Sydney is an insanely beautiful city.
The harbour, the world-famous skyline, the beaches – there is a lot to take in and admire. Whenever I am out and about I am amazed by how attractive this city is. It warms my heart that so much beauty can be found in such a big city.
No wonder that Sydney is a photographer’s paradise. It is not just the natural beauty that this city has to offer but also the generally favourable weather that makes your job really easy.
Whether professional photographer or Instagram addict, local or tourist, Sydney is inviting you to take snapshots all the time. And with your smartphone it’s easier than never before. Do you have an Instagram account? Then feel free to follow me for some beautiful Sydney and travel photos – @hapnthings
So where are the best places to capture this gorgeous city? Let me offer you some suggestions.
Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair
In particular visitors from overseas will appreciate the easy reach of this vantage point, just a couple of minutes by foot from the CBD yet a different world altogether.
If you would like to take a photo of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the office towers of North Sydney and the CBD then this is where you need to go.
Further east you can get a more panoramic shot in Watson’s Bay, but if you cannot make it all the way out there, the point at Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair should do.
One of the most iconic photos for travellers must be the Rich & Famous destination of Bondi’s Icebergs.
This swimming club and high-society playground offers the most spectacular views of Bondi Beach, but what is even more stunning is the view of the rock pool which is often refreshed by the ocean waves washing over the barriers.
The contrast of the bright blue pool and the deep blue of the ocean, highlighted by the white man-made concrete structures are visually extremely appealing.
And if you are lucky you might be able to spot a celebrity or two, too.
On top of Cahill Express Way
It is not that easy to take a really good shot of Circular Quay from ground level but if you want to take a great photo of the commuter ferries, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, the crowds and maybe even a cruise ship then rest assured it can be done.
Just find your way to the glass elevator in the south-east corner of Circular Quay which connects the wharf area with the Cahill Express Way overpass. You thought that this ugly construct was just an eyesore but wait till you make use of the views on top of the overpass. Once out of the elevator turn right and head to the visitor platform. It’s a fantastic spot for taking pictures of Circular Quay, promised.
Dudley Page Reserve Swings
A rather unassuming park in Sydney has become a secret Instagram pilgrimage point in particular for visitors to Sydney.
While Dudley Page Reserve just looks like your average neighbourhood park it actually offers spectacular views of the Sydney skyline, and if you visit the park towards the end of the day you might be able to capture a picture as stunning as this one here that I “borrowed” from a lovely friend of mine (thanks!).
North Head Lookout
A different perspective of Sydney’s wonderful harbour can be found in Manly, in North Head Reserve.
There is one parking lot in particular that allows stunning views of the city which will only be amplified once the sun sets over the city and bathes the city in front of you in a warm golden light. The panorama actually takes your breath away, invites you to sit there and look for hours while boats small as toys go back and forth in Sydney’s harbour.
My favourite place to take overseas visitors.
The giraffe enclosure at Taronga Zoo
An absolute classic. Enjoy a day at the zoo and take in the views (Taronga actually means “beautiful view”).
And here’s the tip: When you are at the giraffe enclosure see if you can take one of these price shots with the giraffes’ heads in front of the Sydney skyline. An intriguing, surprising picture that will impress anyone who didn’t see that one coming.
From a ferry
Sydney’s ferries are integral part of the city’s busy life with thousands of commuters using the little boats every day to get to their workplaces and back. Tourists appreciate the handy vessels too, and a trip on the Manly ferry should be part of any visitor’s itinerary anyway.
Time it so that you have the sun setting behind the Sydney Harbour Bridge and you can take some of the best pictures that you will ever take. It doesn’t quite matter which eastbound ferry you take, the Taronga Zoo ferry also does the trick.
Wedding Cake Rock
This notorious ledge is so famous now it has made headlines a couple of months ago.
Instagrammers in particular are very fond of this rock in the Royal National Park in Sydney’s South. It is the gleaming white and layered stone surface that is extremely appealing and looks just beautiful in photos.
However, with more and more people making the track down to Wedding Cake Rock and more and more daring photos with rather daring photo subjects appearing on the internet, authorities have now fenced off the rock. The stone is soft and might come down any time, and it would be tragic if it would happen while someone was posing for a picture standing on top of it.
Under the Bridge, North Sydney
A different photo perspective of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House can be found if you cross the bridge and find your way down to its base on the North Sydney side. Standing very closely you can easily trace the vanishing point, while the Sydney Opera House will be happily sitting under the arch in the distance. A pretty, more unusual picture, well worth the trip to the other side of the bridge.
And here is a tip: If you want to take a very surprising shot, pay the visitors fee to North Sydney Olympic Pool and then walk to the very end of the bleachers. The reward is a view with the blue pool in front, the historic arches of the pool facade behind that and then the view of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The blue of the pool works very well with these iconic landmarks and will surprise anyone on Instagram who is not familiar with this secret location.
Palm Beach Lighthouse
A gorgeous photo can also be taken in Summer Bay, excuse me, Palm Beach, in Sydney’s north. Palm Beach is a stunning day trip destination, and the highlight is without doubt a visit of the headland with the lighthouse.
From here you can enjoy 360 degrees views from the Central Coast to Sydney, but what is the most fascinating aspect is the panorama of the Palm Beach peninsula with the wild Pacific nibbling the coast to your left and the calm waters on the other side of the dunes to your right. Just stunning.
These are my top 10 Instagram points in Sydney. Let me know in the comments below if you have more attractive photo spots to add to the list; I am always curious to find new and exciting places around Sydney. You can check out my Instagram profile here (@hapnthings).