Lonely Planet Writer

Multi-million dollar upgrade planned for Sydney Opera House

Australian authorities have announced plans for a A$200-million upgrade to Sydney Opera House, Australia’s most iconic building.

Opera House, Sydney.
Opera House, Sydney.

The upgrade will be the largest planned renovation to Sydney Opera House since it opened in 1973, with the work set to cost over $200 million. The UNESCO world heritage site attracts over 8 million visitors a year, which in turn gives an annual $775 million boost to the Australian economy.

The upgrade will start early next year with hopes that it will be completed by the year 2020. Work will focus on the acoustics and accessibility to the Opera House, two features that don’t currently rate high with critics around the world. There are also plans to convert old offices into a family-friendly Creative Learning Centre.

Sydney Opera House on New Years.
Sydney Opera House on New Years. Image by Bodie Strain / CC BY 2.0

“The Sydney Opera House is the symbol of modern Australia,” said Troy Grant, the deputy premier of New South Wales in a statement. “It is our responsibility as custodians of this extraordinary place to maintain and renew it for all Australians.”

Authorities have promised that the renovations will not damage the overall design of the building, with its iconic sail-like facade, designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, drawing admirers from around the world.

As tourism in Sydney continues to boom, the city is also becoming a foodie paradise, giving New York a run for its money. The city is also investing $26.5 million in building a surf park in western Sydney.