A cultural heritage icon expresses something about the place in which it is located, in this case, Sydney, Australia. Icons take on a symbolic meaning that make them a part of our social history and help to define our identity. We are all different, so a Sydney cultural heritage icon may be totally different for each of us. Let’s look at some old favourites & hopefully introduce you to a few you may not have thought of.

1. The Museum of Sydney

If you want to learn more about Sydney’s early history, then start by planning a trip to the Museum of Sydney located at the corner of Phillip and Bridge Streets, Sydney. The Museum is built on top of the remains of our very first Government House. This modern building protects those fragile remains for future generations. This is also recorded to be the site of the first contact between the local indigenous population and the British colonists. If you are interested in seeing artifacts from the earliest days of Sydney’s settlement, then this is the place for you.

2. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel

Here’s one for the road. For as long as Sydney has existed, it’s residents have enjoyed the odd glass of ale. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, located in Kent Street, The Rocks, is proud of its title as Sydney’s oldest continually licensed hotel. This icon has been serving beers non-stop since 1841. The Lord Nelson was established by a plasterer named William Wells, who converted his house into a sandstone hostel in the early 1840s.The pub has maintained its original facade ever since. A brewery was added to the site in the 1980s and 90s.

3. Harry’s Cafe de Wheels

Once you have experienced the oldest pub in Sydney then, you can move on to another famous Sydney heritage cultural icon, the pie. The pie is a regular football game staple, a wonderful midnight snack and is the ultimate comfort food in the cooler weather.

The most iconic location for a great Sydney pie is Harry’s Cafe de Wheels which is on Cowper Wharf Road at Woolloomooloo. For over 70 years, this establishment has been putting smiles on hungry faces. The pies are generous in size and Harry’s is open until very late. This is a must stop on the Sydney street food scene.  

4. The Sydney Opera House

The Opera House is located on Sydney Harbour’s Bennelong Point at the northeastern edge of the Sydney CBD. It is surrounded on three sides by the water and stands apart from the rest of the harbour’s icons. It is, perhaps, Sydney’s most famous man-made icon worldwide. The Sydney Opera House is a unique feat of architectural design and engineering that adds to the character of the scenic Sydney Harbour. This structure is a unique combination of innovation and creativity and has caused the odd controversy. The Sydney Opera House is a remarkable building that has played host to over 1,500 performances and draws audiences of around 1.2 million people each year.

5. The Domain

The Domain is a heritage listed 34-hectare site of open space located on the eastern edge of the Sydney CBD. The Domain adjoins the Royal Botanic Gardens and is managed by the Royal Botanic Gardens Trust, a division of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage.

The Domain was established in 1788 by Governor Arthur Philip, who decreed that the land be set aside for the Crown, but did not determine what its purpose would be. He said it should be free of leaseholds and able to be used by the people. It was not until the 1830s that the Domain was cleared of trees and truly opened up as a public area.

The Domain is an extremely popular venue for outdoor concerts, open-air events, large political gatherings and rallies. It is used daily by the people of Sydney to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and to enjoy exercise and relaxation.

Check out the Events at The Domain website to see what’s on while you are in town.

6. The Savoy Hotel

What better way to end your day of Sydney’s cultural heritage icons, than to come back to the Savoy Hotel in Knox Street, Double Bay. This gem of luxury and relaxation is a must stay while in Sydney. It is close to the city centre while being just far enough away to promote a tranquil stay with first class facilities. Enjoy!

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