To get a better grasp on the layout of the expansive Sydney city and its over 600 suburbs, a trip up to some of its heights would be in order. As a person who took this approach on her first visit to Sydney, I can attest that not only does this help you to gain a perspective on where suburbs and landmarks lie (much better than looking at a map from street level), but it also provides the best views of Sydney.
To help you better give your eyes some panorama pleasure, we’ve compiled a list of the places around Sydney that provide the best views from above.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
On any day of the week, a walking path on the side of the bridge is open for pedestrians to walk across – an activity often done by tourists in order to take a look at the glory of Sydney from a height. Even more awe-inspiring is the view from 440 feet (134 meters) after you’ve completed the Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, a feat even conquered by Oprah on her visit to the land down under.
Coming in a just $11 AUD for a climb, the Pylon Lookout, on the end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, is said to provide views of a comparable degree to the Bridge Climb, but for a much more budget-friendly price. Climb the 200 stairs to get the perfect view of the Sydney Opera House at 285 feet (87 meters) above the harbor.
The Sydney Tower observation deck, 820 feet (250 meters) high, was my first glimpse at the land of Sydney from above; its room of glass windows in a 360 degree structure means you get to play spot the landmark in any which direction. Or, if you’re brave, you can do the SKYWALK – a glass-bottom viewing platform outside! While not the cheapest experience on its own, tickets can usually be bundled with other activities for more value and cheaper price.
Sydney Tower Buffet
In the same building but on another level from the observation deck, a great place to get a view from above is at the Sydney Tower Buffet. Stuff yourself silly with Australian grub, such as kangaroo and crocodile, while basking in the panorama of Sydney from the ocean to the Inner West.
Rooftop bars are a dime a dozen in Sydney, but one that is both casually trendy and in perfect proximity to view the Sydney Harbour Bridge is the Glenmore Rooftop. On a sunny day, a cold beer and a view at the Glenmore is one of my favorite things to do.
Seaplane Flight over Sydney
Fly over the city and really see it from above on a seaplane. The Sydney Scenic Flight by Seaplane gives you spectacular views from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to Bondi Beach, and the Lunch at Cottage Point Inn by Seaplane from Sydney gives you aerial photo-ops of the city’s landmarks, plus lunch at Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Sydney Harbour YHA
Located in the heart of the Rocks, and with an open rooftop with a straight-on view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Sydney Harbour YHA would probably be the most-recommended hostel in Sydney. That said, being so nice and new, and with an archaeological excavation in its lower level, the price lets people know it is something special, too.
Of course, the best way to get an aerial view of Sydney city would be by a private helicopter tour.