There is no shortage of notable landmarks in Sydney, Australia. These landmarks will give you a great overview of the city and some of its history. From the Sydney Opera House to Sydney’s Hyde Park, there is plenty to see and do in this amazing city!
Landmarks in Sydney, Australia are important because they help travelers learn about the city and understand its history. There are many different landmarks to see with each one contributing to the city’s history in its unique way.
From major landmarks to little-known destinations, Sydney offers something for everyone.
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Address: Hyde Park North, 110 Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Archibald Fountain, properly called the J. F. Archibald Memorial Fountain is located in Hyde Park, in central Sydney. It is named after J. F. Archibald, owner, and editor of The Bulletin magazine, who bequeathed funds to have it built.
Archibald specified that it must be designed by a French artist, both because of his great love of French culture and to commemorate the association of Australia and France in World War I.
He wished Sydney to aspire to Parisian civic design and ornamentation. The artist chosen was François-Léon Sicard, who completed it in Paris in 1926 but never saw the sculpture be placed in Sydney, where it was unveiled on 14 March 1932 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Samuel Walder.
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Cape Bowling Green Lighthouse
Address: 2 Murray St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Cape Bowling Green Light is an active lighthouse located on Cape Bowling Green, a lengthy headland ending with a long low sandspit, about 30 kilometers (19 mi) from Ayr, Queensland, Australia. The lighthouse is at the end of the headland, near the base of the sandspit.
The first lighthouse at the location, established in 1874, was moved multiple times. It was prefabricated in Brisbane, shipped to the location, moved twice due to coastal erosion, and finally transferred for display at the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour in Sydney.
See Related: Hornby Lighthouse
Address: Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Circular Quay is a harbor, former working port, and now international passenger shipping port, public piazza and tourism precinct, heritage area, and transport node located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia on the northern edge of the Sydney central business district on Sydney Cove, between Bennelong Point and The Rocks.
It is part of the local government area of the City of Sydney. The Circular Quay area is a popular neighborhood for tourism and consists of walkways, pedestrian malls, parks, and restaurants. It hosts several ferry quays, bus stops, and a railway station.
Often referred to as the “gateway to Sydney”, the precinct has views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House and is a common location for viewing Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks.
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Sydney Tower Eye
Address: Westfield Sydney, Level 5/108 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Sydney Tower is Sydney’s tallest structure and the second tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere. The name Sydney Tower has become common in daily usage; however, the tower has been variously known as Centrepoint Tower (or just Centrepoint) and AMP Tower, and colloquially as Flower Tower, Glower Tower, and Big Poke. The Sydney Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.
The tower stands 309 m (1,014 ft) above Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District), located on Market Street, between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets. It is accessible from the Pitt Street Mall, Market Street, or Castlereagh Street and sits above the Westfield Sydney (formerly Centrepoint) shopping center.
The tower is open to the public, and is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city, being visible from several vantage points throughout town and adjoining suburbs. Auckland’s Sky Tower is taller but Sydney Tower’s main observation deck is almost 30 m (98 ft) higher than the observation deck on Auckland’s Sky Tower.
While the shopping center at the base of the tower is run by Scentre Group, the tower itself is occupied by Trippas White Group, which owns and operates Sydney Tower Dining, and Merlin Entertainments, which owns and operates the “Sydney Tower Eye” observation deck and “Oztrek” simulated ride attraction.
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Sydney Opera House
Address: Bennelong Point, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Sydney Opera House is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. This landmark was designed by a Danish architect and has been open since 1973. It is located on Bennelong Point in Sydney and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
The Opera House is home to several attractions, including the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Opera Australia, and the Australian Ballet.
It is also a popular spot for events and concerts. If you’re looking for a unique experience, make your way to the Sydney Opera House. There are also tours available so you can explore more than just the outside of this amazing structure.
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Address: 31 Alfred St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
A custom house or customs house was traditionally a building housing the offices of a jurisdictional government whose officials oversaw the functions associated with importing and exporting goods into and out of a country, such as collecting customs duty on imported goods.
A customs house was typically located in a seaport or a city on a major river, with access to an ocean. These cities acted as ports of entry into a country. Due to advances in electronic information systems, the increased volume of international trade, and the introduction of air travel, the term “custom house” became a historical anachronism.
