This elevated perch in the heart of downtown offers sweeping views of the Sydney Harbour and the Harbour Bridge. Dotted with huge Moreton Bay fig trees, grassy Observatory Hill is a great spot for a picnic and attracts joggers, lunching office workers, and visitors to the Observatory.
The park area has a tennis court and exercise stations, as well as public artworks dotted throughout, drawing a diverse group of visitors. Many city sightseeing tours include a visit to Observatory Hill between stops at other landmarks, such as Sydney Opera House, Mrs. Macquarie’s Chair, and the Rocks. Due to its excellent vantage point for viewing the sunset, the park is also a favorite stop on photography tours. Things to Know Before You Go
- Observatory Hill is free to visit.
- There are no public restrooms in the park, but there are some nearby on Watson Road.
- Observatory Hill Park is an off-leash dog walking area at all times.
How to Get There
Observatory Hill is approximately a 20-minute walk from The Rocks and Circular Quay. A cycling path also runs all the way from the Harbour Bridge. Several bus services stop near the park: The 431 and 432 to Millers Point (a 7-minute walk away) are the most frequent. When to Get There
The park’s elevated location makes it a local favorite for watching the sun go down every evening, but it rarely feels crowded. On New Year's Eve, Observatory Hill is one of the best places in Sydney to watch fireworks explode over the harbor.
Sydney Observatory is also located on Observatory Hill. Built in 1858, Australia’s first observatory is open to the public throughout the year, offering the chance to peer through the telescope and enjoy planetarium sessions; reservations are essential for stargazing sessions. The building also houses an informative center on the history of astronomy in Sydney.