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SYDNEYSIDERS worship their waterfront. It has a beautiful bay setting, hilly streets, Victorian terrace architecture, terrific cuisine and great ethnic diversity. Sydney is the cultural and financial heart of the country. Talented playwrights, inspired fashion designers and ambitious business professionals all feel at home there. This most energetic of Australia�s cities is rife with cranes, scaffolding and billboards in a frenetic lead-up to the Olympics, which take place there in September 2000.

Where to Stay

Hotel reservations need to be made well in advance because Sydney is experiencing unprecedented growth in tourist, convention and exhibition bookings. Peak season is generally October-March.

Expect costs to fall within these general guidelines, based on the standard rate for a single room: $ = A$60-$175; $$ = A$175-$290; $$$ = more than A$290.


Sheraton Sydney Airport Hotel�This five-star hotel has 314 rooms, a fitness center, swimming pool, ballroom and meeting rooms. Positioned just minutes from domestic and international terminals, with complimentary shuttle service to the airport every 10 minutes. $$. Corner of O�Riordan and Robey Streets, phone 9317-2200, fax 9317-3855.


Russell Hotel�This historic boutique-style hotel in The Rocks district, only minutes from the financial district, has 29 rooms which are all individually decorated. Guests can enjoy the clubby bar downstairs and make use of the rooftop garden. Rates range from A$100 (single occupancy) and A$110 (double) for a standard room where bathrooms are shared with others down the hall to an apartment with its own kitchen, which sleeps three for A$245. All rates include daily Continental breakfast. $. 143A George St. (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9241-3543, fax 9252-1652.

Park Hyatt Sydney�Situated right at the water�s edge with magnificent views of Sydney Harbour, this is truly Sydney�s premier luxury hotel and the only property at which guests can arrive and depart by yacht, cruiser or water taxi. Fully equipped gymnasium, sauna, steam room, heated pool and spa, rooftop juice bar and terrace. 24-hour butler service. Exceptional attention to detail in furnishings and original Australian works of art. Small meeting room available. $$$. 7 Hickson Rd., The Rocks (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9241-1234, fax 9256-1555.

Inter-Continental Sydney�A tastefully restored colonial building, which once housed the premier�s office, backed up by a modern high-rise. In the atrium-style lobby, you can enjoy an elegant afternoon tea, accompanied by live classical music. Fitness center, with a small pool, and a business center. Business-class guests are whisked to the 28th floor for preferential check-in. They also have access to the ultracomfy Club Lounge, with a view of the city center and the harbor, stocked with newspapers and other publications. A delicious, complimentary breakfast and happy-hour spread with cocktails are provided. Three ballrooms and meeting accommodations for 500. The hotel has won numerous awards for its environmental record. $$$. 117 Macquarie St. (Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 3), phone 9230-0200, fax 9420-1240.


Sheraton on the Park�Centrally located in the heart of Sydney�s shopping district, this impressive hotel has wonderful views overlooking leafy Hyde Park, especially from its health spa, which occupies the entire 22nd floor. Magnificent lobby. Comprehensive business center is open daily, 24 hours. Excellent conference and meeting facilities. Walkways provide covered traffic-free access to nearby department stores and monorail station to Darling Harbour. Special discreet entrances for celebrity guests using magic eye security key. $$$. 161 Elizabeth St. (St. James Station or Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9286-6000, fax 9286-6686.

The Grand Hotel�This is a national-landmark building�a historic pub hotel in the heart of the Central Business District. The Grand Hotel is often the temporary home for country farmers doing business in Sydney. The rooms are sparsely appointed with a TV, wardrobe, bar fridge, tea and coffee facilities and washbasin. You share the pristine white bathrooms down the hall with the other guests on the floor. $. 30 Hunter St. (Wynyard Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 13), phone 9232-3755, fax 9232-1073.

The Forum Grace Hotel�This new art deco-style hotel was once the headquarters of the Australian department store moguls, the Grace brothers. It is only a few minutes� walk from Darling Harbour, the Central Business District, cinemas and major shopping centers. Each superior-class room contains three phones, fax and computer connections, Internet access and voice mail, cable TV, an iron and ironing board and a room safe. The guest laundry is free. $-$$. 77 York St. (Town Hall Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 14), phone 9272-6888, fax 9299-8189.


Ibis Hotel�A modern budget hotel attached to the Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour, just a short walk to the Powerhouse Museum, Paddy�s Market in Haymarket and Chinatown. The health club facilities of the Novotel can be used by Ibis guests and charged to their room. $. 70 Murray St. (Monorail Harbourside stop or Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 18), Pyrmont, phone 9563-0888, fax 9563-0899.

Mercure Grand Apartments�Next door to the Ibis and managed by the same company as both Ibis and Novotel. Two- and three-bedroom apartments with kitchens, laundry and all luxury hotel facilities. 24-hour room service. Designed for long stays or for guests requiring a separate office or small meeting space. $$$. 50 Murray St., Pyrmont (Monorail Harbourside stop or Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 18), phone 9563-6666, fax 9563-6699.


The Hughenden Boutique Hotel�Positioned at the end of Woollahra�s �Antique Mile� and at the start of the Oxford Street shopping strip, the Hughenden is a restored, Italianate, Victorian home with great warmth and ambience. Locals feast on afternoon tea in the glass-roofed conservatory. Wonderfully homey atmosphere with Laura Ashley-style rooms with private bathrooms. Rooms start at A$140 and include a complimentary cooked breakfast. $. 14 Queen St., Woollahra (Bus 378 from Central Railway Station, Bus 380 from Circular Quay), phone 9363-4863, fax 9362-0398.

Regents Court�Tucked away from the mayhem of Kings Cross is a stylish apartment establishment decorated in muted colors, stainless steel and 20th-century furniture icon pieces. The 30 apartments include a kitchen, dining area, a bathroom, as well as a Murphy (wall) bed for an extra guest. Very pretty rooftop garden with great views over the city. $-$$. 18 Springfield Ave., Potts Point (Kings Cross Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 9), phone 9358-1533, fax 9358-1833.

Sir Stamford Hotel�Right in the heart of the fancy neighborhood of Double Bay, this European-style hotel feels intimate as soon as you walk into its richly dark and gold reception area. The smaller rooms feature silk-swathed four-poster beds, while the larger rooms are loft-style with beds on a mezzanine above the lounge area. $$. 23 Knox St., Double Bay (Bus 324 from Circular Quay; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 5), phone 9363-0100, fax 9327-3110.


Manly Pacific Parkroyal�On one of Sydney�s best beaches in friendly, cosmopolitan Manly. Just 15 minutes across Sydney Harbour by Jetcat or 10 mi/16 km by road to Sydney�s city center. Gymnasium, pool, conference and meeting facilities, business center. $$. 55 N. Steyne, Manly, phone 9977-7666, fax 9977-7822.

Swiss-Grand Bondi Beach�This low-rise hotel puts you in the middle of the action at Bondi Beach. Gym, restaurant and security parking�the latter is advisable in Bondi. Landscaped rooftop pool with deck chairs and umbrellas. Light sleepers who might be bothered by the nightclub noise should ask for a room away from the Hotel Bondi side. About 20 minutes from Central Business District and 35 minutes from the airport in slow traffic, with free shuttle to both. $$. Corner of Campbell Parade and Beach Road, Bondi Beach, phone 9365-5666, fax 9365-5330.


Today you�re more likely to find Aussies dining on Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Lebanese or Italian food than on the traditional, blander fare borrowed from the British. Seemingly dozens of restaurants open and close weekly. The neighborhoods of Darlinghurst and Newtown have a concentration of vegetarian and Asian restaurants. Italian places are found all over, but particularly in Paddington, Woollahra, Darlinghurst and Leichhardt. Great yum cha (dim sum) can be had in Chinatown and Chatswood.

Modern Australian cuisine, often called Mod Oz, is carving out a reputation worldwide as a distinctive and palate-pleasing cooking style, combining fresh Australian produce with Asian stir-fry techniques and such flavorings as lemongrass and chilies. Australia�s seafood ranks among the best in the world, from calamari and smoked trout to rock oysters and the much respected, but rarely afforded, barramundi. Australia also has a number of native specialties (called �bush tucker�): warrigal (a spinachlike green), kangaroo (tastes like venison but contains less fat) and wild buffalo meat. For sweet desserts, try wattle-seed ice cream; lamington, a sheet cake dipped in coconut; or pavlova, a soft-crusted meringue, served with kiwi fruit, passion fruit and strawberries. Australia�s wines are winning international gold medals, and samples of the country�s renowned vintages are widely available.

Major credit cards are accepted unless noted. Expect to pay within these general guidelines, based on the cost of a dinner for one, not including drinks, tax or tip: $ = less than A$20; $$ = A$20-$45; $$$ = A$45-$75; and $$$$ = more than A$75.

Note: Whether you�re ordering beer or brut, chardonnay or a cordial, Sydney�s libations are higher in alcoholic content than you may be accustomed to. When a restaurant is classified as a BYO, it means �bring your own� alcohol, which can be found at bottle shops (liquor stores), often located next to pubs and hotels. A corkage fee of A$2 is usually charged. Licensed establishments serve their own alcohol.


Catalina�Beloved by blonde society types who don sunglasses indoors, this glass-walled, harborside restaurant is popular for its see-and-be-seen quality. Despite the water�s proximity, modern Australian cuisine dominates the menu rather than seafood. Dishes such as crackling pork salad with fig relish and snapper fillet on potato and garlic puree are available on an all-day, order-by-portion menu. Daily noon-midnight. $$$. Most major credit cards. Lyne Park, Rose Bay (Bus 323, 324 or 325 from Circular Quay), phone 9371-0555.

Edna�s Table II�A leading exponent of �bush tucker� (indigenous Australian food) turned into fine dining. From the bright ocher walls to high-backed boomerang-embedded chairs, the bush theme is sustained. Try a crocodile and vegetable nori parcel. If you�re willing to give kangaroo a go, this is the place to do it�one version is served over hash-brown potatoes with a beetroot and llawarra plum vinaigrette. Afterward, you may wonder what you ever saw in beefsteak. Lunch Monday-Friday noon-3 pm, dinner Tuesday-Saturday 5:45-10 pm. $$$. Lobby Level, MLC Centre, Martin Place, phone 9231-1400.

