Sydney CBD Skyline

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One of the best places to get a bird’s eye view over the Sydney CBD area is from the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylon Lookout, accessible via Cumberland Street. It’s an easy stroll from the Rocks to get to the pylon, and then another brisk 200 steps to the top. The viewing platform will give you a sweeping view over Circular Quay, Campbell’s Cove, the harbour, and of course, Sydney Harbour Bridge itself. Pity the lookout closes at 5pm – the sunset from here would have been gorgeous.

Edit: Freshly pressed! Welcome to all – I hope you enjoy your stay. And many thanks to the WordPress folks πŸ™‚

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284 thoughts

  1. I’ve the fondest memories of Sydney and your picture brings me back to happy days. I just love it. BTW, the colours of your photos are always so incredibly vivid. Do you use a filter or something? Thanks. πŸ™‚

    • Everyone should have the pleasure of escaping back to their happy days πŸ™‚ this photo- yep, I threw on a polarizer to cut the glare off the water and the buildings. Also did some curve adjustments in post process. My standard go-to procedure 99% of the time.

  2. Absolutely lovely. Sydney is one of my favourite cities. It’s beautiful there and I think you’ve captured that beauty perfectly.

    • Hehe I can just shut my eyes and still see this sight in my mind. Hope you get to have a short trip home soon! I know how it feels- I used to miss the simplest and most ridiculous things when living abroad.

      • It’s true – I miss Vegemite and being able to open the car door on the real passenger side πŸ™‚ Stunning shot. It really is such a wonderful view of Sydney. Was that from the Harbour Bridge?

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  4. Sydney is beautiful.It is a lovely city with colonial buildings and picturesque scenery.I was there in December 2011 .This picture brought back the sight I saw a few month’s back.

  5. Really cool photo, unfortunately when I was in Sydney it was raining so I couldn’t get pictures like this nor get up high on the harbour bridge! But even with heavy sideways rain Sydney was great!

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  7. I am in Sydney right now for a week, and I dont think I’ve been swept away by any view in any city as I was day before yesterday standing in the same spot as you in this photo. Its beautiful and well captured πŸ™‚
    Also, congrats for being Freshly Passed !

  8. This is a stunning shot! I had the pleasure of being in Sydney for a few days in the last millennium and was able to get a great view of the opera house on the ferry ride back from Manley Beach. The Harbour Bridge was lit up at night and brought symmetry to the whole area. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I spent one whole year in this city and strolled into circular quay nearly every day. Too bad my visa expired! I think you can see my heart in this picture πŸ˜‰ Thank you!

      • Never! The harbour is just beautiful. The boat ride was sometimes chilly, or the traffic in the morning over the bridge was super slow, but the sound of the busks in Circular Quay, the sound of the trains, hearing different languages, and people watching was so relaxing to me. If you are still there, walk across the bridge to Milson’s Point just before sunset. Walk down to the water, on the opposite side of the bridge as Luna Park. To the left of the Jeffery Street Ferry dock, there is a nice little grass area that none of the tourists know about. I would sit there all the time and watch the city light up as the sun went down. It was my favourite thing to do. πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

      • It doesn’t sound like any commute to work I know! Ha. Sadly, I’ve left Sydney. I did make it to Milson’s Point, but had to choose between this or Kirribilli (I think that’s where you were referring to?). Because of the very very brief window of opportunity, I stuck to Milson’s Point instead.

  10. Beautiful! I had the pleasure of going to Sydney in September and loved it- although your pictures are way better than mine! Thanks for sharing!

  11. I did the sunset bridge climb and it was spectacular. We had our picture taken at the top of the bridge. Unfortunately, they do not allow you to take your own camera for safety reasons on the climb but I will always remember the view! We were only in Sydney for two days and one night on our trip but I hope to return for a longer visit some day.

    • Ugh. Did they charge another arm and leg for the photo? Other than the cost, another reason we didn’t do it was because how much time it required. Will seriously consider it on my return visit. Since the pylon is closed at 5, it’s the only way you get sunset shots at that height and location..

  12. Great shot of Sydney Harbor. I’m American but I have an aunt that lives in Tassie. I’d like to come to Australia some day to visit.

