Sydney’s city centre offers visitors a huge variety of attractions, including designer boutiques, fine restaurants, hip bars and lavish department stores. Clusters of modern office towers look down on the action and over Sydney’s historic precincts, such as The Rocks.
The city centre has some of Australia’s best shopping arcades and malls. To find your way there, just look for Sydney Tower, with its 360-degree views stretching as far as the Blue Mountains on a clear day. Pitt Street Mall is a good spot to pause for some impromptu lunchtime entertainment.
Many of Sydney's main streets, such as Phillip, Macquarie, Hunter, Bligh, Liverpool, Sussex and George, are named after early English governors to acknowledge the city's colonial heritage.
The city fans out from the focal point of Circular Quay. This transport hub is within walking distance of the city’s star attractions – the Harbour Bridge, opened in 1932, and the Sydney Opera House, hailed as a 20th-century architectural masterpiece and classified as World Heritage site.
Along Macquarie Street are fine examples of early colonial architecture, while across town the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) and The Strand Arcade recall the architectural ornamentation of the 1890s. Hyde Park Barracks is one of 11 Australian Convict Sites on UNESCO's World Heritage list.
Catching the perfect wave at famous Bondi or Palm beaches.
Dining watersidein the historic Rocks precinct, by the beach at Balmoral or on the wharf at Woolloomooloo Wharf.
Climbing to the very top of Sydney Harbour Bridge’s huge, over-arching span, by day or night with BridgeClimb.
Seeing the native fruit bats and 30 hectares of themed gardens in the Royal Botanic Gardens on a guided Aboriginal heritage tour.
Catching the ferry to Manly or a harbour cruise at sunset – or anytime – for one of Sydney’s most popular experiences.
Learning about Australia’s unique animals, overlooking the harbour, at Taronga Zoo or at Sydney Wildlife World, Darling Harbour.
Being inspired by a wonderful, magical performance at the Sydney Opera House or enthralled by one of the best Aboriginal art collections in the world at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Taking a skippered yacht or an adrenalin-pumping jet boat from Darling Harbour.
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The magnificent stretch of coastline between Sydney and Melbourne is one of Australia’s most dramatic and naturally beautiful self-drive experiences. Along its length, the great waters of the Pacific Ocean, Tasman Sea and Bass Strait have carved out dramatic headlands and created beautiful coves and beaches. The ancient ranges that follow it inland are covered in vast expanses of national parks and forests protecting pristine lakes and rivers. Nestled amongst these natural wonders are dozens of quaint fishing villages, tiny colonial hamlets and thriving rural towns built by the country’s most adventurous settlers.
The coast provides you with the whole range of sensory experiences. You can surf the big Tasman swells, dive the many wrecks, do some blue water sailing, go whale spotting or share the beach with seals, dolphins and sea birds. Or take time out to enjoy the delights of its famous seafood.
As you move along it, the landscape constantly changes its character and moods – from the placid blues and pastoral greens of the NSW coast, to the brilliant white sands of Jervis Bay. Immerse yourself in Coastal Wilderness of Sapphire Coast. Experience a lush network of National Parks, dotted with heritage sites, dramatic mountains and waters that team with life. Visit the coastal town of Eden and follow Australia's most significant whale story as you travel on the fringes of a destination rich in culture and nature so precious parts have been declared a UNESCO world biosphere res. The massive, unspoiled wilderness of the Croajingolong National Park and the awesome breadth of Ninety Mile Beach and the Gippsland Lakes, Australia’s largest inland waterway.
The journey climaxes at Wilsons Promontory, the southern most point of mainland Australia, where you can explore small, hidden bays, see wildlife in its natural habitat, and visit the historic lighthouse. Then you gently wind your way to Melbourne via Phillip Island where you can see the famously cute little penguins parading along the beach. Moonlit Sanctuary if one of the many wildlife highlights between Phillip Island and Geelong and the Bellarine as you continue the drive along Victoira's coastline.
Drive the alternative inland route from Lakes Entrance to Melbourne via Walhalla taking in the beautiful green countryside, magnificent vistas, mountain scenery and historic villages. Walhalla became one of Australia's richest gold towns following the discovery of gold in 1863. Today, strolling past its lovingly restored period buildings provides you with an authentic experience of that golden era. Frozen in time, Walhalla is home to only to 20 people.
Sydney to Melbourne Coastal Drive and the Sydney to Melbourne Heritage Drive are among Australia's most extraordinary road trips driving between Australia's two major cities, including Canberra and Jervis Bay