Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Circular Quay
Australia's most instantly recognized and enduring symbol, the Sydney Opera House appears to sail the harbor on billowing white wings. A world-class cultural center, the Opera House also hosts the city's symphony orchestra, ballet, dance and drama, and offers free concerts most Sunday afternoons along the outer walk. Hour-long walking tours are available on the half-hour, starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m.
Royal Botanical Gardens
Cost: Free except for special exhibits
Hours: Daily 7 a.m. to sunset
Originally established as a farm by convicts transported to Australia by the First Fleet, the Royal Botanical Gardens is a lush grove of botanical wonders situated beside picturesque Sydney Harbor. A Tropical Center features the exploits of the Venus flytrap and other intriguing tropical plants that live in the glass-house environment (A$5 adults, A$2 children, A$12 family). Pungent plantings populate the Herb Garden.
Campbell Parade, Bondi
Pronounced bon-die, this magnificent stretch of sand is Sydney's most famous beach, the place to see and be seen either from the sand or from one of the many hip cafes across the street. Prepare for a carnival atmosphere as tourists and locals alike flock to Bondi for an anything-goes frolic in the sun.
Art Gallery of New South Wales
Art Gallery Road, The Domain
Cost: Free, except for special exhibits
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Featuring some of the finest Australian works, the museum is particularly proud of its display of Aboriginal art. The permanent collection also includes European, Asian and contemporary art and photography, as well as ever-changing special exhibits.
Star City Casino
80 Pyrmont Street
Located at the eastern end of Darling Harbour, Star City Hotel Casino Sydney is a part of the huge Entertainment and Shopping complex. The property is 10 minutes walk across Pyrmont Bridge, from the city as well as 5 minutes walk to Darling Harbour shops and entertainment complex. Star City complex itself houses the casino, a theatre, shops and restaurants.
Star City is New South Wales' only casino and is Sydney's premier 24 hour entertainment facility located on the shores of Sydney Harbour, enjoying sweeping views of the harbour and city skyline. Star City has a huge TAB lounge and sports bar, Star Keno and 200 gaming tables featuring popular games such as Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Mini Baccarat, Sic Bo, Big Wheel, Caribbean Stud Poker, Pai Gow and Pontoon.
Star City Complex
The Lyric Theatre is located at the eastern end of the Star City complex.
Since opening in November 1997, the Lyric Theatre has presented a wide range of leading local and international entertainment events. With its superb acoustics and intimate design, audiences at the Lyric Theatre have enjoyed concerts by some of the world's leading entertainers.
The Lyric boasts an enormous stage and orchestra pit, and is acclaimed as the best commercial theatre in Australia for musicals, theatre, opera and ballet.
The Australian Museum
6 College Street
Admission charged. Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This natural history museum traces Australia's rich culture over tens of thousands of years. Its Aboriginal section explores the impact of white society on the first Australians. Other exhibits feature the flora and fauna of Papua New Guinea, native insects and fossils.
The Australian National Maritime Museum
Darling Harbor (west)
Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
National Maritime Museum
Australia's history is vitally linked to the sea, and the museum explores those connections with its exhibits of antique racing yachts, WWII destroyers and an America's Cup champion. There is a replica of the Ship Endeavor (the ship in which Captain James Cook made his historic voyages in which he charted the waters around New Zealand, Australia, and Hawaii)
500 Harris Street
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Housed in the shell of an enormous, abandoned power station, the museum presents more than two dozen exhibits themed around applied art, science and technology. Here, find a whole floor dedicated to steam engines, airplanes, computers and decorative arts. The museum also includes a NASA space station and a 1930s cinema exhibit.
Sydney Harbor Bridge
Admission charged for Pylon Tower
Hours: Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Completed in 1932, this bridge remains an engineering feat even today. At 1,650 feet, the bridge is the city's most-revered landmark after the Sydney Opera House. Affectionately called "The Coat Hanger," the bridge contains 8 vehicle lanes, 2 railroad tracks, a cycleway and a walkway. The southeast column of the bridge contains a museum that documents the bridge's construction; walk 200 steps up the Pylon Tower for a magnificent view of the harbor and cityscape beyond.
The Sydney Aquarium
Hours: Daily 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Home to the most extensive collection of Australian marine life, the Aquarium features crocodiles, seals, fairy penguins and platypuses, as well as an enormous collection of sharks that lurk in its Open Ocean exhibit.
Taronga Park Zoo
Bradley's Head Road
Hours: Daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
One of the world's great zoos, Taronga lets its guests visit nearly nose-to-nose with some of Australia's most spectacular and exotic creatures - native koalas, of course, but also kangaroos, dingoes, Tasmanian devils and wombats. Scary creatures crawl through their Reptile House habitat. A Zoo Pass includes unlimited passages on the scenic gondola that meanders the 75-acre compound.
Oxford Street, Paddington
Hours: Daily, but hours change seasonally
A prime spot for athletes and nature-lovers alike, Centennial Park's 550 acres boast a wealth of wildlife that coexists beside miles of walking, cycling and horse trails. Visitors can picnic while they watch classic films shown at the amphitheater during summer months.
100 Market Street
(02) 9231 9300
The highest observation deck in the whole of the southern hemisphere, and visited by one million people each year, the turret’s 9 levels are designed to hold 1,000 at a time. Skytour, at the podium level, provides a multimedia journey around Australia. Three restaurants with spectacular views occupy 3 levels of the edifice.
Hours: Rides open weekends and school holidays; call for seasonal hours
Built in 1935, modeled after Coney Island's Luna Park and set against the backdrop of Sydney Harbour, this is a loud, brash, in-your-face amusement park that features a variety of classic rides. Visitors enter beneath the ghastly, grinning face of a painted clown, who has evolved alongside the park's collection of attractions.