Rockpool�There�s no harbor view, but restaurant critics clamor for Rockpool assignments and dishes like Chinese roast pigeon with shiitake mushroom lasagne and stir-fried squid with black ink noodles. You�ll also encounter slick, intelligent service; discreet colors and lighting; and wide enough spacing between the tables at this very expensive restaurant. Lunch Monday-Friday noon-2:30 pm, dinner Monday-Saturday 6-11 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. 107 George St., The Rocks (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9252-1888.


Summit�This revolving restaurant has been recently overhauled and now looks like a set from The Jetsons with its space-age decor. Summit offers magnificent, changing views of Sydney. It has retained some rather tired classics such as king prawn cocktail and duckling a l�orange in addition to some current dishes, but the best fare�such as cracked blue swimmer crab salad�can be found at the Sea Bar. Daily lunch noon-2:30 pm, dinner 6-10:30 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. Level 47, Australia Square, George Street (Wynard Station), phone 9247-9777.

MG Garage�Formerly an MG dealership, now this site is one of Sydney�s best French-influenced restaurants with a couple of beribboned shiny MGs parked beside the white-linen draped tables. A long dashboard serves as the bar, and padded leather seats continue the auto analogy. Lunch Monday-Friday noon-2:30 pm, dinner Monday-Saturday 6:30-10:30 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. 490 Crown St., Surry Hills (Bus 301 and 304 from Circular Quay), phone 9383-9383.

Fu Manchu�A popular noodle bar that offers very good takeout, Fu Manchu is a favorite with inner-city types who aren�t ready to go straight home after work. Instead they grab a beer from the Green Park Hotel across the street and slide onto the communal steel benches for cheap, nutritious meals as they listen to (or join in) nearly always entertaining conversations. $. Most major credit cards. Daily lunch noon-3 pm, dinner 5:30-10:30 pm. 249 Victoria St., Darlinghurst (Bus 389 from Circular Quay), phone 9360-9424.

Chinta Ria: The Temple of Love�One of the new Cockle Bay restaurants across from Darling Harbour. Chinta Ria offers reasonably priced Malaysian dining inside around the Buddhist statues and fish ponds and outside under the thatched umbrellas�particularly nice on a mild night. While none of the dishes is especially innovative, they definitely are tasty, and the atmosphere, very pleasant staff and sparkling city lights make this something to happily queue for. No reservations. $$. Most major credit cards. Daily lunch noon-2:45 pm, dinner 6-11 pm. The Roof Terrace, Cockle Bar Wharf, Darling Harbour (Town Hall Station; Monorail Darling Harbour stop), phone 9264-4755.


Darley Street Thai�Imagine a restaurant designed by�and frequented by�slick interior designers, and you�ll be close. Hot pink walls and minimalist table decor are the backdrop for stunning modern Thai dishes. Choose from either an eight-course set menu for A$70 or a la carte dishes from A$28. Menu changes weekly. Daily 6:30-10 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. 30 Bayswater Rd., Kings Cross (Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 3), phone 9358-6530.

Raw Bar�Willowy models and other health-conscious types sip miso soup and nibble pink sashimi at this Bondi establishment, looking around to ensure they�re being seen. No reservations are taken, so be prepared for a wait�it�s very popular. Bring your own wine. Daily noon-11 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. Corner of Warners and Wairona Avenues, Bondi Beach (Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 11), phone 9365-7200.

Tetsuya�s�The plain, glass-brick exterior is home to exquisite Japanese- and French-inspired six-course set meals, which are in such demand that reservations need to be made six weeks in advance. The restaurant seats only 60, and its minimalist interior of simple, white tablecloths, frosted-glass venetians and stainless steel architectural columns are designed to make you concentrate on your food. Bring your own wine. Lunch Tuesday-Saturday noon-2:30 pm, dinner Tuesday-Friday 7-9:30 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. 729 Darling St., Rozelle (Bus 432, 433 or 434 from Circular Quay), phone 9555-1017.


Il Trattoraro�Overlook the unprepossessing exterior. The food in this large, boisterous restaurant is true Italian, served by a charming staff. The antipasto is tomato bruchetta, whitebait, Spanish onion in balsamic, marinated broad beans and grilled field mushrooms. Much beloved by families and party groups. Diners singing along to Italian music is not uncommon. Bring your own wine. Monday-Saturday 6:30-10:30 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. 10 Elizabeth St., Paddington (Bus 378 from Central Railway Station, 380 from Circular Quay), phone 9331-2962.

Lucio�s�A typical Victorian two-story home, with a wrought-iron terrace, has been extended several times to house the very popular and well-regarded Lucio�s. Locals and VIPs such as the ex-Prime Minister Paul Keating are regulars in this warmly decorated, intimate place. Local artist and Lucio�s fan John Olsen redesigned the menu last year, which continues to include tagliolini all granseola, a favorite since 1983. Monday-Saturday lunch 12:30-3 pm, dinner 6:30-11 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. 47 Windsor St., Paddington (Bus 389 from Circular Quay), phone 9380-5996.

Mezzaluna�As you walk through its terra-cotta-walled entrance you know you�re about to experience something special. From the restaurant there�s a beautiful view of the buildings of Potts Point, as far as St. Mary�s Cathedral on the skyline. Menu items range from the traditional to the innovative, such as spaghetti alla marinara baked in a paper bag that is opened at the table. Try to get one of the few tables on the veranda for the best view. Lunch Tuesday-Friday and Sunday noon-3 pm, dinner Tuesday-Sunday 6-11 pm. $$$. Most major credit cards. 123 Victoria St., Potts Point (Kings Cross Station; Bus 311 from Circular Quay; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 11), phone 9357-1988.

bel mondo�One of the earlier incarnations of Sydney restaurateur Steve Manfredi (he now has about seven to his credit), bel mondo is still one of the best. Manfredi commands his talented staff like a film director, from a raised dais overlooking the diners. The young and the powerful try such dishes as the battered zucchini flowers stuffed with Gruyere (a nutty Swiss cheese) or the abalone and shiitake mushrooms over pasta. Lunch Monday-Friday noon-2:30 pm, dinner daily 6:30-10:30 pm. $$$$. Most major credit cards. The Argyle Department Store, 12-24 Argyle St., Level 3, The Rocks (Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9241-3700.


The Fez�Wonderful for a late weekend brunch, sitting on the Persian rug-covered cushions in the sun and watching the colorful scenesters pass by. Try the creamy, golden scrambled eggs on toasted pita, with spicy merguez sausages for breakfast or the Circassian chicken salad with rocket, orange and dates. Monday-Friday 7 am-10:30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-10:30 pm. $$. Most major credit cards. 247 Victoria St., Darlinghurst (Kings Cross Station; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 3), phone 9360-9581.


Parmalat and Bar Coluzzi�These two cafes are next door to each other in Darlinghurst, and patrons have to fight to sit on uncomfortable, milk-crate affairs outside, if they get to sit at all. Consummate people watching is the draw: Power-breakfasting stockbrokers, bored models waiting for auditions and the chronically underemployed all start their day on Victoria Street with the heart-starting coffee. Focaccia-bread sandwiches and salads available at both. If you can stand the heat, the Tropicana cafe is across the street, with more of the same. $. Bar Coluzzi (daily 5 am-7:30 pm), 322 Victoria St., Darlinghurst, phone 9380-5420. Parmalat (daily 6 am-7:30 pm), 320 Victoria St., Darlinghurst (Kings Cross Station; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 11), phone 9331-2914.

The Bondi Diggers Cafe�Locals and other beach bums love this casual cafe, with its windows open to the sea. Breakfast is served all day�perfect for that hangover remedy. Daily 7 am till dark. $. 232 Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach (Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 11), phone 9365-4958.

Dean�s Cafe�Unwind at the end of a big night at this relaxed, little bohemian cafe, in a large Victorian terrace home, on a tree-lined avenue off Bayswater Road. Menu favorites include mudcake, hot chocolate, Sambuca and coffee, and exceptionally good nachos. Try to get there before 10 pm to lounge on the plump cane sofas and listen to golden oldies and indie music on the jukebox next to the fireplace. Sunday-Thursday 7:30 pm-3 am, Friday and Saturday 7:30 pm-6 am. 5 Kellett St., Kings Cross (Kings Cross Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 8), phone 9368-0953.

MCA Fish Cafe�Run by the esteemed Rockpool Group, this cafe prides itself on getting line-caught seafood direct from the fishermen. Grab a sunny outside table for views of the Opera House, Circular Quay and the bustling harbor ferries as you scoff down such dishes as deep-fried ocean perch with yams and tzatziki. Daily noon-5 pm. $$$. Museum of Contemporary Art, 140 George St., The Rocks (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9241-4253.

Food Courts�If you�re in need of some fast lunchtime sustenance, look for the steady line of office workers clutching plastic takeout containers, filled with beef and black bean sauce, or paper bags with chicken and avocado focaccia sandwiches. Food courts are found on the bottom floors of Centrepoint Shopping Centre (corner of Castlereagh and Market Streets), the MLC Centre (Martin Place), the Wintergarden (O�Connell Street), Chifley Square and the Queen Victoria Building (George Street). All of them house Thai, Indian, Chinese and Italian eateries, sandwich shops, bakeries and salad and juice bars, many of which are surprisingly good. For a more exotic experience, head for the food court in Sussex Centre in Chinatown, where illuminated photos display dozens of Asian dishes. Point to what you want and enjoy heaps of steaming, fresh-cooked food at bargain prices. Off Hay Street in Chinatown.


Beach Road Restaurant�If there are two or more in your party, catch a seaplane from Rose Bay Wharf to Malibu-like Palm Beach for lunch or dinner. There you can enjoy such dishes as roasted duck or grilled Atlantic salmon with lotus leaf sticky rice. Bring your own wine. Lunch Tuesday-Sunday noon-2:30 pm in January, Friday-Sunday noon-2:30 pm February-December, dinner daily 7-10 pm. Dinner A$180 per person, including the cost of the seaplane; lunch approximately A$40 (not including the plane ride). $$$. 1 Beach Rd., Palm Beach (Bus L90 from Wynyard Station), phone 9974-1159.

Govinda�s�Run by the Hare Krishnas (although not dressed in their usual orange robes), this vegetarian restaurant offers a buffet of tasty soups, pastas and salads. Afterward, you can climb upstairs to recline on orange couches to watch current-release movies in the small cinema room (subject to numbers). Daily 6-11 pm. A$13.90 for a dinner and movie deal. Call ahead for the movie schedule, so you can get there on time to eat beforehand if you�re going to the early movie. $. 112 Darlinghurst Rd., Darlinghurst (Kings Cross Station; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 3), phone 9380-5155.

