Sydney is renowned for its sparkling waterfront location, so it’s not surprising that the best views in the city involve spectacular beaches or its famed harbour. From cityscape to beach escape, there is a stunning location in Sydney for everyone to enjoy.
Blue Bar on 36, Shangri-La Hotel
Enjoy Sydney views sparkling with night-time lights on level 36 of the Shangri-La Hotel at Blue Bar on 36. Order a cocktail and sit back in this luxe bar to enjoy fancy views for the price of a drink. The stunning view extends from Darling Harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. It’s the perfect way to kick start a night on the town or wind down after a day of sightseeing.
You don’t need to be rich to enjoy these million dollar views. While you can dine at the award-winning Icebergs restaurant on the top level and enjoy fine dining overlooking the beach, enter the Icebergs Bistro downstairs to enjoy the same view with more budget-friendly food. Located at the south end of Bondi Beach, this stunner looks postcard-perfect every day of the year.
Wendy's Secret Garden
Artist Wendy Whiteley, wife and muse of the late Australian artist Brett Whiteley, created this gorgeous little hideaway in Lavender Bay over the past 20 years. Wendy's Secret Garden is located on public land and has become an oasis for city dwellers to escape the business of Sydney, without having to leave town. Wandering through the garden you’ll get sneak peeks of a stunning view of Sydney Harbour through the trees.
Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and enjoy a 30-minute scenic trip that takes you up close to icons including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Make a day of it by strolling down the Corso to people-watch on Manly Beach, swimming at nearby Shelly Beach—a favourite with the locals—and keeping an eye out for the colony of fairy penguins who call Manly home.
Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
Take a stroll through the Royal Botanic Garden to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, a sandstone bench handcarved into the harbour peninsula by convicts in 1810 for Governor Macquarie’s wife, Elizabeth. This spot is a prime lookout over Sydney Harbour to capture photos of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge in the one frame, in addition to being the prime vantage point for fireworks viewing on New Year’s Eve.
Climb up to Observatory Hill Park to enjoy panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. The rotunda on Observatory Hill is a popular spot for weddings thanks to the scenic backdrop. A favourite place among locals, take a blanket and picnic basket and enjoy the serenity of watching the sun go down over Sydney.
The rooftop of the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia houses the MCA Cafe, a prime spot to enjoy lunch with a stunning view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Located on the Sydney Harbour foreshore, it’s a little gem that’s off the tourist track. Take a look through the museum on your way back down—it’s free to browse the permanent collection.
Georges Heights Lookout
With uninterrupted views across Sydney Harbour from Manly and Vaucluse to the Sydney CBD, it’s easy to see why Georges Heights was once used as a military lookout spot to keep watch for approaching enemy ships. Visitors can walk through relics of the old military structure that used to occupy the spot, including underground tunnels, barracks and concealed gun pits while taking in the spectacular view.
The big smile that marks the entrance to Luna Park is a colourful landmark against the bright blue of Sydney’s harbour beside it. While the view from the Ferris Wheel is pretty special, there is also a great vantage point outside the park, looking back through the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Opera House beyond.
Top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge
It doesn’t get better than this ultimate spot to see Sydney at its finest. Walk to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge with BridgeClimb to enjoy views that extend to the Blue Mountains on one side and the Sydney headlands on the other. Pure magic in every direction. Take the climb at sunrise or sunset for an extra special experience.