Travel in Australia and New Zealand
Aside from being home to one of the most iconic cultural sights in the world, Sydney also boasts numerous other significant cultural and historical attractions. Situated in the South Eastern part of New South Wales, the city receives around 3 million international visitors a year - and with airlines striving to offer cheap flights to Sydney in 2009, it seems that the number is set to go up. So what is there to see on the cultural side of Sydney?
It seems fitting to mention the Sydney Opera House first. Completed in 1973 and designed by the Danish architect, JÃ¸rn Utzon, the shell-like structure which is covered in subtly-detailed tiles is a feat of design and sheer size as it covers 4 and a half acres of land. Today, the venue is home to opera, as well as plays and alternative music festivals. The building not only contains several theatres and halls, but also boasts a recording studio, restaurants, and an open air performance space.
In keeping with the notable architecture of area, The Rocks is a great location to view the impressive Sydney Harbour Bridge that has stood since 1932. The Rocks, itself, has been there much longer and was established in the late 1700s. Despite the redevelopment that occurred over the 1900s, many historical buildings such as Cadman's Cottage (the oldest building in the city and an information centre today) and the Sydney Observatory still exist - with the latter now a museum.
For views of the surrounding area it is worth visiting Sydney Tower. At 305 metres tall, the structure is the second tallest building in the country (with the first being the Q1 at Gold Coast) and features a glass bottomed observation deck at 268 metres high. The structure took 11 years to complete and cost $36 million (Australian).
Sydney is also home to the Australian Museum which is the oldest museum in the country. For visitors with an interest in natural history and anthropology, the attraction is a must-see - and is famed for its collections ranging from zoology to palaeontology. The impressive sandstone building (a material in keeping with that at The Rocks) building was constructed in the 1840s, with its first curator being the eminent botanist, George Bennett. Today the museum houses a diverse wealth of exhibits that ranges from taxidermy to ancient regional art.