Harry�s Cafe de Wheels�This amusing pie cart, where starving nightclubbers go after a late night before going home, has been a Sydney institution since 1945. You could be sitting between a model in a slip dress and a biker in leather chowing down on meat pies or chili dogs. $. No credit cards. Monday-Thursday 7:30 am-3 am, Friday 7:30 am-5 am, Saturday 10 am-3 am. 1 Cowper Wharf Rd., Woolloomooloo (Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9357-3074.


Because Sydney is so compact, many of its sights are within easy walking distance of each other. Begin at the Opera House, walk around to Mrs. Macquarie�s Chair and then back through the Royal Botanic Gardens. Head back to the ferry wharf at Circular Quay (pronounced key) and stop in at the Museum of Contemporary Art, before strolling through the historic Rocks District. On another day, traverse Hyde Park to the Australian Museum and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Visit Centrepoint Tower in the heart of downtown Sydney for a spectacular view of the city. Or, catch the monorail to Darling Harbour and visit the Aquarium and the Powerhouse Museum. When you tire of the city center, a trip to the beachside neighborhoods of either Manly or Bondi will restore you with beautiful cliff walks.


Circular Quay. Captain Phillip sailed into Sydney Cove in January 1788 to establish the First Settlement, and since then this bustling port has been a transportation hub of Sydney. Along this scenic waterfront promenade you�ll encounter bizarre street entertainers and the Writers Walk, which memorializes the words of famous writers (from Mark Twain to Patrick White) commenting on Australia, in gold medallions embedded in the sidewalk. The restored eastern-end wool stores house some quality restaurants. Scenic cruises and ferries depart from the wharves for all parts of the harbor.

Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Coathanger, as it�s affectionately known, was completed in 1932, connecting the north and south shores. For an inexpensive view of the harbor, climb the 200 steps from the footway on Cumberland Street, The Rocks, to the top of the pylon lookout. There�s a display about its history and construction. Actor Paul Hogan, at one time, was one of the workmen. Daily 10 am-5 pm. A$2 adults and children, phone 9247-3408. Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 21. BridgeClimb is a new, three-hour experience where visitors climb the ladders, catwalks and arches to the absolute top of the bridge to enjoy a 360-degree view of Sydney Harbour. A special �Bridgesuit� worn over existing clothing and a complimentary photograph of the group are included. Tours depart daily every 10 minutes 7:45 am-5:15 pm. Reservations essential. A$98 adults, A$79 children ages 12-16. Phone 9252-0077.

Sydney Opera House. Built from 1957 to 1973 from a design by Danish architect Joern Utzon, this is one of the architectural wonders of the world, with vaulted roof shells rising like billowing sails against the harbor backdrop. It houses a world-class cultural center, including a concert hall and theaters for opera, ballet, drama and dance. Daily hourlong tours, every 30 minutes from 9 am-4 pm. A$10 adults, A$6 children. Free concerts most Sunday afternoons on the outer walk. Dine at the superluxe Bennelong Restaurant before a show. Bennelong Point, Circular Quay, phone 9250-7178.

State Library of New South Wales. The library archives historic Australian books, photographs and manuscripts, some of which are on display. On the second floor of the new wing are changing exhibitions, usually drawn from the collection, concerning fascinating aspects of Australian history and culture. Stop by the historic Mitchell Wing with its stained-glass windows and mosaic and terrazzo vestibule with a map of Australia. Also, the library�s bookstore has an excellent selection of Australian titles and other gift items. Highly recommended. Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm. Free admission. Macquarie Street (Martin Place Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 4), phone 9272-1414.

Centrepoint Tower. Rising from Centrepoint Shopping Complex and bounded by Pitt, Market and Castlereagh Streets, this is Australia�s tallest structure. It soars 1,000 ft/305 m. The observation level provides fascinating views of Sydney and beyond, with high-powered binoculars. Facilities include a cafe and information services. A$10 adults, A$4.50 children ages 5-16. Sunday-Friday 9 am-11 pm, Saturday 9 am-midnight. (Town Hall Station; Monorail City Central stop), phone 9229-7444.

The Rocks. The site of Australia�s first permanent European settlement. With unique historic buildings and a wealth of heritage, it has become a leading retail precinct for quality gifts and souvenirs and the very best of the nation�s crafts. It�s also renowned for its quaint pubs and great restaurants. Located at Sydney Cove, with the main shopping area on George Street (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22).

Cadman�s Cottage. Built in 1816 off George Street, the cottage is Sydney�s oldest surviving residential building. It houses the Sydney Harbour National Park Information Centre. Daily 9 am-5 pm. Free admission. 110 George St. (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9247-5033.

Ft. Denison. This was once an open-air prison for incorrigible convicts. It now offers spectacular city views from its island in the middle of Sydney Harbour. The prison was formerly known as Pinchgut because the prisoners were fed so poorly. Ongoing renovations limit tours to Saturday and Sunday, leaving from Cadman�s Cottage, 110 George St., The Rocks, at noon and 2 pm. A$12 adults, A$8 children. For reservations (essential), call the Sydney Harbour National Park office, phone 9247-5033.

Hyde Park Barracks. This 1819 landmark is a museum. The elegant Georgian building, designed as convict accommodations (albeit hammocks for bedding), depicts the daily life of convicts through exhibitions, an innovative soundscape and a rich archaeological collection. Daily 10 am-5 pm. A$5 adults, A$3 children. Queen�s Square, Macquarie Street (St. James or Martin Place Stations; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 4), phone 9223-8922.

Foundation Park. Behind the Argyle department store in The Rocks is a small, fanciful little area where foundations of eight dwellings built between 1874 and 1878 were discovered. Using the mostly eroded sandstone blocks as guides to the room sizes, landscape sculptor Peter Cole has created oversized, steel furniture including chairs, a dining table, a chest of drawers with rusted comb and a daybed to evoke a sense of days gone by. Free. Between Cumberland and Playfair Streets, The Rocks (Circular Quay Station).


The Australian Museum. Changing exhibits trace the rich culture and environment of Australia from thousands of years ago to the present. Permanent exhibits include Aboriginal Australia, mammals, birds, insects, fossils, dinosaurs and more. Daily 9:30 am-5 pm. A$5 adults, A$2 children. 6 College St. (opposite Hyde Park; Museum or Town Hall Stations; Sydney Explorer Bus stop No. 15), phone 9320-6000.

Art Gallery of New South Wales. Under the airy, barrel-vaulted glass ceiling are some of the finest works of art in Australia, including a special presentation of Aboriginal art. Australian works by such 19th-century painters as Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton. Also European, Asian and contemporary art, photography and changing exhibitions such as a Picasso retrospective and a collection of French opera posters. Daily 10 am-5 pm. Admission is free except for special exhibitions. Art Gallery Road, The Domain (St. James Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 6), phone 9225-1744.

Powerhouse Museum. This museum was created within the shell of a huge derelict power station adjacent to Darling Harbour. More than 25 exhibits depict human achievement, science and technology, decorative arts and everyday lives of Australians. NASA space station, 1930s cinema, gas-filled plasma ball, fashion through the centuries, computers and interactive exhibitions. Daily 10 am-5 pm. General admission A$8 adults, A$2 children; full entry to all nonpermanent exhibitions A$14 adults, A$7 children. The first Saturday of the month is free. 500 Harris St., Ultimo (Monorail Haymarket stop; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 17), phone 9217-0111.

Museum of Contemporary Art. Housed in the former Maritime Services Board building, the MCA is an art decoesque structure dating from 1949. Noted for its cutting-edge art, the museum often runs Aboriginal exhibitions as well as touring exhibitions. Recent shows have included a comprehensive Andy Warhol exhibition showing the artist�s press photograph collection of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor pictures, whimsical ink illustrations and photographs from his Studio 54 days. Book and gift shop on the first floor. Daily 10 am-6 pm. A$15 adults and A$10 children. 140 George St., Circular Quay (Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9241-5876.

Museum of Sydney is built on the site of the first Government House (1788). At its entrance, you walk over the building�s stone �floor plans.� Inside, you�ll see archaeological artifacts from convicts, settlers and merchants, displayed underneath glass floor inserts and in specially designed aluminum drawers, which halogen-light the fascinating objects within. The Focus Gallery exhibits sepia photographs, ink illustrations and possessions ranging from furniture to wedding invitations. The Places of Memory room allows you to unwind in an armchair in a room plastered with old magazine clippings as you watch continuous home movies of Sydney, taken over the last 60 years. Great gift shop. Daily 10 am-5 pm. A$6 adults, A$3 children, A$15 family pass (two adults and two children or one adult plus three children). At the corner of Bridge and Phillip Streets (Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 3), phone 9251-4611.

Australian National Maritime Museum. Designed to look somewhat shiplike, interactive and display exhibits depict whaling, exploration, shipwrecks, merchant ships, cruise liners and naval warfare. There�s a special American naval history section, and sea-themed movies play daily. Next to the harbor is the HMAS Vampire, an old gunship which is as stuffily claustrophobic as you�d imagine from those war movies. Daily 9:30 am-5 pm. The Big Ticket includes entry to the museum, current exhibits, the HMAS Vampire and the Russian submarine: A$9 adults, A$4.50 children ages 5-15, A$19.50 families. Darling Harbour (Monorail Harbourside stop; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 18), phone 9552-7777.

Justice and Police Museum. A courthouse and a station for Sydney�s busy water police dating from the 1850s, the museum features a Magistrates Court, police charge room, remand cell and a mug�s gallery of early criminals as well as gory exhibits of forensic evidence from past notorious crimes. Saturday and Sunday 10 am-5 pm. A$6 adults, A$3 children, A$15 families. Corner of Albert and Phillip Streets (Circular Quay Station), phone 9252-1144.

Sydney Jewish Museum. The story of Jewish Australians from the First Fleet to today. Some volunteer guides are survivors of the Holocaust. Monday-Thursday 10 am-4 pm, Friday 10 am-2 pm and Sunday 11 am-5 pm. Closed Saturday and Jewish holidays. A$6 adults, A$3 children. 148 Darlinghurst Rd., Darlinghurst (Kings Cross Station; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 3), phone 9360-7999.


