Australia, though recognized as a country with great natural beauty, also has its share of man-made wonders. Here is a list of them. Look for my photo album which will follow shortly.
1. Sydney Opera House, Sydney. Completed in 1973, this recently-acknowledged World Heritage Site is probably the most recognized symbol of Australia. Its most distinctive features are its concrete shells within shells which seem to convey a futuristic, yet functional and pleasing ensemble.
2. Great Ocean Road, Victoria. This glorious scenic drive along the southern coast of Australia, from Torquay to Warrnambool is considered one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in the world. It was completed in 1932 and provides incredible vistas of the Southern Ocean as well as the unusual rock formations, such as the Twelve Apostles, which characterize this rugged coastline.
3. Harbor Bridge,Sydney. This distinctive bridge, the fourth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2007. It allows rail, vehicular, and pedestrian traffic between two sections of the city, divided by the harbor. For tourists, there is a walk up the southern side of the bridge, known as Bridge Climb, which provides wonderful views of the harbor and the Opera House below.
4. Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne. These gardens are considered Australia’s best and one of the world’s best landscape gardens. There is even a satellite section, south of the city which concentrates on native plants.
5. Royal Exhibition Buildings, Melbourne. This building is another World Heritage Site, dating to 1880 when the World Exhibition was displayed here in Melbourne. The dome was inspired by Bruneleschi’s dome on the Duomo of Florence. It is still used for special events.
6. Australian War Memorial, Canberra. This Byzantine-inspired memorial to all of Australia’s war dead consists of four main elements: the Anzac Parade, a Commemorative Area, a sculpture garden, and the distinctive memorial building.
7. Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne. This war memorial was patterned after the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is located in an area of parkland known as the King’s Domain and consists of several sections which recall various wars or battles in which Australians, in particular, Victorians, lost their lives.
Other sites considered:
Perth Mint. Perth
Flinders Street Station, Melbourne
AMP Tower, Sydney
Port Arthur Church, Tasmania
Katoomba Scenic Railway, Blue Mountains
City Hall, Brisbane