Touring Sydney, Part 1

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August 2, 2011

Sydney really is everything people build it up to be: the Opera House, the Botanic Gardens, the beaches! I recently traveled Down Under to take in its sights and sounds. This slideshow, the first of two about touring Sydney, hits just the tip of what's to be discovered in Australia's most populous city.

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  The Sydney Harbor Bridge (or Harbour Bridge as they spell it there) is one of the city's iconic landmarks. The steel structure, completed in 1932, stands 440 feet tall and stretches 1,650 feet across the Sydney Harbor. I took this photo from the west end of Circular Quay, the city's incredibly busy port that ferries riders all about the harbor.
    The Sydney Harbor Bridge (or Harbour Bridge as they spell it there) is one of the city's iconic landmarks. The steel structure, completed in 1932, stands 440 feet tall and stretches 1,650 feet across the Sydney Harbor. I took this photo from the west end of Circular Quay, the city's incredibly busy port that ferries riders all about the harbor.
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  Yes, those tiny specks are people on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Since 1998, BridgeClimb has lead tourists (and locals) up the magnificent structure on guided tours. We did a twilight climb, which let us take in the skyline and surrounding areas in the light and in the dark. I'd highly recommend it if you're heading to Sydney.
    Yes, those tiny specks are people on top of the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Since 1998, BridgeClimb has lead tourists (and locals) up the magnificent structure on guided tours. We did a twilight climb, which let us take in the skyline and surrounding areas in the light and in the dark. I'd highly recommend it if you're heading to Sydney.
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  We stayed not too far from the neighborhood known as the Rocks. The area, just west of Circular Quay and leading up to the Sydney Harbor Bridge, is the site of the first European settlement, which dates back to the 18th century. It boasts beautiful historic buildings and is what other cities might have named "Old Sydney."
    We stayed not too far from the neighborhood known as the Rocks. The area, just west of Circular Quay and leading up to the Sydney Harbor Bridge, is the site of the first European settlement, which dates back to the 18th century. It boasts beautiful historic buildings and is what other cities might have named "Old Sydney."
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  I instantly fell in love with the Sirius Apartment buildings in the Rocks and had the good fortune of walking by them several times while we were in Sydney. It turns out that these Brutalist apartments were designed by Tao Gofer in 1978 as experimental low-income public housing. The units apparently all have roof gardens, the roof of one unit becoming the garden of the unit overhead (a concept BIG utilized its in Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen).
    I instantly fell in love with the Sirius Apartment buildings in the Rocks and had the good fortune of walking by them several times while we were in Sydney. It turns out that these Brutalist apartments were designed by Tao Gofer in 1978 as experimental low-income public housing. The units apparently all have roof gardens, the roof of one unit becoming the garden of the unit overhead (a concept BIG utilized its in Mountain Dwellings in Copenhagen).
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  Back at street level, we stumbled upon the weekend market. Writer and Dwell contributor Mimi Zeiger was recently in Sydney (and reported a story for an upcoming issue) and suggested a stroll through the Rocks as well as Paddington, where there's another market on the weekends and also the Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
    Back at street level, we stumbled upon the weekend market. Writer and Dwell contributor Mimi Zeiger was recently in Sydney (and reported a story for an upcoming issue) and suggested a stroll through the Rocks as well as Paddington, where there's another market on the weekends and also the Paddington Reservoir Gardens.
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  These apartment buildings also caught my eye, for their geometry and stark contrast against the water. We spotted them while riding the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.
    These apartment buildings also caught my eye, for their geometry and stark contrast against the water. We spotted them while riding the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.
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  Shown here is the pedestrian street that leads from the harbor side of Manly to Manly Beach on the other side. I was impressed how well developed the public spaces of Sydney are; we especially loved the fountains and the drinking fountains (which were plentiful at most of the parks we went to). Dwell follower @jeremystark suggested walking to Shelly Beach once we arrived in Manly. but we weren't able to make it there this time.
    Shown here is the pedestrian street that leads from the harbor side of Manly to Manly Beach on the other side. I was impressed how well developed the public spaces of Sydney are; we especially loved the fountains and the drinking fountains (which were plentiful at most of the parks we went to). Dwell follower @jeremystark suggested walking to Shelly Beach once we arrived in Manly. but we weren't able to make it there this time.
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  This amazing beach is the famous Bondi Beach, recommended countless times, including once by Dwell follower @KenCarpenter. We were in Australia in July so we caught part of the Winter Festival. Next to the white tent on the left side of the photo is an ice rink. On the beach (while there were surfers in the water)!
    This amazing beach is the famous Bondi Beach, recommended countless times, including once by Dwell follower @KenCarpenter. We were in Australia in July so we caught part of the Winter Festival. Next to the white tent on the left side of the photo is an ice rink. On the beach (while there were surfers in the water)!
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  As jellyfish making swimming in the ocean dangerous in Australian summer (and because some people just don't prefer swimming in waves), many beaches have pools next to them. This tranquil pool was at the northeastern end of Bondi Beach.
    As jellyfish making swimming in the ocean dangerous in Australian summer (and because some people just don't prefer swimming in waves), many beaches have pools next to them. This tranquil pool was at the northeastern end of Bondi Beach.
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  At then other end of Bondi Beach is this more famous pool. It belongs to the famous Bondi Icebergs Club but the public is welcome to swim there too.
    At then other end of Bondi Beach is this more famous pool. It belongs to the famous Bondi Icebergs Club but the public is welcome to swim there too.
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  One of our favorite walks was our stroll from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach, suggested by several friends and Dwell follower @WaiLui. The less-than-three-mile path hugs the coast and offers breathtaking views of the rock formations and the ocean.
    One of our favorite walks was our stroll from Bondi Beach to Bronte Beach, suggested by several friends and Dwell follower @WaiLui. The less-than-three-mile path hugs the coast and offers breathtaking views of the rock formations and the ocean.
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  One of the best parts of the Bondi to Bronte walk was the lack of safety rails (and warning signs); it was so refreshing to be expected to be responsible for yourself. Check back soon for part two of Touring Sydney and in the meantime watch our slideshow about the surprises of the Sydney Opera House.Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!
    One of the best parts of the Bondi to Bronte walk was the lack of safety rails (and warning signs); it was so refreshing to be expected to be responsible for yourself.

    Check back soon for part two of Touring Sydney and in the meantime watch our slideshow about the surprises of the Sydney Opera House.

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

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