Royal Botanic Gardens. Popular with lunching city workers, Japanese bridal parties and schoolchildren on field trips, this lushly planted 75-acre/30-hectare botanical masterpiece is right next to Sydney Harbour. Tons of �zoo poo� are brought across the bay from Taronga Zoo to fertilize the otherwise sandy soil. The Sydney Tropical Centre showcases Venus-flytraps and other tropical plants within the arc and pyramid glasshouses (A$2 admission). Don�t miss the Herb Garden, with its aromatic plantings. At the tip of the park is Mrs. Macquarie�s Chair. Every January the gardens hosts the Philips Open-Air Cinema, when the screen rises out of the harbor and the Opera House and Harbour Bridge serve as world-class backdrops. Excellent guided walks daily at 10:30 am (free). Gardens open daily 7 am-sunset. Mrs. Macquarie�s Road, The Domain (Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 3).

Hyde Park. Sydney�s first racetrack (hence the oval shape) is now the city center�s only real green space, with its huge, overarching fig trees. Its less popular southern end has the Anzac War Memorial with exhibits from the Boer to Vietnam Wars. The northern end attracts many city workers for lunch, and September-November, food and wine fairs are held there. The classical Archibald Fountain, built in 1932, is a favored subject of tourist-photographers. Walk around the park perimeter, not through it, after dark. Elizabeth Street (St. James Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 15).

Centennial Park. This 550-acre/220-hectare park was opened in 1888 to commemorate the arrival of the First Fleet. Today it is popular with novice Rollerbladers, picnickers, cyclists, young mums and the body conscious. The leafy main road encircling the park�s interior is traversed by narrower roads taking visitors to sporting fields, ornamental lakes, the Victorian formal garden, equestrian facilities, picnic areas and the special bicycle track for young children learning how to ride. From late November to mid February, hundreds of the well-heeled locals bring along blankets, wine, bread sticks and pate to watch classic and art-house movies in an old amphitheater within the park. Open daily March-April 6 am-6 pm, May-August 6:30 am-5:30 pm, September-October 6 am-6 pm, November-February 6 am-8 pm. Free. Oxford Street, Paddington (Bus 380 from Circular Quay, Bus 378 from Central Railway Station; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 14), phone 9331-5056.

Botany Bay National Park. This barren and windswept park, on the southern shore of Botany Bay at Kurnell, is protected for its historic significance. In 1770 and 1788 the First Fleet landed there, and French explorer La Perouse anchored there six days after the Fleet�s second arrival. Tourist attractions include the La Perouse Museum (Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-4 pm, A$7 adults, A$5 children, phone 9311-2765), which displays relics of the French explorer�s expedition, and the bunkerlike Bare Island Fort. Kids can enjoy roaming over cannons and other military paraphernalia on the fort�s guided tours, which occur only on weekends at 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, and 3:30 pm (A$5 adults, A$3 children). If it�s summer, bring your bathing suit�many locals snorkel and fish in the crystal-clear water off the cliffs. Bus 390, 394 or 398 from Circular Quay.

The Chinese Garden. If you�d like a rest from the in-your-face merchandising and theme parkism of Darling Harbour, rest in the pavilions and pathways of the Chinese Garden, where orange carp have free range in the rock pools, waterfalls tinkle and paths meander around intimate pagodas. If you can get a balcony table at the two-story Tea House you can look down at the peaceful greenery as you sip Chinese tea. Daily 9:30 am-5:30 pm. A$3 adults, A$1.50 children. Darling Harbour (Monorail Haymarket stop; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 17), phone 9281-6863.

Taronga Park Zoo. Sydneysiders joke how the giraffes have no appreciation for the multi-million-dollar views they have over Sydney Harbour. With 75 acres/30 hectares of harborside bushland, this is regarded as one of the world�s great zoos. It has Australia�s largest collection of exotic animals, in addition to native koalas, kangaroos, dingoes, wombats, Tasmanian devils and platypuses in natural environments. In the Reptile House only a sheet of glass separates you from some of the world�s scariest monsters. Open daily 9 am-5 pm, with extended hours for NightZoo in January. A$18 adults, A$8.50 children, A$41.50 families. Can be reached via ferry from Circular Quay Wharf 2, where a Ferry Zoo Pass includes return ferry trips and zoo admission, A$41.50 for families, A$21 adults, A$10.50 children, and includes unlimited rides on the zoo�s scenic gondola. By car, the zoo is located on Bradley�s Head Road off Military Road, Mosman, phone 9969-2777.

Koala Park. If you or your kids have your hearts set on cuddling Australia�s grumpiest and least active marsupial, head to Koala Park. There, you can hold koalas, feed emu and kangaroo and enjoy the sanctuary. Animals roam freely. Daily 9 am-5 pm. A$10 adults, A$5 children. Unless you have a car, take the Sydney Day Tours coach, which picks you up at the Parramatta train station for a half-day tour of Koala Park at 8:40 am (returning 12:30 pm) or 1:45 pm (returning 5 pm). Morning tour (which includes a ride on the Rivercat Ferry) A$49 adults, A$27 children; afternoon tour A$46 adults, A$24 children; phone 9251-6101. Castle Hill Road in West Pennant Hills, phone 9484-3141.


Oceanworld Manly. On a moving walkway inside a 365-ft/110-m tunnel, you come face to face with sharks, giant stingrays, turtles and hundreds of marine creatures. Touch pools, shark shallows, tour guides, shark feeding and the popular fur seals make this a highly interactive aquarium. Experienced divers can dive with sharks for A$65 plus A$35 for equipment rental; others can swim with the seals�wetsuit, mask and snorkel for a total of A$55. Advance reservations are required for both. Daily 10 am-5:30 pm. A$14.50 adults, A$7.50 children ages 3-14, free for children under age 3, A$39 families. West Esplanade, Manly (JetCat or ferry from Circular Quay), phone 9949-2644.

The Sydney Aquarium. Boasts the world�s largest collection of Australian aquatic life. Confront dangerous crocodiles, explore Australia�s largest river system, wander through a mangrove swamp, admire the color of the Great Barrier Reef and walk on water while seals swim beneath. A highlight is the huge collection of sharks in the Open Ocean exhibit. Fairy penguins and platypuses are the newest animals on show. Daily 9:30 am-10 pm. A$15.90 adults, A$8 children. Darling Harbour (Monorail Darling Park stop; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 20), phone 9262-2300.

Sydney Observatory. Built in 1858 as a center for timekeeping and astronomical study. Now a museum of astronomy offering a regular program of exhibitions, films and talks. Night viewings allow visitors to explore the heavens through modern and historic telescopes. Located atop Observatory Hill in The Rocks near the southern end of the Harbour Bridge. 10 am-5 pm daily. Free. Narrated astronomy shows in the evenings cost A$8 adults, A$3 children. Daily shows, in the summer 8:15-10:15 pm, other seasons 6:15-8:15 pm as well. Observatory Hill, The Rocks (Circular Quay Station), phone 9217-0485.


Australia�s Wonderland. Seven fantasy lands and approximately 80 rides, shows and attractions are featured at this 500-acre/200-hectare theme park. Transylvania�s scariest ride is the Space Probe 7, a 23-story free fall, that plummets passengers toward the ground at more than 75 mi/120 km per hour. Goldrush has an intentionally rickety, wooden, Bush Beast rollercoaster and the whitewater-rapids Snowy River Rampage ride. The Beach is a nice manmade sandy beach, with water slides nearby. The Outback Woolshed �land� offers whip cracking, sheep shearing and Babe-style sheepdog demonstrations, complete with an Australian barbecue lunch at the attached restaurant. Daily 10 am-5 pm, with later hours on occasional Saturday nights in the summer. A$37 adults, A$26 children ages 4-12, A$115 families. Walgrove Road, Eastern Creek (Rooty Hill Station, then Busways to Wonderland), phone 9830-9100.

SegaWorld. Kids swarm everywhere to try out the interactive underwater trek and outerspace war games, the 360-degree cinema experience, the rows and rows of arcade games, the indoor rollercoaster, and to smash their Mad Bazooka dodgem cars and eat junk food. Monday-Friday 11 am-10 pm, weekends and public holidays 10 am-10 pm. Unlimited Ride Passes cost A$25 adults, A$20 children. 25 Harbour St., Darling Harbour (Monorail Darling Park stop; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 20), phone 9273-9273.

Madame Tussaud�s. The world-famous wax museum has opened in Sydney to exhibit amazingly lifelike sculptures of such well-known celebrities as the late Princess Diana, Arnold Schwarzenegger and supermodel Elle McPherson, an Aussie native. Sunday-Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday and public holidays 10 am-7 pm. A$17 adults, A$13 children. Located in the Old Sydney Harbour Casino building, Pyrmont (Bus 443 or 888 from Circular Quay or QVB, York Street; Monorail Convention stop). Phone 1900-937-213.


Quarantine Station. Intrepid visitors can do the ghost tour at the Quarantine Station where convicts, immigrants and settlers were isolated (and regularly mistreated) for infectious diseases; the last to be sent there were the Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s. Wednesday, Friday-Sunday 7:30 pm. A$17 Wednesday, A$20 Friday-Sunday. Not recommended for children under age 12. Reservations essential. Quarantine Station, North Head (Bus 135 from Manly Wharf), phone 9977-6522.

Elizabeth Bay House. This magnificent residence, built in 1835, was once known as the finest house in the colony. It�s elegantly furnished in the style of the period and commands spectacular views. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-4:30 pm. A$6 adults, A$3 children. 7 Onslow Ave., Elizabeth Bay (Bus 311 from Circular Quay; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 10), phone 9356-3022.

Vaucluse House. This is the stately 1803 harborside mansion of ex-convict Charles Wentworth, who, among other triumphs, crossed the as-yet uncharted Blue Mountains and founded Sydney University and The Australian newspaper. Decorated mainly in early Victorian style, the mansion grew unevenly, depending on Wentworth�s changing fortunes. Visit in the morning when the sunlight streams in through the home, then stop at the tearoom for scones and tea. Tuesday-Sunday 10 am-4:30 pm. A$6 adults, A$3 children. Wentworth Road, Vaucluse (Bus 325 from the city; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 8), phone 9388-7922.


