I’ll start with what you might think would be the obvious choice (but surprisingly, it isn’t even the best seat in the house!)
- Sydney Opera House – construction on this performing arts center started in 1958 and opened 15 years later in 1973. They host all types of events, such as plays, ballets, concerts, and of course – Vivid Sydney. It’s free to go inside, but if you want a guided tour, you’ll have to buy a ticket here. Even if you’re not there to catch a show or join a tour, the view of the exterior is still spectacular. If you go around the back, you will get an unobstructed view of the bridge. For more facts about the Sydney Opera House, check out this article.
- Royal Botanic Gardens – you can cut through this 74-acre park from the Central Business District to get to the Opera house. It’s a much quieter and nicer route to take than the city streets.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge – if you’re a brave soul and heights don’t phase you, you can actually CLIMB the bridge! But since I wasn’t one of those brave souls, I had to settle for just walking across the bridge (well, halfway..but that still counts right?) Even walking on solid ground, I felt a little scared, even though I’m not normally afraid of heights. It almost felt like it was shaking but maybe it was just in my head. It was definitely worth it to get that nighttime shot of the opera house!
- Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair – Mrs. Who? was the first thought I had when I heard of this spot. Elizabeth Macquarie was the New South Wales Governor’s wife. In 1910, convicts carved a rock into the shape of a bench for her so that she could sit and watch the ships sail by in the harbour. I don’t know the full story behind it but I do know that you’ll get a perfect view of the bridge and the opera house side by side. It’s about a 15 minute walk from the opera house.
- Dawes Point – here is where you can get a closer view of the bridge but a further view of the opera house. Since we happened to go during Chinese New year, there were a lot of events happening around Sydney. One of them was the the Lanterns of the Terracotta Warriors. We got to see 90 of these lanterns light up the Sydney night sky, with the bridge as the backdrop.