Nice Things Around Sydney

This site covers the following topics Sydney cultural tourism, Australia, New South Wales, parks, walks, beaches, national parks, biota, biology, botany, zoology, geology, animals, birds, invertebrates, dangerous animals, plants, scenery, culture, traditions, language, people, music, literature, arts, theatre, drama, ballet, art, gallery, galleries, opera, music, museums, history, geography, travel: I have provided this hidden list for search engines that ignore meta tags.
Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and Fort Denison, seen after a Manly ferry rounds Bradley's Head. This is a Sydneysider's view of what is nice about Sydney. I don't get paid by anybody to push their operation, so if I recommend something, it's because I think it's good. If I don't mention it, that may be because it is bad, or because I haven't tried it yet. To see what is on this site, go to the menu page and poke around. To find out what the latest additions are, see What's New. There is also a picture gallery that approaches 30 meg.

Who I am writing for

I am writing for people who may be interested in cultural tourism in and around Sydney. That means no tourist traps, no theme parks here, just simple pleasures and delights. You may be a tourist from overseas, you may be from another state, you may have just moved to Sydney, or you might be an old hand, looking for something new and different. My aim is to share ideas and offer insight, even if that means telling about the dirty doings that ruined the Opera House as a venue for opera and ballet.

I am a science writer who understands the biology and the geology, and a bit of a culture vulture. When I visit other cities, I want to know about the animals, the plants and geology -- and Sydney's geology is highly spectacular. I also want to know where the nice places are, and how to do it cheaply. That is what I have tried to do here.

To save myself time, I will point to official pages where it seems appropriate. I may well come back later and add more information, but then again, I might not. At least you will get some starting points and some names to Google on.

This began one day when I was headed for a day of research in the State Library of NSW, and I decided to try the lift (that's an elevator if you are American) near Circular Quay, and wander up through the Royal Botanic Gardens. I thought there might be a way around the Conservatorium of Music, and when I saw two people heading down one side of the building, I wandered along behind. When they turned back, I asked them if there was a way through. They said they thought it might be an area where the public could not go. Being stubborn, I walked on, and found a magical spot with views out over the harbour, and I thought how nice it would be as a place to show overseas visitors. (Yes, I know: I really ought to write up this walk for you -- I have not been able to get the right shots yet!     It's on the list . . .)

This file is, first created on February 28, 2006. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) of this page was on September 3, 2009 but I don't often make changes here. See the What's New page to find out what is being updated.

© These pages were created by Peter Macinnis, the author of Kokoda Track: 101 Days, Pioneers, Heroes and Fools, Mr Darwin's Incredible Shrinking World, The Speed of Nearly Everything and 100 Discoveries. Not to mention The Lawn and Australian Backyard Explorer, published in July and August 2009. If you would like to encourage me by reading or buying one of those books, I promise not to be upset.

You are free to point at this page. Copies of this page or set of pages may be stored on PDAs or printed for personal use. You can't contact me at, but if you add my first name to the front of that email address, you can -- this is a low-tech way of making it harder to harvest the e-mail address I actually read.

Since September 2006, there have been visits to pages on this site. G'day!