Sydney, Australia - Exciting City With Friendly People

Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Linda Garrison

Sydney is a long way from the USA--a 15 hour flight from the west coast--but it is an exciting cosmopolitan city with a spectacular harbor and friendly people. Sydney sits on the eastern coast of the most diverse continent in the world, filled with unique plant and animal life and miles of open spaces. Although Australia is about the size of the continental USA, it has only 20 million residents, of which 4 million live in Sydney.

Cruise ships visit Sydney year-round, with most ships sailing to Australia and the Southern Hemisphere in the months of November through March. The cruise ship pier is conveniently located near the south side of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I flew to Sydney and joined the third segment of a world cruise on the Seven Seas Voyager. We had an overnight on the ship before sailing out of Sydney Harbour, which allowed a day and a half to explore the city on excursions or on our own. The spectacular harbor makes Sydney one of the best sail away ports in the world.

Here are some of the Sydney highlights.

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Sydney Opera House Forecourt and Monumental Steps in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Opera House Forecourt and Monumental Steps in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Opera House Concert Hall and Grand Organ

Sydney Opera House Concert Hall and Grand Organ
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

The Sydney Opera House Concert Hall seats 2,679 and the Grand Organ took 10 years to design and tune.

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Sydney Opera House in Sydney Australia

Sydney Opera House in Sydney Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Opera House Interior in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Opera House Interior in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Opera House Interior in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Opera House Interior in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Opera House Tiles and Roof Structure

Sydney Opera House Tiles and Roof Structure
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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George Street at The Rocks in Sydney, Australia

George Street at The Rocks in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

George Street is the main street of Sydney, and The Rocks is the oldest part of the city.

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Exhibit at The Rocks in Sydney, Australia

Exhibit at The Rocks in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

This woman is made from hundreds (or thousands) of artificial peaches and is advertising an Australian sun screen. It caused quite a stir on the quay.

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Dawes Point Park Under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Dawes Point Park Under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Bondi Beach is the most famous beach in Sydney. This golden beach stretches for over a half-mile, and is filled with swimmers, surfers, and sun lovers.

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Sydney Australia Harbour

Sydney Australia Harbour
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

The Sydney Harbour is very busy, with ferry and tour boats gliding along the river and harbor.

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Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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North Sydney, Australia

North Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Downtown Sydney, Australia

Downtown Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a challenge that many visitors accept. The BridgeClimb is not cheap, but is a feat worth taking on for those who are fit.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of the city's most familiar landmarks. Built in 1932, the bridge's distinctive shape shows its nickname -- the "coathanger".

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Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Downtown Sydney, Australia

Downtown Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Cruise ships dock near downtown Sydney at either the Circular Quay or one of the nearby piers on Hickson Road.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Bridge Climbers undergo an hour of training and must wear clothing provided by BridgeClimb in order to make the trek to the top and stand next to the flags.

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Parramatta River Home in Sydney, Australia

Parramatta River Home in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

River ferries are very popular in Sydney, and visitors use them to tour the harbor and the Parramatta River.

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Sydney Australia Harbor Entrance at the Gap

Sydney Australia Harbor Entrance at the Gap
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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Sydney Ferry Stop on the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia

Sydney Ferry Stop on the Parramatta River in Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison

Fine homes overlook the Parramatta River in Sydney, but ferry boats stop at quaint docks such as this one.

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Sydney Harbor Entrance at the Gap Overlooking Watson's Bay

Sydney Harbor Entrance at the Gap Overlooking Watson's Bay
Sydney, Australia Photo (c) Linda Garrison
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