I arrived in Sydney early on the 23rd and ended up waiting for a couple of hours for my room. I was staying at the Hotel Ibis Darling Harbour. The room was plain, but had all the essentials, and I wasn't planning on doing more than sleeping there anyway. I got settled, cleaned up, and headed out about 12:30 pm.
I did some shopping for souvenirs, walked from Darling Harbour to Circular Quay and wandered around being a rube for a while. Then I took The Rocks Walking Tour from The Rocks Visitor Centre for a couple of hours. Very nice historical tour. Well worth the time and money. I didn't take too many pictures on the tour, I was more interested in just looking and experiencing things.
I took the advice of the Frommer's 99 Australia guide and walked over the Harbour Bridge. But I decided to do it my own way. I took a ferry from Darling Harbour to Milson's Point and walked south over the bridge. The only problem with this idea was how far uphill it was from the ferry landing to the walkway access on the bridge. If you want to walk south over the bridge, I definitely recommend taking the train over rather than the ferry. OTOH, it was a very nice walk and good practice for some of the walks I took later in the trip.
The view from the bridge was great, as was the view from the top of the Pylon Lookout on the south side of the bridge. The climb all the way to the top of the pylon was strenuous, but it was broken up nicely by a museum and several historical displays. Doing the trip daily would certainly keep you in shape.
Heading to Circular Quay reading the Writer's Walk along the way. I had a very nice lunch at Rossini's in Circular Quay, and the prices were not too bad. Then along the Writer's Walk some more to the Opera House and a tour of it. No pictures allowed in the Opera House, but we did get to hear the symphony rehearsing and no one wanted to leave.
After the Opera House tour I wandered through the Sydney Royal Botanic Gardens for a very short time. Catching a Red Sydney Explorer Bus from Mrs. Mcquarie's Rd. back up to Circular Quay. Caught the Harbour Lights ferry ride to see the harbour at night. Well worth the money and time, but I wasn't able to get any pictures in the dark.
Spent the morning getting things around to travel the next day and shopping for souvenirs. Had lunch at City Extra at Circular Quay, good food, but lousy service. Then caught the Jetcat to Manly and explored there the rest of the day. Walked along the Sculpture Walk on the shore, several interesting pieces to look at. Spent too long walking around so it was dark by the time I got back to Manly. The ride back to Sydney on the Jetcat was very nice, with a different view of the night lights on the Harbour. Once back to Circular Quay, I took the opportunity to take the pictures below of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. I was rather pleased with the way they turned out.
I had dinner at Phillip's Foote on George St. near Circular Quay. Good food at good prices.
Here are some things I really think you should do if you are visiting Sydney for a few days. The Sydney Pass is a great way to get around while you are there. It gets you on the harbour ferries, the Red Sydney Explorer buses, the Bondi & Bay Explorer buses, regular Sydney Buses, regular Sydney Trains, and the Harbour Cruises.
For some different views of Sydney check out www.nemeng.com. You need Quicktime VR to get the most out of the site.