As one of Australia’s major metropolitan areas, the city of Sydney will soon be abuzz with activity when the nation celebrates Australia Day next Tuesday, January 26th. The national holiday marks the arrival of the first fleet of 11 convict ships from Great Britain headed by Captain Arthur Phillip in 1788.
Although not the capital, Sydney is Australia’s largest city with a population of over 4.8 million, and is known worldwide for its stunning architecture, beautiful beaches and iconic skyline.
To get a closer look at the city, we combed through Instagram to find some of the cities most famous landmarks as seen through the eyes of local Instagrammers.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Opened in 1816, Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens is a large public park and garden, as well as the oldest scientific institution in Australia. The expansive green space is home to a wide variety of plants and was once home to a large colony of Grey-headed Flying Foxes before an ambitious plan was implemented to rid the bats by playing pre-recorded soundtracks of loud heavy metal noises.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Affectionately known as the Coathanger, the Sydney Harbour Bridge is a steel through arch bridge connecting the Sydney Central Business District and the North Shore. The bridge is over 160 feet wide and carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. On the bridge’s southeast pylon, a observation deck provides stunning views of the Sydney harbour and downtown skyline.
Sydney Opera House
Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2007, the Sydney Opera House is Sydney’s — if not Australia’s — most iconic structure. The performing arts centre was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and is unmistakable for its unique vaulted shell roofline which is covered in over 1 million tiles made by Swedish company Höganas.
Queen Victoria Building
Known for its beautiful Romanesque architecture, the Queen Victoria Building sits amongst the many modern skysprapers in Sydney’s Central Business District. The historical building opened in 1898 and is now home to fancy shops, delicious eateries and quirky boutiques.
With relatively warm weather throughout the year, Sydney is home to many beautiful sandy beaches from tranquil bays to some of the world’s best surf spots. The city’s most famous beach — Bondi — stretches over 1 kilometre is often packed almost shoulder to shoulder with tourists and locals during the summer months. It’s also the site of the hit Australian reality show Bondi Rescue.
Located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, the Rocks is known as the city’s historical district. The area is filled with 18th century buildings, cobble-stoned laneways, and is home to Cadmans Cottage, the city’s oldest surviving building.