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Sydney Travel Guide
Transportation: Electric trains (surface and underground), double deck buses, and ferries. Purchase a day rover ticket... use on any train, bus or ferry after 9 AM weekdays and all day weekends.

Sydney Explorer Bus: See 20 of the city's top sights in a special red bus, which is operated by the Department of Tourism. You will have unlimited transportation for 1 day... board or disembark at any of the 20 stops. Bus stops at each point every 15 minutes. Also, you'll get free ferry rides. Stops are clearly marked, and you can linger as long as you like at any sight. Buy the ticket on the bus. You'll receive an information booklet, plus recorded information along the way.

A walking tour: Start in Martin Place where you can pick up an excellent map at the Tourist Bureau. See the flower-filled mall in the Cenotaph, a memorial to Australia's fallen servicemen. Walk two blocks to Australia Square and take the lift to the top of the tallest building in the Southern Hemisphere. The Skywalk at this building is on the 48th floor... fantastic views. Exit to Pitt Street, and turn left. In 2 blocks you reach Circular Quay, the busy site of the Ferry wharves and Shipping Terminal. To your right is the futuristic Sydney Opera House. To your left is the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Over the hills behind you are The Rocks, part of a long-term development program consisting partly of reconstructions of Australia's past. Walk 2 blocks to Argyle Arts Center, a complex of stores, workshops, galleries, and courtyards. Turn right and head uphill through Argyle Cut, a 300-foot tunnel to Miller's Point. At the top of Argyle Street stands the Church Of The Holy Trinity, better known as the Garrison Church. Circle the green around the church and head down Lower Fort Street. To your left is the oldest pub in Sydney, The Hero Of Waterloo Hotel, which was built as a jail in 1815. The facades along Lower Fort Street are lovely, spanning the major architectural influences of the 19th century. Stroll to the corner of Argyle Street, turn left and view the restored Cadman's Cottage, which is Sydney's oldest homestead. Walk another block and you are back on Circular Quay.

Sydney Opera House: This building has become the major landmark of Sydney. It's a futuristic building constructed "like sails of a ship" and set out on a peninsula of the harbor. Conducted tours, lasting one hour, are held daily except Saturday between 9-4 PM. The building took 14 years to build and cost 102 Million Australian Dollars, and was mainly supported by lotteries. The Concert Hall seats 2700 people, The Opera Theatre... 1550, and the Drama Theatre... 550, and the Cinema/Chamber Music Hall... 420. There are two restaurants in the complex... the expensive Bennelong, and the self-service Harbor, where it is pleasant to sit and watch the ships and ferries go by. The architect of this famous left, in a dispute before the building was finished, and has never returned to see it.

Royal Botanic Gardens: On the shores of Farm Cove... 8-sunset. Wide expanses of lawns, plants, flowers, fountains, and statues. Adjoining the gardens are the Conservatorium Of Music (Originally the stables), and Government House, which is the residence of the Governor of New South Wales.

Art Gallery Of New South Wales: A short walk from the Botanic Gardens. M-Sun 10-5. A fine collection of Australian, European Art... Renaissance to Impressionists. This is a good museum.

The Rocks: Since Australia was originally settled by "convicts" from England, this is the area where they were held and served their sentences. After freedom, they were allowed to homestead the new country. Tourists love this area.

Sydney Harbor Bridge: That graceful span over the harbor is a real landmark.

Harbor Cruises: There's a 1-hour mini cruise twice daily from Circular Quay. Popular!

Australian Museum: On College Street. The museum for Natural history, and the study of Aboriginal life, plus a gallery of Melanesian art. Tue-Sat 10-5.

Dixson And Mitchell Galleries: A repository of papers, prints, and paintings...all dealing with the settlement of Sydney. Hours M-Sat 10-5. Sun 2-6.

Taronga Zoo: The most beautiful setting of any zoo in the world. Perched on a hillside 12 minutes by ferry from Circular Quay...harbor panoramas, together with the animals. Take the ferry from Wharf 5, and the waiting bus to top of hill.

Fort Denison: That little hump of rock with the round tower sticking out of Sydney Harbor is Fort Denison. Today, it's a tide observation station.

Elizabeth Bay House: An enchanting period mansion built for the Colonial secretary of New South Wales in 1838. Open Tue - Sun.

Sydney Tower: The newest landmark in town... a giant "needle" at the corner of Market and Pitt Streets. Spectacular views.

Kings Cross: This is Sydney's Soho, Montmartre, Greenwich Village, all rolled into one. It's a concentrated cluster of bright lights (some red), filled with more after-dark "whoopee" than you'll find anywhere. There's every conceivable brand of action within its one square mile...from svelte international eateries to sleazy joints...from the "beautiful people" to the bums. This area is a place for drifting around endlessly, dropping in whatever strikes you. And it's perfectly safe. You may be propositioned, but you won't be assaulted. King's Cross is located where Darlinghurst, Ports Point and Elizabeth Bay meet. You'll be fascinated and will want to return again and again.
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Author of this article is Gene Gill. For more information visit his website: Gene Gill Miniatures.
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