Sydney Tourist Attractions
Top Tourist Attractions in Sydney
Sydney (pop. 3.4 million), the oldest, largest and handsomest of Australian cities, lies amid a unique intermingling of land and water on Jackson Bay, its natural harbor, on the southeast coast of the Australian continent.
In 1770 Captain Cook named the natural harbor to the north of Botany Bay Port Jackson in honor of the secretary to the British Admiralty, Sir George Jackson. Eighteen years later, on January 26th 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip, commander of the First Fleet, declared a narrow inlet within Port Jackson a British colony, calling it Sydney Cove after Viscount Sydney, then secretary of state.Public transportSydney has an extensive network of train, taxi, bus and ferry transportation options. Although many residents travel by car, The City Rail trains revised their schedule and brought on more drivers. This service is most used by commuters from the suburbs. Commuter and tourist ferry services are available on Sydney Harbour and the Parramatta River.AccommodationSydney has a wide range of hotels in the first-class to luxury categories, which during the week are often fully booked but at the weekend usually offer price reductions. In addition to moderately priced hotels there are youth hostels and other cheap accommodation, mostly in the Kings Cross area. For a longer stay there are service apartments and bed and breakfast houses at reasonable prices. Visitors arriving in Sydney without a booking can apply to the Travellers' Information Service at the airport, which will try to find them a room.HighlightsSydney's principal landmarks are the Harbour Bridge, Sydney Tower (at 305m it is the third tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere) and the world-famous Opera House, but the city's core is its huge natural harbor, with an area of over 55sq.km and arms reaching out in all directions - the remnants of a submerged valley system. The city center is bounded on the north and west by water, on the east by the green expanses of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Domain and Hyde Park and on the south by the Central Station.Layout of the cityIn contrast to the regular and spacious layout of the younger Australian cities, Sydney has a complicated and irregular street pattern resulting from its gradual development from the original colonial settlement to the city's present area of over 12,400sq.km, resembling older cities of Europe. Arthur Phillip, the first governor of the colony, had ambitious plans for his settlement, with spacious squares, broad streets and imposing public buildings; but his successors did not carry out these plans, and Sydney grew up with narrow streets and buildings adapted to the contours of the site. As a result the city's streets were too narrow and irregular even in the days of coach travel.
In East Sydney, beyond a chain of beautiful parks, are the city's oldest and most interesting suburbs: Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross and Paddington. Farther east and to the south are numerous other suburbs, interspersed with parks, gardens and lakes, extending to the most favored suburbs directly on the Pacific and to Botany Bay, with the airport. Visitors arriving in Sydney by air - by far the majority - are landing at almost the same place as Captain Cook over two centuries ago.
North Sydney, Australia
North Sydney with its numerous suburbs and satellite towns and its beautiful beaches on the Pacific, separated from the city center by the harbor, has developed independently in the last few decades into an important administrative and commercial center. The eight-lane Harbour Bridge can no longer cope with the heavy volume of traffic at certain times and in 1992, after long planning, it was supplemented by a tunnel under the harbor.
From Circular Quay there are boats to Taronga Park Zoo, beautifully situated on a large tongue of land on the north side of the harbor.The animals at the Zoo are from each continent including Africa and Asia.
Address: Bradleys Head Road, Box 20, Mosman, NSW 2088, Australia
Opening hours: 9am-5pm
Always opened on: Christmas - Christian (Dec 25)
Entrance fee in AUD: Family $98.50, Adult $39.00, Students $23.00, Senior $23.00, Child 15 & under $19.00, Child 3 & under FREE
Transit: Ferry from Circular Quay. Buses from Wynyard station.
Sydney Explorer Bus
The best introduction to the sights of Sydney is a trip on a red Sydney Explorer Bus, which travels on a circular route with 26 stops near the major sights in the city center and the harbor area. The buses run at 15-minute intervals from 9.30am-9pm. With a day ticket passengers can get off and on the bus as often as they please.
Sydney Sightseeing Flights
The sights of Sydney can be seen from the air. Sightseeing flights in light aircraft are run by Red Baron Scenic Flights from Bankstown Aerodrome, southwest of the city. There are also helicopter flights over the harbor, the beaches and the city center.
More Sydney Pictures
Map of Sydney Attractions