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Australia

Recommended attractions in Sydney


Sydney
AirportLink
The AirportLink provides train service between Sydney Airport International and Domestic terminals and downtown Sydney.
Roundtrip airport transfer via the AirportLink train is included in the SydneyPass.
Phone:  02.9268.2800
Web:   www.sydneybuses.nsw.gov.au/sb.express.html
Roundtrip airport transfers:    17.30AUD

Argyle Department Store, 18-24 Argyle Street,
The Rocks
The Argyle Department Store first opened in 1828. The former wool exchange maintains its original beams, floorboards, and sandstone. But nowadays, it's filled with trendy shops and an excellent Italian restaurant.
Phone:  02.9251.4800
Hours:  10AM to 6PM daily:
Thursdays until 7PM

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Rd.,
The Domain
If you'd like to see Australian art, this is the spot. Art from early colonial times to the present is displayed in a beautiful sandstone building in the Domain. In addition to the exhibits of Australian art -- the best in the country -- there are also collections of European, American, and Asian art. The Yirinana Gallery houses Australia's finest collection of Aboriginal art. There's also a very appealing restaurant here.
Phone:  02.9225.1744
Hours:  10AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au
Admission to gallery is free   There is a charge for some exhibitions

Australian Museum, 6 College Street
Though nowhere near as impressive as, say, the Natural History Museum in London or similar museums in Washington or New York, Sydney's premier natural history museum still ranks in the top five of its kind in the world. Displays are presented thematically. The best displays are in the Aboriginal section, with its traditional clothing, weapons, and everyday implements. There are some sorry examples of stuffed Australian wildlife, too. Temporary exhibits run from time to time.
Phone:  02.9320.6000
Hours:  9:30AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.austmus.gov.au/
Admission:   10AUD

Australian National Maritime Museum, Darling Harbour
Those with a nautical bent will appreciate the 12 docked vessels you can go aboard here -- everything from a double rigged ship to a destroyer. Inside, there's a variety of permanent exhibits devoted to Australia's maritime history as well as the occasional temporary show.
Phone:  02.9298.3777
Hours:  9:30AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.anmm.gov.au
Admission from:   10AUD Museum is free, costs for touring ships and special exhibitions vary

Bondi Explorer Bus
The Bondi Bay Explorer bus makes 19 stops between downtown Sydney and Coogee Beach, including Bondi Beach. It's great for sightseeing, and you can get on and off anywhere along the line. Transportation on the Bondi Bay Explorer is included in the SydneyPass.
Phone:  02.9268.2800
Web:   www.sydneypass.info/bondiexplorer/
One-day pass:   39AUD

BridgeClimb, 5 Cumberland Street, The Rocks
There's no more thrilling adventure in Sydney than climbing the Harbour Bridge. You'll be outfitted in a specially designed "BridgeSuit" harness and attached to a lead wire for the climb, which is led by a trained Climb Leader. The view from the 440-ft. apex is unbelievable. Day and night climbs are available. Advance booking is essential.
Phone:  02.8274.7777
Fax:  02.9240.1122
Email:  admin@BRIDGECLIMB.com
Web:   www.bridgeclimb.com
Day Climbs from:   169AUD
Night Climbs from:  249AUD

Cadman's Cottage, 110 George Street, The Rocks
Now housing the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre, Cadman's Cottage was built in 1816 as a barracks for coxswains. It's the oldest surviving residential building in Sydney.
Phone:  02.9247.5033
Hours:  9:30AM to 4:30PM Monday through Friday; 10AM to 4:30PM Saturday and Sunday

David Jones - Sydney, corner of Elizabeth and Castlereagh Streets
Sydney's largest department store -- and according to its ads "the most beautiful" -- is also the most up-market. Tons of designerware, the best food hall in town, and great housewares from a retailer founded in 1838. Menswear is at 65 -77 Market Street.
Phone:  02.9266.5544
Hours:  9:30AM to 6PM Monday through Friday; Thursdays until 9PM; 9AM to 6PM Saturdays; 10AM to 6PM Sundays
Web:   www.davidjones.com.au

Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George Street, Circular Quay West
Housed in an Art Deco building dating from 1949, the Museum of Contemporary Art has a good permanent collection with work by Hockney, Warhol, Lichtenstein, and others. The MCA frequently hosts traveling exhibitions. The gift shop is a great place to find gifts and the MCA Fish Cafe is a terrific place for lunch.
Phone:  2.9245.2400
Hours:  10AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.mca.com.au
Admission is free.    There is a charge for special exhibitions.

