Top Ten Essential Architecture Top Ten things to do in Sydney  
  Page dedicated to Timo and Orla.....  
  For a more complete list, see Sydney Architecture  
1 Australia's Birthplace- The Rocks  
roc-orient.jpg (50590 bytes) Colonial churches, pubs and other buildings, restaurants, shops, street entertainment, weekend market are among the free Sydney attractions in the Rocks area where Captain Arthur Phillip established his Sydney settlement in 1778. Take our suggested Rocks walking tour. Stop off, and branch off, wherever you will.
Sydney Architecture- The Rocks walking tour
2 Sydney Harbour Bridge and Bridge Walk  
roc007-a.jpg (40568 bytes) Walk across the unique Sydney icon that is the Sydney Harbour Bridge and have a great vantage point for panoramic views of the city, harbour and ocean. Great for picture taking, too. The pedestrian way over the bridge is on the eastern side of the span. (The western side is reserved for cyclists.) From the Rocks area, take the pedestrian access way from Cumberland St. Check location of access points on your Rocks map, free from the Rocks visitor centre.  
3 Museums and Galleries  
cbd025c.jpg (89190 bytes) There's free entry to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in The Domain, the Museum of Contemporary Art at The Rocks, the Australian Museum and the Sydney Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour. (A charge applies for special, particularly visiting, exhibitions.) The Yiribana Gallery at the Art Gallery of NSW focuses on Aboriginal and islander art. Free guided tours Tuesday to Saturday at 11am.  See also the State Library off Macquarie Street.  
4 Darling Harbour  
PYR007-04.jpg (90273 bytes) Waterside walks, street performances, concerts on floating pontoons or at Tumbalong Park are among the free Sydney attractions in Darling Harbour, a short walk from the city centre. A bit plastic, but a good place for the family.  
5 Bicentennial Park  
iw009-fro2.jpg (39333 bytes) Visit Sydney's Bicentennial Park which is part of Sydney Olympic Park at Homebush Bay (about 5 miles west of Sydney) for a day of outdoor and nature-based activity. Barbecue and picnic areas, playgrounds, cycle paths, access to wetlands. Drive, or take the train (which isn't free) to Olympic Park. They have a rather good system of board-walks through mangrove swamps here.  
6 Beaches- the "Bondi to Bronte Coast Walk", the Manly Ferry and the Royal National Park.  
Sydney's beaches run almost all the way from Palm Beach in the north to Cronulla in the south. Go surfing, swimming, snorkeling, or simply lazing away the time, particularly in the warmer months. Take care to be safe. Sydney's most accessable urban beaches are in the eastern suburbs. There is a very good beach walk that runs from Bondi to Bronte (you can get a train to Bondi junction and then a bus to the beach). Also a very good beach trip is catching the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly. Manly stretches over a thin peninsula and has both peaceful harbour beaches and wild ocean beaches. For beautiful beaches set in a natural setting, catch the bus up to the Northern Beaches. You can also camp by the beach down in the Royal National Park, south of Sydney.  
7 The Royal Botanic Gardens and the Sydney Opera House  
ROC006-opera-house.jpg (60562 bytes) Particularly in the spring when plants and trees start to blossom, a stroll through The Royal Botanic Gardens  Sydney is a pleasure many like to take. Walk to Mrs Macquaries Point for a perfect view of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge together. Great for picture taking.  
8 Government House  
roc001c.jpg (66443 bytes) Former residence of New South Wales Governors (within the Royal Botanic Gardens) which has now opened to the public with free guided tours every half hour Friday to Sunday from 10.30am to 3pm. Elegant colonial architecture and furnishings, and art collections on display. Stroll through the Government House gardens, too, with great views of the harbour.  
9 St. Mary’s Cathedral  
cbd007ab.jpg (46621 bytes) Discover the Gothic architectural splendor of St Mary's Cathedral, mother church of Australian Catholicism. Go in for a visit or to pray. The crypt which is renowned for its mosaic floor depicting The Creation is open daily from 10am to 4pm. Free cathedral tours are available Sundays at noon.  
10 Taronga Zoo  
NOR25-03.jpg (45955 bytes) Another excuse to catch a ferry on the most beautiful harbour in the world and to visit one of the world's best zoos. Taronga zoo has an excellent selection of Australian and world animals living in natural settings set on a hillside in the northern suburbs overlooking the harbour.  
11 Luna Park  
NOR-LUNA2.jpg (55387 bytes) Just for fun! Interesting Deco amusement park built on the north side of the Harbour just after the construction of the bridge.  
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