Guide to Circular Quay
Circular Quay is situated in a small inlet called Sydney Cove, known historically as the founding site for Australia's first European settlement. Nowadays, Circular Quay is better known for its incredible waterfront views that overlook Australia's most architecturally renowned constructions, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. With such magnificent views, it is no wonder that crowds gather around the hub during major festive seasons such as Australia Day and New Year's Eve to witness Sydney's world famous fireworks displays.
For those more historically minded, Circular Quay houses buildings preserved from the early years of settlement, one of which is the Customs House. Customs House had previously served as the headquarters of the Customs Service from its construction in 1844 until 1990. Today, it still stands as an excellent showcase of the architecture and furnishings of a bygone era.
Not short of contemporary icons, Circular Quay is home to the famous Café Sydney and Australian Chamber Orchestra. Located on the rooftop of Customs House, the Café Sydney is perfect for a relaxing break away from the hustle and bustle of the city, while the internationally renowned Australian Chamber Orchestra presents not only the masterworks of the classical repertoire but also innovation cross-artform projects of high standards to its audience.
The Museum of Contemporary Art is another popular attraction in Circular Quay and nature lovers will be pleased to know that Sydney's Royal Botanic Gardens is a short walk away. Finally, a trip to Sydney would be incomplete without a stroll up to Bennelong Point and the renowned Sydney Opera House.
Opera Quays, stretching along East Circular Quay, offers an impressive diversity of great restaurants and exquisite entertainment. Notable bars and restaurants include Quayside Brasserie, Guillaume, Ecq and Opera Bar. From French at Selah and Etch, Japanese at Wagamama's and Chinese at Neptune's Palace, there is a great selection of highly rated cuisine at the Quay.
Circular Quay is home to Sydney's ferry fleet. Those planning a boat trip from Circular Quay are advised to ready their cameras as the views of Sydney when exiting the Quay are stunning. Public ferries connect Circular Quay to Harbour including from Balmain and Manly. Ferry operators also offer a large selection of scenic tours and cruises around the city, from sightseeing tours around Rose Bay and Cockatoo Island to visiting Fort Denison. Kids will also be delighted to know that they may be able to commute by ferry to the outdoor amusement centre Luna Park at Milson's Point and Sydney's Taronga Zoo.
Circular Quay is easily accessible from Sydney's CBD. One easy way to reach the Quay is by catching a train: Circular Quay station is on the same line as Sydney Airport. Sydney's extensive bus network also connects to the Quay.
Circular Quay is a prime location and it is no wonder that most hotels are 5 star. These high-rise hotels offer top-end luxury and facilities, boast magnificent harbour views and are all within a short walk of Sydney's premiere attractions. While these hotels are not cheap, you may want to keep an eye out for special rates offered on this site.