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Sydney Visitors Guide
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Destination: Sydney, Australia
|Featured Hotel: Sir Stamford at Circular Quay|
Here's a look at Sydney's two most famous icons: the Sydney Harbour Bridge, as seen from the Sydney Opera House. The Opera House is located next to Circular Quay (pronounced Circular Key), at the end of Macquarie Street, near the entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens. Circulay Quay is where the ferry terminals are, there are a large number of boat tours and commuter boats available. There's also a train station. Between Circular Quay and the Bridge is the popular shopping and dining area known as The Rocks.
There are, of course, lots of great places to stay downtown near the Rocks and Circular Quay, these include: Sir Stamford at Circular Quay, the Marriott Sydney Harbour, and the Four Seasons Sydney, the Observatory Hotel.
The weather's usually pretty nice in Sydney (it felt to us a little bit like someone took London and relocated it to San Diego, but of course with a unique Australian flavor), and so the beaches are naturally quite popular. Shown above is fabulous Bondi Beach (pronounced Bond-eye), one of Sydney's most famous beaches, and for obvious good reasons. If you'd like to stay right out at Bondi, check the Swiss Grand Resort & Spa.
If you walk east from the Opera House in the opposite direction from Circular Quay and The Rocks you enter the Royal Botanic Gardens and The Domain. Here's the view of the downtown Sydney skyline, the Bridge, and Opera House, from the Botanical Gardens. There are lots of other great hotels downtown near Sydney's Central Business District (CBD) some near Hyde Park, and others near Darling Harbour. Here's a few to choose from: The Westin Sydney , the Hilton Sydney, the Marriott Sydney, the Bayview Boulevard Sydney, and the Sheraton on the Park. If you're interested in a casino hotel, check out Star City.
One of the most popular ferry rides from Circular Quay is to the beach at Manly; it's a delightful 30 minute boat ride. Manly is a favorite with locals for the beach, surfing, swimming, and volleyball, and also for the shopping on the nearby Corso. You can stay right on the beach at Manly at the Sebel Manly Beach.
The Botanical Gardens are definitely worth exploring; the pyramid houses the Tropical Center, where you can see an outstanding collection of rainforest plant life. This panorama was shot near a tree that was full of noisy, orange fruit bats hanging upside down from the branches!
Just in case you were thinking of skipping Bondi Beach (our advice: don't consider doing this), here's one more view of what it's like on a perfect day.
And finally, here's what you'll see if you catch dinner at the Rocks and a show at the Opera House. The view from Circular Quay, looking across at The Rocks and the Bridge, with the downtown skyline behind the ferry terminal is simply spectacular.