Landmarks Walking Tour in Sydney (Self Guided), Sydney

This Landmarks Walking Tour will guide you through Sydney's historical and cultural landmarks. You will have the opportunity to see some of the most important and notorious places in Sydney, and get a glimpse into the city’s extensive history and cultural life.
How it works: Download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Landmarks Walking Tour in Sydney Map

Guide Name: Landmarks Walking Tour in Sydney
Guide Location: Australia » Sydney (See other walking tours in Sydney)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.2 Km or 3.2 Miles
Author: nataly
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Sydney Harbour Bridge
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Archibald Fountain
  • Hyde Park Obelisk
  • ANZAC War Memorial
  • Crane Fountain
  • Pyrmont Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

1) Sydney Harbour Bridge (must see)

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s 2nd widest long-span bridge. It connects the city’s Central Business District and the North Shore. It carries rail, vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. The arched shape of the bridge has earned it the popular name, Coat Hanger.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House are symbols of the city and of Australia. It was built under the supervision of Dr. J.J.C. Bradfield of the New South Wales Department of Public Works and constructed by British firm, Dorman Long and Co. It stands 440 feet high and 503 meters long. There is a pair of granite pylons at each end of the bridge designed by Scottish architect, Thomas S. Tait. The southeastern pylon has a museum and a lookout from which tourists can see beautiful views of the opera house and Sydney Harbour. Today, there are 6 lanes for traffic on the main roadway, two road traffic lanes and a pedestrian pathway on the eastern side and two railway tracks and a bicycle path on the western side.

Since 1998, tourists have been permitted to climb the southern half of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is also the venue of spectacular New Years Day fireworks and many commemorative celebrations. It is a monument of national pride in Australia.

Why You Should Visit:
This bridge can provide you with so much entertainment from no to high prices, that it would be a sin to miss it if you're holidaying in Sydney.

Try to walk in the early morning, as well as in the afternoon. When the sun is down and all the lights are on, you'll see something different again.
To make your bridge walk even more attractive, go up to the Pylon Lookout – the 360 degrees view from the top will be breathtaking.
If you're fit and capable, go for the bridge climb as well. Not as scary as maybe you think, but a certain adrenalin level makes it even more fun.
Alternately, access the bridge from Cumberland and then run/walk all the way to the north end. The views from Kirribilli of the bridge and the Opera House are outstanding.
Royal Botanic Gardens

2) Royal Botanic Gardens (must see)

The Royal Botanic Gardens is located to the East of the Sydney Opera House and overlooks Farm Cove. The land was once a farm established by Governor Philips, the founder of the city of Sydney.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are surrounded by the Domain, a green space in the centre of Sydney. It was founded by Governor Macquarie in 1916 adjacent to the Government House. The first Colonial Botanist, Charles Frazer began the collection and study of plants at the garden and it is the oldest scientific institution in Australia. The Royal Botanic Gardens welcomes over a million visitors every year who come to view its landscape, the many unique birds and fruit bats. It is family friendly and children and adults can walk and play on the grass and observe trees and plants at close quarters. Many rare trees and plants from across Australia are grown here.

The Royal Botanic Gardens are divided into several themed sections like the Palm Grove, the Oriental Garden and the Herb Garden. Other interesting parts are the rainforest walk, the succulent garden with desert plants and the native plant rockery. There is also a large pond with ducks, the white-faced heron and other aquatic birds. Free entry and visitors can enjoy picnics on the lawn in this beautifully landscaped park.

Why You Should Visit:
Super cool location on the side of the Bay and a place one can hardly get bored of; a visit here easily can be a whole day's entertainment.
You can use the train for an overview of the place; however, walking is just as entertaining a way to get around.
If you plan to have longer hours in the Gardens, there are also restaurants, as well as a cheaper and faster café.
Plus plenty of benches in the shade and on the sun, where a tired visitor can have a rest.

Don't forget to walk to Mrs. Macquaries Chair, from where the wife of Governor Macquarie was watching the ships sailing to the Harbour. This point provides you with beautiful views.
Also, try and book the Aboriginal Heritage tour, which is about an hour long and runs Wed, Fri, Sat mornings at 10am.

Opening Hours:
Daily – (Oct): 7am-7:30pm; (Nov-Feb): 7am-8pm; (Mar): 7am-6:30pm; (Apr, Sep): 7am-6pm; (May, Aug): 7am-5:30pm; (Jun, Jul): 7am-5pm
Archibald Fountain

3) Archibald Fountain

Largely regarded as the finest public fountain in Australia, the Archibald fountain has become over the years a spot for tourist photographs, political rallies, a meeting place and a spot where buskers perform. It is named in honour of J.F. Archibald, the owner and editor of the Bulletin Magazine who provided the funds for its construction.

