Among the wide formal avenues of Centennial Park is the domed Federation Pavilion – the spot where Australia was officially proclaimed a nation (on 1 January 1901). Built in 1988, it contains the original Federation Stone and is inscribed with 'Mammon or Millennial Eden?', reflecting a poem of the time that wondered whether the new country would focus on materialism or idealism. Sydney has answered that one pretty emphatically.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Sydney attractions

1. Centennial Park

0.17 MILES

Scratched out of the sand in 1888 in grand Victorian style, Sydney’s biggest park is a rambling 189-hectare expanse full of horse riders, joggers,…

2. Queen Street

0.45 MILES

Despite its status as the premier antique-shopping strip in Australia (the first shop opened in 1957), tree-lined Queen St retains a village vibe, with…

3. Entertainment Quarter

0.81 MILES

If we were feeling cynical, we might say that the purpose-built Entertainment Quarter is a vacuous, self-perpetuating specimen of lightweight global…

4. Paddington Reservoir Gardens

0.96 MILES

Opened to much architectural acclaim in 2008, this impressive park makes use of Paddington's long-abandoned 1866 water reservoir, incorporating the brick…

5. Juniper Hall

0.97 MILES

Australia’s oldest villa (1824), this restored Georgian mansion was built by Robert Cooper with profits from his gin business (he named it after the…

6. Five Ways

1.05 MILES

While Oxford St is the main drag, this five-way intersection is in many ways the centre of Paddington life. Smartly dressed locals do coffee and shopping…

7. Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation

1.08 MILES

After 21 years as a cutting-edge commercial gallery, Sherman celebrated its coming-of-age by reopening as a not-for-profit gallery. The focus is on…

8. Victoria Barracks

1.09 MILES

A manicured vision from the peak of the British Empire (built 1841 to 1848), these Georgian army barracks have been called the finest of their kind in the…