Sydney skyline views can be enjoyed while shopping or dining or while lounging in the sun on the roof decks of your hotels. However, the best views of the Sydney skyline are seen from the water, and there are many opportunities to enjoy this. As with many cities that are built around large natural harbors, this city presents its best face to the sea. And, simply getting around is often most conveniently done on the water. Main transportation routes for locals to commute to and from work include the city's ferries, with many routes that pass by, under, or around signature landmarks like the soaring sails of the Sydney Opera House and the graceful arch of the Harbour Bridge.
The views of the Sydney skyline are just part of the package when you book whale watching cruises or head out on deep sea fishing expeditions. Both private tour boats and commuter ferries even cruise to the incredible Taronga Zoo. The Sydney skyline at night is also quite beautiful, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is on a sunset cocktail or dinner cruise. There are several companies that do this, and some of the cruises include entertainment, music, and dancing after the cocktails and the dinner.
Other than the obvious Sydney skyline landmarks including the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, you will see hundreds of striking skyscrapers, punctuated by the Centre Tower (often called the Sydney Tower). You can ascend 820 feet to the tower's Observation Deck for incredible panoramic 360-degree vistas. A ticket to the Observation Deck includes the thrilling fifteen-minute OzTrek ride, a cinema with real motion seating and 180-degree, 12-foot-high screens. The film and surround sound take you over the Sydney skyline and through the history and natural wonders of the country—from the legendary Uluru - Ayers Rock in the Outback to the breathtaking gorges and rivers of Queensland.
The tower is open after dark, so this is also a great vantage point to view the Sydney skyline at night when its skyscrapers and landmarks are lit up with twinkling lights. There are a variety of architectural styles available along the harbor, including the Romanesque Queen Victoria Building, art deco structures, and even the vigilant tower of the Sydney Lighthouse originally erected in the early nineteenth century. The biggest cluster of modern skyscrapers and high rise structures are south of the Opera House, and include the Sydney Tower, MLC Centre, Deutsche Bank Place, Chifley Tower, and the Governor Phillip Tower.
Views of the Sydney skyline can even be seen as you come in on the airport approach and before you ever set foot on land. One of the best local events to view the Sydney skyline at night is New Year's Eve. The fireworks display on this festive evening is one of the most elaborate and spectacular in the world. Television networks from BBC to CNN will reliably show this display as the mark the turning of the year around the world. The center of the event is the Harbour Bridge, from where the fireworks are set off. Called the Bridge Effect, this dynamic display is revealed at midnight with designs and special effects shooting off on a framework and from the arch, pylons, and road.