Sydney City Centre and Darling Harbour
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Published by TOP4 Team
This 5km walk gives magnificent harbourside views, leads through the splendid botanical gardens, and then returns to Circular Quays past many fine early buildings.
The landward approach to the Opera House may lack some of the drama of the waterside approach but is still impressive, made part of the way underneath a canopy, then up gigantically scaled flights of steps. The fine trees of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Government House sweep down to the footpath leading around Farm Cove to the promontory of Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a deservedly popular harbourside viewpoint. Do not miss the Botanic Gardens Tropical Centre with its ‘Arc’ and ‘Pyramid’ glasshouses.
The bridge leading to the Art Gallery of New South Wales over the Cahill Expressway gives stunning views over city and eastern suburbs. Macquarie Street leads northward back towards the harbour, bounded to the west by a wall of mostly modern structures, and to the east by an unparallelled sequence of fine historic buildings. Bridge Street penetrates westward into the city centre, new buildings vying with old in self-importance. Macquarie Place makes a green interlude before the 1885 Custom House and the quayside.
A walk through tightly built-up streets to revitalised Darling Harbour and back through the calm and dignity of Hyde Park.
From Martin Place Station, walk to Martin Place, Strand Arcade and Pitt Street Mall, pedestrian-friendly in their different ways. As you cross Pyrmont Bridge look up to see the controversial monorail and back to enjoy the city skyline. An amazing array of new and varied facilities clusters around Darling Harbour. A rest in the Chinese Garden could precede the final leg of this walk: across Dixon Street leading to Chinatown, then up into Hyde Park, with its splendid avenues of fig trees and the imposing Anzac War Memorial.
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