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Going Inside the Sydney Opera House

Sydney opera house

The Sydney Opera House is one of the first images that comes to mind when I think of Sydney… or even Australia. It’s an iconic building that is recognized worldwide (and is even a World Heritage site, now). So, needless to say, this was one of the first things we wanted to see when we arrived in Sydney…and we did check it out, but just the outside views.

This past weekend was the first time we actually went to a show at the Opera House and also got a look inside! We saw “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in the drama theatre. We both loved it! It was a slightly surprising and provocative take on Shakespeare, but it stayed true to the original comedy.

have clothes will travel
See! We’re inside! Haha.

I apologize for the quality of the photo above, but due to copyright laws, we weren’t able to photograph the stage of the theatre we were in (so I didn’t bring my camera). Which, actually, it was a pretty boring stage, to be honest. The magic came all from the production!

inside the sydney opera house

However, we went back the next day to take a tour of the Opera House and see the other theaters that were there. It was really incredible to see!

sydney opera house
We even watched two of the orchestra players rehearse for that night’s performance. They were amazing!

The tour was great to get an inside look at the theatres…especially if you’re not going to have time to go to productions in each one. Our tour guide was having a bit of a bad day, though, her headset and mic were not working correctly, and she was a bit flustered and uncomfortable for the duration of the tour. (Which was a bit disappointing, as the tour was rather pricey at $37 AUD a ticket.)

With that being said, though, literally, every single person I’ve talked to who has done this tour has had an absolutely wonderful time. So, our experience was definitely not the norm!

orchestra theater

And look how beautiful the inside of the Orchestra Theatre is! It was absolutely breathtaking! (We also toured the inside of the Opera Theatre, but couldn’t take photos in there due to copyright laws too.)


I can’t remember what the technical term is for these, but they are essentially sound catchers. They make the sound bounce back down to the orchestra players’ ears, so they can actually hear the music they are playing. I thought that was interesting!

opera house

I also thought it was interesting that the Opera House is actually self-cleaning. The way it is designed, the rainwater washes it off and drains back into the Sydney Harbour. Also, although it looks white in photos, the Opera Hosue is actually kind of a creamy, almost beige color. (So, it isn’t blinding when the sun shines on it.)


The inside also has some wonderful views of the Sydney Harbour!

Sydney Opera House

Another fun fact is the “shells” of the Opera House were inspired by sails of boats that can be seen in the Sydney Harbour. Jørn Utzon is the architect who designed the Opera House. His design for the ‘International competition for a national opera house at Bennelong Point, Sydney’ ended up winning back in 1957.

And don’t let any tour guides tell you that he was inspired by an orange peel. Haha. We did have a separate tour guide tell us that when we first arrived. But the official Opera House tour and website assure me that it was inspired by the sailboats.

Look at all those sailboats in the harbour!

We ended our day with having dinner at the Opera House Kitchen, which again, has wonderful views of the Sydney Harbour. If you can, be sure to book a table if you eat here. It’s on a first come first serve basis, and you order at a counter and then have to push people over so you actually have a place to sit. They do, however, accept reservations for a small number of tables…and if I ever come back here, I will definitely be taking advantage of that!

Click here for more information on the tour.

I wish I could’ve shared more photos of the inside. But if you do make it to Sydney, this tour is a great way to get an inside peek! What did you think of the inside? And are there any other “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” fans out there? Let me know in the comments!

*Click here to see all of my blog posts from Australia.
*Click here to read my post, “How to Spend 3 Days in Sydney.”

Going Inside the Sydney Opera House

Disclosure: some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Meaning, if you click a link and make a purchase, Have Clothes, Will Travel gets a very small commission. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible!


  1. I’ve ALWAYS wondered what it was like inside so thank you for sharing!
    I’ve been in a production of A Midsummer night’s dream so I have an affection for it (I was supposedly directing which is hilarious as I’ve never done so before!)
    A shame that your tour guide was flustered!!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Yay! Glad you enjoyed seeing inside, Kezzie! And that’s awesome that you’ve been in production for a Midsummer Night’s Dream! Thank you for reading! 🙂

  2. Such a gorgeous place! It looks that you had a great time there.
    Amazing pictures!


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much! 🙂

  3. This surely one of the dream destinations when visiting Sidney.
    You have described it so well. Have never seen opera, so that will be another thing for my bucket list!
    Richa | Fancier’s World

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Thank you so much, Richa! I hope you get to visit one day. And I hope to see an opera one day too – but holy moly, I was just looking at prices and nearly had a heart attack. Haha. The tickets for the current opera playing start at $250!!!

  4. anneharrison says:

    I used to pass the Opera House everyday as I caught the ferry to Uni. It’s easy to take it for granted when you live here – I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Hope you have time for a ferry ride!

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh yes, I can definitely see how that happens. And funny enough, the first photo in this post is from the ferry! I really enjoy taking the ferries on Sundays to explore different spots. (You can’t beat those Opal card $2.50 Sundays!) Thank you so much for stopping by! 🙂

  5. This brings back memories. I’ve been to the Opera House a few times but not since I was in school (9 years ago now). But my husband has never been and wants to so we may end up going. I’m always surprised by the colour and pattern on the Opera House close up.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It surprised me too! Even just walking around the harbour your wouldn’t guess that that is what the colour and pattern are. 🙂 I hope you and your husband get a chance to go again! What are you most interested in seeing if you go?

  6. It looks like you had a wonderful time while visiting the Opera House. I have never been to Sydney but I would love to go there. And I would definitely visit the Opera House.

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      It was a lovely time! And I do hope you get the chance to visit one day! 🙂 Thank you for reading, Miri!

  7. Amanda Brezovsky (@amandabrezovsky) says:

    I agrre that the first image that comes to mind when i think of Australia is actually the Sydney Opera House. I didn’t realize there are different stages for different types of events too. Pretty neat! It looks absolutely breathtaking inside too. I also love sail boats so that is a pretty cool fact for me haha. Great views of the harbor too. Dreamy.


    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      I hadn’t realised that either! And to be honest, I’m not entirely sure how many theatres there are exactly – there are quite a few! We had just toured the main ones. I liked that it was inspired by sailboats too. 🙂 (And not orange peels, haha.)

  8. Nisha Rawat says:

    Yes, the first thing that comes to my mind whenever I think of Sydney is opera house. I’ve never been there so thanks for showing how it looks from inside. It’s beautiful. Great pix. Looks like you had fun!

    Nisha | http://simplistique.com/

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      So glad you enjoyed the post, Nisha! Thank you so much!

  9. Lee (@leethrifts) says:

    Wow, it is so beautiful! A lot of my favorite musicians are from Australia (Ben Lee, Temper trap) and one of my dreams is to see Ben Lee perform at the Sydney Opera House. I know he has before and it just sounds (and now looks!!!) amazing. If you get the chance you should see him when he comes to Sydney! I think he’s on tour now since he has a new album coming out soon.

    Lee – leethrifts.com

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oooh I like Ben Lee! He comes up a lot on my Jack Johnson radio station that I have on during the day. 🙂 That would be amazing to see him! Thank you for the tip, Lee!

  10. What a beautiful place! And that view of the harbor too! 🙂

    1. haveclotheswilltravel says:

      Oh yes, I still can’t get over how pretty the harbour is too. 🙂

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