South Pacific

Sydney: Australia’s laidback metropolis

Sydney Harbour | Photo credit: Tourism Australia

Australia defines itself by its Aboriginal heritage, vibrant mix of cultures, innovative ideas and thriving arts scene. Sydney is one of many Australian cities that play host to an array of cultural festivals, and offer music, theatre and dance performances, and an art exhibition is never far away.

Sydney is Australia’s famous laidback metropolis. With its world-class harbour, impressive skyline and variety of things to see and do, you could be forgiven for assuming cosmopolitan Sydney is Australia’s capital. But that title falls to Canberra, while Sydney prides itself on being the country’s largest – and oldest – city. The city began life as a convict settlement in 1788 when the First Fleet landed after an arduous journey from Britain. Although it struggled to establish itself in the early days, a gold rush in the mid-19th century saw an influx of migrants from around the world, and the makeshift town developed over the next 150 years to become the thriving city it is today. Sydney is a pleasing blend of old and new, with historical buildings revealing its colonial past and new skyscrapers.
The ocean seems to be everywhere, and sea vistas, surf beaches and quiet harbour side parks abound. Sydneysiders take full advantage of this wonderful setting: Life happens on the streets, and any excuse is good enough for a swim at the beach.

Sights to See

From world famous icons such as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, to the golden sands of Bondi Beach, Sydney is a melting pot of cultural diversity and irrepressible energy. One of the ‘problems’ with being in Sydney, especially for just a few days, is where to go, what to do, and what to do first! The Sydney Opera House, an internationally recognized symbol of the city and, indeed, Australia, is acknowledged as one of the architectural wonders of the world and one of the best-known buildings of the 20th century. The cultural, heritage and architectural importance of the Opera House was recognized in 2007 when it was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

The famous Sydney Harbour Bridge is synonymous with the city. Opened in 1932, it is a source of great national pride and is the focal point for the city’s renowned New Year’s Eve fireworks. You can view the structure from the pylon on the city side, or book a place on BridgeClimb for an up-close-and-personal experience. BridgeClimb opened in 1998, and the climb takes you to the top of a metal arch, where you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city and harbour below.

The Rocks is Sydney’s most historical area and was the site of Australia’s first European settlement in 1788. It has changed from a convict town to a burgeoning port city and a visitor hotspot over the years, and now offers a fine choice of dining, shopping and sightseeing. Take time to wander through the narrow alleys just off George Street, and enjoy a schooner (slightly less than a pint) or two in one of the historical pubs. The Rocks Discovery Museum offers a fascinating look back over the history of the area, while a guided walking tour provides an insight into the characters that lived there.

Darling Harbour is the opposite of The Rocks – modern, bright and brash. Mirrored office buildings and hotels jostle for space and the waterfront precinct throbs with activity day and night. It is now one of Sydney’s largest dining, shopping and entertainment areas. It’s also where the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Sydney Aquarium are located.

A ferry ride across Sydney Harbour to Manly, one of the Northern Beaches, is a must for any visitor. Located between a tranquil inner-harbour beach on one side and a popular Pacific Ocean surf beach on the other, Manly combines a laid-back attitude with a sophisticated dining scene and stylish shopping. Bondi Beach is, of course, another must-see. Famous for its beach culture and a favourite with the surfing set, you’re just as likely to bump into billionaires as you are backpackers at what many say is Australia’s most famous beach.

Uniglobe Travel

Interested in learning more about Australia? Uniglobe Ambassador Newhouse Travel, a professional UniGlobe travel agency in [geocity] will be pleased to assist you.

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