Olympic Site Homebush Bay. The 401 Bus for the Olympic site leaves from Strathfield Station every half hour 8 am-10 pm, costing A$1.80 adults and A$0.90 children. It will take you to the Homebush Bay Information Centre for guided tours around the site departing 11 am and noon. A$10 adults and A$5 children. The Aquatic Centre at the Olympic site is already open and has been hailed by the International Olympic Committee as the finest yet built. Spectators are admitted for A$2, and if you want to swim, dive, play water polo or use other facilities, it costs A$3.50. Phone 9735-4800.

Rocks Ticket. Spread your sightseeing over a few days with this ticket. It includes lunch at Pancakes On The Rocks, free entry to the Museum of Contemporary Art, a walking tour of The Rocks (Monday-Friday 10:30 am, 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 11:30 am and 2 pm), and a choice of harbor cruises leaving daily at 9:30 am, 11 am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 4 pm and 5:30 pm. A$46 adults, A$28 children under age 13. The Sydney Visitor Centre, 106 George St., The Rocks (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9252-1788.

Darling Harbour SuperTicket. Valid for one month from date of purchase, you can see Sydney Harbour via a Matilda Rocket Harbour Express Cruise, enjoy a ride on the monorail, receive admission to the Chinese Gardens and the Sydney Aquarium, dine at the Shark Bite Cafe and receive a discount admission to the Olympic Showcase and Information Centre with its interactive displays of Olympics past and present and a 15% discount on the Olympic site coach tour. A$29.90 adults, A$19.50 children. Tickets available from Darling Harbour Information Booths, the Sydney Aquarium, Matilda Cruises and all monorail stations. For information, call 9262-2300.

Sydney Ferries. These are the best-value cruises in town, especially if they�re included in your SydneyPass. Morning Harbour Cruise daily 10 and 11:15 am (A$12 adults, A$8 children), afternoon harbor cruise Monday-Friday 1 pm, Saturday and Sunday 1:30 pm (A$17.50 adults, A$12 children) and Evening Harbor Lights cruise nightly except Sunday at 8 pm (A$15 adults, A$10 children). Ferry Information Office opposite Wharf 4 at Circular Quay, phone 913-1500 or 9207-3170.

Captain Cook Cruises. Choose from a number of cruises (some including lunch or dinner) with more than 20 departure times to tour variously around The Rocks, Opera House, Watson�s Bay, Taronga Zoo, Darling Harbour and Middle Head. Prices range A$18-$89. Departs from Wharf 6 in Circular Quay, phone 9206-1111.


Several walking tour booklets may prove useful in your treks around Sydney. The Woollahra Municipal Council distributes free guides for walks around Paddington and the eastern suburbs. Monday-Friday 8 am-4:30 pm. 536 New South Head Rd., Double Bay, phone 9391-7000. At the Sydney Visitors Centre, you can pick up a walking guide to The Rocks (A$1) or a free map of Centennial Park, with recommended walking (and biking) trails. Daily 9 am-6 pm. 106 George St., phone 9255-1788.

The Manly Scenic Walk is particularly rewarding. Pack some sandwiches and water, and strike out along the cliffs, through the Sydney Harbour National Park, for beautiful views of the headlands. If you go the entire length of the trail, you can catch a bus back to town on the far side of the Spit Bridge. Pick up a trail guide at the Manly tourist information booth on South Steyne Street (down The Corso from where the ferry docks). Bondi Beach has a shorter and more urban cliff walk, which hugs the coast between Bondi and Bronte Beach.


The city�s large retail centers will have virtually anything you could need. On and off George Street, between Town Hall and Martin Place, there�s a concentration of shopping arcades, including the Queen Victoria Building, the Pitt Street Mall, the Strand Arcade, Sydney Central and MLC Centre, each crammed with individual stores. While much of the clothing and cosmetics sold in Sydney can be found the world over, there are other, more unusual items that can be purchased as a memento of your stay. Depending on your taste and budget, you may be tempted by Aboriginal art; black opals; marble-sized pearls; sturdy, leather riding boots; or sheepskin coats.

For a more intimate shopping experience, you might enjoy browsing slightly farther afield: the Woollahra area for antiques, Paddington for art and trendy clothing, Double Bay for expensive designer wear, and the markets for bargain-priced costume jewelry, clothing and handmade crafts.


Experts in the Museums and Collections department of the National Trust can help you define the periods (e.g., early settlement, federation) of antiques and whether they are from Australia or were transported there. Call 9258-0123.

Queen Street, Woollahra. Between Oxford and Moncur Streets, Queen Street has more than 15 antique shops to browse through, ranging from 19th-century Egyptian antiques at BC Galleries to antique Japanese furniture at Tansu-Ya. (Bus 380 from Elizabeth Street, 378 from Central Railway Station.) Most antique shops are open Monday-Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday 10 am-4 pm.

Anne Schofield Antiques. Specializing in jewelry. Tuesday-Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday 10 am-2 pm. 36 Queen St., Woollahra (Bus 389 from Circular Quay), phone 9363-1326.


Wagner Art Gallery. This gallery features such Australian artistic heavyweights as Arthur Boyd, Charles Blackman, Pro Hart and Sidney Nolan. Monday-Saturday 10:30 am-6 pm. 39 Gurner St., Paddington (Bus 389 from Circular Quay), phone 9360-6069.

Gavala Aboriginal Art and Cultural Education Centre. This art center is wholly owned and operated by Aboriginals, with the profits going directly back to Aboriginal artisans. An impressive gallery of canvas paintings that can be rolled into a tube to take home. Also boomerangs, didgeridoos, ceremonial artifacts, clothing and jewelry. Daily 30-minute demonstrations and performances. Admission A$5. Daily 10 am-9 pm. Shop 321 Harbourside, Darling Harbour (Bus 888 or 443 from Circular Quay; Monorail Harbourside stop), phone 9212-7232.

Hogarth Gallery and Aboriginal Centre. This is Australia�s longest established gallery for Aboriginal art, representing leading artists and art-producing communities. Tuesday-Saturday 11 am-5 pm. 7 Walker St., Paddington (Bus 389 from Circular Quay), phone 9360-6839.

Byron Mapp Gallery. Specializes in black and white photography by such popular artists as Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton. Pore over the coffee-table photography books in the bookshop with a cappuccino. Monday-Saturday 10 am-5:30 pm, Saturday noon-4 pm. 178 Oxford St., Paddington (Bus 378 from Central Railway Station, Bus 380 from Circular Quay), phone 9331-2926.

Australian Centre for Photography. This gallery exhibits contemporary Australian and international photography and photo-based art and installations. There�s also a bookshop and cafe. Tuesday 11 am-6 pm. 257 Oxford St., Paddington (Bus 378 from Central Railway Station, Bus 380 from Circular Quay), phone 9332-1455.

Access Contemporary Art Gallery. Located in a refurbished warehouse, the gallery concentrates on sculpture and other media that make use of its soaring ceilings. The gallery mostly exhibits works by artists yet to become well known. Tuesday-Saturday 10 am-6 pm, Sunday noon-4 pm. 38 Boronia St., Redfern (Central Railway Station; Bus 309 or Bus 310 from Circular Quay), phone 9318-1122.


David Jones. Its reputation as �the most beautiful store in the world� might apply to its Elizabeth Street floor where scarves, flowers, cosmetics and perfumes are beautifully lit and offset by multimirrored columns. But the store gets darker and its ceilings progressively lower, until you reach haute-couture land on the seventh floor. Monday-Wednesday, Friday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm, Elizabeth and Market Streets (St. James Station), phone 9266-5544.

Grace Bros. After two years of renovations, Grace Bros. looks smarter and far more inviting than its longtime rival David Jones. On its blonde-wood third floor is the Aveda Concept Spa, where men and woman can get an A$12 lip wax or an A$225 �Feel-Good Package.� The store also provides all the basic goods customers expect from a department store. Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. 450 George St. (Town Hall Station; Monorail City Centre stop), phone 9261-2266.

Next to Grace Bros. is the new Sydney Central shopping center which houses such fashion chain stores as Nine West, Columbia Sportswear and Esprit. Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. 450 George St. (Town Hall Station; Monorail City Centre stop), phone 9261-2266.

Gowings. The main store in town is a big barn of a building, which exudes masculinity. It�s great for men�s gadgets, suits, hardware and clothing. Notice the wall of socks�the same style is sold in at least 50 different colors. However, Levi�s jeans and Hanes T-shirts are cheaper in the U.S. than there (even with the favorable exchange rate). Cheap haircuts (A$7) are available from the in-house barber. Only the main branch of the store is worth seeking out. Corner George and Market Streets (Town Hall Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 14), phone 9264-6321.

The Argyle Stores. Once a wool exchange, the three-story sandstone and wooden complex has been converted into a trendy shopping center. Choose from resin jewelry and tableware at Dinosaur Design, unusual steel gifts from Aero, raffia hats and bags from Helen Kaminski, surf-inspired streetwear for your teenage son at Surf Dive �n� Ski or something sleek for your home from Country Road Homeware. Monday-Friday 10 am-8 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am-6 pm. 12-14 Argyle St., The Rocks (Circular Quay Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 22), phone 9251-4800.


Dymocks. Sort of a department store for books. You�ll find knowledgeable, helpful staff to direct you through the three floors devoted to over 250,000 titles. The Dymocks next door has art supplies, stationery and computer software. Monday-Wednesday, Friday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 10 am-5 pm. 424 George St. (Town Hall Station), phone 9235-0155. Also at Darling Harbour, Level 1, Harbourside Festival Marketplace, phone 9281-3933; and a specialty professional and technical bookshop at 350 George St., phone 9223-5974. For phone order service on Booktel, phone 9235-0155.

Travel Bookshop. The friendly staff will direct globetrotters to guidebooks, travel literature, phrase books and maps. Mail-order service to anywhere in the world. Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm and sometimes Sunday noon-5 pm (call beforehand). Shop 3, 175 Liverpool St. (Museum Station; Monorail World Square stop), phone 9261-8200.

The Library Shop. The bookstore attached to the State Library of New South Wales might have Sydney�s biggest collection of Australiana novels, guidebooks and coffee-table books. Monday-Friday 9 am-5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm. Macquarie Street (Martin Place Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 4), phone 9273-1611.