As of 2019, the Custom House of Valletta in Malta was still being used for its original purpose. In the United Kingdom, since 1386, the phrase “custom house” has been in use over the term “customs house”. This was after the City of London’s Custom House was erected at Wool Wharf in Tower Ward, to house just the officials overseeing the Great Custom on Wool and Woolfells.
The singular form was used even though in later years the City of London’s Custom House served as the workplace for other customs officials as well.
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Address: Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Darling Harbour is a harbor adjacent to the city center of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia that is made up of a large recreational and pedestrian precinct that is situated on the western outskirts of the Sydney central business district.
Originally named Long Cove, the locality extends northwards from Chinatown, along both sides of Cockle Bay to King Street Wharf on the east, and the suburb of Pyrmont on the west.
Cockle Bay is just one of the waterways that makes up Darling Harbour, which opens north into the much larger Port Jackson. The precinct and its immediate surroundings are administered independently of the local government area of the City of Sydney, by Property NSW.
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Address: Pinchgut Island, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Fort Denison, part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, is a protected national park that is a heritage-listed former penal site and defensive facility occupying a small island located north-east of the Royal Botanic Gardens and approximately 1 kilometer (0.62 mi) east of the Opera House in Sydney Harbour, New South Wales, Australia.
The island is also known as Mattewanye/Muddawahnyuh, in the Eora language (Sydney Language), and as Pinchgut Island. The site contains time guns, navigational aids, and tide gauge facilities. Correctional and military facilities were designed by George Barney and built from 1840 to 1862 by William Randle.
The property is owned by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, an agency of the Government of New South Wales. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999. In 1978 the former fortress was listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate and is currently used as a national park, nature reserve, tourist facility, and function space.
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Sydney Harbour Bridge
Address: Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is heritage-listed steel the arch bridge in Sydney, spanning Sydney Harbour from the central business district (CBD) to the North Shore. The view of the bridge, the harbor, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is widely regarded as an iconic image of Sydney, and of Australia itself.
Nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design, the bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic.
Under the direction of John Bradfield of the New South Wales Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by the British firm Dorman Long of Middlesbrough (who based the design on their 1928 Tyne Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne) and opened in 1932.
The bridge’s general design, which Bradfield tasked the NSW Department of Public Works with producing, was a rough copy of the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City.
This general design document, however, did not form any part of the request for tender, which remained sufficiently broad as to allow cantilever (Bradfield’s original preference) and even suspension bridge proposals.
The design chosen from the tender responses was original work created by Dorman Long, who leveraged some of the design from their own Tyne Bridge which, though superficially similar, does not share the graceful flares at the ends of each arch that make the harbor bridge so distinctive.
It is the eighth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level. It was also the world’s widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m (160 ft) wide, until the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge went on to be added to the Australian National Heritage List on 19 March 2007 and to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 25 June 1999.
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Address: Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Government House is the name of many of the official residences of governors-general, governors, and lieutenant-governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. The name is also used in some other countries.
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Address: S Head Heritage Trail, Watsons Bay NSW 2030, Australia
Hornby Lighthouse, also known as South Head Lower Light or South Head Signal Station, is a heritage-listed active lighthouse located on the tip of South Head, New South Wales, Australia, a headland to the north of the suburb Watsons Bay. It marks the southern entrance to Port Jackson and Sydney Harbour, as well as lighting the South Reef, a ledge of submerged rocks.
It is the third oldest lighthouse in New South Wales. Designed by Mortimer Lewis and listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate and the New South Wales State Heritage Register since 2 April 1999, with the following statement of significance: A dominant Sydney landmark that appears to have been in continuous use since the 1840s as a controlling point for shipping entering and leaving Port Jackson.
The building complex, designed by Colonial Architect Mortimer Lewis in the early 1840s, is an architectural important example of an early Victorian public work associated with port activities.
Address: Elizabeth St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Hyde Park is a small, rectangular-shaped suburb on the eastern outskirts of Sydney, with Elizabeth Street on the west, College Street on the east, St. James Road and Prince Albert Road on the north, and Liverpool Street on the south.
