Cultural Highlights: Australia

Sydney, Australia

Included Cultural Excursions:
  • Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks of Australia; also known as one of the most distinctive architectural achievements of the 20th century. The Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts center, formally dedicated in 1973.

  • The Rocks is the birthplace of modern-day Australia, and the site of Sydney’s original town settlement, founded in 1788. Earning its name from the area’s sandstone cliffs, it originally served as a camp for British convicts and their overseers. Located on the southern shore of Sydney Harbour, The Rocks features historic buildings, eateries, museums, art galleries, and excellent shopping. A blend of Sydney’s past and present, it is a popular destination for all visitors to Sydney.

  • Taronga Zoo is home to over 2,600 individual animals, making it one of the largest zoos of its kind. In operation for nearly a century, the zoo features 340 species of animals found all over the world, including Australia’s own kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, emus, and more.
Suggestions for Independent Cultural Excursions:
  • Circular Quay,  located on historic Sydney Cove, features a bustling collection of pedestrian malls, parks, restaurants, and walkways. Ferries leave every few minutes bound for different parts of the harbor. The quay offers amazing views of Harbour Bridge, and a short walk will take you to the Opera House, the Rocks, and the Royal Botanical Gardens.

  • The Royal Botanic Gardens, the oldest scientific institution in Australia, are located on the shores of Sydney Harbour, right in the heart of the city. Over 45,000 plants, both native and exotic, can be found across the gardens’ 30 hectares.

  • Sydney Harbour is the focal point of the city, home to many of Australia’s most notable attractions, including Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. It’s no surprise that Sydney is known as “The Harbour City!" The Manly Ferry will take you on a scenic journey from Circular Quay to the suburb of Manly, New South Wales, and a famous seaside resort notable for its miles of pristine beaches.

  • A visit to Sydney Aquarium, located in Darling Harbor, is like a journey under the sea. Walk through underwater tunnels to observe over 600 aquatic species native to regions throughout Australia. View the largest Great Barrier Reef exhibit in the world, watch a crocodile feeding, and get close to thousands of fish, penguins, and maybe even a shark!

  • The mile-long crescent shaped sand of Bondi Beach is one of the best-known beaches in the world. As the closest ocean beach to Sydney’s city center, it is a prime surfing and swimming spot for Australians and visitors alike.

  • The Blue Mountains derive their name from the fact that the gum trees release an oil into the air that reacts with the sunlight to produce a blue haze. The Blue Mountains lie in the center of a World Heritage Region and comprise over 5,000 square miles of forest, much of it wilderness. You will find breathtaking views, lookouts, cascades and waterfalls in this bushwalker's paradise.

Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, Australia – Optional Extension

Included Cultural Excursions:
  • Cairns is a popular holiday location for Aussies and international visitors alike. Bordered by the Great Barrier Reef and home to beaches, mountains, and rainforests, Cairns is the perfect location to cap off a trip to Australia.

  • The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef (over 1800 miles long), a natural wonder replete with diverse marine life, tropical islands, and sun-kissed beaches. Visitors can participate in guided snorkeling tours or a reef presentation.
Suggestions for Independent Cultural Excursions:
  • From Cairns, you have your choice of a number of day trips, including rainforest tours, island day trips, and an excursion to Aboriginal culture parks.