There are so many incredible things to do in Sydney, from beautiful beaches to legendary landmarks. But, when you've a limited amount of time on your hands, you can't do them all. Don't miss out on these ten things in the NSW capital, all recommended by iLoveNSW.com.
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most popular places to visit in Sydney. Its white sails, designed by Danish architect John Utzon and finished in 1973, are known worldwide. Spend time wandering around the courtyard, admiring them, before heading inside for a drink in a glass-walled foyer, a meal in a fancy restaurant or a show the concert hall.
8.2+ million people visit Sydney Opera House every year.
This spectacular building was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2007.
The estimate to build Sydney Opera House was $7 million, however the final cost was $102 million.
Picture credit : Instagram @ramprakasan
SYDNEY HARBOUR BRDIGE
Completed in 1932, the mighty Harbour Bridge — or the Coathanger, as the locals affectionately call it — links Sydney's CBD and southern suburbs with the northern suburbs. You can walk across it along the pedestrian pathway or, if you're not afraid of heights, climb to its highest point. Either way, you'll get stunning views of Sydney Harbour. (As seen in Flightnetwork's Article - 72 hours in Sydney)
The top of the arch actually rises and falls about 180 mm due to changes in the temperature.
The public was allowed to walk across the deck of the bridge only twice since it was built, first time in 1932 and secound time in 1982 i.e. 50 years later. Next time the public will be given access to the deck of the bridge will be in 2032 the centenary of Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Darling Harbour is a hub for waterfront bars, restaurants and shops. There's also a bunch of must-do tourist attractions, including the tranquil Chinese Garden of Friendship, Madame Tussaud's, where you can see life-like wax impressions of celebrities, the Star Casino and Sydney Wildlife World (don't miss out on meeting a Kangaroo!).
The best way to get to Taronga Zoo is by catching a ferry from Circular Quay. The zoo opened in 1916 and, today, is home to 4,000 creatures, who share 28 hectares. Many of the 350 species represented are threatened or endangered, such as the Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo, the Asian Elephant and the Tasmanian Devil. There are daily shows and animal encounters, giving you the chance to see koalas, penguins, giraffes, owls and Aldabra tortoises up-close.
SEA LIFE AQUARIUM
Don't miss Sea Life Aquarium, also at Darling Harbour. Here, you'll see more than 7,000 fish and sea creatures, representing over 700 species. One of the most thrilling experiences is a glass-ceilinged walkway, surrounded by sharks of all kinds, including grey nurses, reef sharks and wobbegongs. The rest of the aquarium is divided into 'habitat zones', as South Coast shipwreck, Jurassic Seas and Sydney Harbour.
Another of the most famous places to visit in Sydney is Bondi Beach. This one-kilometre stretch of sand, just six or so kilometres from the CBD, is lovely for walking, swimming, surfing and sunbathing. If you're keen to stretch your legs, follow the cliff top trail to Bronte. For those who'd prefer to rest, there are plenty of great cafes, bars and restaurants with ocean views.
ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN
Spending a lazy afternoon in the Royal Botanic Garden is one of the best things to do in Sydney. Whether you while away your time strolling, picnicking or lingering over high tea next to Australia's largest green wall, you're bound to finish up feeling refreshed and relaxed. There are free guided tours daily, as well as Aboriginal Heritage tours every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
Luna Park was built in 1935, in Milsons Point, on the northern shore of Sydney Harbour. It's not difficult to find: the entrance gate is an enormous, smiling face flanked by two pylons. There's no admission fee: simply pay for rides as you go. Some of the best known are the Ferris Wheel, which gives you excellent views; the Hair Raiser, which lifts you 50 metres high before plummeting to the ground at 80 kilometres per hour; and the Wild Mouse, a 400-metre long roller coaster.
For panoramas over the city, don't miss out on Sydney Tower. At 309 metres, it's the tallest building in Sydney. An extra adrenalin rush can be had with Skywalk: you'll find yourself out in the open air, on a 45-minute tour. There's also a couple of restaurants, giving you a chance to relax over a meal while soaking up amazing views.
ART GALLERY OF NSW
The beautiful Art Gallery of NSW, built in 1871, is perched on the edge of the Domain, a lovely park dotted with fig trees. The collection covers modern and contemporary art, as well as European masters. Plus, there are galleries devoted to Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Asian art. Entry is free and there's an interesting temporary exhibition program, which means there's always something new to see.