The oldest astronomical center in Australia, the Sydney Observatory has a long and glorious history of scientific endeavors. Now converted to a museum and educational facility, it’s officially part of the Powerhouse science museum complex.
The site is located at the top of the appropriately named Observatory Hill, close to the historic shopping and dining area known as The Rocks. As is evident from the wonderful architecture, it was built in 1858, its purpose was to provide accurate time readings for the colony. It quickly evolved into a first rate viewing facility for observing the sky of the southern hemisphere.
The first floor alone is filled with things to see and do. Among the oldest of the exhibits is the Transit circle, one of the largest clocks in the world. Here, too, is a telescope which is open to visitors and along the floor one of the largest rulers in the world during its heyday. Read more…
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Officially known as Port Jackson, Sydney Harbor reaches 20km (12mi) inland, where it joins the mouth of the Parramatta River. But on the ocean side of the harbor is a much more interesting sight: the Sydney Harbor Bridge.
Completed in 1932, the bridge is unquestionably one of the most famous of that famed city’s landmarks. Coming in the middle of the Depression, which was world-wide not merely in the U.S., it was an economic as well as an engineering marvel.
Prior to the bridge the only routes between the center of Sydney in the south and the outlying residential areas in the north were by ferry or a 20km road. The road route required traversing five bridges. Read more…
The Art Gallery of New South Wales is as individual as the country of Australia itself. Housing every style from 16th century landscape to the latest fad-with-no-name, this Sydney museum offers something for every taste.
One of three major public galleries but the only one in Sydney, the building itself is worth a long visit. Classical Greek columns festooned with cloth drapes advertising the latest exhibits remind visitors of a small version of the Metropolitan in New York.
Opened in 1884, but redone at the turn of the 20th century in the classical tradition, every angle says ‘art museum’. The modern additions are well integrated thanks not only to the design, but also to the subtle blend of gray concrete and sandstone. The exhibition space was more than doubled in 1971. The latest major addition was the Captain Cook Bicentenary Wing, completed in 1988. Read more…