Lauren | Feb 3, 2018 | 0
Free Sydney City Walking Tour That Everyone Should Do
Sydney Walking Tour Map and Route
Our Sydney Walking Tour will take you from the Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park down to the Opera House and on to the Royal Botanic Gardens to enjoy a lazy afternoon picnic in the park.
Then, after counting the flying foxes in the tree tops and feeding the cockatoos and eels, we’ll continue through the gardens on to Woolloomooloo followed by the NSW Art Gallery in The Domain.
After the NSW Art Gallery, you can either cut through The Domain back to Macquarie Street or continue on to St. Mary’s Cathedral and the Anzac War Memorial.
The walking tour is not meant to be done in a hurry. Instead, take it slow and enjoy all the different views of the harbour and city.
Throughout the tour I’ll point out places to eat and other facilities plus good spots to stop for a photo or two.
Full Walking Tour Map and Attractions
Sydney Opera House Tour
Before you head out, you might want to consider booking your Sydney Opera House Guided Tour online.
The latter is given in several different languages and more frequently throughout the day. There are also dinner plus show packages available starting at $300 per person.
If you choose not to do a tour but instead want to see a production at the Opera House then definitely book your tickets in advance, especially if you want to get good seats.
Hours & Admission Fees
To help you arrange your time better, I should point out that there are a few places on this walking tour that have time constraints.
- NSW Parliament offers free one hour tours at 1:30pm every Monday and Friday.
- Government House is free and open Friday-Sunday 10:30am-3pm, access is by tour only. Book at the gatehouse. Located in the Royal Botanic Gardens above the Opera House.
- Hyde Park Barracks are open daily 9:30am — 5pm, closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. Entrance fee for adults $10, children $5 and family are $20.
- NSW Art Gallery is free for all general exhibits, open daily 10am-5pm, Wed. until 9pm.
- Anzac War Memorial is free and open every day 9am – 5pm except Good Friday and Christmas Day.
David Jones Food Hall
First stop is the David Jones Foodhall located in the basement of the department store on Market and Castlereagh. You can pick up picnic supplies to have later in the Royal Botanic Gardens. Remember to throw in an extra roll or piece of fruit like an apple for feeding the cockatoos and eels later in the Botanic Gardens.
The food hall is also a good spot to stop while in the city for a bite to eat or to grab a quick dinner to have back at your rental apartment or hotel.
For dessert, try one of the chocolate covered strawberries.
After you have purchased your picnic supplies, walk east on Market towards Hyde Park.
At Hyde Park you will see the St. James station entrance. Cross the street and walk to the art deco Archibald Fountain.
Archibald Fountain in Hyde Park
There is a coffee shop just behind the St. James station but I would not suggest getting your morning coffee there.
Instead, if you’re in need of a coffee fix and/or something to eat, I would hold out until The Hyde Park Barracks Bakehouse . It’s not far and and is open between 10am to 4pm most days.
There is also the No.10 Bistro , located in The Mint on Macquarie Street, just past the barracks that serves lunch 11:30am – 3pm if you are looking for something a step up from the Hyde Park Barracks Bakehouse.
On your way to the fountain check out the large public chess set. There is usually a game going on with a few people watching.
The Archibald Memorial Fountain was erected in 1932 as a gift to Sydney from J F Archibald.
It was sculpted by Francois Sicard to commemorate the association between Australia and France in World War I.
A bronze Apollo is surrounded by other mythical figures. Horses’ heads, dolphins and tortoises vigorously spray jets of water.
Be sure to keep a look out for possums in the trees of Hyde Park. They are usually asleep in the tree tops during the day but in the evening can be seen running tree to tree through the park.
They might be hard to spot at first because the possums in Australia do not look like opossums in North American.
Australian possums are by far way more likeable. They don’t mind being pet when give some food for their troubles. They can be quite curious.
They also do not “play possum” or “play dead”. Instead, when they feel threatened they will make a very low, guttural growling sound.
Obviously, if you hear this sound, don’t approach and give the animal space.
At the Archibald Fountain turn north towards the Sydney Harbour.
