Best views of the Opera House

The Sydney Opera House is the most iconic symbol of the city, gracing the Bennelong Point in the Sydney Harbour. Inaugurated in 1973, after almost 15 years of construction, the Sydney Opera House is a UNESCO World Heritage site valued for its “achievements in structural engineering and building technology.” Stemming out of Sydney’s CBD (short for central business district, or as us North Americans would say, “downtown”), and recognizable from miles away, the Opera House is definitely one of the most photographed sites in the city.

But, what’s the best place to photograph it?

The Sydney Opera House has a bit of an advantage in that case: it looks amazing no matter where you take a picture from. But, some spots are better than others. Here are my top 7 favourite spots to snap a shot of the Opera House (in no particular order):

East End of Circular Quay 

Sydney Opera House
When you get off a bus to go to Circular Quay, and walk towards the Opera House, this is the first view you are likely to see of this landmark. Chances are you’ll reach for your camera instinctively and snap a shot. This is one of the first photos I ever took in Australia, and it’s definitely one of my favourites.

Taronga Zoo 

Sydney Opera House
Taronga Zoo is conveniently located over a hill that looks down on the Sydney Harbour. All animals, the giraffes in particular, must love their view! During your visit, if you are lucky enough, you might even catch an animal or two admiring the Opera House. I found this mountain goat enjoying the Sydney sunset with the Opera House behind it.

Sydney Opera House - Taronga Zoo

On a ferry out from Circular Quay 

Sydney Opera House
If your view isn’t obstructed by a traffic jam of other ferries, then you are a likely to catch a good shot of the Opera House as your ferry pulls away from Circular Quay. Be sure to find yourself a seat on the upper deck for this photo op!

The Glenmore Hotel rooftop

Located in the historic Rocks district, the Glenmore Hotel rooftop isn’t only the best place in the city to grab a drink, it’s also one of the best places to check out the Opera House. Sometimes the rooftop bar also gives out complimentary sunscreen bottles to enjoy the view.

Kirribilli Avenue

Sydney Opera House
If you are on the other side of the Harbour Bridge – the North side – be sure to stop at Kirribilli Avenue, located under the Harbour Bridge, and enjoy this amazing view.

Museum of Contemporary Art’s cafe

Sydney Opera House
There are many good reasons to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art. One of them is the fact that this is the view from their cafe’s patio. You can lean over and people-watch, and also check out that beautiful building in the background.

From your airplane window 

Sydney Opera House
You need a mix of skill and luck to take a photo like this. I was unlucky to have flown into the city during darkness for the first three times and blessed with an aisle seat on another occasion. The first chance I got where I had a window seat, a clear day, and flight attendants that didn’t tell me to put my camera away, I took this photo.

What’s your favourite spot? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

5 responses

  1. Pingback: Top Five Things I’ll Miss About Sydney « roopgill

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