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A guide to holidays in Sydney - Sunny, seductive Sydney is a high contender for the title of the world's most ideal city. It is slick and smart, the streets are clean, the neighbourhoods and busy pedestrian precincts pristine, the parks sublime, the water in the huge harbour blue, and the landmark buildings breath-taking. Sydney's population is approaching five million, but it is easy to leave the frenetic urban pace behind with just a simple ferry ride to the North Shore for a bush walk, enjoy a stroll along the harbour beaches or take any one of a number of daytrips to explore the 'real' Australia on the city's doorstep.

 

Just like its characteristic white-sailed Opera House, Sydney seems to cruise effortlessly through nights and days filled with myriad entertainment opportunities, sophisticated shopping, memorable museums, and strings of beautiful beaches. Visitors find it exhausting to take it all in, even though the tourist precinct where most of the interesting attractions are to be found is concentrated in quite a small area around the down-town waterfront and harbour area.

 

The fact that Sydney is a thriving seaport and industrial city has been cleverly concealed behind attractive pleasure and leisure grounds and residential suburbs, making full use of the scenic, watery geographical location. The harbour area is dominated by the span of one of the world's largest arched bridges, backed by towering skyscrapers. It is all a far cry from the remote penal colony established by the British back in 1788.

 

Another plus for visitors is that compared to most big cities Sydney offers excellent, reasonably priced food, accommodation and public transport. The city has an excellent suburban rail network, with its hub at Circular Quay in the city centre, and full use is made of the waterways with ferries and passenger jet boats plying to and from various points.

 

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Sydney holidays - Top Places To Go

 
1. Harbour Bridge
BridgeClimb starts at 5 Cumberland Street, The Rocks. Entry to the Pylon Lookout is from the pedestrian walkway on the Eastern side of the Bridge from the city; use the ?Bridge Stairs' in Cumberland Street
www.bridgeclimb.com
What is it? One of Sydney's most famous landmarks, the Harbour Bridge (known locally as the 'Coat Hanger') was completed in 1932 after claiming 16 lives during its construction. The bridge spans the 1,600ft (500m) gap from the north to the south shore, which was previously only accessible by ferry, and accommodates pedestrian walkways, two railway lines and an eight-lane road. Visitors can experience the bridge in an adventurous way by climbing to the top as part of an organised group for breathtaking views and a feeling of personal achievement. For the less daring 200 steps lead to the Pylon Lookout for equally fantastic views at 285ft (87m) above the water, with three levels of exhibits on the way up depicting the history and construction of the bridge. Hours of Operation: Pylon Lookout: daily 10am to 5pm. BridgeClimb operates daily at 10-minute intervals from early morning to evening Phone:BridgeClimb: (0)2 8274 7777; Pylon Lookout: (0)2 9240 1100
2. The Rocks

www.therocks.com
What is it? The best place to start exploring Australia's oldest city is at The Rocks, a restored 19th-century village at the southern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which was the site of Australia's first European settlement in 1788, and is therefore considered to be the birthplace of the nation of Australia. The area features cobbled streets and squares, gas lamps, craft shops and small restaurants. Here too are several historic buildings, including one of the city's oldest, Cadman's Cottage, built in 1816, and two of Sydney's oldest pubs, the Lord Nelson and the Hero of Waterloo. It is recommended that visitors seek information and a map from The Rocks Visitor's Centre (in George Street) in order to make the most of the neighbourhood and its many attractions, which include museums, view sites, markets, monuments and buildings. From The Rocks it is also possible to access the Pylon Lookout on the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge for an amazing view of the harbour and beyond. Hours of Operation: Office Hours: 8am - 6pm (Monday to Friday) Phone:(0)2 9240 8500
3. Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney Harbour
www.sydneyoperahouse.com
What is it? It may not be an ancient monument, but the architecturally distinctive Sydney Opera House epitomises the city as much as does the Great Pyramid in Cairo or the Acropolis in Athens. Situated on Sydney harbour at Bennelong Point, this intriguing white-sailed landmark is no white elephant. It is a fully functional performing arts centre in constant use. The complex consists of a massive Concert Hall that seats more than 2,500 people and has the finest acoustics in the world; a smaller Opera Theatre, also used for ballet performances; a Drama Theatre, seating about 500 people; the smaller Playhouse; and the Boardwalk dance and music venue. The building, designed by Jorn Utzon, was completed in 1973 and cost over $100 million, most of which was raised with a series of national lotteries. There was so much controversy involved in its construction that the Danish architect returned home without ever seeing his finished product. Free performances of various types are given outside on the boardwalks around the Opera House on Sunday afternoons. Hours of Operation: Guided tours daily 9am to 5pm (one hour); Box office for tickets to performances open Monday to Saturday 9am to 8.30pm, on Sundays two hours before the scheduled performance time Phone:(02) 9250 7111 (general information)