J.F. Archibald bequeathed funds under his will for the construction of the fountain and stipulated that it should be designed by a French artist. He was both a Francophile and wanted it to be a memorial to the association of Australia and France in fighting World War I. Archibald died in 1919 but an artist was selected only in 1927 after the selection of a suitable site was made. The artist was Francois Leon Sicard born in Tours, France. It was unveiled in 1932 by the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Samuel Walder.

The Archibald Fountain consists of the central figure of the Greek God Apollo and three plinths radiating from the central figure. One plinth is dedicated to Diana the Goddess of purity, the other represents the good things on earth and the third has a sculpture of Theseus killing a Minotaur representing sacrifice for the good of humanity. Sicard never visited Sydney. The sculpture was cast in France and shipped to Australia for its installation and inauguration in the city.
Hyde Park Obelisk

4) Hyde Park Obelisk

The Hyde Park Obelisk is a 22 meter high pillar located at the corner of Elizabeth and Bathurst Streets in Sydney. Unlike most monuments, it served a unique purpose. It was a sewage vent that eliminated noxious gases above street level to protect pedestrians below.

The Hyde Park Obelisk was constructed to look like the Cleopatra’s Needle, the obelisk on the banks of the River Thames in London. It stands on a 6.5 meter high square sandstone pedestal. It was commissioned by the then Mayor of Sydney, George Thornton as a monumental disguise for a mundane necessity. The obelisk is surrounded by weather worn sandstone sphinxes and serpents. The location was chosen because it was the point where the sewage system was at its highest and because it was a place frequented by pedestrian traffic.

The Hyde Park Obelisk was inaugurated by Mayor Thornton in 1857. The sewage fumes were expelled through a filigreed bronze pyramid at the top of the obelisk. Sydneysiders jokingly refer to the structure as Thornton’s Scent Bottle. It was at one time the smelliest obelisk in Sydney and perhaps, the world. Today, it is no longer used as a sewage vent to avoid the risk of contamination.
ANZAC War Memorial

5) ANZAC War Memorial

The ANZAC War Memorial is a beautiful and emotional monument to the men and women from Australia and New Zealand who served and fell in various war theatres over the last 100 years. It is also a tranquil space for reflection and contemplation in the midst of the busy city.

The ANZAC War Memorial was designed by twenty nine year old architect, C. Bruce Dellit. His art deco plan won the first prize in the most prestigious architectural competition at the time. The sculptures were executed by British born artist, Rayner Hoff. The monument was constructed in memory to the Australian Imperial Force who fought in the World War I battle of Gallipoli where they suffered many casualties. The memorial was inaugurated by the Duke of Gloucester in 1934.

The domed ceiling has 120,000 gold stars for each for the soldiers from New South Wales who served in World War I. The interior has a bronze sculpture of a deceased young man held aloft by three female figures representing mother, sister and wife. A short film about the services of Australians is shown to visitors and free postcards are available at the desk. Commemorative ceremonies are held on ANZAC Day and Armistice Day.
Crane Fountain

6) Crane Fountain

Crane Fountain is located in the most popular tourist attraction of Sydney – Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour. The fountain composition represents beautiful bronze dancing cranes that are arranged in a circle, in the middle being situated the fountain itself.
Pyrmont Bridge

7) Pyrmont Bridge

The Pyrmont Bridge, connected the city of Sydney with the western suburbs. It is one of the oldest surviving electrically operated swingspan bridges in the world. Engineers Australia declared the bridge as a National Engineering Landmark.

The present Pyrmont Birdge replaced an older wooden bridge and was opened to traffic in 1902. The swingspan helped tall ships that could not go under the bridge to pass through. It was designed by engineer, Percy Allan who was known for his common sense approach in designing structures. He believed in economical use of material and ease of construction and maintenance. It had the largest swingspans in the world and the first to be powered by electricity. Most other swingspan bridges were driven by winches using steam or hydraulic power. When Pyrmont Bridge opened, it was a high traffic bridge as Darling Harbour was the main industrial area of Sydney. Warehouses, railway junctions and international ships docked at the harbour. After large container ships were introduced, Darling Harbour was found unsuitable and the area declined.

Pyrmont Bridge was restored and reopened in 1988 when Darling Harbour was converted into a recreation precinct. The Swingspan was made functional and a monorail runs above it connecting Darling Harbour with the Sydney Central Business District.

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