An Iconic Cityscape
Sydney, Australia is certainly an iconic, popular vacation destination for tourists as well as a home base to international travelers. While there are many sights that should not go unseen during your visit such as the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, much of this city will appear to have a familar city-feel that you can find in other large cities. However, if you take the time to explore the city streets a bit further you will find charming pockets of the city that stand out and will make your visit memorable. Let’s take a virtual walking tour of the city shall we? If you are currently in Sydney reading this article, click on the red map pin point markers and follow them to see a new side of Sydney!
Start: Central Train Station
We are going to begin our journey at the Central Train Station. An easy place to navigate to and find. If you aren’t quite sure how to get there, remember to follow the map pin point markers along the way! These will have the address to make it easier to find. In total you can expect the full walking tour loop to take approximately 3 hours if you spend a moderate amount of time in each location. Take your time and enjoy dining, shopping, or entertainment you spot along the way! Are you ready? Let’s go!
Stop One: The ANZAC World Memorial
Walking distance from Central Station: 14 minutes.
ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. This memorial is in remembrance of the soldiers who fought in the First World War when when Britain declared war in August 1914. ANZAC Day is celebrated every year on April 25 and is one of Australia’s national commemorations. “Later, Anzac Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in the Second World War, and in subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those who lost their lives in all the military and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved.” -Australian War Memorial
As we pass by this destination feel free to take a look inside the memorial and admire the Pool of Reflection just outside. Entry to the memorial is free.
Stop Two: Hyde Park
Walking distance from ANZAC World Memorial: 2 minutes.
As we continue our walking tour take your time strolling through the lovely Hyde Park! This park is quite large, at 40 acres, and very lush. You may find a nice bench to read a book or a spot of grass to enjoy a picnic. There’s no rush on how much time you want to spend here if its a nice, sunny afternoon!
Stop Three: St. Mary's Cathedral
Walking distance from Hyde Park: 2 minutes.
As you exit the lovely Hyde Park you will see just across the street the very peaceful St. Mary’s Cathedral! This building is not only stunning from the outside but is solemn and quite beautiful on the inside as well. Entry into the cathedral is free but please be respectful when entering. Use a quiet speaking voice and do not use flash photography while inside. Visitors of the cathedral may be praying or paying their respects so please keep this in mind while inside.
Stop Four: The Royal Botanical Gardens
Walking distance from St. Mary’s Cathedral: 15 minutes.
The Royal Botanical Gardens is a gorgeous spot of the city filled with fountains, forestry that resembles a rainforest, and critters that appear to be from wild desserts. I highly suggest exploring this area to see everything there is to offer! One of the best highlights of these gardens is not only can you can see a stunning view of the opera house and harbor bridge from across the water, but you can also explore these beautiful botanical gardens for free!
Stop Five: The Opera House
Walking distance from the Royal Botanical Gardens: 5 minutes.
Of course we couldn’t leave out the most iconic spot of Sydney! The well-known opera house is certainly more admirable in person that post cards or movies portray it as. If you are able to see an opera or concert at this venue while you’re in Sydney, you would truly get the full experience. Even walking around to take photos is satifsying so take the time to really see it up close and off the water from a ferry if you can!
Optional: Day Trip by Ferry
Walking distance from the Sydney Opera House: 10 minutes.
After a long day of trotting the city you may find yourself ready for a nice lunch or a bit of shopping. There are plenty of places to dine or shop near the opera house so you shouldn’t have any troubles finding what you’re looking for. If however you have some energy left and don’t mind spending the rest of the afternoon exploring some more, head over to the Circular Quay box office for ticket pricing to take a ferry across the sea. A great spot to watch the sun go down with a stunning view of the Sydney skyline is from Watson’s Bay! You can also take the ferry to other locations such as Manly Beach or the Taronga Zoo. Check pricing when you arrive at the Circular Quay departure gates and be sure to plan your time accordingly so you can be sure to get back!
Day Trip by Ferry Night Return
The perks of taking a ferry trip is if you plan it just right, you’ll get to see the Sydney skyline by night! It is a lovely sight to see so if you can get out to the water by night, definitely do.