When you say “Australia”, a number of icons come to mind, but Sydney boasts the most iconic man-made structures in the country and they can be seen from the same spot: East Circular Quay. To those unfamiliar, “quay” is pronounced as “key”…nothing identifies you as a tourist quicker than asking a local “excuse me, can you tell me how to get to circular kway, please?”
There is no doubt that when the sun is out and the sky is blue, you can make any place look beautiful. I know I may be biased but Sydney Harbour absolutely glistens on a gorgeous day – no photoshopping necessary – this is Sydney Harbour and East Circular Quay at its absolute best – even the locals have now accepted the apartment building once known as “The Toaster” for its flat look and the hole in the middle (and admittedly, we were jealous of those who could afford to live there).
The Harbour Bridge is nicknamed “the coat-hanger” and if you go to the tourist shops, you will probably even find coat hangers made in the shape of the Bridge. Nearly 20 years ago, a group of entrepreneurs thought it would be a great idea to bring tourists up to the top of the Bridge and call it “Bridge Climb”. Since then, it has won a number of tourism awards and is one of the “must-do” around Sydney when you visit. I have done the climb myself – the view is beautiful and unless you have a fear of heights, it is not scary at all.
There are plenty of watering holes in Sydney but where else would you find one with a view like this? Opera Bar is always busy and popular for lunch and drinks. If you enjoy people-watching, just hang out at the bar and you will see locals celebrating something special or just hanging out for pre/post-show drinks, backpackers and assorted tourists visiting from every part of the world.
The Sydney Opera House is as famous for its “sail-like” structure as it is for the interior and the world-class performers who visit year-round. It is one of my favourite venues for concerts, plays and, of course, operas. The front sails are so prominent that it is easy to forget you can walk around to the back of the building as well! So when you come to visit, make sure you go exploring!
When you’ve had enough of the Opera House, head back towards the wharf and visit the original Customs House – this was where passengers arriving by boat used to be processed for entry into Australia. It now houses a library (free to visit) and a classy restaurant (Cafe Sydney) on the rooftop.
Now the tour is over and it’s time to go home. Hop on the train at Circular Quay station and wave goodbye from the platform – so long and thanks for all the fish, Sydney!