Sydney, NSW, Australia

This first travel guide features a walking tour in and around Sydney’s Central Business District, parks and waterfronts. You will be delighted by the mix of historic and modern sites, the cosmopolitan and serene neighborhoods plus the diversity of shops, sports, entertainment and museums. Enjoy exploring Australia’s largest and oldest city.

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Sydney Harbour Skyline at Port Jackson in Sydney, Australia

The South Pacific Ocean flows into Sydney Harbour, creating a spectacular setting for this eastern Australian city and capital of New South Wales. The modern skyline includes the iconic Sydney Opera House plus the Martello Tower at Fort Denison on Pinchgut Island. Port Jackson is always busy with ferries, commercial boats, cruise ships and sailboats. You will always feel welcomed by the five million Aussies living in Sydney.

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1 Sydney Tower Eye in Sydney, Australia

It seems wherever you are in downtown Sydney, you can look up and see the Sydney Tower Eye watching over you. This city’s tallest structure tops out at 1,014 feet. That is more than two hundred feet above the highest skyscraper. At 879 feet is an amazing observation deck. There are also three elevated restaurants. They all offer exciting, 360° vistas, making this a popular tourist attraction. Want a bigger adrenaline rush? Try the glass platform called Skywalk. Sydney Tower is located above the Westfield Sydney shopping mall. It was designed by Donald Crone and opened in 1981.

Sydney Tower Eye, 100 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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2 Westfield Shopping Center in Sydney, Australia

While gliding along the main escalators at the vibrant Westfield Sydney shopping center, you would never imagine it began in 1891 as the Imperial Arcade. 70 years later, that popular retail marketplace was demolished to make way for the Centrepoint Shopping Centre in 1972. Fast forward after a nearly billion dollar refurbishment until it became the Westfield Sydney in 2010. Today, the connected retail complexes boast of over 360 stores on five levels including the Myer department store. This is a shopper’s dream come true.

Westfield, Pitt St & Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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3 Shopping Diversity in Sydney, Australia

Retailer diversity in Sydney is incredible. The city has an endless supply of boutiques, department stores, markets and malls offering international brands, Australian specialties, crafts, art and novelties. Extremely popular are the upscale stores at the Pitt Street Mall shown here and the adjacent Westfield Sydney. Nearby are the Queen Victoria Building and Strand Arcade. Also worth exploring is The Rocks Precinct along Circular Quay, the Harbourside Shopping Center at Darling Harbour and Market City in Haymarket. This is just a starter list. So grab your credit card and start shopping.

Gucci, 188 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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4 Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia

A marketplace has operated in central Sydney since the early 1800s. Toward the end of that century, Scottish architect William Priestly MacIntosh was tasked with creating a grand replacement. He selected a Richardsonian Romanesque style made popular during the mid-19th century by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson. The Queen Victoria Building opened in 1898 as a magnificent Victorian arcade. In the center of the 620 foot market is a copper dome flanked on either side by marble statuary created by William Priestly MacIntosh. This version along George Street is called the “Guardian Genius of the City.”

455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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5 Great Australian Clock inside Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia

The interior of the Queen Victoria Building is as spectacular as the exterior. The four levels are decorated with mosaics, stained glass windows and intricate cast-iron railings. The centerpiece is the Great Australian Clock. Over $1.5 million was spent to create the nearly 33 foot, astronomical timepiece before it was suspended from the arched glass ceiling in 2000. It displays 33 scenes of Australia’s Aboriginal and European history. Equally impressive is the Royal Clock with animated dioramas depicting more English history.

455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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6 Queen Victoria Statue at QVB in Sydney, Australia

Irish sculptor John Hughes spent a decade creating this bronze statue of Queen Victoria. She ruled the United Kingdom for more than 63 years until her death in 1901. Seven years later, the tribute was presented by her successor King Edward VII in Dublin at the Leinster House which would later become Ireland’s parliament. In 1987, as part of the renovation of the Queen Victoria Building, the monument was acquired by the city of Sydney and placed in front of the iconic QVB at Bicentennial Plaza.

Queen Victoria Statue, 455 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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7 Sydney Town Hall in Sydney, Australia

Five years after the British established the settlement of Sydney as a penal colony in 1788, they created a European cemetery. The Old Sydney Burial Ground operated until 1820. In 1868, the land was repurposed for the first town hall. Architect J. H. Willson’s French Second Empire design was inspired by the Hotel de Ville in Paris. The ornate sandstone building opened in 1889 and still offices the lord mayor, council and other city functions.

