Feeling like squeezing a little culture into our time in Sydney, we bought tickets for a tour. Admittedly, this was a bit of a gamble. I’m not a huge fan of so-called ‘tourist traps’, but I was curious to see the inside of Sydney Opera House. Sadly, we didn’t fancy any of the shows on offer at the Opera House (or they’d sold out), so this was our best chance! We walked along through Circular Quay and past Sydney Harbour Bridge on a glorious day to Sydney Opera House.
Sydney Harbour Bridge
Following my climb, it’s nice to appreciate the bridge from across instead of on top of it. With the ocean sparkling, we stopped for a few pictures and also admired the view for a while.
Sydney Opera House Tour
We met our tour leader, Curly. He was fab! Very knowledgeable, very friendly, and all in all a great tour guide. One of those people who manage to make some trivial details genuinely really interesting. We first headed outside, and up the steps of the Opera House. As you can see, the views of the Harbour Bridge were pretty special.
That’s Admiralty House. Funnily enough, it’s exactly where Kate, Wills, and baby George recently stayed on their April tour of Australia. What a view they’d have had from their room.
Inside Sydney Opera House
Curly then took us inside the Opera House. This was one of the most famous rooms. It has its renowned purple carpets graced by some very important people, and is a famous venue for high profile weddings and parties. It hosted the reception of tennis player Lleyton Hewitt and Becky Cartwright, and countless other couples.
The purple carpet was known to startle Pavarotti. Story has it that the hugely famous opera singer was too afraid to step onto the carpet because of his superstitious fear of the colour purple. But I love it – don’t you?
Much of the tour was explaining the architecture behind the Opera House, and the life of the architect himself, the great Dane Jørn Utzon. I was amazed at the little details he added. Virtually everything was considered whilst it was being constructed, from the materials that would affect the acoustics, to the angle of the windows so as to avoid reflection whilst visitors looked out at the superb view. Construction was finally completed on Sydney Opera House in 1973. Sadly I wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside the main concert halls, but they are pretty incredible.
Outside Sydney Opera House
We set foot outside again, and explored the outside architecture. Can you believe the tiles are ‘self-cleaning’? How does that even work!?
Although the building appears cream from afar, all the tiles are actually yellow and grey.
It really is such an impressive creation, and it’s so sad to think the genius behind it never got to see the finished product. Sadly, Utzon was too ill to ever travel from Denmark to Australia in his dying days to see it in the flesh. The tour beat all my expectations, and it’s definitely something I’d recommend to visitors to Sydney! You can buy your tickets here.
Have you been inside Sydney Opera House? Perhaps you went to a show or did the guided tour too? If so, what did you think?