  13. I live outside of Sydney and get there often but it never ceases to amaze me on every visit. I haven’t been up the bridge or the pylon. You’ve made me realise how slack I am. The photo is perfect, the curves in it make it unique. Cheers Sue

  14. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! You’ve captured the scene so well I can almost feel the refreshing habour breeze that comes with walking along the Bridge. I used to walk across the Harbour Bridge every day from work and never got tired of this spectacular view.

      • You are welcome. Not from the area. I’m in the states and haven’t been to Sydney yet but no matter where I’ve gone sunsets always seems to be fairly unpredictable. When you think it’ll be unimpressive it’ll sometimes knock your socks off and other times when you’re expecting an awesome one it turns out to be fairly boring. Seems to be a game nature plays with us. πŸ™‚

      • So very true! I woke up at 6am on almost everyday hoping to get a gorgeous sunrise while I was in Sydney, but sadly, it never happened. Good thing there’s always the fifteen minutes of transition where the skies always seem to be slightly interesting regardless of the weather…

      • Oops, that reply was meant for your Metal Jungle post… lol.
        By strolling around I meant strolling through your blog, you do have some lovely pics.

  15. I love this photo — this makes me want to walk to Sydney right now! The vibrant colors, the beautiful water, and the cool architecture make for one exciting capture. Thanks so much for sharing this and I’ll make sure I keep watching out for your work.

    Cheers to great captures, Sydney Australia, and bird’s eye views!

    cc:Keith

  16. love the skyline! Traveling is one of the best things anyone can do. I just came back from Costa Rica and def saw some amazing views there as well. Pictures are on my blog if your interested!

  17. Positively beautiful. I’ve never seen this view. The colors are so rich. They need to let a few photographers in at sunsetβ€”of course, that would serve to draw more tourists once they caught a sunset view. Sydney, are you listening?

  18. In a recent spring cleaning I threw away a plastic scale model of the Opera House… I think my grandmother picked it up thirty years ago and I’ve been carrying it around for twenty, unable to part with it for some odd reason. Your photograph makes me feel much better about getting rid of it because this is so much better and vivid than a hunk of plastic. Can’t wait to see the real thing.

    • The opera house tiles were quite surprisingly yellow in color – something I wasn’t expecting. Under sunlight, the tiles actually gleam, also something I wasn’t expecting. I hope you get to visit it soon, and own your memorabilia of it πŸ™‚

  19. Reminds me of my visit. I stayed right by the opera house in the Holiday Inn. I walked all the way there to the other side of the bridge where the giant garage sale is. Beautiful city.

  20. Brings back memories of a fantastic stay in Sydney. We have some pictures from the lookout and also did the tourist thing of the Harbour Bridge climb. What an experience and what a view, you’ve captured it beautifully.

  21. Love the shot! I took almost an identical one when I was up there last year (although yours was much better!!). Sydney is one of the best cities in the world. Congrats on being freshly pressed! ;-). I don’t update my blog regularly enough. I’m a bad blogger. lol

  22. Sydney is one of my favorite places in the world, and I’m really loving hat shot! I wish the bridge had been open when we were there – I’m definitely making the hike next time I go!

  23. Congratulations on Freshly Pressed! I have lived and worked in Sydney for almost twenty years and I can honestly write, that each time I see the harbour and it’s surroundings, it makes me gasp. When the sun shines, the harbour sparkles and I feel absolutely blessed to live in such a beautiful city. Your photo’s are amazing and I am so happy you enjoyed yourself! Come back soon! My best to you.

    • Oh yeah- definitely enjoyed myself. I imagine Sydney-siders will know much more places to to catch sunrise. But I’ll never forget the first time I stepped onto Circular Quay πŸ™‚

  24. I totally want to go and each time I get up the nerve I remember all the programs on TV about how Australia has the most deadly “everything creepy” that lives on the planet. I need hypnosis because your blog is a great representation of all the beautiful things I am missing. Great job!

    • Those tv programs tell the truth. But you’ll probably see the worst of them in the more rural areas. Sydney airport did have an advert boasting of thousands of species of spiders though. It definitely didn’t do anything for me!

  25. Isn’t Sydney just gorgeous? I agree, they need to make the lookout accessible at dusk. I dream of snapping a photo of Sydney’s harbourline when there’s that golden sunset light shining down on it!

    From a fellow Sydneysider

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