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.
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 that involved differences between the architect Jørn Utzon and the Australian government. The now world-renowned architectural wonder stands as an unmissable icon of Sydney's cultural landscape. It houses among other small venues, the Joan Sutherland Theatre, the Utzon Room and a grand Concert Hall. It also has an impressive yearly program of contemporary and classical performances, and is a striking cultural sanctuary to take in theater, opera and ballet. Riveting guided tours take visitors behind the scenes and into the establishment’s many interesting rooms.
The Royal Botanic Gardens, a veritable oasis of greenery, boast breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour and the city's 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 main pond in the lower garden offers a splendid view of the harbor. Keep an eye out for ibis or cockatoos that call this place home.
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.
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.
This 2,000 seat Capitol Theatre was originally a luxury picture palace and circus, with the seal pit still under the auditorium. The Capitol fell into disrepair, but an extensive renovation restored her to her former glory. The elegant Florentine garden theme features Grecian statues, gold, velvet, and a wonderful starry night ceiling. It hosts a variety of shows, from big musicals through to classic old film screenings.
You will feel just like those magnificent men in their flying machines when you don your goggles and leather helmet, and take a seat in the open cockpit of this classic biplane. A trip in one of these classic planes of Red Baron Scenic Flights, will provide an unforgettable memory of the scenic city. Flights are also available further afield covering major terrains in the north and south. Real dare-devils can go up, down and flying around on the Aerobatic Thrill Seeker Flight. Not for the faint-hearted.
The United Cinema - Avalon invites cine buffs to view latest blockbusters as well as classic art films. With two wide screens and a multi-format digital sound system, movie watching gets all the more pleasurable at this theater. For an even more enjoyable experience, sit back and relax with popcorn and a soda from the refreshment stand. For film times, ticket prices and further information, please call or check their website.
How often does one manage to catch a glimpse of authentic and traditional North American Indian art in Australia? The Four Winds Gallery contains rare collections of sculptures and graphics, but most prominently its collection of jewelery makes it worth the while. Chunky and unique, the jewelery will make you want to possess it all. But be wary as the collection is the observation and critical research work of the passionate owner and not to be tampered with. The pottery exhibitions are also brilliant. For further information, log on to their website.
Pain, anguish, mirth, sorrow, emotions in all their vivacity are captured best by the artist who supplies the visions with form and shape through his art. Artists featured at Gallery 307 are renowned in their field and do not limit themselves to norms associated with art. The gallery is sought after by young upcoming artists who wish to make their work accessible to the public. Varied improvisations in sculptures, ceramics and paintings can be witnessed. For further information on current exhibitions, visit the website.
Strathfield Town Hall is a community venue that hosts private and social events. It also stages performances of local dance troupes, singers and theater artists. For more details, check website.
The Randwick Town Hall is available for hosting various private, community or social events throughout the year. It can accommodate 300 guests and features amenities like kitchen, a stage and private rooms. Check website for more information.