Some visitors to Sydney would prefer to see the city from the Harbour Bridge for free, along the public walkway, but the Bridgeclimb tour takes you much - MUCH - higher.
The ascent right up to the aviation light, at the apex, is surely as good as an exposure treatment for vertigo as it is for the views. I had forgotten, or put out of mind, my fear of heights, and although much of the climb was, for me, dominated by mortal terror, I also could not ignore the vista.
The view from the top gives you a nice sense of the layout of some of the beaches in Sydney as well as how the whole city gradually expanded outwards from the harbour.
The fainthearted might think twice about the climb, although the organisers have obviously made safety a primary concern.
5 Cumberland St, The Rocks
61 2 9255 8210
A simple pleasure. A 'chair' in the sandstone at the end of the Domain peninsula on the harbour. It was carved out by convicts for the Governor's wife in the early 19th century since she enjoyed the spot. Here she would sit enjoying the view (or wondering why she didn't marry that guy who got a job in Paris...). A shady resting place with extraordinary views. Take a load off.
Follow the path along Farm Cove east of the Opera House.
The Historic Houses Trust manage a few museums around the city, and it's a good idea to check out the site before you go. In any case, their head office is in the historic Mint building on Macquarie Street, where you can buy tickets for their museums as well as look at the beautiful Georgian architecture.
The Trust manage some of Sydney's more fascinating colonial buildings, and will give you an insight into the difficulties posed to the early colony. There are two harbourside mansions in their 'collection' – Elizabeth Bay House, a fine regency villa, and Vaucluse House, that began life as a cottage in 1803. Both have educational displays and antiques on site, and in particular Vaucluse House is set within beautiful grounds.
They also manage the Museum of Sydney, which is in the city. This museum looks at the interesting history of Sydney from convict times through to the present. A short detour from the Museum of Sydney would be the Hyde Park Barracks, which shows life as a convict in the early 19th century.
Most venues have a book/gift shop, and some have cafes.
The head office is at the Mint, 10 Macquarie Street.
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