A multi-cultural city of more than four million people, Sydney is a vivid metropolis built around one of the most stunning harbours in the world.
The dramatic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House surrounded by the glorious harbour is an iconic image of Sydney and Australia. You’ll no doubt have seen countless images of this stunning city but nothing quite compares to seeing it in real life. Wander around the foreshore or take a cruise on the water to see these two architectural feats from a whole new angle.
While relatively young compared to other cities around the world, Sydney still has a rich and colourful history. After more than 40,000 years of habitation by Aboriginal people, Sydney became the first European settlement in Australia when the First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788 with thousands of convicts in tow. This European influence is visible in the colonial style architecture of buildings like the Queen Victoria Building and the convict-built Hyde Park Barracks.
Imagine what life might have been like 200 years ago in colonial Sydney by sitting in Mrs Macquarie’s Chair on the harbour foreshore. The historic seat was carved out of sandstone by convicts in 1810 for Mrs Macquarie, the wife of the then NSW governor, Lachlan Macquarie. Mrs Macquarie was homesick for her native Great Britain and was known to sit and take in the panoramic views of the harbour while waiting for ships to sail in with news from home.
Take a stroll through the busy Circular Quay to absorb the vibrant harbour and continue on to The Rocks where you’ll find plenty of interesting boutique shops to take home the perfect souvenir. The Rocks is the oldest area of Sydney, once inhabited by the indigenous Gadigal people before the first European settlers claimed the land. You’ll find quaint cafes, restaurants and boutique stores nestled in the heritage preserved sandstone buildings.
Sydney has some of the best beaches you’ll find in the world; beautiful stretches of sand and surf all within easy reach of the city’s centre. To the north of the city is Manly Beach, a great place to swim, stroll or enjoy an ice cream under the shady pine trees. The city’s eastern suburbs are known for their spectacular beaches – none more so than the famous Bondi Beach which is the most popular beach in Sydney with both locals and travellers.
There’s plenty to entertain visitors to this great city. Try Darling Harbour, Sydney’s premier entertainment and leisure district for restaurants, museums and attractions or check out the hip bar scene of inner-city suburbs like Surry Hills and Darlinghurst for popular restaurants, cafés and bars.