Sydney, an unfilled city | Sunday Observer

Sydney, an unfilled city

Sydney Opera House,
Sydney Opera House,


If you are heading Down Under for the upcoming holidays with your parents, chances are you will be going to Sydney as your first or second stop. There are tons of things to do and see in this Australian city that even one week will not be enough, as I discovered during a recent visit to the city.

The first thing that you should do in Sydney is visiting the famous World Heritage Site - the Sydney Opera House, designed by acclaimed Danish architect Jorn Utzon. (He never returned to see its completion). You can tour the Opera House for a small fee and even catch a concert if there is one. And while you are at it, why not walk over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, from which you can get a good view of the Darling Harbour? If you want a better view of the harbour from above, you can try the Sydney Tower Eye, also in the harbour area.

There is one more activity - the Australian National Maritime Museum is in Darling Harbour, where you can board a replica sailing ship or explore a submarine together with your parents. You can also do a one-hour harbour cruise. When you are tired, just head over to the Botanical Gardens next door to rest your legs.

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Tower Eye

Sydney is a place where you can learn a lot of new things. If you love the Jurassic Park movies and dinosaurs, just trek to the Australian Museum, not far from the Opera House, where you can see 10 dinosaur skeletons and eight life sized dinosaur models. Plus, there are plenty of other interactive learning stations to keep you occupied for hours.

If living animals are more your thing, the Wildlife Zoo is the place to visit, where you can see animals that are found only in Australia, such as Koala and Kangaroo. Taronga Zoo is another zoo in Sydney that has the rare Australian Sea Lions. They even have a separate show to show off their skills. If you love freshwater and marine creatures, there is only one place to be – the Sydney Sea Life Aquarium. Marvel at creatures from the deep ocean as you walk through a glass tunnel.

Next up should be a tour of the Sydney Observatory in the Rocks area of Sydney to get up close with planets and stars. There is a 3-D Space Theatre at the Observatory where you can learn about our solar system and the universe. The powerhouse museum is another place where you can learn about science, technology, design and decorative arts, engineering, architecture, health and medicine. The nearby Museum Discovery Centre will teach you how museums around the world play a major role in discovering and preserving our past.

Sydney is not all work and no play, so you can head over to its famous beaches for a bit of recreation. You might already have seen Bondi, Manly and Cronulla beaches on television as they are popular worldwide. Some of you may not be old enough to remember the Sydney Olympics of Year 2000 (when our very own Susanthika Jayasinghe won a silver medal), but you can visit the Sydney Olympic Park for play and relaxation. The nearby Aquatic Centre, also built for the Olympics, has swimming and diving facilities. You can learn to ride a horse or practice your bow and arrow skills at several places in Sydney. But if you want to go further, try indoor skydiving at the iFLY skydiving center in Sydney. It is completely safe and there is no risk unlike jumping from a real airplane. For a somewhat similar experience, visit the Sydney Tree Tops where you can take a zipline to go between the trees.

Sydney is a great city to visit at any time of the year, so make the most of it by ticking off as many attractions as possible during your stay. It is a kid-friendly city with plenty of things to see and do, not to mention the many types of food that you can relish. And they serve Ceylon Tea in the restaurants. You will feel right at home in Sydney as a lot of Sri Lankans live here and both Sinhala and Tamil can be heard often. Multicultural Sydney is indeed a mirror of Australia itself.