Sydney, Australia, the “Emerald City,” is certainly one of the most photographed cities in the world. Its harbor area, with the famous Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, is breathtaking, especially at sunset. Probably the best way to get the perfect picture is to take a harbor cruise or any of the ferries that ply the harbor. Another great photo opportunity is available to the brave, hardy souls who scale the Harbour Bridge. The Sydney Harbour Bridgeclimb takes groups of people to the top of the 440 foot (110 meter) span for a glorious view of the harbor below. It is a strenuous but safe (participants are tethered) experience.
The Sydney Opera House, which opened in 1973, is certainly the most recognized symbol of the city and is extremely unusual and distinctive with its shell-like appearance. The roofs of the “shells” are covered with over a million tiles. It is the home of the Sydney Opera, the Sydney Theater Company, and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Try to take in a performance while in the city.
The Sydney Tower, the tallest building in the city, has an 820 foot (270 meter) high observation deck and also provides wonderful views. Admission includes an audiovisual presentation about Australia.
The Royal Botanic Gardens offer solitude and beauty, just outside the downtown area. They contain fountains, ponds, and a number of unusual bird species besides the typical flowers and trees. From the gardens, a visitor can wander around Farm Cove to Mrs Macquaries Point. Here, the famous Mrs Macquaries Chair offers spectacular views of the Opera House and harbor.
For another uniquely Sydney experience, drive or take a bus south of the city to Bondi Beach, world famous for beach volleyball and other seashore activities. People-watching is fantastic here. Another excellent beach can be found about 7 miles (16 kilometers) north of the city in the town of Manly. The adventuresome can even walk from the harbor to the town via the Manly Scenic Walkway.
I have published a walking tour of Sydney which includes many of the important sights in the city. You can find it on the website, in the archive dated 2-21-09.