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Kayaking under the Harbour Bridge
Kayaking under the Harbour Bridge
The Opera House
Catriona at the Bridge Lookout

Tourist in Sydney

Thursday, July 15, 2004
This week its Catriona’s turn to be a tourist in Sydney which just happens to be her home town and hands-down favourite.

This week it is Catriona's turn to be a tourist in her own city — Sydney.

The obvious place to start has to be the magnificent harbour. Its beauty overwhelms first time visitors and locals never tire of it.

Something that most Sydney-siders haven't done is join Patrick Dibben who operates Natural Wanders. He has half-day kayak tours around the harbour and what a way to get a fish's eye view. You bob past many magnificent homes, including those of the Governor General and Prime Minister, the Opera House and city skyline, but being in the small craft and close to the water somehow makes you feel all alone.

Another terrific way to appreciate the beauty of Sydney is to climb the arch of the Harbour Bridge, day or night. For those who aren't too keen on heights, the next best thing is a visit to the south-east pylon. The Pylon Lookout gives 360° views once you have climbed the 200 stairs. This can be done at your own pace.

Level One has exhibits and photographic memories of the work and workers. Level Two has a suspended model which shows just what a feat of engineering the structure was and the Mezzanine Level shows the glamorous early years of the Bridge. There are original souvenirs and the story of the dashing Captain de Groot who slashed the opening ribbon before the dignitaries had the chance.

Once at the top you can see along the harbour and through the Heads, across suburbia and west to the Olympic Stadium and the Blue Mountains.

When you feel like a break, the Glenmore Hotel in the historic Rocks is nearby. The original building, built in the 19th century, was on the other side of the road, but was relocated in 1923 to make way for Harbour Bridge construction.

It began as a male-only pub and its roof was used to hang the washing! Now it is open to everyone and the roof has a beer garden with pretty special views.

After lunch, you can walk up Bridge Street, which has some beautiful old buildings, to the Museum of Sydney. It is on the site of Australia’s first Government House, our first European building, built in 1788. It was the home, office and seat of authority for Governor Arthur Phillip and used by the next eight governors of Australia.

Opened in 1995, the Museum of Sydney is modern, with the historic remains of the first Government House beneath the forecourt. A sculpture called Edge Of The Trees depicts how the Gadigal people may have viewed the first Europeans coming ashore.

There are interesting exhibitions devoted to the First Fleet, trade, many collections, a theatre and video wall and a recreation of a section of the façade of the original building.

Sydney Ferries have three Harboursights Cruises leaving Circular Quay morning, noon and night. If you don’t fancy kayaking or climbing, this is the best way to have a look around the city.

Cruises take in the Opera House, Botanical Gardens, Fort Denison, Woolloomooloo Bay, Rose Bay and Watson’s Bay. The return journey goes by the Lighthouse at Bradley’s Head, Taronga Zoo and Kirribilli House.


The harbour city


Natural Wanders half-day paddles cost $90 per person. They operate on weekends.
Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout entry costs $8.50. They are open every day.
Museum of Sydney entry is $7 per person and is open every day.
Sydney Ferries Harboursights Cruises cost $18, $24 and $22 per person respectively. There are family packages and children’s prices available. They operate every day.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Natural Wanders
Lavender Bay Wharf
Lavender Bay 2060
Ph: (02) 9899 1001, 0439 745 895

Glenmore Hotel
96 Cumberland Street
The Rocks 2000
Ph: (02) 9247 4794, 0416 110 101

Museum of Sydney
Bridge and Phillip Streets
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9261 5988

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout
Via stairs off Cumberland Street
The Rocks 2000
Ph: (02) 9240 1100

Sydney Harbour Ferries
Wharf 4
Circular Quay 2000
Ph: (02) 9207 3170

Qantas: 13 13 13

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