Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney Harbour, situated at a small inlet called Sydney Cove, the founding site for Sydney and Australia. It is a stepping-off point for most attractions based around the harbour and an exciting place to be on a warm summer's day. The quay is a vibrant, bustling place with ferries leaving every few minutes to different parts of the harbour, including Manly, Watson .y, Mosman and Taronga Park Zoo. There are great views of the Harbour Bridge, a short distance away.
There is a major railway station at the quay, which is part of the underground City Circle , which skirts around the CBD. Alongside the ferry terminals are a number of small outdoor cafes and the area is a magnet for buskers of every description
When at Circular Quay and by the various Ferry terminals .and you have time to see something very interesting .just cross directly across the road from #4 Wharf and you will see the Wonderful old CUSTOMS HOUSE..and it is here one can catch up on all the news from home.look through all the different world cities tabloids to select your daily newspaper from home..here you will find daily newspapers from most of the worlds major cities... There is plenty of room in this large reading area to sit and relax in a large lounge chair and rest your feet while catching up on events at home...The papers are free to read..You can purchase a coffee and relax in this quiet freindly atmosphere. Also you will find a library upstairs that has computers to use..and to get your bearings of the city..check out the glass floor in the foyer with a huge model of the city's CBD ( Commercial Buisiness District. )...
Snuggled in between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, the Circular Quay (pronounced "Key") is the nerve center for Sydney city transportation. Ferries, buses, "jet-cats" and CityRail trains all stop in at the Quay. It's also an easy place to snag a taxi, should you feel the need.
In addition to the transportation angle, the Quay is a good place to just walk around. There are lots of little takeway cafes and such. There are quite a few buskers (street performers). Some are quite talented, others pretty much suck. My daughter was totally freaked by one of those "statue mimes". I knew the guy was alive, but I sucked Sara in and told her to drop a coin in the hat in front of the statue. The guy comes to life and my sweet daughter just about jumped out of her teen years.
And, since I'm so into photography, the Quay is also an excellent place to compose and shoot city scenes of Sydney.
The Circular Quay is a good starting point for all sorts of foot exploration throughout Sydney. It's a short walk to about anywhere in downtown Sydney that would interest a tourist.
Another thing to do at CUSTOMS HOUSE is.. when you walk into the foyer there is a glass floor and underneath it is a fantastic model of the Sydney CBD..(Commercial Business District) .This is extremely well done and is excellent for a visitor to see where one is and the way to get to another city destination..also it gives one an idea of the distance if you are walking...as I do...Most Sydneysiders don't even know of this place..Here also you can get a coffee and sit and read the daily paper from your city in a quiet surrounding...just great place to sit and relax after maybe long walks in the area... NB:try and take photos without flash to avoid reflections off the glass floor..(if possible use a polarising filter to stop reflection)...There is also a library here upstairs that quite often has photo exhibitions etc..being a libary there are computers to use if needed..and in this lovely old building is the interesting history of the Australian Customs and Immigration Department..
Catch a ferry across to Milsons Point..from Circular Quay....good city panoramic photos from here looking across to the Opera House and the city...walk around under the bridge and local area of Milsons point for photo opportunities of the Opera House especially at night.....(see my photo) .Also the "Red Explorer Bus stops at Milsons Point.Ferries depart regularly ..
The Milsons Point ferry wharf is also Luna Park..
Circular Quay is like a transporation hub of sorts. Here is where you can board a ferry to many of the tourist attractions located throughout the city. Circular Quay was also the location for the exhibit of the UNICEF Buddy Bears. Thre is always something going on at Circular Quay.
From here, you can get just about anywhere you need to go in Sydney pretty easily. The ferries leave from here, the train stops here, there are lots of busses in this area and of course you can easily walk to The Rocks, The Opera House, The Bridge or a variety of restaurants (ka-ching $$) or souvenir shops. You will also find a helpful Visitor Info Office here too.
Grab a coffee, a tea or a beer, be warned however that these places are a bit pricey due to their location. Even a few blocks away, you will find more reasonable prices for a bite to eat or a drink. Souvenirs are everywhere and even McDonalds (they call it "Maccas' here) is only a block or two away.
