Sweet Sights in Sydney

Sydney, Australia: A bustling city of tourists, bankers, and students. Or is it an oasis of tropical greens,  blooming flowers, and natural wonders? I didn't hesitate to fill every single day (even show day) with a new activity to experience and a new destination to explore.

Art Gallery NSW
We arrived in Sydney on a Wednesday night, and lucky for me the Art Gallery NSW that was a five minute walk from our hotel had an, "Art After Dark" event. The gallery, which usually closes at 5PM, has extended hours and special activities on Wednesday evenings. As soon as I dropped off my luggage in my room I dashed to the gallery and headed straight for the contemporary art wing:

A frame within a frame within a frame
Warhol's "Flowers"
Royal Botanic Gardens
My absolute favorite part about Sydney is the giant botanical garden that is located right along the harbor. Whether it was for a jog, a picnic, or a breathtaking view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, I visited the park every single day. Cara and I spent the first part of our first day off exploring every nook and cranny of the park:

Sydney Opera House
After our lengthy stroll through the park, Cara and I ended up at the Sydney Opera House, which is located at the northwest corner of the garden. For $25 (using my Bruin Card for the student discount) we took a tour of the iconic building. The tour gives people access to both main concert halls and other areas restricted to the general public.

State Library NSW
After my Opera House tour I checked out the State Library NSW down the street. There were banners all over the city advertising an exhibit called, Time in Motion: 50 Years of The Australian Ballet, which seemed interesting. It features old costumes, photographs, and video footage from select works the company performed over the years. Additionally, the library offers a variety of other miscellaneous galleries and exhibits, including a poetry project with works from grade-school students:

Museum of Contemporary Art of Australia
The next day was show day, and Cara and I decided to spend the morning at the MCA of Australia. There was a great exhibition called, "Primavera" featuring young local artists:

Harbour Bridge
Perhaps the most tourist-y activity I did in Sydney was to climb to the Sydney Harbour Bridge the day after our show. I  was hesitant to pay the hefty price of $228 AUD, but in the end I think I made the right decision! We weren't allowed to bring cameras onto the bridge which is a "safety precaution" and in my opinion a brilliant business ruse. Climbers are essentially conned into paying $25 for the first photo and an extra $10 for each additional photo. I think the guy at the counter was annoyed with how long I was taking to decide between two pictures that he ended up giving me both photos for $25. So indecisiveness paid off in this case!

Other Random Fun
Cara and I found ourselves in a food truck battle happening in Hyde Park!
Paddington Market. Not really worth the hour long walk. 
Casual view from Royal Botanic Garden
Harbourlife Festival 2012. Didn't have a ticket but still enjoyed the music :)
World AIDS Day 2012 goodies