From Lonely Planet Kids  “The Cities Book – A Journey Through 86 of the World’s Greatest Cities” (2016)

Also see other posts on Sydney including a recent “Sydney in Summer” post  (photos & info from Jan 2017)

Other interesting Sydney Facts from Lonely Planet:


The now much-loved Sydney Opera House was seen as “seriously shocking” by many when it was first opened in 1973.  No one in Sydney had ever erected “such a bizarre public building”;

“The shell rooftops are covered with more than a million white tiles, shaped to look like a series of sails.”

“Inside the structure there are seven concert venues and a thousand rooms.”

“The design was the result of a competition, with the Architect Jorn Utzon earning £5000 for his winning entry.”

The Sydney Harbour Bridge (photo below):

fondly referred to by many Sydneysiders as “The Coat Hanger”!  (including my Mum who could see it from her front yard in Balmain).

The photo above of the Harbour Bridge was taken on a Tuesday night (10/1/17) on our return ferry trip after dinner out in Circular Quay.  We were surprised to see fireworks (not major fireworks like the celebration of the New Year at 12 am 1/1/17) but my sister who was with us that night, said that similar “mini” fireworks happens quite often.  We wondered if the amusement park called “Luna Park”  management paid for these fireworks??  I’ll put a close up photo in soon but you can see it lit up in the background on the right here.  Anyway, as you can see they’re very pretty and on a lovely warm evening gave our ferry trip a special celebratory feel!  Just being on this beautiful harbour feels like a celebration of what’s good about life sometimes!  We love it here!

More from Lonely Planet:

“When the Sydney Harbour Bridge opened in 1932, it was both the widest long span and the highest steel arch bridge in the world.  The giant feat of engineering holds up the very heart of the city, connecting the towering business district with the teeming suburbs of the North Shore.  On calm days, brave visitors can put on harnesses and climb right up to the 134 m (440 ft) summit.  Every New Year’s Eve, the bridge becomes the focal point of a jaw-dropping fireworks display, watched by millions of viewers all over the world.”…the east coast of Australia is one of the first countries to see in the New Year.

SYDNEY HARBOUR – one of the most beautiful harbours in the world…some might say “the most beautiful in the world”?

The Harbour has seen a lot of change over the past 200 years and it’s still on the move today.  Take Darling Harbour, for example;  once it was a working port in the heart of Sydney full of wharves, docks, sheds and railway tracks.  Now it’s a huge entertainment complex, complete with a casino, an aquarium, museums and shopping centres.  It can even boast the world’s largest cinema screen!
SYDNEY FERRIES…we just love them!

The Harbour isn’t just beautiful – for many, it’s the centre of everyday life in Sydney.  Thousands of people Criss-cross the deep blue harbour to get to and from work, school and home.  Some have their own boats (or big  yachts if they’re lucky/wealthy!) but most who live near the harbour use the Sydney ferries for transport…sometimes just for leisure if getting to work is more convenient via bus or car.  The main hub is at Circular Quay (next to the Railway Station), tucked in between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.  A steady stream of ferries also make their way out to Manly, Taronga Zoo (see photo below), Parramatta, Watson’s Bay (where you can swim at the Baths – see photo) and other famous parts of the city.  

A note for parents/carers:

It’s great if kids learn to work out how to use timetables like the Sydney Ferry Timetable;  however, keep in mind that at the time of writing this (Feb 2016) there are destinations missing from some of the online/information board timetables at Circular Quay (a very busy place) but there are friendly staff to help at Information counters and it’s easy to plan a day on the ferries…we love visiting a couple of “village” destinations each day.  See our photos from other Sydney posts.

Taronga Zoo – photo below is of the seal show

The Zoo is accessible by harbour ferry – we took a short journey from Circular Quay (see CQ photo further below)

LUNA PARK (photo below) – an amusement park on Sydney Harbour

Accessible by the Ferries – disembark at Milson’s Point Wharf.  Milson’s Point is an interesting village to visit even if you’re not going to Luna Park.  We have had many enjoyable summer/autumn days there with nice cafes not far from the wharf + a beautiful Olympic swimming pool with harbour views.  There’s also an upmarket restaurant (more for Mums & Dads) which we haven’t tried but my sister (a Sydney resident) has so once I get more information I’ll report back:)

BOTANIC GARDENS…a short walk from the Sydney Opera House (photo below)

More information to come…

CIRCULAR QUAY – photo below

– a central location in Sydney for buses, trains & ferries + an easy walk to many of the main attractions such as the Opera House, the Rocks (historic area), Botanic Gardens & many other places.  In the photo you can see Aboriginal people performing their traditional dances – buskers are a common sight around this part of Sydney.  If you stop to watch it’s respectful to give some money…our granddaughters both popped a gold coin into their open case – we only stayed for 5 min as we had a ferry to catch back to Balmain (a harbour village) where we were staying for 3 nights in a rented apartment.

QUEEN VICTORIA BUILDING in Sydney’s CBD (Central Business District) – lots to see and do:

There are regular piano recitals on this grand piano…after 1 such performance, the pianist allowed our granddaughters to have a few minutes “play” – such a beautiful piano and they were very careful and respectful.  The other thing they loved doing was taking a ride in the historic lift (built in the 1800s) but it no longer has a lift attendant saying “going up…ladies’ gloves & handbags” etc!…there are now lift buttons just like what we see in the very new/modern lifts today.

(Note for Parents: I’ll add some more photos of the Queen Victoria Building on my previous post about Sydney).


The train departs from Central Station in Sydney and arrives in Canberra approximately 4 hours later – our son picked us up from the station (our home is a 5 min drive from the station).  We played various card games & read books on our journey back to Canberra.  They also serve delicious Devonshire Teas (tea with scones & jam…very English🇬🇧🇦🇺:) at the kiosk but we packed our own sandwiches & drinks as well.  There’s lots to see and do in the Nation’s Capital – a post about that on another day!