1. Sydney Opera House - The Sydney Opera House was inscribed in the World Heritage List in June 2007. It is one of the most significant icons of Australia and is a must-see for all tourists.

It is possible to walk around the Sydney Opera House and linger there for magnificent views of the Harbour. Combine a visit to the Opera House with a walk to the nearby Botanic Gardens.

Location: Spectacular Bennelong Point, which reaches out into the harbour. Nearest rail - Circular Quay Station

Designed by: Danish architect Jorn Utzon

2. Sydney Harbour Bridge - another icon of Australia - it is known by locals as the 'Coathanger'.  To walk over the bridge for free or visit the Pylon Lookout there is a  pedestrian pathway on the east side of the Bridge from the city side (use the Bridge Stairs in Cumberland Street, The Rocks - or ask at the Rocks Visitors Centre for directions). If you are coming from the north of the harbour use the steps near Milsons Point Railway Station.

Photo: Taken between Milsons Point and Waverton

Sydney Harbour Bridge

3. Sydney Harbour - is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. The harbour offers many special things to do. Take the opportunity to go on an inexpensive ferry ride on the harbour to Manly, Darling Harbour, Taronga Zoo, Watsons Bay or Balmain or even to Paramatta (RiverCat). Did you know that Sydney Harbour is a National Park? Highlights include: Fort Denison, Cockatoo Island, Nielson Park in Vaucluse, the cliff top forts at North Head, South Head or Bradleys Head and secluded harbourside beaches. Downloadable brochure

Photo: Taken at North Head

North Head

4. Circular Quay and the Rocks - These two areas are adjacent so they can be toured on foot in a half day or full day. The area is situated on the harbour and features galleries, an observatory, spooky laneways, historic housing and breweries/pubs, the ferry wharf, boutique shops and restaurants. A day out could include a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Sydney Observatory, a glimpse of the Argyle Cut, upmarket shopping at the DFS Galleria (Tip: clean restrooms without queues are found here), the weekend Rocks Markets 10am - 5pm and the adjacent cultural precinct of Walsh Bay.  

Picture: The Rocks Market

The Rocks

5. Darling Harbour and Chinatown - A visit to Sydney should include a day around this area. There are many things to see and do here including: the Australian Maritime Museum (free children's activities daily), the Powerhouse Museum, the Star City Casino complex, Pyrmont Bridge, the Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Wildlife World, Madame Tussauds, Paddys Market, Dixon Street Dining Precinct, the Spanish Quarter Dining Precinct, trendy Japanese and Korean fashion boutiques, IMAX and the tranquil Chinese Garden. There are excellent pub and dining facilities at King Street Wharf and Cockle Bay.

6. City Centre - Tourists can easily spend a day just exploring this area which includes the Museum of Sydney, the Art Gallery of NSW, St Mary's Cathedral, the State Theatre, the Town Hall, Martin Place, the Strand Arcade, Sydney Westfield and the Queen Victoria Building. Also one may visit nearby Hyde Park, the Hyde Park Barracks, the Australian Museum and the Anzac Memorial. The Macquarie Street precinct is also recommended.

Photo: Exterior of QVB

Queen Victoria Building

Day Trips from Sydney

  • Taronga Zoo, Mosman
  • Blue Mountains
  • Hunter Valley
  • Hawkesbury River
  • Port Stephens
  • South Coast
  • Southern Highlands
  • Central Coast