483 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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8 St Andrew’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia

Two attempts were made to construct a cathedral for Sydney; once in 1819 when the parish was established and again in 1836. Both projects failed. In 1846, Edmund T. Blacket’s Gothic Revival design was approved. He became the colony’s most prolific architect until his death in 1883. St Andrew’s Cathedral was finished in 1868, giving it the distinction as the country’s oldest cathedral. The central tower stands 130 feet. The Cathedral Church of Andrew the Apostle serves the Anglican Church of Australia.

483A George Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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9 St Andrew’s Cathedral Pipe Organ in Sydney, Australia

In 1866, this elaborate pipe organ was manufactured by William Hill & Sons and then installed into the south transept of St Andrew’s Cathedral. Recitals on Australia’s largest church organ can be heard on Thursday afternoons. St Andrew’s is also is proud of the Cathedral Choir dating back to the 1820s.

483A George Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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10 ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia

Hyde Park is a forty acre public greenspace in central Sydney. After it was founded in 1810, the country’s oldest park was an entertainment venue for cricket, boxing, rugby and horse racing. At the southern end adjacent to the Pool of Reflection is the ANZAC War Memorial. The Art Deco tribute to the World War I Australian Army was designed by Bruce Dellit and built in 1934. Rayner Hoff created the statuary and friezes. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The national day of observance is April 25.

ANZAC Memorial, Hyde Park, 120 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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11 Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park in Sydney, Australia

In 1880, J. F. Archibald co-founded The Bulletin, a political and business magazine published in Australia until 2008. After he died in 1914, his will allocated funds for an elaborate adornment of Hyde Park’s northern section. The Archibald Fountain was designed by French sculptor François-Léon Sicard and finished in 1932. Holding a lyre in the center is Apollo representing the arts. Other statues include the Roman goddess Diana, the Greek myth Pan plus Theseus – the founder of Athens – slaying Minotaur – a mythological beast with a bull’s head and a man’s body.

Archibald Fountain, 1A Prince Albert Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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12 St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney, Australia

St Mary’s Chapel was founded in 1821 to serve the Roman Catholic worshiping needs of Sydney’s earliest settlers, British soldiers and penal inmates. Three buildings were created and subsequently destroyed during the 19th century until the Gothic Revival plans of architect William Wardell began in 1868. The first phase of St Mary’s Cathedral was consecrated 14 years later. Subsequent additions were finished in 1928 and 2000. This minor basilica now has twin sandstone spires reaching 245 feet and containing 14 bells. Its 351 foot length qualifies it as Australia’s longest church.

St Mary’s Cathedral, St Mary’s Rd, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
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13 Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney, Australia

For nearly 30 years starting in 1819, the Hyde Park Barracks housed male convicts who had been transported from Europe to the settlement of Sydney. The brick structure was designed by Francis Greenway and built by prisoners. After its closure in 1848, this UNESCO World Heritage Site served several government purposes until it was renovated and opened as a history museum in 1991. The displays tell the story of Sydney’s origin as a British penal colony in the late 19th century and the role of this barracks as a penitentiary.

Hyde Park Barracks, Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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14 Queen Victoria Statue at Queen’s Square in Sydney, Australia

Surrounding Queen’s Square in downtown Sydney are several historical buildings, some dating back to the early 19th century. The plaza’s namesake is Queen Victoria. Her majesty assumed the throne at the age of 16 in 1837 and reigned until her death in 1901 at 81. She is portrayed holding an orb and scepter, symbols of her sovereignty. Her bronze likeness by Joseph Edgar Boehm was first commissioned by the queen for placement at Windsor Castle. The artist created this replica in 1879 and it was erected here nine years later. Also in the square is a tribute to Prince Albert, the consort (husband) of the queen from 1840 until his death at 42 in 1861. His statue was cast in 1866.

