Built by convict labor in Sydney Cove, bustling Circular Quay is now home to the city’s main ferry terminal. Thousands of commuters flood the area at peak hours, cafés abound, and street performers entertain locals and visitors along the sunny walkways. For tourists, this is a launching point for the popular harbor cruises, one of the best ways to appreciate Sydney’s sparkling waterfront setting. Ferries also depart from here to prime spots such as Manly, Watson’s Bay, and Taronga Park Zoo. The zoo is a great family outing and a good way to see some of Australia’s famous native wildlife, as well as animals from around the world. Purchase a Sydney Taronga Zoo Entry Ticket in advance, which includes a ride on the Sky Safari gondola.
During the annual winter migration, whale-watching cruises take passengers out past Sydney Heads to view these magnificent creatures. From Circular Quay, head south along the waterfront promenade to the Opera House and Royal Botanic Gardens, while a short walk to the north leads to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Rocks historic area. To the west, the free Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in an Art Deco building, displays cutting-edge and, often controversial, exhibitions.