At the end of the park cross the street at the crosswalk on your right.
The junction where King, Phillip and Macquarie Streets meet is Queen’s Square, named for the statue of Queen Victoria on the left side of Macquarie Street.
Queen Victoria is facing north towards the Law Courts Building.
Across the street is a statue of Prince Albert facing west towards his Queen.
As you cross the street the first building on your right is the Hyde Park Barracks .
The Hyde Park Barracks were designed by the convict-turned-architect Francis Greenway. Ah, irony, you gotta love it.
There is a mosaic relief memorial for Greenway set in the ground in front of the Law Courts Building if you want to wander over and take a look. It’s really not that impressive so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you decide to skip it.
If you would like to explore Australia’s convict past, stop in the barracks. It’s open daily 9:30am — 5pm, closed Good Friday and Christmas Day. Entrance fee for adults $10, children $5 and families are $20.
Governor Macquarie’s Rum Hospital
Continue down Macquarie to the Sydney Hospital.
Just before Il Porcellino, the large brass boar (a copy of the original boar statue located in Florence, Italy), you’ll notice a plaque in the sidewalk. Take a moment and read it.
Governor Macquarie had big plans for Sydney.
When he arrived in 1810, the only hospital Sydney had – if you could even call it that – consisted of tents and a few temporary buildings at Sydney Cove, where Circular Quay is today.
Macquarie knew that Sydney was going to continue to grow and needed a larger, more permanent hospital to provide better healthcare to the colony. Unfortunately, the British Government disagreed and refused to provide hospital funding for the convict colony.
Lack of funding did not deter Macquarie from having his hospital. Instead he came up with a very clever and resourceful way of funding the hospital: Rum.
At the time rum was very popular with Sydneysiders. To fund the hospital Macquarie agreed to give three businessmen a Rum Monopoly, the exclusive rights to selling all the rum imported into Sydney. The total finally agreed upon was 60,000 gallons of rum. That’s a lot of Cuba Libres!
Part of the Macquarie’s deal was “free” convict labour and supplies. It was a pretty sweet deal that seemed to favour the monopoly though Macquarie’s hospital ended up having many more uses and was central to Sydney’s growth.
The original hospital was demolished in 1879. The classically Victorian Revival building you see today was built in 1880.
Stop and make a wish at Il Porcellino .
Toss a coin in the fountain and seal the wish by rubbing the boar’s nose.
Just south of the boar before the Kiosk is a pathway to a courtyard with a black swan fountain and a small coffee shop to have a rest if you need one.
The brick and sandstone Gothic Revival building just behind the fountain was the first Australian School of Nursing built to Florence Nightingale’s specifications.
Bathrooms are located in the cafe.
The North and South Wing
Due to the prominent location and size, the hospital’s north and south wings were used for more than patient care.
The Mint, the building between the barracks and the hospital, was originally the south wing of the Sydney Hospital & Sydney Eye Hospital.
Gold was discovered in New South Wales in 1851. To stop unrefined gold from being traded on the black market and used for currency, the NSW Government suggested to the British Colonial Secretary that Sydney needed it’s own mint.
In 1853, the British Government approved the first branch of the Royal Mint outside of England.
The Mint has a very nice gift shop if you’re looking for something special to bring back as a gift. Yes, it has some of the usual touristy trinkets but more unique artisan items.
The oldest part of the Parliament House is the original north wing of the “Rum Hospital”. This is also the part of the Parliament House that is rumored to be haunted by ghosts of former staff and patients of the old hospital.
Next to the present day hospital is the NSW Parliament which offers free one hour tours at 1:30pm every Monday and Friday.
“Trim” The Ship’s Cat Statue
Just a bit further down Macquarie Street, along the side of the Sydney Mitchell Library, is a statue of Matthew Flinders with his faithful companion Trim, the cat looking on behind him.
Trim sailed with Flinders on his voyage to circumnavigate Australia and survived the shipwreck of the Porpoise in 1803.
Flinders’ faithful companion even shared his captivity in Mauritius when Flinders was accused of spying and imprisoned by the French on the voyage home to England.