The ABC Shop. This store carries books, CDs, videos, T-shirts, toys and assorted merchandise related to the Australian Broadcasting Commission�s television and radio shows. Opera buffs, British TV comedy fans, indie music followers and parents with young children are sure to find something to suit their tastes. Monday-Wednesday, Friday 9 am-5:30 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. 48 Albert Walk, Queen Victoria Building, George Street (Town Hall Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 14), phone 9333-1635.

Surf Dive �n� Ski. Sydney�s biggest chain store for surfing, diving and waterskiing gear sells the latest and hottest boards, clothing and accessories. One center city branch is at 462 George St. (Town Hall Station), phone 9267-3408 (Monday-Wednesday, Friday 8:30 am-6 pm, Thursday 8:30 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Sunday 10 am-5 pm). Call this store for information about the other locations.

Paspaley Pearls. This highly regarded company harvests its own South Sea pearls off Broome on the West Australian coast and designs them into stunning jewelry, ranging from a simple pair of A$300 stud earrings to a strand of marble-sized pearls worth A$660,000. In-house jeweler for alterations and custom design. Monday-Friday 10:30 am-5:30 pm, Saturday 10:30 am-3:30 pm. 142 King St. (Martin Place Station), phone 9232-7633.

Gemtec. Take home a rare black opal (the glittering red, green and blue kind) as a souvenir of Australia. Gemtec, an opal-mining, cutting and jewelry company, sells a mind-boggling array of opals, from A$7 key rings to A$1 million black opal rings. Monday-Friday 9 am-5:30 pm. Saturday and public holidays 9 am-4 pm. 51 Pitt St. (Circular Quay Station), phone 9251-1599.


The Queen Victoria Building was designed in 1863 and was restored to elegance, with its stained-glass windows, wrought-iron balconies, elaborately tiled floors and a majestic Grand Centre Dome. It encompasses many fashion boutiques, antique shops and duty-free stores. Good-quality Australiana souvenirs are located on the top floor. Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. 455 George St. (Town Hall Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 14), phone 9264-9209.

The Strand Arcade is a narrow, historic, three-story arcade running between Pitt Street Mall and George Street. Built in 1892, it still retains a Victorian feel. The upper levels have beautiful iron lacework and stained glass. Inside are specialty antique, clothing, shoe and jewelry shops, the most interesting of which are upstairs. Monday-Wednesday, Friday 9 am-5:30 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-5 pm, Sunday 11 am-4 pm. 412 George St. (Martin Place or Town Hall Station; Monorail World Square stop), phone 9232-4199.

Chifley Plaza. Perhaps built intentionally to keep out the proletariat, the imposing semicircular entrance seems to welcome only those with the power to spend at MaxMara, Kenzo, Bottega Veneta, and its jewel in the crown, Tiffany�s. You might venture inside anyway to check out what real Australian cowboys wear in the R. M. Williams clothing store or to pick up an unusual piece of art from the designers at Makers Mark. Monday-Friday 10 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm. Corner Elizabeth and Hunter Streets (Martin Place Station), phone 9221-4500.

Sky Garden. Feed your addiction with six shopping levels. Sky Garden has been quite diligent in selecting unusual shops and better quality chain stores. It�s packed with expensive boutiques like Ergo (full of Alessi and other city-style paraphernalia), M. Poirot (dedicated to art-deco furniture and objets d�art) and Woodstock (decorative rubber stamps for stencils and pattern-making). Complimentary shoe shines every Friday 11 am-2 pm. Monday-Friday 9 am-6 pm, Saturday 10 am-5 pm, Sunday 11 am-5 pm. 77 Castlereagh St. (Martin Place Station; Monorail City Central stop), phone 9231-1811.


The following markets operate year round:

Paddington Bazaar. Possibly the only market where punks, hippies, goths, yuppies and Brahmins can be seen shopping happily together for clothes, jewelry and other wares. The bazaar, equally fun for browsing and people watching, has launched such Australian designers as Jenny Kee, and Morrissey and Edmiston. Have a cheap hot meal courtesy of the orange-swathed Hare Krishnas in the church hall or a shiatsu massage from one of the Asian masters. Afterward, head for the Light Brigade Hotel or Paddington Inn (just opposite the bazaar) for a cool beer. Saturday 10 am-4 pm (till 5 pm in the summer), but best to go earlier in the day. Eastside Parish Uniting Church, extending through to the adjoining Paddington Public School grounds in Oxford Street, Paddington (Bus 380 from Central Railway Station), phone 9331-2646.

Paddy�s Market. This is where locals go to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, plants, flowers, bargain-priced manchester, clothing, jewelry, Reeboks, posters, CDs and nonpedigree puppies and kittens from approximately 1,000 stalls. It has a noisy, boisterous, down-to-earth feel you may enjoy after the air-conditioned sameness of the city�s shopping centers. Friday, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-4:30 pm. Hay and Thomas Streets, Haymarket (Monorail Haymarket stop; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 17), phone 1300-361-589.

The Rocks Market. Located at the Harbour Bridge end of George Street, the market�s tan plastic sail canopies protect such goods as faux-fur soft furnishings, hand-painted glassware, watercolors of Sydney scenes, antique photographs of Sydney, New Age essential oils and hand-turned wooden bowls. Saturday and Sunday 10 am-4:30 pm. George Street, The Rocks (Circular Quay Station), phone 9255-1717.

Balmain Market. More manageable than the Paddington Bazaar, the Balmain Market is home to a band of regulars who sell secondhand records, stained glassware, pottery, aromatherapy oils, handmade colorful leather baby booties and discontinued lingerie at discounted prices. Every Saturday 8:30 am-4 pm. Located in the grounds surrounding St. Andrew�s Congregational Church, Darling St., Balmain (Bus 433 or 434 from Circular Quay; Balmain East ferry from Wharf 5, Circular Quay), phone 9818-2674.

Sydney Fish Markets. See where Sydney�s restaurateurs and foodies go to buy their fresh fish. Arrive at 5:30 am to see some Oscar-winning performances at the fish auction, or go at a more reasonable hour to buy one of 100 fish varieties. The market also houses Doyles Fish Restaurant; a small sushi bar; a delicatessen; and shops selling bread, liquor and flowers. Daily 7 am-4 pm. Blackwattle Bay, Pyrmont (Sydney Light Rail Fish Markets stop), phone 9660-1611.


Oxford Street. This shopping drag stretches some 3 mi/4 km from Darlinghurst through Paddington to the top of Woollahra. Its most interesting shops start north of the Crown Street intersection in Darlinghurst. Stop in for sophomoric surf chic at Mambo, risque cards and other goods in Pop Shop, and New Age titles at Ariel Bookshop. Also noteworthy along this strip are: Family Jewels (funky jewelry), Country Trader (French provincial antiques), Marcs (men�s and women�s clothing), Country Road (neutral-colored housewares), Opus (huge, green gift shop), Bibelot (upscale housewares), Bracewell (fashion) and Dinosaur Designs (jewelry). Shop hours vary, but the majority of Oxford Street shops are open daily.

Double Bay. This neighborhood is often half-jokingly called Double Pay because of the income of its blonde, gold-bedecked shoppers. Most of its open-air cafes are found in Knox Street. Intersecting Bay Street has Carla Zampatti (women�s clothing), Saba (groovy, casual wear), Christofle (cutlery and crockery) and Gary Castles (cool shoes). Nearby Cross Street has Duo (slick silver and gold jewelry) and Jan Logan (antique and custom-designed jewelry). The bounty continues along Transvaal Avenue. Shops are generally open Monday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Sunday 10 am-5 pm. Bus 323, 324, 325 from Circular Quay.

Mosman. Reward yourself after a day at Taronga Zoo with a mosey along the splendid shops on Military Road. Start at Generosity (a shop stuffed with enticing giftware). Go next door to White (a shop devoted to all-white objects), continue at Shack and Mosmania (housewares) and Country Road (housewares, men�s and women�s clothing), before finishing your foray at Accoutrement (kitchenware). Bus 247 from Queen Victoria Building.


Combo. The purple, warehouse-like building is chock-full of one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, furniture, objets d�art and other goodies (including a harp fashioned from industrial parts and a handcarved teak opium bed for 12). These items are made by a regularly changing lineup of approximately 30 artisans. The manager prides herself on grooming unknown, yet talented artists. Once one becomes famous, a new artist takes the previous one�s place. Open daily 10 am-6 pm. 500 Crown St., Surry Hills (Bus 301, 302 or 303 from Circular Quay), phone 9360-2222.

Left Handed Products. Southpaws can take advantage of a range of specially made left-handed items, from kitchenware to garden tools in a dingy, funny little store in The Rocks. There also are books instructing left-handers how to play golf, knit and crochet. Monday-Friday 10:30 am-5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am-3 pm. 29A Playfair St., The Rocks (Circular Quay Station), phone 9247-2674.

Folkways. A wonderful and eclectic collection of Aboriginal and Australian bush records and tapes. Other world musics as well. Monday-Wednesday and Friday 9 am-6 pm, Thursday 9 am-9 pm, Saturday 9:30 am-6:30 pm, Sunday 11 am-6 pm. 282 Oxford St., Paddington (Bus 380 from Central Railway Station), phone 9361-3980.



Sydney�s Original Comedy Store. See the place where most of Australia�s comedians got their break. Come just for a show or stay for dinner as well. Tuesday-Sunday. Tickets A$10-$40. Call for times and dinner-show package prices; reservations essential. 450 Parramatta Rd. (corner Crystal Street and Parramatta Road), Leichhardt (Bus 438 or 440 from Central Railway Station), phone 9564-3900.

Star City Casino. Star City is Sydney�s answer to Las Vegas, with decor evoking Australian landscapes and cultural themes. The casino floor is divided into the Great Barrier Reef, Desert and Sky sections, and unlike most casinos, looks out onto the outside world�in this case, Sydney�s stunning skyline. Approximately 200 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines. Theme bars and seven restaurants, including the Astral for fine dining. Other attractions include a shopping gallery, the 2,000-seat Lyric Theatre (with the biggest stage in Sydney), the Cave nightclub, and a hotel above the complex. Open daily 24 hours. 80 Pyrmont St. (Star City Shuttle Bus 443 or 888 from Circular Quay; Rocket ferry from Wharf 5, Circular Quay; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 18), Pyrmont, phone 9657-8393.


