdong province in 1988 to celebrate Australia’s Bicentenary, the Chinese Garden of Friendship is one of the few traditional gardens of its type in existence outside mainland China.
Darling Harbour. Daily 9.30am–5pm. Adults $6, children (under 12 years) $3, family (two adults and two children) $15. 9240 8888. chinesegardens.com.au
HYDE PARK. Hyde Park is Australia’s oldest park, and one of its most well known. Located in Central Sydney, it is the perfect spot for a picnic or if you just want a break from the bustling city streets. You’ll also find that Hyde Park is home to numerous special events throughout the year. Elizabeth Street, Sydney. PADDINGTON RESERVOIR GARDENS. Housed below street level, the Paddington Reservoir Gardens are a secret hidden treasure of the city. Stroll through the gardens, which are reminiscent of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. 251 Oxford Street, Paddington. cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN SYDNEY. Come into the gardens and discover hidden botanic treasures set against one of the most magnificent vistas in the world. Offering arguably the best views of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour, a visit to Sydney isn’t complete without a walk through the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden Sydney.
Mrs Macquaries Road, Sydney. Daily. Free admission. 9231 8111. rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
AAT KINGS. AAT Kings will bring Sydney and surrounds to life with a range of half day and full day tours. Discover the majestic Blue Mountains, explore the scenic Hunter Valley wine region, visit Australia’s capital Canberra or see Sydney’s fabulous city sights. You’ll enjoy stress-free travel, luxury air-conditioned coaches, expert commentary and all the must-see highlights. Our friendly and engaging Driver Guides will enhance your experience with stories, local knowledge and a sense of fun. AAT Kings’ also offers selected free hotel pick-ups so all you need to do is relax and enjoy your day. 1300 228 546. aatkings.com
CAPTAIN COOK CRUISES. Discover Sydney’s most famous icon—its beautiful Harbour on a Captain Cook Cruise. With a range of dining and sightseeing cruises, plus a number of ferries and special event cruises, you won’t miss a minute of what Sydney’s amazing harbour has to offer. No.6 Wharf, Circular Quay, Sydney. 9206 1111. captaincook.com.au
SHELBY’S SIDECAR TOURS. Travel the city streets in the comfort of a vintage sidecar. The fleet of drivers are handpicked for their expertise and provide you with a wealth of knowledge of local insights. Shelby’s Sidecar Tours allow tourists to experience the best areas of Sydney. On the ‘Over The Bridge’ tour, you will head north of the city to experience the spectacular waterside views from Kirribilli, Mcmahon’s Point and Neutral Bay. 0488 070 127. shelbysidecars.com
Late afternoon silhouettes on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Photo: Bridgeclimb.
Bondi Beach views from the pavilion. Photo: Sally Mayman/destination NSW.
Wallabies at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. Photo: dlrphoto.
Museum of Contemporaryart Australia.photo: Brett Boardman.
Autumn in the gardens, Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, Mount Tomah. Photo: Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust/jaime Plaza.
Shelby’s Sidecar Tours.