Museum of Sydney, 37 Phillip Street
In 1983, archeologists discovered the remains of the first Government House, dating from 1788. The Museum of Sydney was built on the site in 1995 to document the history of the city from Aboriginal times to the present.
Phone:  02.9251.5988
Hours:  9:30AM to 5PM daily
Admission:   10AUD

Myer Sydney, 436 George Street
David Jones's main competitor, previously known as Grace Bros., was rebranded as a Myer's in 2004.
Phone:  02.9238.9111
Hours:  9AM to 5:30PM Monday through Friday; Thursday until 9PM; 9AM to 6PM Saturday; 10AM to 5PM Sundays
Web:   www.myer.com.au

Paddington Bazaar, 395 Oxford Street, Paddington
In the grounds of the Eastside Parish Unity Church, the Paddington Bazaar has something for everyone. Clothes, jewelry, antiques, housewares, and sensational people watching. The gentrified neighborhood is also good for antique shopping.
Phone:  02.9331.2923
Hours:  10AM to 4PM Saturdays

Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris St, Ultimo
There are several things going on here. The first of which is the building which dates from 1899 and was the power station for Sydney's tram system until 1963. That's a cool place for a museum, to start with. Then you have the 30,000 objects used to document various aspects of science and technology. Through interactive exhibits, you can explore everything from steam engines to outer space in the world's only joint Soviet, Chinese, Australian and American exhibit. This is a must for anyone with an interest in science.
Phone:  02.9217.0111
Hours:  10AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.phm.gov.au
Admission:   10AUD

Queen Victoria Building, 455 George Street
Refurbished at a cost of $75 million, the magnificent QVB is decorated with stained glass, tile floors, and wrought iron balconies, and crowned with a stunning dome. There are 200 stores here, and it's one of the most beautiful places you'll ever shop.
Phone:  02.9264.8862
Hours:  9AM to 6PM Monday through Saturday; Thursday until 9PM; 11AM to 5PM Sundays
Web:   www.qvb.com.au

Royal Botanic Gardens - Sydney, Mrs. Macquarie's Road
Established in 1816, this 75-acre garden occupies some of the most spectacular real estate in the world. The views looking out over Sydney Harbour are incredible and there are many indigenous plants here. A very pleasant place for a stroll.
Phone:  02.9231.8111
Hours:  7AM to sunset daily; guided walks daily at 10:30AM; Tropical Centre open 10AM to 4PM daily
Web:   www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/
Admission to the Tropical Centre:   3.50AUD

Strand Arcade, 412 George Street
Dating from 1892, the three-story Strand Arcade has beautiful stained glass and ironwork. It's a lovely place to shop.
Phone:  02.9232.4199
Hours:  9AM to 5:30PM Monday through Saturday; Thursdays until 9PM; 10AM to 5PM Sundays
Web:   www.strandarcade.com.au

Sydney Aquarium, Aquarium Pier, Darling Harbour
If you're staying downtown or in the Rocks, take the ferry here -- it's all part of the fun. This is a terrific aquarium, even for those who aren't that interested in underwater life. Walking underneath sharks and giant rays as they swim overhead and all around you is a humbling experience. There are lots of hands-on exihibits here, such as the "touch pool." And it's a great stop before a visit to the Great Barrier Reef, since it shows you all the fish to look for. The three "oceanariums" here float on pontoons. And there are seal feedings twice a day.
Phone:  02.8251.7800
Hours:  9AM to 10PM daily
Web:   www.sydneyaquarium.com.au
Admission:   27AUD

Sydney Explorer Bus
The Sydney Explorer Bus stops at 26 attractions throughout downtown Sydney. You can hop on and off as much as you like. Transportation on the Sydney Explorer is included in the SydneyPass
Phone:  02.9268.2800
Web:   www.sydneypass.info/sydneyexplorer/
One-day pass:   39AUD

Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Pyrmont
Talk about busy -- more than 65 tons of fish are auctioned off here each day, in the largest fish market outside Tokyo. You can watch the auction from the viewing gallery, come for picnic supplies, or just enjoy all the activity here.
Hours:  From 7AM daily
Web:   www.sydneyfishmarket.com.au

Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks
One of the best ways to get acquainted with Sydney -- and to get unbeatable photographs -- is to walk across the Harbour Bridge. It takes about an hour, or you can return by train. Built in 1932 to provide jobs for the unemployed during The Depression, the bridge was the symbol of the city until the Opera House was built. If you choose not to walk, visit the Pylon Lookout where there's an interesting musum and good views.
Phone:  02.9240.1100
Hours:  10AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.pylonlookout.com.au
Pylon Lookout admission:   8.50AUD

Sydney Observatory, Watson Road, Observatory Hill
Instrumental in completing the first atlas of the sky, the Sydney Observatory was built in 1858. During the day, it's an interactive astronomy museum. At night, it's a great place to see the planets and with it's views looking down on the Harbour, it's a pretty romantic spot.
Phone:  02.9241.3767
Hours:  10AM to 5PM daily; call or visit their website for evening show times
Web:   www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/home.asp
Admission is free  
Night viewings:  15AUD

Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point
Designed by a Dane who has not set foot in the finished structure, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world's great buildings. It's hard to imagine any place on earth that makes better use of its location, which is breathtaking. If you want to attend a performance here, make reservations as far in advance as possible. Otherwise, at least take a tour of this masterpiece of modern architecture. If you see only one thing in Sydney, see this.
Phone:  02.9250.7777 for reservations
Hours:  9AM to 5PM daily for 1-hour tours; box office open 9AM to 8:30PM Monday through Saturday and 2 hours before Sunday performances.
Web:   www.soh.nsw.gov.au
Tours from:   23AUD
Performances from:  52AUD

Sydney Pass
New South Wales Transit sells the Sydney pass which includes unlimited transportation on the city's buses and ferries, three harbour cruises, JetCat service to Manly Beach, Explorer and Bondi Explorer buses, and roundtrip AirportLink rail transfers. Three-, five- and seven-day passes are available at Sydney Airport, the Circular Quay Ferries office, or the Rocks Tourism office.
Phone:  02.9268.2800
Web:   www.sydneypass.info/
Three-day pass:   110AUD
Five-day pass:  145AUD

Sydney Visitor's Center The Rocks, Corner Argyle and Playfair Steets
The Sydney Visitor Centre at The Rocks is housed in the heritage-listed Penrhyn House which forms part of The Rocks Center. Pick up brochures, maps, or a SydneyPass at this good information center.
Phone:  02.9240.8788
Hours:  9:30AM to 5:30AM Daily

Taronga Zoo, Bradley's Head Road, Mosman
On a beautiful day, a ferry ride to Taronga Zoo is well nigh impossible to beat. Although the Zoo has more than 400 species -- many of them indigenous -- you may find yourself distracted by the views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera, and the entire Harbour from the zoo's hilltop location. Highlights here include the $3.8 million Gorilla Forest; Koala Encounter, where you can have your picture taken with the shy marsupials several times a day; Australian Walkabout; and the Orangutan Rainforest.
Phone:  02.9969.2777
Hours:  9AM to 5PM daily
Web:   www.zoo.nsw.gov.au
Admission:   30AUD

The Basement, 29 Reiby Place, Circular Quay
This is the place in Sydney to hear jazz and other headliners.
Phone:  02.9251.2797
Hours:  7:30PM to 1:30AM Monday through Thursday; 7:30PM to 3:30AM Fridays and Saturdays; 7:30PM to 1AM Sundays
Web:   www.thebasement.com.au
Admission from:   15AUD

The Rocks Market, George Street, The Rocks
Top-quality arts and crafts and good people watching at this colorful market in The Rocks.
Hours:  10AM to 5PM Saturdays and Sundays
Web:   www.therocksmarket.com.au