I always wanted to visit Australia, the land of kangaroos. Finally, I had my chance. This time I visited Sydney with my 10-year-old son, Bill. Today I visited Bondi Beach and took the Bondi to Coogee Beach coastal walk. Next, we are going to Melbourne tomorrow. However, the highlight of the tour so far was Sydney Opera House Tour. I ought to write something about the tour as it left a lasting impression on both of us.
Sydney Opera House: Bill is somewhat History geek. And he wants to be a painter as well. So for him, I have to remember some key historical points of the iconic building. I want to share some of those facts with you. The iconic building was designed by Jorn Utzon, a Danish Architect. He was selected in an International Design Competition in 1957. The work was authorized in 1958. However, it tool long to complete the project and the building was formally opened for public on 20th October 1973. In 28th June 2007, the building becomes a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sydney Opera House host well over 1500 performances annually and hosting more than 1.2 million people. Not only that it is one of the most popular sites in Australia. Every year more than 350000 people take the guided tour. Now I can proudly say that we were among those 350000 people.
The Tour: One good thing is the tour runs every day, well except Christmas Day and Easter’s Good Friday. Other than these two the tour runs 363 days a year. The first tour of the day starts around 9 am in the morning. There is a tour in every fifteen to thirty minutes interval with the last tour at 5 pm. Each tour normally has a booking of more than ten people. It is good practice if you book the tour in advance particularly in tourist seasons.
The tour starts from the Welcome Centre where one of the guides meet the guests. Our guide was a lovely young lady named Sara. Sara was very helpful and understanding, particularly for all the questions Bill had for her. The tour ended after we reach Opera House Entry Foyer. It took around one hour for the tour.
Language: The guided tour takes place in seven International Languages. Our Tour was in English. Other than that there are tours in languages like French, German, Spanish, Mandarin, Japanese & Korean. You need to choose the language of the tour while booking.
Price: The tour is a bit costly with standard tickets starting from $42 per person. Children under five years do not need any ticket, but my Bill needed one. Children under 15 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. Children Ticket priced around $22. There is a concession on the ticket price for Australian Pensioners, Students age over 16 and Australian Senior Card Holders. For availing the concession, students have to be on a full-time course. Family rate is $106 where family price consists of 2 adults and 2 children. It has three different kinds of tour Tour Only, Tour and Dine and Tour and Tasting Plate. For Tour, only adult ticket rate is $73 and for the last one adult ticket price is $82.80.
Attraction: Some of the attraction of the guided tour are Dream Theatre, Concert Hall, the Northern Foyer, Utzon Room, etc. however if any area is dressed for a function or being used for private function you would not be allowed in that. At the end of the tour, you can buy one photo memento in an exclusive memory book, which we did. In the book, we were also given unlimited digital copies of our exclusive tour photos.
Things To Remember: The tour is walking with over two hundred steps, so you need to wear comfortable shoes. There are Access Tours if you have a mobility problem. The special tour is every day at 12 PM. They do not have any storage facility for large luggage, You need to arrange for it. We left the luggage at our hotel. And do not forget to take plenty of photos.
Conclusion: It was a wonderful experience. Bill was excited and wanted to be an architect from a painter. It was an awesome experience for me as well. I would suggest you take the guided tour next time you are in Sydney.