Sydney Opera House Guided Tour

Our trip to Sydney, exactly one year ago, was a dream come true.  We stayed with Four Seasons near the Sydney Opera House and I desperately wanted to go inside. Little did I know that we would not only be back to visit Sydney but relocating there one year later. It is funny looking back now knowing how much we packed into this two week trip thinking it might be our only visit to Australia.

Sydney Opera HouseThe Sydney Opera House is obviously known worldwide and something that I have been familiar with for years.  What I learned on the tour was how much drama went into completing this masterpiece.

We began the tour underneath the Opera House where there are restaurants, bars and the box office.  The facility runs multiple tours a day in a variety of languages so good for all travelers.  They equipped each person with headphones to make sure your tour guide is heard clearly (even the kids).  I could see the frowns on some tourists faces when we approached with a 7 and 3 year old. The kids understood to be quiet if they wanted to see the performance halls.  Aubrey was enthralled by the entire venue especially considering she is currently in drama classes and loves the theatre.

The tour guide lead us up the side of the Opera House facing the Harbor where you get a great view of the Harbor Bridge. We made our way to the lobby area where a short film is shown regarding the history of the original architect, the engineering issues/delays with project and how it all finally came together.

Let’s just say it did not go as planned and the original architect, Jørn Utzon, never actually returned to Sydney to see the final product. The ending is somewhat happy though because even though he never was able to return, he was later reconnected with the building by helping to design a set of guidelines to follow for any future building changes.  He was too old to travel at the time but sent his son instead and worked on the project from his home country of Denmark. The entire story can be read on their website. Sydney Opera House History

The official tour began following the film showing us all the venues from a smaller theatre set-up for a play to the stunning Concert Hall.  The guides were protective with photography and video banning pictures of stage set-ups due to copyright laws.  Staff were only working on lighting in one of the performance halls yet photos were not permitted.

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The purple and red carpets were interesting and a reflection of the architect hired to complete the interiors after Jørn Utzon had resigned.

Below is a picture of the famous Concert Hall which holds whopping 2,000+ attendees and known to be one of the best indoor music venues in the World.

Sydney Opera House Tour

We were lucky on this particular day to get permission to take a photography from inside.  It is a shame that the screen is blocking the large organ. I was able to see it on another tour later on and it is beautiful.  Rumor is there is only one person in the world capable of tuning it!

The floating disks are to help bounce the sound back to the stage to help the musicians.  The ceilings are very high which prompted the installation of the 18 acrylic rings.

Sydney Opera House Tour

We did walk out and get a good look at the sails.  The panels are purposely not solid white due to the fact they would blind you on sunny days.

Finally, we made our way out by the main lobby and down towards the gift shop.

There they sold us the pictures taken before our tour.  Another reason I am sure they are hesitant to let you take pictures in the halls.  Of course I bought them because I am a sucker for family photos!

Funny story… remember how I said there were frowns when we walked up with the kids. An older couple approached us after the tour to comment on how well behaved our girls were the entire time.  The tour guide heard and seconded the remark. I wanted to make a sarcastic comment like “and so were you”; instead, I thanked her and went about my day. We feel these experiences are important to share with our girls!  We had an excellent day!