Sandringham Gardens is a 1.8 km long, specially designed park with more than 580 trees and well-kept gardens. It has a variety of figs, conifers, palms, and other plants. The park is known for its magnificent avenues lined with fig trees. Sandringham Gardens are located on the eastern side of the grounds.
Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in Sydney and is a popular spot for travelers to relax and take in the cityscape. The park is located in the heart of the Sydney CBD and is adjacent to some of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
The park is also home to a number of important historical monuments, including the Hyde Park Barracks and the Anzac War Memorial. Hyde Park is a must-visit for any traveler to Sydney.
Hyde Park Barracks
Address: Queens Square, Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Hyde Park Barracks, Sydney is a heritage-listed former barracks, hospital, convict accommodation, mint, and courthouse and now museum and cafe located at Macquarie Street in the Sydney central business district, in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia.
Originally built from 1811 to 1819 as a brick building and compound to house convict men and boys, it was designed by convict architect Francis Greenway.
It is also known as the Mint Building and Hyde Park Barracks Group and Rum Hospital; Royal Mint – Sydney Branch; Sydney Infirmary and Dispensary; Queen’s Square Courts; Queen’s Square. The site is managed by the Sydney Living Museums, an agency of the Government of New South Wales, as a living history museum open to the public.
The site is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as one of 11 pre-eminent Australian Convict Sites as amongst “the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labor of convicts”, and was listed on the Australian National Heritage List on 1 August 2007, and on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
The historic site was closed in January 2019 for $18 million restoration work to transform it into “a rich new, immersive visitor experience like no other in Australia” and reopened in February 2020.
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
Address: 1d Mrs. Macquarie’s Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair (also known as Lady Macquarie’s Chair) is an exposed sandstone rock cut into the shape of a bench, on a peninsula in the harbor. It was hand-carved by convicts in 1810, for Elizabeth Macquarie, the wife of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales.
The peninsula itself was known to the Gadigal as Yurong Point, and is now widely known as Mrs. Macquarie’s Point, and is part of The Domain, near the Royal Botanic Gardens.
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Address: Sydney Harbor Bridge, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a heritage-listed arch bridge in Sydney, spanning Sydney Harbour from the central business district (CBD) to the North Shore. The view of the bridge, the harbor, and the nearby Sydney Opera House is widely regarded as an iconic image of Sydney, and of Australia itself.
Nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design, the bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic. Under the direction of John Bradfield of the New South Wales Department of Public Works, the bridge was designed and built by the British firm Dorman Long of Middlesbrough (who based the design on their 1928 Tyne Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne) and opened in 1932.
The bridge’s general design, which Bradfield tasked the NSW Department of Public Works with producing, was a rough copy of the Hell Gate Bridge in New York City. This general design document, however, did not form any part of the request for tender, which remained sufficiently broad as to allow cantilever (Bradfield’s original preference) and even suspension bridge proposals.
Dorman Long leveraged some of the design from their own Tyne Bridge which, though superficially similar, does not share the graceful flares at the ends of each arch that make the harbor bridge so distinctive.
The bridge is the eighth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world and the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m (440 ft) from top to water level. It was also the world’s widest long-span bridge, at 48.8 m (160 ft) wide, until the construction of the new Port Mann Bridge in Vancouver was completed in 2012.
It also went on to be added to the Australian National Heritage List on 19 March 2007 and to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 25 June 1999.
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Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Address: Mrs. Macquarie’s Rd, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney is a heritage-listed major 30-hectare (74-acre) botanical garden, event venue, and public recreation area located at Farm Cove on the eastern fringe of the Sydney central business district, in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia.
Opened in 1816, the garden is the oldest scientific institution in Australia and one of the most important historic botanical institutions in the world.
The overall structure and key elements were designed by Charles Moore and Joseph Maiden, and various other elements were designed and built under the supervision of Allan Cunningham, Richard Cunningham, and Carrick Chambers. The garden is owned by the Government of New South Wales and administered by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust.
The Botanic Garden, together with the adjacent domain was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 2 April 1999.
The Garden and The Domain are open every day of the year and access is free. The Sydney Opera House and the large public parklands of The Domain ensure it is one of the most visited attractions in Sydney.
