Sydney, Australia

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Cruising to Sydney

Although not the administrative capital of Australia, Sydney is considered by many to be the nation's cultural capital, and is home to many of its most iconic landmarks and top attractions. And while a trip to Oz may once have been seen as a form of punishment for British convicts, these days it is quite the opposite, with the land Down Under being one of the most desirable holiday destinations in the world.

If you're passing through Sydney on a cruise and don't have too much time to explore the city then you'll be pleased to find that many of its most famous attractions are in fact condensed into a relatively small area, making it easy to make the most out of just a few short hours in the city. As you may have guessed, the place to head to is the world-famous Sydney Harbour.

Here, you'll find the instantly recognisable Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is the largest steel arch bridge in the world. While some may be content to just look at it, those who want to get up close and personal can take part in a tour that will see them climb over the enormous structure, providing stunning views across the city and a real adrenaline rush.

A stone's throw from the bridge is the Sydney Opera House, which, despite having been built as recently as 1973, is among the world's most iconic and prestigious performance venues. With more than 2,000 shows held here each year, there's bound to be something playing during your visit.

The area between Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House is known as The Rocks, and is one of the most historic and culturally rich quarters of the city. As well as hosting a number of markets, it is also home to Australia's only Museum of Contemporary Art, so spending some time here is a real must as you travel between Sydney's major landmarks.

Of course, there is also lots to explore away from the harbour side, with the famous Bondi Beach being a fantastic place for people-watching, water sports and sunbathing, while the Sydney Aquarium contains more than 650 marine species, as well as fragments of coral from the Great Barrier Reef.

When it comes to eating, meanwhile, you'll find much more than just shrimps on the barbie, with Sydney having a reputation for its excellent fusion cuisine. This tends to be a mix of Asian, European and traditional Australian dishes, and the Quay Restaurant in The Rocks is among the most respected eateries in the whole country.

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