 

Sydney holidays - Top Events

1. Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

From 2007-03-03

To 2007-03-03
 

What is it? What began in 1979 as a protest march has become a huge colourful annual event to display Sydney's tolerant spirit. The city's gay and lesbian community, joined by thousands of visitors from around the world, holds a three-week festival each February culminating in a massive parade of sumptuous floats, reputedly the biggest outdoor night time parade in the world. The traditional parade route runs from Hyde Park, through Liverpool Street, Oxford Street, across Anzac Parade and on to Moore Park where it ends in an all night party at Fox Studios. Other events in the weeks leading up to the parade include a film festival, concerts, picnics, art exhibitions and sports events. Where is it?
2. Sydney Festival

From 2007-01-06

To 2007-01-26
 

What is it? This huge extravaganza is one of the largest and most prestigious cultural events in Australia, presenting the finest international artists and most acclaimed local talent in the performing and visual arts. Every summer the city's concert venues, theatres, galleries, streets and various outdoor venues are taken over by the creative arts, featuring a wide range of music, dance and drama, exhibitions, circuses and free outdoor entertainment in a celebration of artistic innovation unmatched anywhere else in the country. A free outdoor programme, including the enormously popular symphony and jazz concerts in the Domain, complements the ticketed events, and takes place in venues such as the Rocks, Darling Harbour and in front of the Sydney Opera House. Where is it? CBD
3. New Year's Eve Fireworks Spectacular

From 2006-12-31

To 2007-01-01
 

What is it? The splendid setting of Sydney Harbour becomes the stage for one of the most fabulous and largest annual fireworks displays in the world, watched by millions of people around the globe. The 9pm display offers an opportunity for families with young children to enjoy the celebrations. The midnight spectacular covers a four-mile (7km) stretch of the harbour and the fireworks are fired from barges on either side of the Harbour Bridge and from the bridge itself. Other activities take place throughout the evening including the traditional Tall Ships Parade decorated with lighting effects, and various carnival attractions. Where is it? Sydney Harbour
4. Carols in the Domain

From 2006-12-16

To 2006-12-16
 

What is it? Woolworths' Carols in the Domain is Australia's largest and most loved Christmas celebration. Every year family and friends come together at this spectacular event to celebrate the magic and joy of Christmas. The Domain, in the heart of Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens becomes a hive of activity as people from all over Australia join in and sing along to their favourite Christmas Carols. As the sun sets the Domain is transformed into a sea of flickering candlelight as Australia's best talent takes to the stage in this Christmas spectacular. Woolworths' Carols in the Domain showcases the very best of the Australian entertainment industry, from theatre, opera, and recording artists, to our most loved television personalities. Where is it? The Domain, Sydney Botanical Gardens
5. Australia Day Celebrations

From 2007-01-26

To 2007-01-26
 

What is it? Australia's National Day commemorates the arrival of the First Fleet and is a celebration of all that is Australian. It is the biggest day celebration in the country and includes a wide variety of water and land based activities and shows. Favourite annual events include the Ferrython, Tall Ships Race, Australia Day Parade and the traditional Regatta. Various venues throughout the city stage formal ceremonies, food and wine fairs, Australian musical performances and street entertainment, and the day culminates at Darling Harbour with a dazzling fireworks display set to music. Where is it? Various

 

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About This Page

Information on Sydney Holidays, Sydney Hotels, Holiday Packages in Sydney (city breaks, short stays, all inclusive and luxury deals). Also provides links and resources to Air Travel, Flights and Sydney Car Hire Options

Holidays Travel Guide content from www.wordtravels.com, copyright Globe Media Ltd. By its very nature much of the information contained in the travel guide is subject to change at short notice. Travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevent authorities. We cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to a person as result of information contained above.