Trim later escaped captivity and disappeared without a trace.
In Flinders biographical tribute to Trim, he described Trim as ‘one of the finest animals I ever saw’.
The Mitchell Library is worth a quick peek inside. It’s open M-Th 9am-8pm, F 9am-5pm, Sat. 10am-5pm and closed Sunday.
Bathrooms are located in the library if needed.
The Con and the Royal Botanic Gardens
As you cross the street just past the library (stay on the right hand side of the street), you should be able to see the white peaks of the Sydney Opera House above the tree tops.
The Shakespeare Memorial will be on your right as you cross. The memorial was commissioned by the Shakespeare Society of New South Wales in 1926.
It depicts Shakespeare plus five of his most famous characters: Hamlet, Romeo, Juliet, Portia and Falstaff.
Once you have crossed the street, Sydney’s Royal Botanic Gardens will be on your right.
There are several gates along the way to enter the gardens, if you choose to explore the gardens before heading to the Opera House.
The first of the gates is the Morshead Fountain Gate, directly on your right side once across the street.
The Palace Garden Gate is further down Macquarie and has a small cafe/kiosk .
The next gate along Macquarie is the Conservatorium Gate, just before the Sydney Conservatorium of Music or “The Con” as Sydney-siders call it.
The Con is one of the oldest and most prestigious music schools in Australia. It is a community-based Conservatorium Open Academy, plus the Conservatorium High School and has ties to the University of Sydney.
As you may have guessed, the Gothic styled building was not always a music school. In fact, it was originally designed by Francis Greenway (yes, the same convict-turned-architect that designed the Hyde Park Barracks) to be the stables for the Government House of New South Wales, also partly designed by Greenway.
Cahill Expressway Viewing Platform
At the crosswalk in front of The Con, cross over to the left side, city side of the street, and continue down Macquarie Street.
Walk along until you are under a bridge. The Cahill Expressway will be directly above you.
On the north side of the bridge, or Sydney Harbour side, is a steep stairway .
There is a small sign saying “Cahill Walkway to Harbour Bridge”, but it is easy to miss.
Head up these stairs to the Cahill Expressway Viewing Platform .
At the top of the stairs, walk along the expressway to the shaded platform for a view of Circular Quay.
There is a plaque with a bit of history about Sydney and it’s diverse population.
There will be several people passing the platform, as the walkway is used regularly by commuters. Most are more than happy to take your picture with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background.
Once you have had your fill, take the glass lift/elevator you passed on your way to the platform down to the Circular Quay promenade.
From the glass lift, walk along the Circular Quay promenade toward the Sydney Opera House.
Circular Quay is where it all began.
In 1788, Governor Philip arrived with 11 ships to establish a British convict colony at was then mud flats.
Circular Quay is the heart of Sydney if not Australia. To one side is the World Heritage Sydney Opera House and on the other side is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The two most recognizable icons of Australia.
Wanting to get in good with the boss back home, Governor Philip named the cove Sydney after the British Home Secretary, Lord Sydney.
As you walking along the promenade, you might notice a few things.
The first being Circular Quay isn’t really circular. The quay was originally, and more accurately, called Semi-Circular Quay but, in true Aussie fashion, it has since been shortened.
You may have also noticed circular plagues spread out along the promenade pathway. This is Writer’s Walk. The plaques are embedded for most of the pathway along the cove. The writers are not just Australian natives but other international famous writers that had visited Australia, such as Mark Twain. Each brass plaque has a quote of the writer in regards to their impression of Australia.
The Circular Quay promenade is full of restaurants all targeted towards tourists.
I cannot recommend any of them as they are all overpriced. Although I have indulged in a hot chocolate and a piece of cake at Guylian Belgian Chocolate Cafe which was also overpriced but yummy. A coffee at the cafe will cost you around $5 (Yeah, I know. It makes me cringe just to say it.) but a take-away ( or to-go) coffee is around $4.
The large apartment buildings on your right caused quite a stir in Sydney when their construction was proposed.
Sydney-siders were against the buildings because they blocked the view of the Royal Botanic Gardens from Circular Quay plus none of the buildings are aesthetically pleasing.