Queen Victoria Statue,12 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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15 St James’ Church in Sydney, Australia

Despite his arrival in Sydney in 1814 as a convict for forgery, Englishman Francis Greenway was appointed by Governor Lachlan Macquarie as the Civil Architect for New South Wales. One of his several commissions was to design a courthouse that quickly was refocused to become St James’ Church serving the Anglican Church of Australia. Construction of the Georgian structure began in 1819 using convict labor and was consecrated in 1824. The namesake is James the Great, one of the Twelve Apostles. Interestingly, both the architect and the church’s spire have been featured on Australian currency.

173 King St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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16 The Mint in Sydney, Australia

The city’s oldest public structure opened in 1816 as the Sydney Hospital’s south wing and The Dispensary. In 1855, after the British Colonial Secretary allowed Sydney to produce its own coins, the facility became the Royal Mint. Coin manufacturing continued until 1926. After a series of government offices and courthouses occupied the structure for a half century, the former Sydney Mint became a museum in 1979. Today, it is the headquarters of Sydney Living Museums. Their mission is to preserve the city’s historic places. The building also houses a restaurant and café.

10 Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000, Australia
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17 Sydney Hospital’s Nightingale Wing Fountain in Sydney, Australia

In 1788, an infirmary was established in Sydney to comfort diseased convicts arriving from England. The first hospital building was commissioned by the governor in 1810 and paid for by permitting the contractors to import rum. Hence its “Rum Hospital” nickname. The oversized medical facilities consisted of a central building plus two wings. This Nightingale Wing was added in 1868, named after Florence Nightingale. She was the famous English founder of nursing and had sent nuns to Sydney to train women to become nurses. This three-tier Robert Brough Memorial Fountain was added to the inner courtyard in 1907. Lionel Brough was a British actor and comedian. He was extremely popular in Australia until his death in 1906.

8 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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18 Replica of Il Porcellino Statue in Sydney, Australia

In 1634, master sculptor Pietro Tacca created a bronze boar statue he called Il Porcellino (meaning piglet). The famous sculpture resided at Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy until 2008 when it was replaced with a copy. The original is maintained at Palazzo Mozzi. This replica has stood outside of the Sydney Hospital since 1968. Both the Italian and Australian versions have highly polished snouts because people rub them for the promise of good fortune.

Il Porcellino, 6 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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19 Parliament of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia

Captain Cook created the name New South Wales when he discovered the continent in 1770. 18 years later, Sydney was established as a penal colony and Captain Arthur Phillip was named its first governor. In 1824, a Legislative Council was established. Within five years, they started meeting in the north wing of Rum Hospital. The Georgian building then evolved into the Parliament House. In 1842, a chamber was pre-fabricated in Glasgow and added to the structure. More expansions occurred in the 1970s. However, its historic core – listed on the New South Wales Heritage Register – still serves NSW’s Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. Sydney is the capital of Australia’s most populated state.

6 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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20 State Library of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia

The Australian Subscription Library – the country’s first – was established in 1826. For nearly two hundred years, the collection has grown until it now contains over five million items, including the journals from Captain Cook’s first expedition voyage. The facility also had several names until it became the State Library of New South Wales in 1975. The impressive Mitchell Building was added in 1910 based on a Neo-classical design by Walter Liberty Vernon. The expansion’s namesake is David Scott Mitchell. He was the project’s benefactor and also donated his extensive collection of Australian books and manuscripts.

State Library NSW, 4 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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21 Governor Phillip Fountain in Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia

At the south end of the Royal Botanic Gardens is the Governor Phillip Fountain. Phillip was a captain in the Royal British Navy and the first governor of New South Wales from 1788 until 1792. Below his 14.8 foot likeness are three reliefs illustrating education, justice and patriotism. They are encircled by bronze allegorical sculptures representing agriculture, commerce, mining and Neptune for navigation. You will also find plaques portraying Aboriginal people. This marble tribute, created by Achille Simonetti, was erected in the gardens in 1897.

Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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22 Royal Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia

In 1788, the first governor of New South Wales, Arthur Phillip, claimed 84 acres of property for his farm and home. The reserve was called the Phillip Domain. When British Major General Lachlan Macquarie served as the last governor from 1810 until 1821, he divided the land with a stone wall into the Inner and Outer Domains. The former became the Government Gardens in 1816. The following year, Charles Fraser became the official botanist. He was succeeded by Charles Moore who retained the role of the Botanic Gardens Director for 48 years. These early pioneers helped shape the four precincts of the Royal Botanic Gardens. Collectively, there are 74 acres of gorgeous flowers, greenspace, ponds, and pavilions. Pictured here are the Lower Gardens framed by Sydney’s skyline.

Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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23 Sydney Conservatorium of Music in Sydney, Australia

This castle-like structure adjacent to the Royal Botanic Gardens was originally the stables for the Government House when it opened in 1820. Its Gothic Picturesque design was created by prolific colonial architect Francis Greenway. 96 years later, after an extensive renovation, it reopened as the NSW State Conservatorium of Music. Today, the Sydney Conservatorium of Music is a prestigious facility of the University of Sydney. The institution offers music curriculum for students ranging from high school to post graduate plus community education.

1 Conservatorium Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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24 Government House in Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia

Within the Bennelong Precinct of the Royal Botanic Gardens is the Government House. For the vast majority of years since 1847, this twelve acre property and Gothic Revival building have been the residence for the Governor of New South Wales. The richly-appointed estate is filled with colonial furniture dating back to the mid-19th century. Portions of this New South Wales Heritage Register property are available for free public tours by small groups but prior registration is required.

Government House, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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25 Botanic Gardens Promenade Leading to Opera House in Sydney, Australia

Along the eastern edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens is a scenic promenade boarding the quiet inlet of Farm Cove. The bay is named after the former residence of Arthur Phillip. He became Sydney’s first governor in 1788. Follow the curved seawall to the east leads to a finger of parkland called Mrs. Macquarie’s Point. Heading northwest takes you to the Man O’ War Jetty and the famous Sydney Opera House.

Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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26 Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia

The city’s architectural symbol is the Sydney Opera House located on Bennelong Point and jetting into the Sydney Harbour. The unique concert hall features concrete shells covered by over a million tiles with a chevron pattern sitting on top of a platform of pink granite. Jørn Utzon won the coveted Pritzker Architecture Prize for his design. Since the $102 million facility opened in 1973, it has hosted countless plays, ballets and musical performances. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is also home to the Sydney Theatre Company, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Opera Australia.

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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27 Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia

In January of 1788, the First Fleet of 11 ships transporting over 1,000 convicts from England to Sydney landed here at Sydney Cove. This historic spot within Port Jackson was converted into the Circular Quay in 1844. Initially used as a commercial shipping harbor, Circular Quay morphed into a ferry and passenger ship terminal and also an epicenter for tourism. This eastside view is seen from the steps of the Sydney Opera House.

Circular Quay, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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28 Customs House at Circular Quay in Sydney, Australia

Customs House was built at Circular Quay in 1845 in response to Sydney Cove’s growing role in maritime trade during the 19th century. The handsome sandstone, Georgian style building designed by Mortimer Lewis provided custom services until 1990. After rounds of refurbishment during the next 13 years, it became home to the City of Sydney Library.

31 Alfred St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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29 Cruise Ship Terminals in Sydney, Australia

This quay is historic because the earliest British convicts aboard the First Fleet land here in 1788. Today, it is the most coveted cruise ship terminal in Sydney: the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) at Circular Quay. Passengers can disembark and immediately explore the city’s most scenic and popular waterfront plus the Central Business District. An alternative for smaller ships is the White Bay Cruise Terminal on Wharf 5 at Darling Harbour. Each year, Sydney welcomes over a half million cruise passengers.

130 Argyle St, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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30 Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia

This handsome, waterfront building along Circular Quay opened in 1952 as the Maritime Services Board Building. When MSB vacated in the late 1980s, it was repurposed as the Museum of Contemporary Art after an extensive renovation. The white, modern wing seen on the right was added in 2012. Since 1991, MCA has specialized in contemporary art by living artists … both the famous and unknowns. The permanent collection includes over 4,000 pieces by Australians but also exhibits works by worldwide artists.

140 George St, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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31 ASN Warehouse in The Rocks in Sydney, Australia

Starting in the late 18th century, The Rocks was a slum neighborhood overlooking Sydney Cove. The community was beleaguered by poverty, gangs, prostitution and the bubonic plague. At the turn of the 20th century, the area was seized by the government. They condemned and tore down thousands of buildings until the early 1970s. Among the surviving structures is A. S. N. Warehouse, headquarters of the former Australasian Steam Navigation Company. Its conversion into an art gallery is now typical of the area. Among the precinct’s tourist attractions are shops, markets, restaurants and bars including two of Sydney’s oldest taverns.

