Here are five things not to miss in Australia's most populous city.
Sydney is a postcard come to life. The Australian city’s stunning downtown abuts Port Jackson: a gorgeous mix of landscapes and landmarks, an elegant example of how humanity and nature can combine to create inspiring vistas. The sheer amount of places to see, however, can be overwhelming, especially if you have limited time. But it doesn’t have to be. From the top of one of the world’s most famous bridges to the shores of its picturesque beaches, these are the sites you should see on any stopover.
The Harbor Bridge is one of the most majestic and iconic sites in the world, and a must-see for any visitor. Adding a bridge climb to the mix makes the experience that much more special. The city and ocean sprawl out into the distance from the 440-foot high viewing area at the top of the bridge, offering unforgettable photo opportunities. Small groups, limited to around a dozen people, ensure that you'll get personalized attention on the 3.5-hour round trip. Those pressed for time can opt for the 2.25-hour express climb or make a quicker, 1.5-hour trip that goes halfway up the bridge.
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Virtually every visitor to Sydney will check out the Opera House with its amazing architecture and beautiful design. Gotta get that 'gram, after all. But most people will miss out on the best part of the building: the inside. The backstage tour gives you intimate access to one of the world's most impressive structures, taking you through areas normally reserved for the stars of the show. See where the magic truly happens on this once-in-a-lifetime tour.
The iconic Bondi Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in a country full of them, and the saltwater pool offers an ideal spot to check out the scene while getting a bit of exercise. Ocean waves break on pool wall just feet away from swimming lanes, as surfers catch curlers in the distance. This is the ultimate Aussie experience.
After a few hours of touring, you're going to need a drink and perhaps a snack. Smoke Bar, from celebrity chef Matt Moran and executive chef Cory Campbell, fits the bill. The spot boasts stunning water views from a spacious, well-appointed rooftop. The food menu includes everything from oysters and zucchini truffle skewers to Wagyu sliders, while the drinks run the gamut from classic to crazy. Sea urchin martini, anyone?
What better way to end a city tour than by flying over the metropolis and seeing everything from the air? On a HeliTour, you'll scope everything Darling Harbor has to offer including the bridge and opera house, as well the skyscrapers and famous buildings of the city's central business district. You'll see the beaches and the coastline, streaking through the sky before landing and heading back to the grand comfort of your cruise.
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