In fact, the building closest to the Opera House, the first to be completed, has been nicknamed “The Toaster” due to its resemblance to the kitchen appliance. Now, of course, it’s one of the hottest real estate spots in the world.
In 2007, an apartment in The Toaster sold for $8.4 million. With an internal area of 190 square metres, the price of $44,210 per square metre was an Australian record.
Even though Sydneysiders dislike these buildings they can’t deny one of the benefits of having them, the pedestrian only walkway. Can’t imagine Circular Quay any other way.
The Opera House is built on Bennelong Point just past The Toaster, named after an aborigine who was kidnapped and held captive by Governor Philip then ordered to act as a translator and intermediary with the indigenous people.
Bennelong and Governor Philip had a very interesting relationship with a lot of twists and turns.
Bennelong soon escaped his captors only to return as a free man to continue to aid Governor Philip.
Shortly after his return, Bennelong arranged to have Governor Philip visit Manly where the Governor was speared in the shoulder as punishment for kidnapping Bennelong in the first place.
Really, it would have been so much easier to have just asked Bennelong politely instead.
Later, in a strange turn of events, Bennelong gave Governor Philip an aboriginal name in a gesture of kinship and then requested to have a hut built for him on the point, to which the Governor agreed.
Interesting note: Full citizenship rights were not granted to aborigines until 1973.
Circular Quay to the Sydney Opera House
At the end of the promenade is the main event: the Sydney Opera House.
Seeing it up close with the Sydney Harbour Bridge across Circular Quay is pretty darn amazing. I’ve lived here since 2008 and still I cannot resist taking a picture every time. Walk around and get your fill of photos. It is difficult to take a bad one.
Then head up the stairs and inside to check out all the events happening.
Tickets can be hard to come by so make a booking in advance, sydneyoperahouse.com.
There are two different tours options: The Backstage Tour is $165/adult and The Essentials Tour is $37/adult given in several different languages. There are also dinner plus show packages available starting at $300/person.
If you’re hungry and want to get something to eat I would recommend getting bar snacks at the Opera Bar or stick to burgers and fries at the Opera Kitchen. My husband always gets the sliders and the truffle parmesan fries at the Opera Kitchen. The truffle parm fries are addictive. Be prepared for the seagulls, bad service and to pay way too much for food. It’s all about the location. If you have time, go back for breakfast when it’s less crowded for a coffee and breakfast panini at the Opera Kitchen or on the weekend for a Croque Madame at the Opera Bar.
Bathrooms are located in the Opera House, upper and lower levels, and by the Opera Bar.
Fast Facts about the Sydney Opera House
In 1955, an international design competition was held to find an original design for the projected opera house. Juron Utzon was announced the winner in 1957.
Juron Utzon designed the Opera House to represent a ship with full sails to fit in with the setting of the harbour. Many websites and guidebooks mistakenly call the sails, shells but in Sydney you’ll hear residents refer to the sails of the Opera House, such as the Lighting of the Sails during Vivid Light Festival, well worth going to if you’re in Sydney at the end of May – beginning of June.
Unfortunately, Utzon never saw his masterpiece in person. In 1966, he resigned from the project and left Australia after many disagreements with the State Government about the cost and completion time of the building.
The original estimated completion date was January 1963 with a cost of $7 million.
The building was actually completed 10 years later in 1973 with a final price tag of $102 million!
Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Sydney Opera House on October 20th, 1973. Utzon was not invited to the ceremony nor was his name even mentioned in the Queen’s speech that day.
The Sydney Opera House was World Heritage listed by UNESCO in 2007.
Utzon ended up receiving the Pritzker Prize, an architect’s highest honour, in 2003.
More about the Opera House
Unable to wait for the official opening, there were several concerts and performances held during the construction mostly for the enjoyment of those working on the site. What a perk!
Today, there is a lot more happening at the Opera House than opera.
There are seven performance spaces: the Concert Hall, Opera Theatre, Drama Theatre, Playhouse, Studio, Utzon room and, when Oprah is in town, the Forecourt area out front.