1-5 Hickson Road / 35-45 Circular Quay West, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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32 Wooden Promenade at Walsh Bay in Sydney, Australia

During the early 1900s, Piers 1 through 9 were built along the shore of Walsh Bay at Port Jackson to accommodate commercial maritime trade. The old wooden wharves have been completely transformed into a vibrant, waterfront community featuring theaters, galleries, boutique stores, restaurants and bars plus a yacht marina and very expensive apartments and condominiums. Residents enjoy enviable views of Sydney Harbour.

17 Hickson Rd, Dawes Point NSW 2000, Australia
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33 Roslyn Packer Theatre at Walsh Bay in Sydney, Australia

Walsh Bay has become an active theatre district. Since 2004, the largest performing arts venue with nearly 900 seats is the Roslyn Packer Theatre. This is home to the Sydney Theatre Company and the Sydney Dance Company. The location also hosts the Sydney Writers’ Festival each May. Its namesake is Roslyn Packer, a major benefactor to the arts in Sydney. Nearby are the Wharf 1 and Wharf 2 Theatres. They are also managed by the Sydney Theatre Company.

Roslyn Packer Theatre, 22 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay NSW 2000, Australia
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34 King Street Wharf in Sydney, Australia

During the 20th century, nine wharfs served commercial and industrial ships along the east side of Darling Harbour. Towards the end of the century, the waterfront underwent a major redevelopment. The first three wharfs have become ferry terminals. Three residential high-rises were built containing nearly 500 units. Also along the wooden pier are about a dozen restaurants and bars plus the Madame Tussauds wax museum. At the end of King Street Wharf near the Pyrmont Bridge is the Sea Life Sydney Aquarium featuring over 700 species of marine life.

King Street Wharf, Lime St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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35 Madame Tussauds Sydney in Sydney, Australia

Marie Tussaud was born in France in 1761. From the age of six, she was raised in Switzerland by a physician. Dr. Philippe Curtius had a talent for wax sculptures, a skill he passed on to Tussaud. By the time she was twenty, she had become an expert in wax modeling. After barely escaping execution during the Reign of Terror in in the late 1790s, she toured the British Isles with her waxworks for over thirty years before founding her first museum in London in 1835. Madame Tussauds now has about 25 worldwide locations. The only one in Australia opened in 2012 at the King Street Wharf.

Madame Tussauds, 1/5 Wheat Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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36 Cockle Bay Wharf Skyline in Sydney, Australia

Shortly after Sydney was established in 1788, the settlers needed a source of clay for construction. The best resource was found at the end of an inlet they called Long Cove. This waterway was subsequently named Cockle Bay. Shown at the water’s edge is Cockle Bay Wharf. No doubt those early colonists would be shocked to see the current skyline at the western edge of the Central Business District. Sydney has 35 skyscrapers taller than 500 feet. Judging from the cranes dotting the skyline, the city has robust plans to add many more commercial and residential high-rises.

Cockle Bay Wharf, 201 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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37 Promenade along Cockle Bay Wharf in Sydney, Australia

Beginning below Pyrmont Bridge and extending south to the end of Darling Harbour is Cockle Bay Wharf. This promenade running parallel to the popular entertainment district was designed by Eric Kuhne. In addition to the scenic waterfront, the area offers a variety of restaurants, cafes, bars and nightclubs. Particularly enjoyable is sipping a cocktail or having dinner at an outside table while watching the sun set over Cockle Bay. Splendid!

Cockle Bay Wharf, 201 Sussex St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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38 Pyrmont Bridge in Sydney, Australia

The demarcation between King Street Wharf along Darling Harbour (on the left) and Cockle Bay Wharf (on the right) is Pyrmont Bridge. The first wooden link across Cockle Bay opened in 1858. It was replaced by the current 1,211 foot span in 1902. It was originally designed by Percy Allan to accommodate cars crossing to the suburb of Pyrmont. Since 1981, the bridge is reserved for pedestrians and bicycles. In the center are two swing gates. Within a minute, they can create a 43 foot opening to allow the passage of any ship taller than 23 feet.

