Sydney Appreciation Walk

Fast Facts

Duration: 2-3 hours
Price Guide: 20
Last Reviewed:
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Sydney Appreciation Walk
Starting the tour

The Queen Victoria Building (QVB).

Section 1:
Directions:

The Victorian-style building on George Street, just near Town Hall station, is the QVB.

Stopover:

It’s been a long while since the QVB has had a makeover but she’s still lovely, despite the fray. The shopping centre occupies an entire block in the city. Every hour on the hour, the famous QVB hanging clock chimes away and displays a moving tableaux of British kings and queens. The spectacle ends with the beheading of Charles I. There are also other exhibitions on the higher floors. Basic brand names are found on the lower levels. Up top you’ll find high-end fashion.

Section 2:
Directions:

Walk east onto Market Street and slip through Hyde Park’s northern end.

Stopover:

The Archibald Memorial Fountain (or Apollo’s Fountain) is the centrepiece of the northern end of Hyde Park. You may find yourself jostling with scores of seagulls and pigeons (along with 33 other species of bird in the park) for sitting room by the memorial. Don’t be intimidated. Years of hard city living, squabbling for sandwich corners and branch space have convinced these birds that they own Hyde Park. Just remember that your sheer size will win the match at the end of the day. Go ahead and claim your seat at the memorial (just keep your sandwich wrapped up in tinfoil for later).

Section 3:
Directions:

Walk away from the city up to the corner of College Street and Prince Albert Road.

Stopover:

Sydney’s English-style gothic revival cathedral, also known as St Mary’s, is one of Australia’s most arresting, and historic, buildings. As the symbol of Sydney’s Catholic origins and the seat of Sydney’s Archbishop, St Mary’s is much more to its locals than a graceful stained-glass yellow-sandstone masterpiece: it’s Catholic Sydney’s spiritual home. Step inside for a solemn, incense-infused experience.

Section 4:
Directions:

Walk one block north and continue along Macquarie Street. You’ll then hit the lush Botanic Gardens.

Stopover:

There are so many opportunties to learn about plants and horticulture in Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens that, by the end of your visit, you’re sure to feel like your Latin really wasn’t as bad as you thought. But if you can leave the language lesson behind, the grounds are a perfect place to relax and enjoy Sydney’s superb sunshine and glistening harbour. Even before dusk hits, the gardens’ fruit bats start to take their nightly flight over to Centennial Park and other parts of Sydney’s east to feed. You’ll see them making their way by the hundreds. Then, every morning, they return to the gardens to sleep. You can see them hanging from trees all wrapped up in their tailored wings. But beware of droppings!

Section 5:
Directions:

There are a few exits from the gardens. Walk towards the water and a path will lead you to the Sydney Opera House.

Stopover:

You can’t miss the most famous sails piercing the skyline at Sydney’s Bennelong Point. They were the creation of Danish architect Jorn Utzon, who won a design competition set up by the NSW government in the late 1950s. Each year the Opera House stages some 1500 performances to an estimated audience of 1.5 million. You can pay for a knowledgable guide to take you on a thorough tour (in various languages), or feel free to wander around at your leisure.

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