It would be hard to miss Circular Quay on your visit to Sydney, as it is such a central point. Great vantage point for photos as well. Bring your walking shoes!
Walk through "The Rocks" and go back in time to an era during the 1800's, sandstone cottages and cobbled streets......starting near the harbourbridge, follow the harbourwalk along side the water all the way around, pass the museum, pass the Ferry terminal, the train station, pass the cafes, bars and restaurants until you get to your destination - the Opera House.
From this point you will see excellent harbour bridge/Opera House and city views. It is of course especially pretty at night - you must see both views. This is an excellent spot to see the fireworks ( if you are lucky enough to get there early before NYE and claim your spot)
From here you can catch ferrys to various places on the harbour and theres also a train station here aswell that links up with the main suburban lines,circular quay is also a great spot to just hangout ,its a popular place to view a variety of street performers with some real classic aussie characters doing there thing.
The first thing you should go to when you're in Sydney is Circular Quay. This is such a lively place. Many ferries depart here, such as the ferry to Manly, to the Olympic Park and many other locations on the northern shore of the harbour. Main sights and attractions here are of course the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. You will also find the Museum of Contemporary Art here and a very old sail boat. Closeby are the Rocks, which is a very nice part of the city to stroll through. There is also a big tourist information office here with zillions of brochures of god knows what you want to do in Sydney and surroundings.
This is like so many other spots in the city great to just sit and relax on one of the benches and look at all the people and boats passing by.
Circular Quay is where people in Sydney come to leave ...since it is a mjor transportation hub. On one side ferries, buses and trains are al located. We found ourselves here everyday during our Sydney stay to either catch a ferry to Toronga, Watsons Bay, Manly or just ride the ferry for pure enjoyment. The buses run frequently and to various locations such as Bondi Beach and Watsons Bay. The train was also a convienent way to get us back to Potts Point when we were too tire to walk.
The other side of Circular Quay is a nice walk to the Opera House, The Rocks, Harbour Bridge and the Botanical Gardens. Chris and I found the walkways a good way to explore some of the Sydney sights.
Taking a stroll down Circular Quay felt like heaven! The early morning sun shone brightly over the skyline and gave the sea a glimmer. At night it was so beautifully lit up that it looked like sparkling diamante. Over rated? Never! Simply admiring the beauty of the city.
Most activities in Sydney are centered around its harbour and waterfront. Circular Quay offers a breathtaking view of the city's skyline, harbour bridge and the sea. Sydney Opera House is situated here. The many souvenir kiosks, street performers, tourists and the locals seen around the Quay provide life and makes great "people watching" activity.
Circular Quay is the hub of Sydney Harbour, situated at a small inlet called Sydney Cove, the founding site for Sydney and Australia. It is a stepping-off point for most attractions based around the harbour and an exciting place to be on a warm summer's day. T
he quay is a vibrant, bustling place with ferries leaving every few minutes to different parts of the harbour, and there are great views of the Harbour Bridge, a short distance away.
On the southern side of Circular Quay is a walkway that leads to the Sydney Opera House and Royal Botanical Gardens; while on the northern side, a short walk along lovely landscaped walkways takes you to the Harbour Bridge and The Rocks, one of the oldest, most attractive and most interesting parts of Sydney.
The Opera House, of course.
Even if you don't plan on attending a performance, it is worth walking full-circle around this striking building to appreciate its shape from different perspectives. I didn't expect to enjoy this obligatory stop as much as I did, but I ended up becoming fascinated with the patterns of the tiles in the roof as they formed almost sensuous curves on a grand scale. (If you want a clearer view of the shot, click on the photo to enlarge it.)
The construction of Circular Quay was started around 1850... Using convict labour and sandstone from The Rocks.
It was originally known as Semi-Circular Quay, and became the commercial hub of the growing town of Sydney.
This is a great starting point for a day in the city. You will find many buskers here, entertaining the people... as well as many resturants, cafe's, and tourist shops.
This is the main terminal for Ferries, which will take you to various parts of the Harbour.