Sydney icons

Sydney Harbour Bridge was to post-war migrants arriving in Sydney by ship what the Statue of Liberty was to those sailing into New York: a symbol of freedom, progress and opportunity. When it opened after eight years of construction in 1932, a horse and rider had to pay three pence to cross. Today horses are banned from the bridge, but you can walk, ride a bike or join BridgeClimb Sydney for a dramatic scale to its summit.

The Coat Hanger, as it’s affectionately known, remained the city’s most iconic landmark until 1973, when the city celebrated the opening of the Sydney Opera House. Join a guided tour of its almost 1,000 rooms to learn about the drama behind its construction, attend a concert by the Sydney Symphony orchestra, or grab a drink at the al fresco Opera Bar. It’s ‘the’ place to be for the firework display on New Year’s Eve, and for the start of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day, 26 December. You’ll also have a front-row seat for the Ferrython on Australia Day, 26 January, when Sydney’s famous green and yellow ferries vie for the finishing line under the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For a real bird’s-eye view of Sydney Harbour, hitch a ride with Sydney SeaPlanes at Rose Bay or with Red Baron Adventures at Bankstown Airport.