There is an opera written about the Opera House called “Eighth Wonder”.
The Grand Organ in the Concert Hall is the largest pipe organ in the world. The 16 metre high and 13 metres wide organ has over 10,000 pipes and can be played remotely with an electronic console.
The 1,056,006 glossy white granite tiles were special ordered from Sweden and each individually inspected before being shipped to Sydney.
There are 200,000 guided tours of the Opera House each year. (You booked your tour ahead of time, didn’t you? Might want to do that now if not.)
Sydney Harbour Bridge
You have probably read in a guidebook or online somewhere that the Sydney Harbour Bridge has been nicknamed the “Coat Hanger” on account of it’s shape. I can safely say that I have never heard anyone in Sydney call it that. Most just creatively call it “The Bridge”.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world’s largest and widest steel arch bridge.
From the Opera House, look closely at the bridge. You should be able to see at least one group of tourists and locals alike, making their way up to the top of the bridge to where the two flags are.
The Sydney Bridge Climb is one of the most popular activities in Sydney.
If you’re afraid of heights or just not interested in the Bridge Climb, I highly recommend at least going up the first pylon. It will cost you around $11. A bargain compared to the $280 Bridge Climb! The view of the harbour is well worth $11.
I use to walk across the bridge everyday on my way to work and I can tell you that it never got old.
Sydney Opera House to Royal Botanic Gardens
With the Sydney Harbour Bridge at your back, walk towards Farm Cove and through the Queen Elizabeth II Gate into the Royal Botanic Gardens. For this part of the walking tour, wander the gardens and look for the perfect spot to sit down and enjoy your picnic from the David Jones Food Hall.
If you didn’t stop at the food hall, there is the Botanic Gardens Cafe (open 8:30 am – 4:30 pm daily) and the Botanic Gardens Restaurant (open for lunch 12-3pm, 7 days, weekend and public holidays it is open for breakfast from 9:30 – 11:30am). Please note: For Saturday & Sunday there is a service surcharge.
The gift shop and bathrooms are right behind the cafe.
Royal Botanic Gardens
There are a few things you don’t want to miss in the gardens.
First, the flying foxes sleeping in the tree tops. You can find them all over the gardens but mostly in the trees behind the restaurant. Don’t stand under them for too long, for obvious reasons.
Second, look for the eels that live in the main pond. Can’t find them? Toss a bit of food from your lunch and they will pop up.
Third, feed the cockatoos . You will be surprised at how tame they are. The majority of the cockatoos can be found on the lawn beside the Henry Lawson Gate.
If you are visiting during spring-early summer, October-December in Australia, you might want to check out the Rose Garden located near the Palace Garden Gate.
The Tropical Centre (10am – 4 pm, closed Christmas Day and Good Friday) is also near the Palace Garden Gate though not worth the entry fee but the glass pyramid makes for a good picture.
The level grass area around Farm Cove is the site of Australia’s first farm. It was a disaster!
The first fleet arrived with 1,044 people packed in eleven ships. There were officers with their wives and children, free men, and, of course, convicts.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t a single person among them with farming experience. Not even “an intelligent gardener” as Governor Philip would later complain.
The only livestock that survived the journey to Sydney were: 7 horses, 29 sheep, 74 swine, 7 cattle, and 6 rabbits. (Rabbits are now an uncontrollable feral pest in Australia.)
Philip had to rely solely on convict labour for ploughing all the fields, taking away precious labour from other projects.
Philip’s farm was abandoned after only two years.
Looking directly across the harbour from Farm Cove is Kirribilli.
You’ll notice a large area of land with a stately looking house at the tip of Kirribilli Point. This is Admiralty House were the Governor-General lives.
The Governor-General is appointed by the Queen to be her representative in Australia. The appointment is at the Queen’s pleasure which basically means it is for an indefinite period of time though in practice is usually a five year term. The appointment of the Governor-General is the only action performed by The Queen under the Constitution.
Even so, the Governor-General does play an interesting role in Parliament.
