Getting Oriented

Sydney is built around its huge harbor. The city center and main attractions are on the south shore. Harbour Bridge connects The Rocks on the south side with Milsons Point on the north side. Greater Sydney is vast, some 80 km (50 miles) from north to south and 70 km (43 miles) from east to west; however, the city center is relatively small. From the Opera House and Circular Quay the city stretches south for about 3 km (2 miles), and east to west for about 2 km (1 mile). It's relatively flat, making it easy to walk around. Beyond the harbor, the city center is essentially a business and shopping precinct, with colonial and modern buildings. The restaurant and nightlife suburbs of Kings Cross, Darlinghurst, and Surry Hill flank the city's eastern and southern edges.

  • Sydney Harbour. This spectacular waterway has a 240-km (149-mile) shoreline of bays, headlands, and quiet beaches. It's the city's jewel.
  • The Rocks. Sydney's oldest area, The Rocks, is full of restored 19th-century warehouses and pubs with great views of the famous bridge.
  • Domain and Macquarie Street. This stately quarter of town contains Parliament House, formal gardens, and the Domain, where rallies and concerts are staged.
  • The Opera House and the Royal Botanic Gardens. The white "sails" of the Opera House dominate the harbor; the neighboring Royal Botanic Gardens are an oasis on the harbor's edge.
  • Darling Harbour. Occupying a former goods yard on the city's western edge, Darling Harbour now houses museums, the aquarium, restaurants, and hotels.
  • Sydney City Center. Dominated by 880-foot Sydney Tower, the city center is packed with historic and modern shopping arcades.
  • Inner Sydney and the Eastern Suburbs. A few miles east of the city you'll find palatial harborside homes, beaches, and café-culture, bohemian-chic enclaves.
  • Greater Sydney. National parks, beautiful beaches, and relics of Sydney's colonial past can all be explored within an hour of the city center.

Previous Experience

Top Reasons to Go

Next Experience

Top Reasons to Go

Find a Hotel