Home to the country’s most famous landmarks, Sydney Harbour is often the first port of call for travellers to Australia. Framed by world-renowned structures such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House, and punctuated by myriad beaches, gardens and bushland, the harbour is a playground for nature lovers, art and design enthusiasts and foodies.
Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge offers unrivalled views across the harbour and city skyline. The team at BridgeClimb will guide you high into the bridge’s arches toward the summit of this living icon, 134 metres above the water. From here you’ll take in 360-degree panoramic views. Thrill seekers can ascend the entire bridge from south to north, and back again, with BridgeClimb’s Ultimate experience.
Visit the Sydney Opera House and Museum of Contemporary Art
From Circular Quay, the Sydney Opera House is instantly recognisable. A path leads you right around the edge of the building so you can admire its bright tiled sails. Join an architectural tour to fully appreciate this World-Heritage listed masterpiece, delving into its history and construction. The Sydney Opera House presents more than 40 shows a week, spanning classical music, comedy, theatre, dance, film and more – be sure to check out what’s on. Continue your culture fix at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA), across the quay from the Sydney Opera House. The MCA showcases a permanent collection of painting, photography, sculpture and moving image, alongside a diverse lineup of exhibitions from Australian and international artists.
Explore the Royal Botanic Garden
From Circular Quay it’s a brisk 10-minute walk along the esplanade to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Australia’s oldest botanic garden is home to an amazing variety of native plants and wildlife. Join an Aboriginal guided tour to learn about the diverse history and culture of the local Cadigal Aboriginal people, the Traditional Custodians of the central Sydney region. Afterward, stroll through the gardens to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a carved sandstone bench crafted by convicts in 1810
Ride a ferry or take a seaplane flight
One of the best ways to experience Sydney’s glistening harbour is on it, riding Sydney’s iconic harbour ferries. Hop on a ferry from Circular Quay to explore beautiful beachside suburbs such as Manly and Watsons Bay, where you can enjoy fish and chips or head out on a harbour walk along the foreshore. Alternatively, you can experience a bird’s-eye view across the harbour with a scenic flight departing from Rose Bay, about 10 minutes’ drive east of the city centre.
Dine at lauded waterfront restaurants
Sydney Harbour is home to some of the city’s most celebrated restaurants. Chef Peter Gilmore’s Quay and Bennelong restaurants set a benchmark for fine dining in Sydney, serving rare and innovative cuisine at the water’s edge. Bennelong is housed under one of the ‘sails’ of the Sydney Opera House, while Quay sits across the water at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. For something more casual, enjoy cocktails and a selection of Australian seafood at Opera Bar, overseen by celebrity chef Matt Moran.