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Far above the maddening crowds, Sydney Tower, or AMP Tower, 360 degrees views of Sydney’s gorgeous skyline. It takes just 40 seconds for the double-decker lifts to reach the 304-meter summit, where visitors can take advantage of free guided tours. At 260 meters, the glass Skywalk is a must-see for those who love panoramic views. A revolving vantage point that was opened in 2005 goes all the way around the tower, offering both a luxurious and memorable experience, as well as jaw-dropping bird’s eye views of Sydney. The revolving portion of the tower also houses a restaurant, where visitors who are not afraid of heights can indulge in a delicious buffet meal.
See the hump-back whales up close and personal as you cruise with Sydney Whale Watching. This tour agency has been operating since 1993 and is committed to give its guests a memorable experience of whale watching when here. You can choose from the Adventure Cruise, Discovery Cruise and Explorer cruise depending on your liking and budget. The tours last for around two to three hours and are a great outing option for you and your little ones. With their excellent service and friendly staff, you are sure to enjoy cruising with Sydney Whale Watching.
Take a journey through Australia's rich and diverse marine ecosystems and discover the world's largest collection of all-Australian aquatic life, with over 12,000 marine animals. Walk underwater and come face to face with dozens of fierce sharks, giant rays, a ferocious saltwater crocodile. For the fainter of heart, watch playful seals, a platypus, and adorable penguins. Sydney Aquarium is home to the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the world and interactive touch pools that feel just like being at Sydney's sea-side rock pools.
Wild Life Sydney Zoo, offers a peep into the existence of a myriad of flora and fauna found in the rain-forests, bushes, swamps and deserts of Australia. This Wildlife park houses and nurtures over 6000 species of animals, endemic to their respective environs. You would be swept off your feet meandering the various sections with birds, animals and reptiles over here. There are cassowary, koala, kangaroo, bearded dragons, golden orb spiders, butterflies, pythons and the list goes on. This zoo serves as a wildlife conservation park as also offers guided tours as a great treat to the nature lovers.
A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the foundation stones for St Mary's Cathedral were laid by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1821. After a series of architects and religious figures suggested their own versions of the cathedral, the building finally opened in 1900, although work continued until 1928 and really only finished recently. Wardell's original design had two spires that were never built. After ten years' debate and political fund-raising, the twin spires were finally completed in 2000. Today, St. Mary's Cathedral is heralded as one of the most beautiful buildings in Sydney. Visitors to the cathedral can wander around the beautiful interior, which is lit by ornate stained glass windows. Treasures located in the cathedral include the moving and beautifully sculpted Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a marble replica of Michelangelo's Pieta and many gorgeous religious paintings from the late 19th-Century.
Occupying a superb site overlooking Darling Harbour, the seven core exhibitions displayed here represent the diversity of Australian maritime heritage covering such subjects as the Aboriginal presence, navigators, passengers, commerce and leisure. It is also possible to inspect HMAS Vampire and Onslow. A Welcome Wall pays tribute to more than six million people who have crossed the world to settle in Australia.
The Powerhouse Museum, a nineteenth century institution which has reinvented itself, offers something to satisfy every possible visitor. Its immense collection ranges from decorative arts to crafts, social history, science and technology. Apart from old favorites like the Strasburg Clock, the museum provides an innovative, high technology approach to displays including touch-screens, audio phones and a variety of other hands-on experiences. There is also a shop, restaurant and outdoor cafe.
Dating from 1871 and located at its present site overlooking Woolloomooloo Bay since 1885, this is one of Australia's premier art institutions. Located on the Domain. The buzz on entering the building is truly palpable; the visitors come, enjoy and do not want to leave. The permanent collection includes Australian, European, Asian and contemporary art. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander works on display in the Yiribana Gallery are totally unsurpassed. There are also an exciting and diverse temporary exhibition programs. Admission is usually free except for the charges applying for some temporary exhibitions. See the website for more details.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, a veritable oasis of greenery, boast breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour and the city skyline. The gardens were the first area of land cultivated by Europeans on the Australian continent, though the gardens themselves were not opened to the public until 1816. Visitors can explore the Herb Garden, the Fernery, the Rose Garden, a walled Succulent Garden and the HSBC Oriental Garden. The harbor side of the main pond offers a splendid view of the harbour. Keep your eyes out for the ibis or cockatoos that call this place home.
Australia's leading contemporary art museum, popularly known as the MCA, occupies an art deco building in the heart of the tourism sector at Circular Quay. The museums temporary exhibition programme draws upon sources throughout the world and is supported by lectures, films and special events. Exhibitions change each season. There is also a cafe and shop featuring a range of art and merchandise inspired by Australia's top designers. Admission is free.
Built in 1858, the Observatory operated until the 1980s and gained an international reputation for its work. This elegant, sandstone complex is now part of the Powerhouse Museum. The permanent exhibition, by the light of the southern stars', is highly informative while there is also a temporary exhibition programme and associated events. On a clear night, the stars and planets are visible through a telescope and can be accessed via guided tours every evening throughout the year. Bookings are essential for this family-oriented activity. Admission price varies depending on time of day.
The controversial but decidedly beautiful sail-like roofs of Sydney's most recognizable icon glisten against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour. The Sydney Opera House was constructed over a fourteen-year period and caused an opera’s worth of drama. Danish architect Jorn Utzon has reportedly never laid eyes on his masterpiece, as he resigned in 1966 due to political difficulties and construction delays. The now world-renowned architectural wonder was finally completed in 1973, much to Sydney’s collective relief. Today, the Sydney Opera House has an impressive yearly program of up to 3000 contemporary and classical performances, and is a truly memorable place to take in theatre, opera and ballet. Various guided tours take visitors behind the scenes and into the establishment’s many interesting rooms.