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Weird & Wonderful

Approximate Duration: 30 min

Top Rated Attractions in Sydney

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

Stretching over the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is certainly a wonder to behold. The steel through arch bridge was designed and constructed by Dorman Long and Co Ltd back in 1932 and has since become one of Sydney's most iconic tourist attractions. Thanks to its arched shape, many Sydney residents call the bridge "The Coat Hanger", and while this might sound a bit mean-spirited, the bridge is well loved. Standing at 134 meters (440 feet), the Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the tallest steel arch bridges in the world. Its incredible height inspired many daredevils to climb across the bridge illegally, which in turn inspired BridgeClimb, a tour that takes visitors up and across the bridge. For visitors who prefer the safety of the ground, the bridge can also be viewed from the south-east pylon, and walkers can traverse it on the bridge's footpath.

St Mary's Cathedral

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. 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.

Saint James Church

Located opposite Hyde Park Barracks Museum, St James' Church was originally designed in 1819 as a courthouse. Architect Francis Greenway was forced to convert it to a church to hold services for convicts from the Barracks. Samuel Marsden, the infamous flogging parson, was Senior Chaplin here. The Church has had many restorations, both interior and exterior, and additions such as the Children's Chapel. It is one of the most beautiful pieces of architecture in central Sydney.

St Patrick's Catholic Church

St Patrick's Catholic Church was built in 1840, and opened in March 1844, making it one of Australia's oldest. It was built on land donated by an Irishman, who was transported as a convict to Sydney for instigating anti-British uprisings. It features Gothic painted windows and arches, an ornate interior, with high altar and polished brass. It is a pretty and peaceful church, near the entrance to The Bridge. There is a courtyard coffee shop as well, where you can relax.

May Gibbs's Nutcote Cottage

Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the endearing tale of two gumnut babies, has been one of Australia's favorite childrens books for years. Author May Gibbs built Nutcote, her harbor-side home in 1926 and it is now a museum. Informative guides show you around, and you can watch two films on Gibbs downstairs. Wander around the gardens so lovingly tended by Gibbs, and enjoy the views.

Elizabeth Bay House

Sydney does have some grand houses even if they only date back to the nineteenth century. Elizabeth Bay House overlooks Sydney Harbour and was designed in the early 1830s by the fashionable architect, John Verge, for Alexander Macleay. While Macleay occupied the position of Colonial Secretary, he almost bankrupted himself over this venture. The interior reflects the lifestyle of the Macleay family between 1839 and 1845 and is based upon rigid documentary research. A changing exhibition program also makes it well worth a return visit.

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