The Basement. The low ceilings, intimate atmosphere and low-key lighting lets audiences feel as if they�re enjoying a private performance by jazz bands and international acts such as kd lang, Harry Connick Jr. and Melissa Etheridge. Most major credit cards. Sunday-Thursday 7:30 pm-1:30 am, Friday and Saturday 7:30 pm-3:30 am. Cover A$10-$25. 29 Reiby Place (between Loftus and Pitt Streets), Circular Quay (Circular Quay or Wynard Stations), phone 9251-2797.

Harbourside Brasserie. Located on the harbor beneath the bridge. Large airy spaces can accommodate large groups. Major Australian acts such as Kate Cebrano, comedy, jazz, rock �n� roll, progressive. Full bar. Cafe open Monday-Friday 8 am-1 am, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-4 am. Restaurant/bar open Monday-Friday 6 am-1 am, Saturday and Sunday 6 pm-4 am. Cover A$5-$25. Box office 9 am-6 pm daily. Major credit cards except Diners Club. Pier 1, Hickson Road, Walsh Bay (Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 21), phone 9252-3000.

Metro. Located in the heart of Sydney�s movie district, this club (housed inside a cinema) books a wide variety of performers. Recent musicians include ex-Crowded House member Neil Finn, U.K. band Ash and Grant Lee Buffalo from the U.S. as well as stand-up comedians. Also a good place to pick up newspapers that list other club happenings. Opens 8 pm; closing time depends on the event. Box office hours: Monday-Friday 9 am-4:30 pm (for reservations by phone, till 9 pm for in person), Saturday and Sunday noon-4:30 pm (for reservations by phone, till 9 pm for in person). Tickets A$12-$60. 624 George St. (Town Hall Station), phone 9264-2666.


Club Retro. If you love 1980s dance music from such bands as Duran Duran and other British New Romantics, you�ll love it here. One room is devoted to songs and video clips from the 1970s, another to music from the 1980s. A third room invites you to watch old movies, play pool and relax. Friday and Saturday 6 pm-5 am. Cover charge A$10. Corner Pitt Street and Angel Place (Martin Place Station), phone 9223-2220.

Cauldron. This Sydney fixture is still as popular as ever with the beautiful crowd. Housed in the sandstone basement of a Darlinghurst building, the pheromones fly between the models, wannabe actors and generally groovy things who go there. Restaurant upstairs from nightclub. Tuesday-Saturday 7 pm-4 am. Cover charge A$10 Friday and Saturday, free Tuesday-Thursday. 207 Darlinghurst Rd., Darlinghurst (Kings Cross Station; Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9331-1523.

Embassy. Above a hammered iron door on one of Double Bay�s shopping boulevards is Sydney�s newest, swankiest nightclub. The beau monde flock here to eat at its fine restaurant serving Australian cuisine (a reservation waives the door charge), to mill around the illuminated marble bar counter or to try for one of the hotly contested, plush corduroy booths with semiprivate screens of fine chain mail. Almost incidental to the hip factor is the music, a mix of funk and R&B, or what the manager dubs �mature nightclub.� The art decoish cigar bar offers more than 50 varieties and top-shelf liquor. Do dress up. Friday after 9 pm, A$15; Saturday A$20, Tuesday-Thursday free. Tuesday-Saturday 7 pm-3 am. 18 Cross St., Double Bay (Bus 323, 324 or 325 from Circular Quay), phone 9328-2200.

DCM. This high-energy dance club is a mecca for both gay and gay-friendly people. It straightens up a bit on Friday and Saturday nights, when the crowd is more mixed. Open Thursday and Friday 10 pm-6:30 am. Saturday and Sunday 10 pm-10:30 am (the next day). Cover charge A$5-$20. 33 Oxford St., Darlinghurst (Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9267-7380.

Midnight Shift. Gay men and lesbians drink beer and play pool downstairs in the bar nightly, and on the weekends dance to disco, laser-lit torch songs upstairs in the nightclub. Pub and pool bar open daily noon-4 am, the nightclub is open to gays only Thursday-Saturday 11 pm-6 am and to all on Sunday from 10 pm. If you haven�t finished dancing by dawn on Sunday or Monday morning, the �Dayshift� operates Sunday 6 am-noon and Monday 6-10 am. Cover charge A$5-$15. 85 Oxford St., Darlinghurst (Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9360-4319.


The Lord Dudley. Many locals retreat to this very English, wood-panelled pub for a quiet drink or a bistro dinner. A warm, cozy and friendly pub, its chairs surrounding the roaring fireplace fill up fast on winter (June-August) nights. On the second floor, people sometimes play backgammon. Monday-Thursday 10 am-11 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am-midnight, Sunday 10 am-10 pm. Jersey Road, Woollahra (Bus 389 from Circular Quay), phone 9327-5399.

The Burdekin. Locals and the curious congregate around the oval, metal-wrapped bar on the ground floor to chat and check out the skintight clothing of the �talent.� Downstairs is the Dugout Bar for cigar-smoking fans, and on the fifth floor is the truly lurid red leather, orange and purple Lava Bar. Open Monday-Friday 11 am-2 am, Saturday 3 pm-5 am. 2 Oxford St., Darlinghurst (Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9331-3066.

The Garden Court. Popular after work with 20- and 30-something lawyers who toil nearby, this drinking spot is in the Rydges Wentworth Hotel. Walk through the lobby and take the express elevator on the far right, which will speed you to the fifth floor. People either drink in the open-air courtyard dotted with willow trees and shrubbery or observe them through the fishbowl-like glass wall that surrounds it. Level 5, 61-101 Phillip St. (Martin Place Station), phone 9221-5405.

Grand Pacific Blue Room. Once the site of a Greek Orthodox hall, this bar seems to require men to wear black and women to wear impossibly teeny slip dresses as classic funky tracks play in the background. Monday-Wednesday 6 pm-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 6 pm-3 am. Corner Oxford and South Dowling Streets, Paddington (Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9331-7108.

Albury Hotel. Sydney�s first gay pub attracts 30-something gay men and lesbians for drinks at the bar, but plenty of straight people line up well before 11 pm to watch one of the free drag shows. Friday and Saturday 11 pm and midnight. Live entertainment offered in the cocktail bar on Wednesday and Friday nights. Monday-Saturday 2 pm-2 am, Sunday 2 pm-midnight. 6 Oxford St., Paddington (Bus 311 from Circular Quay), phone 9361-6555.



There are approximately 95 golf courses in and around metropolitan Sydney. Some of the established courses are these:

Moore Park Golf Club. Once a professional course and still a Grade-A facility. 18 holes. Monday-Friday A$24, Saturday and Sunday A$27. Advance reservations recommended, especially in summer. Cleveland Street, Surry Hills (opposite Sydney show grounds at Centennial Park), phone 9663-1064.

St. Michael�s Golf Club. This Grade-A facility lets enthusiasts play 18 holes Monday-Sunday for A$40. South of the city on the coast. Jennifer Street, Middle Bay, phone 9311-0621.

The Lakes Golf Club. One of Australia�s best 18-hole courses, it is the site of the 1999 and 2000 Greg Norman Classic. Designed by Bruce Devlin and Von Hague. Monday and Thursday 7 am-8 pm. A$110 for 18 holes. Located at the corner of King Street and Vernon Avenue, East Lakes, phone 9669-1311.


Fitness Network. Rowers, Nautilus, Universal, Stairmaster, no pool. A$10 per visit. Monday-Friday 6 am-9 pm, Saturday and Sunday 8 am-8 pm. 256 Riley St., Surry Hills (Bus 301 from Circular Quay), phone 9211-2799.

Regenesis. Loaded with equipment: Full range of free weights, dumbbells, benches, bikes, treadmills, steppers and rowers, cable equipment and Med-X resistance training equipment. A$15 per visit. Monday-Thursday 6 am-10 pm; Friday 6 am-8 pm; Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 8 am-6 pm. The Georges Centre, 45-51 Cross St., Double Bay (Bus 324 from Circular Quay; Bondi and Bay Explorer bus stop No. 5), phone 9363-0376.

Traditional Korean Bathhouse. A sauna in Kings Cross that really is a sauna, not a brothel. It�s still not for the modest�clothes are not permitted in the sex-segregated baths. First you receive a vigorous, skin scrub by one of the attendants, which is followed by a soak in a series of hot, cold and ginseng baths. There are also dry and wet saunas. For an additional cost, indulge in a shiatsu massage or a facial. A$20 per visit, A$25 additional for the skin scrub. Hotel Capital Relaxation Centre, 1st Floor, 111 Darlinghurst Rd., Kings Cross (Kings Cross Station; Sydney Explorer bus stop No. 8), phone 9368-0818.


Bushwalking is a popular form of recreation for Sydneysiders, and there are numerous bushwalking trails. A couple of shops located in the center of the city offers topographical maps and how-to books: Paddy Pallin, named after the grandfather of outdoor Australian recreation, 507 Kent St., phone 9264-2685. Mountain Equipment, 491 Kent St., phone 9264-5888. Both are near Wynyard Station.

Hikers can also get helpful advice from the Confederation of Bushwalking Clubs of New South Wales, phone 9548-1228.


Deepwater Adventures charge A$85 per person for deep-sea fishing aboard a 30-ft/9-m Sharknet boat. A group of eight people (no more than 10) charters the boat and leaves for Sydney Harbour, fishing just outside the Heads. Game fishing charters also available. Daily 6 am-2 pm. 44 Tambourine Bay Rd., Lane Cove, phone 9420-3013.

Balmoral Boat Shed at Balmoral Beach offers a 12-ft/4-m runabout for A$110 for a full day (8 am-5 pm), A$80 for four hours. 2 The Esplanade, Balmoral (Bus 247 from Queen Victoria Building), phone 9969-6006.


Many Sydneysiders view the Labor Day weekend in early October as the start of swimming weather and only stop sunbathing and doing lazy laps when it starts to get too cold around March-April. In the past, sharks were a danger in the harbor, but now virtually all of Sydney�s beaches are netted a half mile/1 km offshore. Bondi Beach and Manly Beach are crowded and lively but relatively clean. Their primary fans are people under age 30, who head there for a tan, a swim, a snack at one of the numerous cafes or a walk along the promenade, where teenage boys rev their souped-up cars. Families tend to crowd Bronte Beach, with its sweeping grassy area, and the beaches of Neilsen Park (Vaucluse), Camp Cove (Watson�s Bay) and Balmoral Beach, which have extra shark nets.

