Central Sydney


It takes 45 minutes to reach the centre of Sydney by jumping on the bus, which stops just outside the camping site and winds through the outer suburbs before crossing the harbour bridge  and dropping us at the beginning of York Street in central Sydney. We need some time to orientate ourselves and so we pick up a guide map outside Sydney Town Hall before heading down Park Street towards the centrally positioned  Hyde Park. Set in the middle of Sydney the park is a large open green space and garden overlooked by the surrounding skyscrapers shooting up above the tree line of Hyde Park. We wander diagonally over the park towards St. Mary’s Cathedral and the relaxing water features of Archibald Fountain. We decide to head for the Royal Botanic Gardens walking down Macquarie Street past the Mint, and the State Parliament Buildings and Library. The Royal Botanic Gardens are being set up for the New Year Celebrations so parts of it are being  cordoned off from the public. It’s a beautiful place, a very relaxed green space in the centre of the city, I realize I am beginning to find Sydney is a very interesting place to be. Our route is out to the headland and Mrs.Macquarie’s Chair a seat carved for the governor’s wife because she used to walk out to this viewing point overlooking the harbour. I suspect the view has changed since her time but it’s definitely spectacular, the harbour bridge with the surprisingly small Sydney Opera House in front and the towering backdrop of the city central district behind.

The Sydney skyline overlooking Hyde Park
Archibald Fountain
Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park
This way
First view of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Harbour Ferry
Central Sydney from Farm Cove

Sydney Opera House

Our path follows the circumference of Farm Cove as we are drawn towards the sculptured roofs forms of Sydney  Opera House across the small bay. As an architect, I myself  find this a fascinating building, even if it’s completion was controversial and differs from the  original concept, it’s iconic and sculptural classic, synonymous throughout the world with Sydney and Australia, quite an achievement in anyones book. We spend a long time photographing the roof structures and climbing the entrance steps to take in the views over Circular Quay with the harbour bridge providing the backdrop. An ocean cruiser is in port dwarfing the harbour boats which constantly shuttle back and forth in Circular Quay.

Sydney Opera House
An impressive Panorama
Upturned Boat Hulls
Space Shuttle Tiles
Cathedral Windows
It’s all  in the detailing
A Brilliant Adventure, Sydney Opera House
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Voyager of the Seas
Circular Quay

Beneath the main concourse we take cover from the sun, to relax and have some lunch, it’s hectic with tourists. Our covered vantage point allows us views out across the busy harbour and we people watch for a while, before planning our next move. The ferry terminal on Circular Quay is busy with people coming and going on the endless ferry boat trips entering and leaving the harbour. The giant ocean liner The Voyager of the Seas towers over the Quay, we wander towards the Rocks, a popular  tourist and historic precinct clustered beneath the towering structure of the looming Harbour Bridge. The Rocks looks fun with lots of markets and places to eat and drink, we’ll be back later but first we try and find the footbridge entrance to the harbour bridge, it takes a while before we are walking along the footpath over the bridge. From this elevated level the views over Circular Quay and beyond, the Ocean Liner appearing smaller in comparison with the harbour bridge. The traffic thunders past behind the separating wire fence, whilst the wind up here whips through the open gaps of the perimeter fencing on the harbour side. It’s some view from up here !


The crowded concourse around the Opera House
The Golden Grove
The Voyager of the Seas
A scale comparison

Sydney Harbour Bridge


The harbour Bridge support towers

Ferries leaving and arriving in Circular Quay

Sydney Opera House from the harbour bridge

The Ocean Liner set a against the Rocks

Travelling Notes

Check out the visitors website : Sydney Opera House an unmissable attraction if you visit Sydney along with the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Where : Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

Travelling : 230 km Burrill Lake to Sydney Harbour Bridge, the A1 turns into the M1  around Wollongong and heads into the centre of Sydney, our campsite is north of Sydney centre out in the suburbs of Dural, another 33 km along the M2.

Camping or CampervanSydney Hills  An Active Holidays site near Dural.  It takes 45 minutes to reach the centre of Sydney by jumping on the bus, which stops just outside the camping site. Alternatively park at Pennant Hills Station and take the train straight into  Sydney jumping off at Wynyard Station, this takes 40 mins and you get to go over the Harbour Bridge.    

Don’t tell anyone: The Push in the Rocks, hardly a secret, but included as we meet up with a couple of Sydney guys to talk sports and all things Aussie & Sydney for a couple of boozy hours and they gave us a few good tips for NYE.

Quote of the evening ‘ In the Rocks it’s gonna be a Shit Kick on NYE’

Next up: The Blue Mountains

pjbourne is a full time architect, urban masterplanner and sustainability designer. In his free time he’s outside with a camera, running, hiking or mountain biking through the Alps where he lives or indoors in front of the iMac planning another long road trip in a campervan to the other side of the world.

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