Sydney is one of the world’s main tourism destinations. In 2012, the city received around 2.7 million international visitors, according to data from Destination NSW.
The tourism industry provides more jobs than any other sector, and offers an enormous infrastructure made up of hotels and restaurants, all catering for visitors. The tourism attractions also live up to expectations, and natural beauty spots are among the main attractions of the city, with its many beautiful parks, gardens and idyllic beaches.
Also known as Sydney Tower Eye and AMP Tower, Sydney Tower is Sydney’s tallest building and the third tallest in Australia, measuring 309 metres at its highest point. The Observation Deck offers a 360º view of Sydney, while on the Skywalk is where visitors can walk on air 268 metres above stunning Sydney.
Address: New Westfield Shopping Centre, corner of Pitt Street and Market Street, Sydney CBD. (Just follow the signs from the food court at Level 5).
One of the country’s largest private collections of Australian native animals and bird life, Featherdale Wildlife Park is comfortable to walk through and is an excellent facility to encounter and interact with the animals.
Visitors can hand feed kangaroos and wallabies, or enjoy a face-to-face encounter with one of the park’s koalas.
Address: 217-229 Kildare Road
Doonside 2767 NSW
Bondi is one of Australia’s most famous beaches. Although it doesn’t have the natural beauty of some of Sydney’s other beaches, such as Palm Beach and Bondi’s neighbour Bronte Beach, its lively atmosphere and diversity of beachfront cafes, restaurants, bars, clubs, and hotels make it a very popular beach.
One of the most picturesque of the Northern beaches, Manly has various entertainment options. On the Manly Cove side, the water is calm – perfect for stand-up paddling and kayaking. The main beach, on other end, is ideal for surfers, with professional-level waves. Beachfront restaurants and bars are great options to end the day.
Listed as a World Heritage Area in 2000, the Greater Blue Mountains Area is home to one of the world’s oldest trees. In the same region, the rock formation known as The Three Sisters attracts visitors from all corners of the globe. The parks also have walking trails, camping sites and picnic areas.
With its breathtaking scenery, Darling Harbour offers entertainment to suit all tastes. Visitors can enjoy the Sydney Aquarium, the Wildlife Park, and Madame Tussauds – the famous wax museum, with perfect replicas of the world’s most iconic personalities. Film buffs can watch movies at the IMAX, the world’s biggest cinema screen, then, what better way to round off the day than some drinks and live music at one of the bars or restaurants along the harbour.
The city’s oldest suburb, it retains features of Sydney’s historic past, with colonial buildings. Day tours are available, taking in some of the city’s oldest and most traditional pubs, as well as a ghost tour, around spots that are famous for their urban legends of ghosts.
An oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle of Sydney’s financial centre, the Royal Botanic Gardens were opened in 1816, and has a huge diversity of local animal and plant life. It is impossible to walk around the park without being approached by a bird looking for food. Open daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm, the gardens are the ideal place for those wanting to commune with nature.
Australia’s oldest park, Hyde Park is located in the heart of Sydney’s business and financial district, in an area covering 16.2 hectares. The perfect spot for a lunchtime picnic, it is also the venue for various music and gastronomy events.
Address: Elizabeth Street, Sydney 2000 NSW
On the shores of Sydney Harbour, overlooking the beautiful Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, the zoo is a great option for a trip with friends and family. Besides the numerous native Australian species, such as kangaroos and koalas, the zoo also houses large mammals, such as giraffes and elephants.
Address: Bradleys Head Road
Mosman 2000 NSW
One of Australia’s most famous icons and one of the main symbols of the local architecture. It was designed by architect Jorn Utzon in 1959, but was not inaugurated until 1973. The building has about 1,000 rooms, including five theatres, five rehearsal studios, two main auditoriums, four restaurants, six bars and several souvenir shops. The main Concert Hall has seating capacity for 2,690 people. sydneyoperahouse.com
Address: Bennelong Point, Sydney 2000 NSW
An iconic landmark spanning the Bay of Sydney, the bridge links the business district with the suburbs of the North Shore. It is used by trains, cars, pedestrians and cyclists. Built in 1932, it is 1,149 metres in length, and its apex is 134 metres above sea level.
A popular attraction is the Bridge Climb, where visitors are led along walkways around the arch, to the apex. For more information, visit: bridgeclimb.com