Photographing Sydney

Here are some of places we thought captured the essence of Sydney in photography.

Darling Harbor

We came here in the evening not so much for dining and entertainment purposes as this place more or less screams tourist central, and instead had the main goal of photographing the Sydney CBD skyline when the harbor and buildings were lit. Standing at Harbourside, the views across the water were of Cockle Bay and the CBD. The Sydney Tower also stands tall in the background. The evening lights from Cockle Bay were reflected on the water and helped to make great shots.

Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge

And, of course, the quintessential icons of Sydney: Opera House and Harbour Bridge.  

For an elevated view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the best would be to stand on the Cahill Expressway Viewing Platform. To get to this viewing platform: walk north on Macquarie Street until you come underneath a bridge. There will be a sign that says "Cahill Walkway to Harbour Bridge". Walk up the stairs to the platform. Conveniently, there is a glass elevator that will take you down to the Circular Quay promenade where you can continue on your way north along the harbourfront walk to get a non-elevated view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well as further bringing you north to the Sydney Opera House.

Royal Botanical Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens is also where you can get the most photographed view of Sydney with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge together. As you make your way here from the Sydney Opera House, walk towards Farm Cove and enter the gardens through Queen Elizabeth II gate. Walk along the beautiful pathway located along the water. Continue through Yurong Gate towards Mrs Macquarie's Chair to get a view of both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge together. Signs are in abundance at the Royal Botanic Gardens.

Walking through the Royal Botanic Gardens, it offered us a wonderful reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is located right in the city but once inside the garden, it was easy for us to feel like we were miles away. The rich variety of trees, plants, and florals in the park were impressive. Clearly they reflect how well maintained this huge park is.

King Street, Newtown

Victorian architecture is so pervasive and striking in Australia (at least from what we know about Sydney and Melbourne) in general that it adds so much character and history to the street culture. Newtown is said to be the most well preserved area dating from the late Victorian period in Sydney. On King Street is a very long stretch of cafes, local boutiques, bookstores, pubs, and ethnic restaurants.

Surry Hills

We found ourselves returning to Surry Hills again and again not so much for photography reasons but because this area is where many of Sydney's great restaurants are which makes it the center of the city's dining scene today. Surry Hills was where we had excellent food at Marque and The Bentley, as well as amazing croissants at Bourke Street Bakery. Serious coffee or espresso lovers would be equally serious about Single Origins Roasters here. Bill's who pioneered the breakfast culture in Sydney also has a location in Surry Hills though we went to the original location in Darlinghurst. The Victorian architecture along the commercial and residential streets, fashion stores, and concentration of restaurants and pubs make Surry Hills a very, very attractive area.

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