The Governor-General has the power to appoint a Prime Minister if an election results in a ‘hung parliament’. The Governor-General can also dismiss a Prime Minister if he or she has lost the confidence of the Parliament or has acted unlawfully. The Governor-General reserves the power to refuse to dissolve the House of Representatives despite a request from the Prime Minister.
The Governor-General has many important ceremonial duties to perform such as, but not limited to, entertaining royalty and other foreign dignitaries at Admiralty House.
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
When you have finished exploring the gardens head back towards Farm Cove, the small bay that borders the gardens. Follow the path along the water towards Mrs Macquarie’s Chair .
Walking along this path is one of my favorite things to do because each step presents a different view of the Opera House and the city behind the gardens. During the summer I like to begin by finding one of the ice cream carts then eating the quickly melting ice cream bar while strolling along the path. Try one of the Magnum ice cream bars. Ego is my favorite though they are all very good.
Walk all the way along the path through the Yurong Gate to the tip of the peninsula . This is probably the most photographed spot in Sydney. When you get there you will see why.
Once you’ve finished taking your photos continue around the peninsula towards Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair. Don’t worry, you won’t miss it. Look for the writing on the wall. Oops sorry, I meant rocks.
The “chair” was carved out of the rock so Mrs. Macquarie, or Lady Macquarie, could sit and enjoy the view. Lucky Lady. Take the stairs next to Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair up to a small kiosk for something to drink or some gelato, single scoop for $4 and a double scoop for $5 .
From Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair you’ll see Fort Denison out in the heart of Sydney Harbour. The island that Fort Denison is located on is called Pinchgut perhaps due to Philip’s failed farming attempt. Your guess is as good as mine.
If you happen to be out at 1pm you’ll hear a gun fired from the fort’s Martello Tower, the only such tower built in Australia and the last to be built within the British Empire.
Martello towers, or Martellos, are small defensive forts that were built throughout the British Empire during the 19th century, from the Napoleonic Wars on.
The One O’clock Gun was fired each day from 1906 to 1942 to allow ships to set the chronometer to the local time. It was stopped during World War II to avoid frightening Sydneysiders but was later started up again in 1986.
Captain Cook Cruises has a regular ferry service to the fort from both Circular Quay and Darling Harbour.
Mrs. Macquarie’s Bushland Walk
Continue along the water’s edge to Woolloomooloo Bay. The area across the bay is Garden Island, the home of the Royal Australian Navy.
Further along the path you will see the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool . The Poolside Cafe (open seven days a week from 7:30am – 4:00pm for breakfast and lunch, and is fully licensed) is another good spot to stop for a break. It’s located inside the main building, top level.
Directly across from the Poolside Cafe is the Woolloomooloo Wharf, full of restaurants and expensive apartments plus a hotel. Russell Crowe lives in one of these apartments. Not hard to believe once you see all the yachts and sailboats moored out front.
There are several short cuts from the gardens to Woolloomooloo Wharf , if you choose to go. The first one you will come to is just past the pool. I would suggest skipping this one as it is steep with large uneven steps.
Further along the path there are other ways to cut across to the wharf that are a bit easier including one that is a bridge to the rooftop garden of an apartment building right on the wharf.
If you walk all the way down the path toward the NSW Art Gallery, just before you reach the gallery, there is a stairway on your left that will take you straight down to a crosswalk to Woolloomooloo Wharf.
Harry’s Cafe de Wheels
There is not much to see or do in Woolloomooloo other than eat and drink. You can walk along the Woolloomooloo Wharf to the very tip, checking out all the different boats moored along the way.
A favorite stop for tourists in Woolloomooloo is Harry’s Cafe de Wheels (open M – T 8:30am – 2am, W – Th 8:30am – 3am, F 8:30am – 4am, Sat. 9am – 4am, and Sun. 9am – 1am).
As you can probably guess from the hours it’s open, Harry’s is very popular with the late night crowd. Once you have your pie with mushy peas and mash topped off with gravy, sit down on the wood blocks along the water and dig in.
If you want to sit down at a proper table for lunch or are up for coffee and something sweet, try Sienna Marina (open M – F 10:30am till late, weekends 7:30am till late) on the corner across from Harry’s. If you need to use the bathroom just pop into any of the pubs along the street.
