Built between 1835 and 1839, Elizabeth Bay House was known as 'the finest house in the colony'. Designed by the most fashionable and accomplished architect of the day, John Verge, for the Colonial Secretary,...
Heritage tours in Sydney
Discover Sydney's fine heritage buildings and architecture on a self-guided walk or guided tours, from the World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House and the grand Queen Victoria Building to beautiful sandstone churches and the living history of Woollomoolo. Bring history alive with the fascinating stories behind Sydney's heritage attractions.
Explore Sydney's beautiful heritage attractions
A wonderful way to explore Sydney is on historical and heritage tours. Begin your discovery at the Sydney Opera House, a masterpiece of architecture. On the edge of the one of the most beautiful natural harbours in the world, the Sydney Opera House offers daily tours, including a backstage tour. Even better combine a tour with a performance and delicious food at Bennelong or Opera Kitchen.
Nearby is The Rocks, where you can take walking tours of cobblestoned laneways and visit Australia's oldest pubs, such as the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. The Sydney Harbour Bridge is a mighty structure to explore. Six million steel rivets were hammered into the bridge, which opened in 1932. You can walk across the bridge or climb it with BridgeClimb Sydney.
Enjoy a meal at one of the many exquisite restaurants on the historical and beautifully refurbished Finger Wharf of Woolloomooloo. On Macquarie Street, near Martin Place train station, you’ll find the Mitchell Library, which is part of the State Library of NSW, Parliament House, the Mint and the Hyde Park Barracks Museum, one of 11 World Heritage Australian convict sites. Nearby are St James’ Church, in King Street, and St Mary’s Cathedral, a grand example of gothic revival architecture next to gorgeous Hyde Park.
The Queen Victoria Building is a palatial shopping arcade with glorious stained glass windows and grand staircases. Built in the 1890s and restored in the 1980s, the building covers an entire block in the city centre. Regular guided tours are available of this famous landmark, known affectionately as the QVB. Nearby is the Strand Arcade, another 19th century shopping delight.
A Sydney Architecture Walks tour will provide insights into the buildings that have shaped Sydney's skyline. For intriguing heritage stories, visit museums and historic houses such as the World Heritage-listed Old Government House in Parramatta. Guided tours of Government House Sydney, next to the Royal Botanic Garden, are conducted most Friday, Saturdays and Sundays.