Two of the most iconic landmarks in the world are the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. And one of the most famous beaches in the world is Bondi Beach. We had epic experiences at all three places. Seeing the Sydney Opera House was a “pinch me moment.” We loved attending a performance and having dinner there. Fun and informative behind-the-scenes tours are offered. Be sure to book early for tours, performances and dinner at this beloved performing arts facility.
Here are a few fun facts we learned on our tour:
- The Sydney Opera House is one of the most-photographed buildings in the world, known for its unique use of a series of white sail-shaped shells as its roof structure.
- The Opera House is a multipurpose performing arts facility whose largest venue, the 2,679-seat Concert Hall, hosts symphony concerts, choir performances, and music shows. Opera and dance performances take place in the Opera Theatre. There are also three theatres of different sizes for stage plays, film screenings, and smaller musical performances. The Forecourt is used for outdoor performances. The building also houses restaurants and a recording studio.
- The Sydney Opera House was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on October 20, 1973. She has since visited four times.
- Arnold Schwarzenegger won his final Mr. Olympia body building title in 1980 in the Concert Hall.
- Sydney Opera House is cooled using seawater taken directly from the harbor. The system circulates cold water from the harbor through pipes to power both the heating and air conditioning in the building.
Directly across the harbor is the Sydney Harbor Bridge, the tallest and widest steel arch bridge in the world. This bridge is the link from North Sydney to South Sydney. Here we did one of the most adventurous and exhilarating activities of our lives. We climbed to the summit of the Sydney Harbor Bridge with BridgeClimb. Millions of people from around the world have climbed to the summit of this world-famous bridge, completed in 1932. As you ascend to the summit of the world’s largest steel arch, you’ll experience breathtaking moments, spectacular views, and learn fascinating facts from the expert Climb Leaders about this world-famous icon. We absolutely loved it and strongly recommend BridgeClimb. We did the “summit climb” to the very top and felt like we were on top of the world as we journeyed along the upper arch to the peak of this Australian icon, soaking in the sights of the Harbor and the city skyline that surrounded us. It took us four hours and was 1,500 steps…all while being tethered to the bridge. I was scared at first, but knew Oprah had climbed it, so I kept reminding myself, “If Oprah could do this – I can do this!”
Another one of our fun-filled active days was to Bondi Beach. Sparkling blue ocean, fun eateries and a laid-back beach lifestyle sums up Sydney’s world-famous Bondi. You can go for a swim in an iconic ocean pool, enjoy a yoga class overlooking the ocean and sip a cocktail at a beachside bar. There’s also quality surf, bustling farmer’s markets and a dramatic clifftop walk. This is one of Sydney’s closest ocean beaches, so its easily accessible and very popular.
At the southern end of the beach on the rocky headland is the iconic Bondi Iceburgs, one of Australia’s oldest swimming clubs, where members swim throughout the winter, giving it the name Icebergs. We enjoyed being spectators here and grabbing some lunch. Then right out the door we started our trek from Bondi to the Coogee Coastal Walk. This amazing nature walk offers visitors an opportunity to join in and do what the locals do. The Bondi to Coogee Walk is a popular coastal walk that showcases beautiful, rugged coastline vistas, cozy beaches and cafes for refuelling. It’s three miles long and takes about three hours to complete. The Bondi to Tamarama Beach section of the walk is transformed each spring with the popular ‘Sculptures by the Sea’ exhibition. And during their winter months you can observe migrating whales from the ocean path. Surprisingly, the walk passes one of the world’s more scenic cemeteries, called Waverley Cemetery. It was really something to see.
At sunset, we finally ended up in the town of Coogee. We freshened up, and had a wonderful celebration dinner there with locals at the amazing Coogee Pavillion…a 3 story restaurant and bar with great live music. The Coogee Coastal Walk is absolutely fantastic and ending our walk at the waterfront Coogee Pavillion for a delicious meal, was the best way to end the perfect day!
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