This is a good tip for all over Australia. No one will stop you, just look like you’ve been there before or simply ask.
Art Gallery of NSW
After you’ve finished your pie at Harry’s, head back up the stairway to the NSW Art Gallery. The stairs are steep but it will help you work off all the gravy and mash peas.
The NSW Art Gallery is free for all general exhibits (open daily 10am – 5pm, Wednesday until 9pm). There is often a special exhibit happening which will cost between $10 – $20 per ticket for an adult.
It’s a good place to get out of the sun and cool off. The lower level has a nice cafe to take a break (open 10am – 4:30pm daily).
In the tradition of London’s Hyde Park Corner, across from the NSW Art Gallery towards Sydney Hospital is Speaker’s Corner.
Every Sunday from 2pm to 5pm anyone and everyone is free to set up their soapbox and speak on issues that matter to them.
Topics range from Australian politics to alien invasion. It is often very entertaining to strike up a conversation with one of the speakers if you have the time.
When you exit the NSW Art Gallery cross the street to The Domain. If you want to cut through back to Macquarie Street, simply follow the path in front of you across the lawn of The Domain. It will take you to a small side street, cross and go up the few steps into the the Sydney Hospital courtyard. Remember the fountain with the black swans? Continue straight ahead through the courtyard to Macquarie Street.
To make your way back to Hyde Park, turn left (south) after you cross the street in front of the NSW Art Gallery and follow the road to St. Mary’s Cathedral . At the end of the road there is no crosswalk, but there is a very decorative island to cross to on your way to St Mary’s Cathedral. Stop and take a look. It’s worth a picture or two.
There isn’t much traffic usually on the street here so crossing should be no problem.
St. Mary’s is open M – F 8:30am – 5pm. The side door located across from Hyde Park is usually open when the church is. Or you can walk around to the front entrance.
Finish at the Anzac War Memorial
Next to St. Mary’s is another small park and one of the many impressive aquatic centres in Sydney, Cook and Philip Aquatic Centre . Walk over and take a peek in to see a large community swim centre. Entry to use the pool is $6.20 per visit per adult, if you fancy a swim.
Our walk today has taken us past two community pool. There are plenty more in the city. No wonder Australians do so well in competitive swimming.
Conclude your walking tour by crossing the street and heading back to the Archibald Fountain. Walk south along the central pathway to the art deco Anzac Memorial (open every day 9am – 5pm except Good Friday and Christmas Day, entry is free).
Save This Walk for When You’re in Sydney
Other Sydney Walking Tours
Sydney Guided Walking Tour: A 2-hour guided walking tour taking in the main sights of the Sydney Opera House, The Sydney Harbour Bridge, The Rocks and Hyde Park.
Sydney Harbour Cruise and Goat Island Walking Tour: Discover Sydney’s colorful convict history and take in the sites of Sydney Harbour aboard a restored 1920s ferry. Travel to Goat Island, where you’ll learn about Australia’s convict history on a guided walking tour before enjoying a cold buffet lunch with complimentary sparkling wine.
Sydney Crimes and Passions Walking Tour of Kings Cross: Soak up the atmosphere on a walking tour of Sydney through the vibrant and famous Kings Cross, Australia’s red light capital. Uncover Kings Cross speckled history of fame, fortunes, murders, drug-obsessions, mysteries, crimes and romances.
Haunted Sydney Ghost Tour: Hear true stories of murder, suicide, hangings, hauntings and ghosts as you journey along the cobblestone lanes into the hidden areas of the birthplace of Australia.
Sydney Architecture Walks: Tours guided by architects on bike or on foot. You’ll never look at the city the same again. Tours are jargon-free.
I hope you enjoyed the tour!
This is my first full walking tour. I hope to do several more, covering all of Sydney. An ambitious task but so much fun and a great way to get to know the city.
If you’re interested in more free walking tours like this one, can you please leave a comment below? Or share this tour on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest.
I’m trying to gauge interested and determine if this is something you guys want.