Chinese Garden of Friendship picture1 of 2
Chinese Garden of Friendship2 of 2
Vincenzo De Palo PHOTO/Getty Images

Key Info

Pier Street, Corner Harbour Street

Details

Parks and Gardens Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0

scorecard

  • 4.5Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Located in Darling Harbour, this gem of a garden is a little breath of fresh air in the city. The Chinese Garden of Friendship was built as a symbol of friendship between Sydney, New South Wales and the city of Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China (sister cities of sister states), to mark Sydney's bicentennial in 1988. Recent visitors called it a serene and beautiful place to relax.

Designed and built by Chinese landscape architects and gardeners, the walled garden follows the Taoist principles of "Yin-Yang," the opposing yet complementary and balanced forces, and "Wu-Xing," the five elements or phases – wood, fire, earth, metal and water. As you wander, you'll encounter waterfalls, lakes, exotic plants, pavilions and hidden pathways. Three daily tours, included with admission, are a great way to learn about the garden.

The garden is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (until 5:30 p.m. from October through May). Admission costs AU$6 ($4.25) and AU$3 ($2) for children 11 and younger (admission is waived for those with an iVenture Card). From Circular Quay, visitors can take a short ferry ride to Darling Harbour. The light rail has two stations, Paddy's Market and Pyrmont Bay, in the neighborhood, and car parks and water taxi docks can also be found. For more about information, visit Darling Harbour's website.

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Sydney Harbour Bridge1 of 17
Sydney Harbour2 of 17
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge stands next to the Opera House as one of the city's most iconic landmarks. Lovingly called the "Coathanger" by locals, this towering structure is one of the world's largest steel arch bridges. And while you can capture stunning pictures of the bridge from one of Sydney Harbour's ferry boats, for an unforgettable experience, sign up for a bridge climb through BridgeClimb Sydney. Ranging from nearly two to nearly four hours in length, the bridge climb provides visitors with panoramic views of the Harbour, the Sydney skyline and the Opera House.

Although some former visitors complained of the high price tags, many said the bridge climbs are the best way to experience this iconic attraction, calling it a must-do experience. While climbs are offered throughout the day every day, travelers recommend scheduling a climb at twilight, which will give you three different views – daylight, sunset and nighttime – in one. If you're afraid of heights, reviewers still suggest you consider the experience as the staff is well-trained to help you overcome your anxieties.

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