Whippet-thin models and permatanned gay men admire themselves on the narrow Tamarama Beach and Redleaf, beside the Woollahra Council Chambers in Double Bay. Heterosexual nude bathing enthusiasts head for Obelisk Bay and Cobblers Beach on either side of HMAS Penguin�s naval base at Balmoral, while gay nude bathers flock to Lady Bay (one beach north of Camp Cove). Well north of Manly is Palm Beach, an elite neighborhood and the equivalent of Malibu without the mudslides. However, sometimes the surf can seem like a six-foot Jacuzzi. This is the place to wear pristine, never-to-get-wet bathing suits, but on the ocean side (not the Pittwater side) of the beach. By catching a ferry across to tranquil Great Mackerel Beach (directly opposite Palm Beach on the Pittwater side) you can almost have the beach to yourself, particularly on summer weekdays.

Urban surfers favor Bondi and Tamarama, though better surf is found not at Bondi but at Maroubra and Cronulla in the southern suburbs and at Curl Curl, Long Reef and Bungan Head in the northern suburbs.

Sydney Safe Surf School. Learn to surf in groups of four to six people with experienced surfers. This school holds two-hour lessons, starting between 7 am and 10:30 am, depending on the tide. Children are taught Monday-Wednesday, while Thursday-Sunday is allocated to adults. Wetsuits and boards provided. Reservations essential. Individual lessons, A$60 adults, A$45 children; group lessons, A$35 adults, A$25 children. Meet at the main pavilion in front of the middle kiosk at Maroubra Beach on Marine Drive (in Maroubra; Bus 395 from Central Railway Station, Bus 396 from Circular Quay). Phone 9311-2834.

Manly Surf School. Operating mainly on the beaches around Manly, the school has its own minivan to take groups of students to whichever beach they prefer to learn how to surf. The teachers are former title-winning, professional surfers. A$40 per hour; A$30 per person per hour for private, group lessons of two or more; and A$70 for two-day, four-hour weekend courses, Saturday and Sunday 9-11 am. Wetsuits, rash guards and boards included. Phone 9971-7133 or 041-871-7313. Ferry from Wharf 3, Circular Quay.


Venues for sporting events in Sydney are often changed at the last minute, so it�s advisable to check the sports pages of the daily newspapers for changes.

To test its venues, Sydney will host preliminary competitions during 1999 for most of the sports being played in the 2000 Olympics. For events and details, contact the National Sport Information Centre, phone 612-6214-1369 or fax 612-6214-1681.

Sydney�s established National Basketball League (NBL) team, the Sydney Kings, which shoots hoops April-November at the Sydney Entertainment Centre in Haymarket, have a rival for spectators with the brand-new Western Sydney Razorbacks, which plays home games at the E. G. Whitlam Leisure Centre in Liverpool (about an hour west of Sydney). Tickets and schedule: Ticketek, phone 9266-4800.

Rugby League games are held at various Sydney suburban venues March-September. The most popular tickets are for the State of Origin games, played by NSW and Queensland teams May-June at the Sydney Football Stadium. Tickets and schedule: Ticketek, phone 9266-4800.

Rugby Union now equals rugby league in popularity. During 1999 the NSW team, the Waratahs, will play in the Super 12s series mid February-late May at the Sydney Football Stadium. This game decides the players for the Tri-Nations games (South Africa, New Zealand and Australia) in July at the brand-new Olympics venue, Stadium Australia in Homebush Bay, which seats 110,000 spectators. The Australian rugby team, the Wallabies, plays England in June and New Zealand in August at Stadium Australia. Tickets and schedule: Ticketek, phone 9266-4800.

�Real� Australian football, Australian Rules, is affectionately known as �aerial ballet,� and Sydney�s local team, the Sydney Swans, does look graceful leaping in the air for the ball. Like rugby union and league, the home ground of the Aussie Rules is the Sydney Football Stadium. A$13 adults, A$3 children. Phone 9332-3888.

Avidly supported by Sydney�s Italian community, soccer is played year-round in suburban football grounds, but the Olympic team, the Ollyroos (including Harry Kewell who plays for Leeds) will play a series of high-profile games to celebrate the opening of Stadium Australia in June or July. For tickets, call Ticketek, phone 9266-4800.

Right next door to the Sydney Football Stadium is the enormous Sydney Cricket Ground. Between October and April, cricket of both the traditional, white-flannel, Test-Match variety and Kerry Packer�s exciting (and much faster) World Series Cricket is played there. For schedule and ticket information, call 9360-6601.


Day Trips

To the Blue Mountains. What appears as a distant blue ridge line on a clear day becomes a broad maze of canyons, valleys and tablelands at close range. The main towns visited by tourists are Katoomba and Leura. The most famous sights are the Three Sisters (a striking rock formation jutting out of a cliff) and Echo Point, close to these adjacent towns or, much farther west, the Jenolan Caves. However, the curious traveler will find many additional scenic attractions and, near the main roads, a good selection of coffee shops, restaurants, galleries and crafts shops, particularly in Leura. A range of coach or train tours run to the Blue Mountains. Aussie Bush Discoveries offers the Blue Mountains Wildlife Discovery Day Trip. Breakfast with wild kangaroos, cooee (the sound Australians make to hear echoes) off sandstone cliffs, meet koalas and take photographs of the area�s amazing canyons. Daily complimentary hotel pickup for departure at 7:30 am and return at 5:30 pm by Rivercat Ferry to Circular Quay, where a minibus or four-wheel drive takes you directly to the hotel. A$125 adults, A$98 children, phone 9979-5850. The Blue Mountains Twilight Tour visits rarely seen national parks and ancient Aboriginal sites at twilight. Trip includes an evening picnic or barbecue at dusk with kangaroos in the Blue Mountains National Park, followed by a nocturnal �hunt� with powerful spotlights to view night denizens such as owls and possums. Daily complimentary hotel pickup ranges 11 am-2 pm with return 8:30-10 pm by four-wheel drive depending on seasonal light availability. A$210 adults, A$105 children ages 4-14. Phone 9482-8888.

To the Hunter Valley. This wine-growing region is to Sydney what the Napa Valley is to San Francisco. Beginning north of Sydney, about a two-hour drive away, Hunter Valley covers an area of 9,650 sq mi/15,530 sq km. More than 40 wineries produce mostly high-quality vintages. Syndeysiders are drawn to the region for wine tasting, fine dining, scenic drives and bushwalking. Many tour operators schedule Hunter Valley day trips. Australian Wild Escapes offers the Historic Hunter Valley tour, which takes visitors for morning tea at leafy Mangrove Creek National Park. Guests enjoy tastings at half a dozen boutique wineries in the morning, a picnic lunch on a hill overlooking the vineyards and afternoon trips to a couple of the bigger wineries. Departs 8:15 am from all city, Darling Harbour and Kings Cross hotels and returns 5:30-6 pm. A$210 adults, A$105 children. Phone 9482-8888. Hunter Valley Winetaster Wine Inspection tour. Visit four wineries, the Petersons Champagne House, Hunter Cellars, and Wyndham Estate and enjoy a steak lunch with wine. Departs by luxury coach Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday at 8:45 am from Sydney Day Tour Terminal at Circular Quay, returns 7:30 pm. A$72.25. Phone 005-526-655. Another option is Australian Eco Adventure�s Hunter Valley Wine and Wilderness Adventure. With this tour, you cross the Hawkesbury River on a ferry, visit rarely seen national parks, have morning tea at the colonial-era Settlers Arms, stop in historic Wollombi village and cross over Mt. View to Polkobin Valley for lunch and have tastings at three boutique vineyards. The small groups depart daily at 7:30 am from all Sydney hotels and return at 5:30 pm. A$145 adults, A$98 children. Phone 9979-5850.

Sydney Aboriginal Discoveries offers three tours to introduce visitors to Aboriginal culture, including a two-and-a-half-hour bus tour that takes people around the Bondi Beach and The Gap rock engravings, Centennial Park wetlands and native plants at the Royal Botanic Gardens. A$60 adults, A$32 children; one-and-a-half-hour harbour cruise, A$36 adults, A$19 children. A full-day tour takes people to meet Aboriginals in the Blue Mountains. The tour offers a banquet of Aboriginal cuisine, an explanation about the meanings of the Three Sisters and other natural formations and viewings of the special cave art engravings. A$120 adults, A$85 children. Phone 9568-3226.

Sydney Calendar


SYDNEY is sports mad. Whether on land (cricket and rugby matches) or on water (surfing competitions and yacht races), Sydneysiders want to play. If you�re not sports minded, you may be drawn to the magnificent Sydney Opera House, a magnet for the world�s finest musical and dramatic productions. Festivals animate the city year round. In this calendar period, there are two cultural festivals (15 Sep-4 Oct and 9-26 Jan), the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras (throughout February) and a myriad of events in between.

If you�re dialing the Sydney phone numbers listed below from outside Australia, you must first dial your own country�s international access code, then Australia�s country code, 61, followed by Sydney�s city code, 2.

Further information on events in Sydney may be secured from these Australian tourism offices: in Sydney, from the Australian Tourist Commission, 80 William St., Level 4, Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011, phone 9360-1111, or Tourism New South Wales, GPO Box 7050, Sydney NSW 2001, phone 9931-1111; in the U.K., from Tourism New South Wales, Gemini House, 10-18 Putney Hill, London SW15 6AA, phone 0181-789-1020; in the U.S. and Canada, from Tourism New South Wales, 13737 Fiji Way, Suite C10, Marina del Rey, CA 90292, phone 310-301-1903.

Information in this calendar is subject to change and should be confirmed.


23 Jun-29 Oct 2000Cultural Olympiad. �Harbour of Life,� a four-month schedule of cultural events coinciding with the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Exhibits and performances by leading Australian and international artists. Phone 9297-2004.

15 Sep-1 Oct 2000XXVIIth Summer Olympic Games. For more information, contact the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games: GPO Box 2000, Sydney, NSW 2001, Australia, phone 9297-2000. Or, check the Web site: To get on a waiting list for first dibs on tickets from the official U.S. ticket agent, write, call or e-mail Cartan Tours, 1334 Parkview Ave., Suite 210, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266, phone 800-818-1998, e-mail [email protected]. Tickets go on sale in 1999, about a year before the event.

18-29 Oct 2000Summer Paralympic Games. More than 5,000 of the world�s top athletes with disabilities compete in 19 sporting events. For more information, call 9297-2000.


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