Sydney is one of the largest cities in the world, covering more than 1,730 sq. km (675 sq. miles) from the sea to the foothills of the Blue Mountains. Thankfully, the city center, or Central Business District (CBD), is compact. The jewel in Sydney’s crown is its magnificent harbor, which empties into the South Pacific Ocean through headlands known as North Head and South Head. On the southern side of the harbor are the high-rises of the city center; the Sydney Opera House; a string of beaches, including Bondi; and the inner suburbs. The Sydney Harbour Bridge and a tunnel connect the city center to the high-rises of the North Sydney business district and the affluent suburbs and ocean beaches beyond.
Main Arteries & Streets -- The city’s main thoroughfare, George Street, runs up from Circular Quay, past Wynyard train station and Town Hall, to Central Station. Other main streets running parallel to George include Pitt, Elizabeth, and Macquarie streets. Macquarie Street runs up from the Sydney Opera House, past the Royal Botanic Gardens and Hyde Park. Martin Place is a pedestrian thoroughfare between Macquarie and George streets. It’s about halfway between Circular Quay and Town Hall—in the heart of the city center. The easy-to-spot Sydney Tower, facing onto pedestrian-only Pitt Street Mall on Pitt Street, is the main city-center landmark. Next to Circular Quay and across from the Opera House is The Rocks, a cluster of small streets that was once part of a historic larger slum and is now a tourist attraction. Roads meet at Town Hall from Kings Cross in one direction and Darling Harbour in the other. From Circular Quay to The Rocks, it’s a 5- to 10-minute stroll, to Wynyard a 10-minute walk, and to Town Hall a 20-minute stroll. From Town Hall to the near side of Darling Harbour, it’s about a 10-minute walk.
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