The garden is bordered by the Cahill Expressway to the south and west, Macquarie Street to the northwest, Art Gallery Road to the east, and Sydney Harbour to the north. Join a Discover Sydney – Botanic tour now.
Sydney Harbour National Park
Address: 57JQ+XV, Manly NSW 2095, Australia
The Sydney Harbour National Park is an Australian national park comprising parts of Port Jackson, Sydney, and its foreshores and various islands. The 392-hectare (970-acre) national park lies in New South Wales and was created progressively, from 1975.
The national park protects the landforms of Bradleys Head, Clark Island, Dobroyd Head, Fort Denison, Georges Head, Goat Island, Middle Head, Nielsen Park, Rodd Island, Shark Island, Sydney Heads including the Quarantine Station at North Head, and The Gap bluff at South Head.
The national park also protects the waterway between North Head and Dobroyd Head, defined as the North Sydney Harbour Aquatic Reserve.
Parts of the national park lie outside the harbor and face the Tasman Sea. The national park is managed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Address: 1003 Upper Fort St, Millers Point NSW 2000, Australia
Looking for a place to learn about the stars and planets?
The Sydney Observatory is a heritage-listed meteorological station, astronomical observatory, function venue, science museum, and education facility located on Observatory Hill at Upper Fort Street, in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Millers Point in the City of Sydney local government area of New South Wales, Australia.
It was designed by William Weaver (plans) and Alexander Dawson (supervision) and built from 1857 to 1859 by Charles Bingemann & Ebenezer Dewar.
It is also known as The Sydney Observatory; Observatory; Fort Phillip; Windmill Hill; and Flagstaff Hill. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 22 December 2000.
The site was formerly a defense fort, semaphore station, time ball station, meteorological station, observatory, and windmills. The site evolved from a fort built on ‘Windmill Hill’ in the early 19th century to an observatory during the nineteenth century.
It is now a working museum where evening visitors can observe the stars and planets through a modern 40-centimeter (16 in) Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and a historic 29-centimeter (11 in) refractor telescope built-in 1874, the oldest telescope in Australia in regular use.
Sydney Town Hall
Address: 483 George St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
The Sydney Town Hall is a late 19th-century heritage-listed town hall building in the city of Sydney, the capital city of New South Wales, Australia, housing the chambers of the Lord Mayor of Sydney, council offices, and venues for meetings and functions.
It is located at 483 George Street, in the Sydney central business district opposite the Queen Victoria Building and alongside St Andrew’s Cathedral. Sited above the Town Hall station and between the city shopping and entertainment precincts, the steps of the Town Hall are a popular meeting place.
It was designed by John H. Wilson, Edward Bell, Albert Bond, Thomas Sapsford, John Hennessy, and George McRae and built from 1869 to 1889 by Kelly and McLeod, Smith and Bennett, McLeod and Noble, J. Stewart and Co.
It is also known as Town Hall, Centennial Hall, Main Hall, Peace Hall, Great Hall, and Old Burial Ground. The Town Hall is listed on the (now defunct) Register of the National Estate and the New South Wales State Heritage Register and is part of the heritage-listed Town Hall precinct which includes the Queen Victoria Building, St Andrew’s Cathedral, the Gresham Hotel, and the former Bank of New South Wales.
In later years, it has been discovered that Town Hall lies on top of part of a cemetery complex. Renovations were undertaken in 2008-9 primarily to upgrade the mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, and communication services within the building.
The renovations, completed by Kell & Rigby, included removing 6,000 cubic meters (210,000 cu ft) of sandstone from underneath the building.
The best landmarks in Sydney, Australia for travelers are the Sydney Opera House, Hyde Park Barracks, and the Harbour Bridge. These landmarks will give you a great overview of the city and some of its history. There is plenty to see and do in this amazing city!
Do any of the landmarks in Sidney, Australia have fees?
Yes. While some landmarks are free to visit, many have fees associated with admissions, guided tours, or souvenirs.
Is Sydney, Australia dangerous?
Generally speaking, no. Sydney has low crime rates and is considered a very safe place to visit. As with any large city, some crimes take place, so always be alert to your surroundings.