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 inland self-drive route from Sydney to Melbourne is the road to national discovery, along which the Australian pioneer spirit is brought to life in the villages and towns built by the early settlers, the river traders and gold miners who created this nation. You can stroll down old cobbled streets lined with beautifully preserved buildings, and moments of the gold rush years and the elegant Victorian era that followed. Then enjoy uncovering the stories of our colonial men and women in the towns’ museums, book shops and galleries and their historical sites.
The broad, gum tree-shaded banks of the beautiful Murray River provide a relaxing location for a water based holiday. You can experience the charm of traveling on Australia’s iconic river on a paddle steamer, fish for the famous Murray Cod, play golf on championship courses, or just watch the river flow from one of its pretty beaches.
This road through Australia’s history starts in Sydney, where European settlement began, and where much of its original colonial architecture can still be seen in the Rocks, sitting under the famous Harbour Bridge and across the quay from the iconic Sydney Opera House. The route also takes in the national capital of Canberra, home to world class museums and galleries, award winning food and wine, and a plethora of outdoors and nature experiences fit for the whole family.
Drive from Sydney to Melbourne for a memorable roadtrip. Find activities and accommodation along the coast and inland when taking a road trip between Melbourne and Sydney.