Pyrmont Bridge, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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39 Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia

The Australian National Maritime Museum is fascinating! It exhibits explain Australia’s history with the sea, beginning with the Aboriginal people, the Dutch’s first sighting of the continent in 1606 and the arrival of Captain James Cook in 1770. The story continues through the current relationship with the United States, a gallery funded by the U. S. ANMM was designed by Philip Cox and opened in 1991 below the Pyrmont Bridge on the west side of Darling Harbour.

2 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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40 Australian Coat of Arms at National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia

The current Coat of Arms of Australia was adopted by George V, King of the United Kingdom, in 1912. The key elements are the Commonwealth Star and the shield, both symbolic of the country’s six states. The extra point on the Star of Federation represents the territories. Most notable are the red kangaroo and emu. They were partially chosen because they are endemic to the country. More important is that neither animal can walk backwards. The 1908 version of the escutcheon reinforced this with the words, “Advance Australia.” This rendition is displayed above the entrance to the Australian National Maritime Museum, a government operated facility.

2 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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41 HMAS Vampire at National Maritime Museum in Sydney, Australia

HMAS Vampire is one several ships on display outside of the Australian National Maritime Museum. This Daring Class Destroyer was built at Sydney’s Cockatoo Island Dockyard and commissioned in 1959. The 389 foot war vessel never engaged in battle and was decommissioned in 1986. Also available for tour at the ANMM is a submarine and a replica of Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour.

2 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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42 Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse in Sydney, Australia

In 1874, the Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse – after being prefabricated in Brisbane – became operational on a headland about 44 miles south of Townsville. It was one of 22 lights protecting the coastline of Queensland in the late 19th century. In 1987, the 82 foot conical tower was relocated adjacent to the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney.

2 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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43 Star of the Show Ferris Wheel in Sydney, Australia

Since George Washington Gale Ferris Jr. introduced his invention in 1893, Ferris wheels have been delighting young and old. Rotating from the Harbourside Amphitheatre at Darling Harbour is the Star of the Show. This 101 foot amusement ride features 24 gondolas. Passengers can manually control the observation car’s rotation for optimal 360° views. Equally enjoyable at night is the colorful display provided by the changing LED lights. This Ferris wheel travels throughout Australia. Hopefully, it is in Sydney when you are.

231/2-10 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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44 International Convention Centre Sydney in Sydney, Australia

ICC Sydney is a major part of a $3.4 billon revitalization project at the south end of Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay. This impressive new International Convention Centre Sydney was finished in late 2016. The exhibition floor, meeting rooms and ballrooms collectively provide nearly one million square feet. This facility opened at the same time as its neighbor, the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, with an additional 360,000 square feet of exhibition space. ICC Sydney Theatre is the third sibling.

International Convention Centre,14 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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45 Fun for Any Kid at Darling Quarter in Sydney, Australia

Adjacent to Tumbalong Park is the Darling Quarter, an entertainment bonanza for kids. Among the fun features are a playground, Big Slide, Jumbo Swings, the climbing Octanet, giant mechanical tools plus several water activities. Most children run, laugh and play until they are repeatedly told it is time to go home. Then there is an occasional princess who enjoys her solitary stroll and secret dreams.

11 Harbour St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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46 ICC Sydney Theatre in Sydney, Australia

ICC Sydney Theatre is another exciting entertainment addition to Darling Harbour. The fan-shaped layout accommodates over 8,000 people who are bedazzled by the acoustics, design and the nearly 2,000 square foot digital screen. This performing arts venue hosts concerts and special events. Nearby are two additional facilities: the Darling Harbour Theatre (2,500 seats) and the Pyrmont Theatre (1,000 seats).

ICC Sydney Theatre, 14 Darling Dr, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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47 Pavilions at Chinese Gardens of Friendship in Sydney, Australia

So much of central Sydney is dominated by high-rises. The beautiful exception is the Chinese Gardens of Friendship at Darling Harbour. This attraction is the essence of ancient tranquility and charm. Nestled among the lotus ponds filled with swimming koi, weeping willows, bamboo, cedar trees and sculptured limestone walls are traditional pavilions such (left to right): Lenient Jade Pavilion, Peace Boat Pavilion, and Teahouse Pavilion.

Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Pier St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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48 Clear View Pavilion at Chinese Gardens of Friendship in Sydney, Australia

China Towns are common in major cities around the world. Very often they are cramped, busy and cater only to tourists. The Chinese Gardens in Sydney is the wonderful exception. Since 1988, this 2.5 acre property designed by traditional architects in Guangzhou, China has been an oasis of serenity. Savor your stroll among the winding pathways, central lagoon, blooming flowers and waterfalls. The most prominent feature is The Gurr, also called the Clear View Pavilion.

Chinese Gardens of Friendship, Pier St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
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49 Market City in Sydney, Australia

When the British settled in Sydney in the late 18th century, the land currently occupied by Haymarket was a swampland. In the early 1800s, dams were built to channel fresh water for flour mills. In 1818, Surgeon John Harris purchased the acreage. As the city grew during the next several decades, the Harris’ Ultimo Estate was leased out for commercial, industrial and working-class residential development. In 1908, the City Council condemned and claimed the properties, demolished the buildings and hired R. H. Broderick to create two markets with an Edwardian Functionalist design. They were collectively called Paddy’s Market. In the early 1990s, this historic marketplace was converted into a shopping mall named Market City and The Peak Apartments residential tower was added.

Market City, 9-13 Hay St, Haymarket, NSW 2000, Australia
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50 Sydney Football Stadium in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Football Stadium was built at Moore Park in 1988. Since 2012, the 45,000 seat arena has been branded the Allianz Stadium. The primary role of SFS is hosting home games for the Sydney Roosters (professional rugby), the Waratahs (New South Wales rugby team) and the Sydney Football Club. Large-audience concerts are also held here. Next door to this sports venue is the historic Sydney Cricket Ground consisting of five stands; all but one dates from the late 19th century.

SFS, Driver Ave, Moore Park NSW 2021, Australia
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51 Ranger’s Residence at Centennial Park in Sydney, Australia

Centennial Park is the largest of three adjacent urban greenspaces located a few miles from downtown Sydney. The other two are Moore Park and Queen’s Park. Collectively, they comprise 890 acres and are called Centennial Parklands. In addition to several sport facilities, the Parklands feature thousands of trees, ponds, gardens, outdoor art and pavilions accessible by roadways configured in concentric circles. This Ranger’s Residence – designed by Walter Liberty Vernon in a European Arts and Crafts style – has stood on a knoll near the Robertson Road Gates since 1899.

1 Martin Rd, Centennial Park, Sydney NSW 2021, Australia
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52 Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, Australia

In 1998, the former Sydney Showground in Moore Park was transformed into the Entertainment Quarter. EQ is a compact, very walkable collection of restaurants, cafes, bars, movie theaters and a playground with ample parking.

122 Lang Rd, Moore Park, Sydney NSW 2021, Australia
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53 Farmer’s Market at Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, Australia

Fans of organic produce will enjoy selecting from the fresh vegetables and fruit displayed at the Farmer’s Market in the Entertainment Quarter each Wednesday and Saturday. Also offered are a variety of healthy meals served from kiosks. During the weekend, the Merchandise Market is featured beneath this tent called Showring Canopy.

122 Lang Rd, Moore Park, Sydney NSW 2021, Australia
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54 Fox Studios at Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, Australia

It is surprising to see this tower with a Fox Studios Australia sign at the Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park. No, it is not a theme park. Since 1998, this 32 acre property has become a major movie production complex including several sound stages. One of them is the largest in the southern hemisphere. The facility has helped produce several film franchises including Star Wars, Mission: Impossible, Superman and Lego titles.

38 Driver Ave, Moore Park, Sydney NSW 2021, Australia
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55 Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

If you want to escape the bustle of Sydney and enjoy a day of sun, surf and sunshine, then Bondi Beach is the destination for you. This crescent-shaped, six mile stretch of sand is very popular among Aussies. The name means “water breaking over rocks” in the Aboriginal language. The northern end has the gentlest waves and is favored by swimmers.

Bondi Beach, Sydney NSW 2026, Australia
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56 Rock Formation along Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Along the eastern edge of Bondi Beach is a small headland. Toward the end of the walkway are the Ray O’Keefe Reserve and Ben Buckler Point. Both offer spectacular views of the horseshoe-shaped beach plus crashing waves along the rugged coastline. Three prominent features are a natural stone platform called Flat Rock, the 235 ton Big Rock that washed up during a storm in 1912 and this animal-shaped ledge.

North Bondi, Sydney NSW 2026, Australia
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