Shopping in Sydney
It was noticeable that shops don't stay open late in Sydney. If you are used to the long shopping hours of Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and London, note that shops in Sydney mainly keep to a more traditional 9-ish to 6-ish timetable.
This isn't meant as a complaint, but if you are leaving your day's shopping until late on, be warned!
Many shops stay open late on Thusday evenings.
Go shopping in Pitt St Mall!!...
Go shopping in Pitt St Mall!! Excellent shoes/bags. The Star City Casino...VERY Vegas!! Huge & absolutely worthwhile!! Clubs, entertainment, food, everything is there in the casino. When I was in Sydney last, it was because my sister & I won a competition to attend the Australian Premiere of 'Mickey Blue Eyes' @ the new Fox Studios. SO COOL!! We got to meet Liz Hurley & Hugh Grant among other Aussie actors/industry people....but the thing beat it all was walking down the red carpet...and the papparrazzi actually asked us to stop for photos!! And we ended up in the social pages too, but we were the only non-famous people who ended up in the pages!! It was so incredibly cool!!
Take a trip on Darling...
Take a trip on Darling Harbor. You can rent boats down by the docks, just around the corner from the Opera House. Sydney is such a lovely place, even in bad weather which I had none of by the way. There are numerous different companies which do these boat tours, the one I rode on provided food along the way. The view of the Sydney opera house from the Darling Harbor boat cruise was by far my fondest memory of this activity. The sun was going down at the time and it was very pretty out.
The Opera House
This building is something of an enigma.
Firstly, it's unavoidable. Every tourist coming here wants to see it and, when you do, it's certainly and eyecatcher. Yet beneath the stunning surface lie more questions than perhaps there are answers for even today.
The main one for me is, "Why build an opera house whose accoustics don't match the grandeur of the exterior?". It's no secret that they need improving but you can't help but wonder why it wasn't done right in the first place.
It probably had more to do with the fact that it was more than 10 times over budget by the time it was completed and the completion itself was something that looked like an insurmountable obstacle at one stage.
The sails concept is no longer unique in the world but it has certainly left Sydney with one of the most recognizable foreshores of any city anywhere.
The Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point, which reaches out into the harbour to the east of Circular Quay. The skyline of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the blue water of the harbour and the Sydney Opera House, viewed from a ferry or from the air, is dramatic and unforgettable. Ironic, perhaps, that this Australian icon was designed by a Danish architect - Jorn Utzon.
In the late 1950s the New South Wales (NSW) Government established an appeal fund to finance the construction of the Sydney Opera House, and conducted a competition for its design.
Utzon's design was chosen. The irony was that his design was, arguably, beyond the capabilities of engineering of the time. Utzon spent a couple of years reworking the design and it was 1961 before he had solved the problem of how to build the distinguishing 'sails' of the roof.
The venture experienced cost blow-outs from the original $10,000,000 and there were occasions when the NSW Government was tempted to call a halt. In 1966 the situation - with arguments about cost and the interior design, and the Government withholding progress payments - reached crisis point and Jorn Utzon resigned from the project. The building was eventually completed by others in 1973. After more than 30 years, the Sydney Opera House has its first interior designed by Utzon. The Utzon Room, a transformed reception hall that brings to life Jorn Utzon's original vision for his masterpiece, was officially opened on September 16, 2004.
Sydney Opera House facts and figures:
Was designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon
Was opened by Queen Elizabeth II on 20 October 1973
Its first performance, The Australian Opera's production of War and Peace by Prokofiev
Cost $AU 102,000,000 to build
Conducts 3000 events each year
Provides guided tours to 200,000 people each year
Has an annual audience of 2 million for its performances
Includes 1000 rooms
Is 185 metres long and 120 metres wide
Has 2194 pre-cast concrete sections as its roof
Has roof sections held together by 350 kms of tensioned steel cable
Has over 1 million tiles on the roof
Uses 6225 square metres of glass and 645 kilometres of electric cable
Ph: 61 2 9250 7111
Fax: 61 2 9250 7950
Be Prepared for Everything
We brough a regular sized suitcase Since we were visiting in Spring I knew I had to be prepared for any type of weather so I brght some summer type clothes as well as jeans, a jacket and a few sweaters in case it was chilly (and it was on some mornings). SHampoo, Conditioner, lotion, razor, shaving cream, body wash, q-tips, toothbrush, tooth paste, deodorant and brush. Bathing suit