Opera and so much more in Sydney

It may not be a capital city but, around the world, Sydney, with its iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, is probably the best known city in Australia.

If there is a single image that identifies Sydney, it must be the bright, photogenic silhouette of the city looking out over the harbour. The great arch of the Harbour Bridge and the unfurled 'sails' of the Opera House are known and recognised all around the world. But the Opera House is not the only venue in town and now, until the middle of April, 2012, Opera Australia are providing an additional incentive to discover Australia's oldest and most populous city as they present Verdi's romantic classic, La Traviata, on a purpose built stage on the harbour waters. Whether you manage to attend this glorious outdoor spectacle, or visit another time, there's plenty to do: explore The Rocks, the area where everything began, with its historic warehouses, themed pubs and narrow streets, or Circular Quay, the modern heart of the city. Enjoy a meal high up in the Sydney Tower – at 305 metres, it's the country's second highest building and offers an incredible view of the city with the Pacific in the background. Check out the ambience of Darling Harbour, the nightlife of Kings Cross, the skyscrapers and bustle of activity on George Street, and beaches such as Manly Beach and Bondi Beach, where the legendary Australian surfers ride the waves... Our photo gallery will give a tase of what's in store for visitors.

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Sydney, Australia
Enjoying over 300 days of sunshine a year, the capital of New South Wales is a pleasant place to live, looking out over the bay, with fantastic beaches near the city and plenty of parks and green spaces / © NSW 

skyline, Sydney, Australia
Whether you see the gleaming roof as the sails of a ship drawing into harbour or the wings of a great sea bird coming in to land, the Opera House is one of the most famous elements of the stunning Sydney skyline/ © NSW 

Sydney Harbour Bridge, Australia
The Harbour Bridge, opened in 1932, united the north and south of the city and is the fifth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world: a view point in one of the towers affords a breath-taking panoramic view of the city / © NSW 

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
Sydney has over 50 beaches, but the best known are Manly, and Bondi (in the photo) / © Tourism Australia – David Ireland 

Sydney, Australia
The historic district of The Rocks is a maze of cobbled streets and alleys lined with terraced houses and some of the oldest pubs in Sydney. The area is made even more popular by the number of museums and galleries, bustling markets and hotels that look out over the harbour / © Tourism Australia 

Sydney, Australia
The New South Wales Art Gallery, next to the Royal Botanical Gardens, is one of Australia's most important art museums. The Sydney Tower (right, seen from  Hyde Park) is another iconic element of the city skyline / © NSW 

Sydney, Australia
Keanu Reeves as Neo looks out over the heart of the vast Australian city, in a scene from the Matrix 

Sydney, Australia
The multicultural, modern and cosmopolitan character of the city was given an extra boost by the Olympic Games, which were held here in 2000 / © Tourism Australia 

Sydney, Australia
A visit to Australia wouldn't be complete without seeing the kangaroos and koalas; in Sydney Zoo you can even feed and pet them / © Tourism Australia 

Sydney, Australia
Australia is famous for its wildlife and at Featherdale Wildlife Park near Sydney you can find more than 2000 species of native animals including koalas, kangaroos, emus, wombats, reptiles and all kinds of birds / © Tourism Australia 

Opera House interior, Sydney, Australia
In Sydney, skyscrapers tower over the bay to produce one of the world's most attractive city skylines. The Opera House (right) houses five theatres, rehearsal studios, two main halls, four restaurants, six bars and souvenir shops / © Tourism Australia 

Westin Hotel, Sydney, Australia
The opulence of the Westin Sydney, whose staircase was the setting for the deja vu scene in Matrix 

Harbour scene, Sydney, Australia
With its sun-drenched cliffs, islands, beaches and bays, Sydney is probably Ausralia's most famous city / © Tourism Australia 

Sydney, Australia
A purpose built floating stage has been set up on the waters of the harbour for the spectacular presentation of La Traviata, in spring 2012, with the Opera House in the background / © Tourism Australia