Exploring Sydney – The Rocks, The House and The Climb

Sydney Opera House

After more than 24 hours of planes, airports and really bad food, we touched down in Sydney, Australia. Neither of us could really believe it, Australia was the stuff of movies, novels and old reruns of Facts of Life. For both of us it always held the status of a far away land that while we might see one day, it seemed somewhat unlikely. Yet within a few hours there we were, staring across Circular Quay at the Sydney Opera House. We had arrived.

Circular Quay and Harbour Bridge

We knew when planning the trip that we wouldn’t have nearly enough time in Sydney, just a couple of days, and that we would need to make them count. Luckily we stayed at the extremely well situated Holiday Inn – Old Sydney, in the heart of The Rocks and within sight of the Bridge, Opera House and everything we wanted to do. Staying in the thick of the action saved us a lot of time and money as we explored the city.

Sydney Opera House

We began the first day with a walk along Circular Quay and a tour of the great Sydney Opera House. One of the most recognized buildings in the world, it was spectacular not just to see up close, but to experience the inner workings of the building as well. The tour lasted just an hour, but was an exceptionally well done overview of the history of the Opera House as well as the day-to-day work performed there. I honestly didn’t expect such a great tour.

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

After a walk around the historic Rocks district, we boarded a boat for a two-hour Captain Cook cruise of Sydney Harbour. This was a great idea given how pressed we were for time as it gave us a much better understanding of the geography of the city and just how expansive it truly is. We followed the various bays and inlets up to the Heads before sailing back to Circular Quay, passing the Opera House and Harbour Bridge along the way.

The Rocks

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb

The second day was just as busy, I felt a bit pressed to get in as much as possible. We started the day with what is an absolute must do activity for any visitor to Sydney, the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb. The three hour experience takes guests on a walk through, up and over the famous bridge. I have a slight (big) issue with heights but wasn’t bothered at all, it was a great activity not just for the views but for the shear thrill of climbing the huge steel structure and learning about its construction.

Darling Harbour

After soothing our achy feet, we enjoyed a quiet lunch and explored Darling Harbour and the Sydney Aquarium before returning back to the Rocks area for a little museum hopping. Later that evening we enjoyed a great meal along the waterfront.

On Saturday we board a plane to Alice Springs for the start of our exploration of the Outback and the Red Centre. Remember to follow the #ExploreNT hash tag for updates.

Have you been to Sydney? Do you have a favorite attraction or area of town?

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

7 thoughts on “Exploring Sydney – The Rocks, The House and The Climb”

  1. I find it interesting that Australia holds the status of far away place. For us its the same as the UK, Europe, America…in fact pretty much anywhere that isn’t NZ or Australia! We are very isolated down here!!
    Looks like the weather is good there!

  2. Looks Great! Can’t believe October is 10 years since I was there! (The Australian Dollar was worth only 50 cents then!)

  3. Hi Matt

    We agree! It’s been tough coming back this year. And we haven’t even done anything yet – we’re staying in writing most days yet we’re spending a fortune just shopping for groceries. We’re looking forward to doing the Price Check Shopping List posts we do on Grantourismo where we compare prices of things around the world. I’m expecting Oz might end up at the top of the list with Tokyo and New York.

    Great to see you enjoyed Sydney – my hometown. For many years I caught a ferry from Balmain to Circular Quay to get to work in the city, cruising under the harbour bridge and seeing the Opera House twice a day. It was the best commute in the world.

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