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A man and a woman wearing fluoro yellow safety vests with the word Backstage printed on the back

The Backstage Tour

What you see on stage is only half the story


Sweep back the curtains and explore behind the scenes with an intimate small-group Backstage Tour. Journey through rehearsal spaces not open to the public, and be tantalised with insider secrets from our expert guides.

Relax after the tour with a leisurely breakfast beside Sydney Harbour at our newest dining venue - House Canteen. Brought to you by Matt Moran, take a seat in the shadow of the sails as you enjoy your breakfast with a view.

You will have the opportunity to visit some of the Opera House's many venues and theatres on this tour. Please note that as we are a busy performing arts centre, venues and theatres are subject to availability at the time of your tour. 

Please note patrons aged 12 years and over entering the Opera House building for the Backstage Tour are required to wear a face mask at all times during the tour, unless lawfully exempt. Please bring your own mask.

COVID-safe tour information

The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone at the Opera House is our priority. When you return to the Opera House, you will notice some important changes. Please follow our conditions of entry at all times:

  • Patrons aged 12 years and over entering the Opera House building for the Backstage Tour are required to wear a face mask at all times during the tour, unless lawfully exempt. Please bring your own mask;
  • To help maintain physical distancing, tours will not exceed 10 guests per tour;
  • As you move around the Opera House, practise physical distancing (1.5 metres whenever possible) and follow the guidance provided by our staff and signage. 

Please check our Plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.

Tours run Sundays and Mondays at 7am Bookings are essential. Please ensure you book your tour no later 24 hours the day prior to departure.

The Backstage Tour departs at 7am on Sundays and Mondays. We ask guests to please arrive at Stage Door at 6.45am (15 minutes prior to departure time) to check in with your Tour Guide and cloak your bags. 

Please note the tour is not available on 25 December 2022, 1 January 2023, 26-27 February 2023, 12 March 2023, 10 September 2023, 22-23 October 2023, 25 December 2023, 31 December 2023 and 1 January 2024.

There is a maximum of 10 people per tour.

Running time approximately two hours

This this tour can take up to two and a half hours in duration, and is the time from when one of our guides meets guests from the Stage Door entrance, through to the end of the tour at House Canteen. 

View map

In English

The Backstage Tour is currently only available in English.

If you wish to make a group booking of 8 or more guests in another language, please reach out to our Reservations team on 02 9250 7250 to make an enquiry.

Tickets from $175 per person

This tour is available for adults, as well as children aged between 10 and 15 years who must be accompanied by an adult at all times. For safety reasons children under the age of 10 are not able to take part in the tour. 

Terms and Conditions 

Closed in, rubber-soled shoes must be worn on this tour

For safety, flat, enclosed, rubber-soled shoes must be worn on this tour or patrons may be refused entry on the tour. 

For those with a good level of fitness

On the Backstage Tour you will climb around 300 steps as you move throughout foyers and spaces. While there are railings and a number of rests throughout the tour when the guide shares our stories, you will not have the opportunity to sit for any long period of time during the tour until you reach House Canteen to enjoy your morning breakfast. 

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions section for more information. 

What to know before you go

  • Bring and wear a mask. Patrons are required to wear a face mask at all times during the tour, unless lawfully exempt.
  • The tour moves through areas that at times have variable lighting, including dark spaces with low visibility, as well as lower ceiling space. Please contact our Tourism Booking Team if you have any questions or concerns.
  • Wear flat closed in, rubber-soled comfortable shoes, as this is a walking tour with 300+ steps.
  • We stage lots of live performances, so venues are subject to availability at the time of your tour. 
  • Due to the nature of this tour it may not be suitable for those with mobility concerns. If you wish to enquire about taking a Mobility Access Tour please contact our Reservations team on 02 9250 7250 or tourismbookings@sydneyoperahouse.com
  • We can’t store suitcases or large bags, however you can contact the nearest storage facility on circularquay@baggagestorage.com.au.
  • Photography and videoing is not allowed. 
A woman and a man standing in front of the Stage Door with a Sydney Opera House tour guide

The Opening Act – start the day like a VIP

Arrive at Stage Door for this backstage experience, and join an intimate tour group to begin your exploration. Experience first-hand what it’s like to walk through Stage Door where thousands of actors, performers and famous names have walked before. Get ready to explore places usually off limits to the general public to find out how the magic of theatre happens. 

A white sign with black writing that read Quiet Please Performance in Progress

The Real Story – as much drama backstage as on stage

Relish the opportunity to get a glimpse into the demanding, passionate, dramatic (and sometimes scandalous) world of our performers – as our guides recount the stories and insider secrets of what really happens behind the curtain. 

A Sydney Opera House tour guide showing a woman and a man behind the scenes at the Opera House

The Grand Finale – the inner workings of a living House

From pulleys to props, sequins to sound-checks, we take you through nooks and crannies not known to the public. Discover what makes the Sydney Opera House both a world-renown icon and a world-class performance venue. Complete the experience with a delicious light breakfast at House Canteen - our newest dining venue with the best views of Sydney Harbour.

Breakfast Menu

Enjoy a light breakfast at House Canteen after the tour. Choose from one of the following:

  • Bacon and egg roll 
  • Tomato and aged cheddar croissant
  • Artichoke, tomato, olive and watercress sandwich
  • Poached chicken, avocado, onion and mayo sandwich
  • Pino’s double smoked ham, mustard and pickles sandwich

Accompanied by a chewy chocolate chip cookie and either a tea, coffee, apple juice or orange juice.

Please note menu items are subject to change depending on seasonality and availability.

Frequently Asked Questions - Trade Portal Bookings

Are you a COVID Safe business?

Yes. The Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government.

Do you have a flexible cancellation policy? 

Yes, we ensure you can book with confidence. If you need to change or cancel your travel plans, you can relax knowing that we will waive any fees for cancellations or changes made at least 24 hours before the booking date for our tours. If you need any assistance, please contact our Tourism Sales team salesteam@sydneyoperahouse.com

Can I use the trade portal to book tours on the day?

Unfortunately the trade portal booking cut-off time is 24 hours. If you have a very last minute booking within 24 hours of your tour date, you can contact our Tourism Reservation team to book the tour tourismbookings@sydneyoperahouse.com or call 02 9250 7250. 

I can't see where to put my booking references / group code. Where do I enter this? 

If you can’t find where to put your booking references when you make bookings, you are on the wrong booking page. Please ensure you login via “Tourism Trade” which sits on the bottom of our website, or please click here.

Do you have mobility tours for customers in wheelchairs?

We offer Mobility Access Tours which are tailored to those who need a little extra assistance. The Sydney Opera House Mobility Access Tour is designed for patrons with limited mobility, and we offer Australian Sign Language Interpreters on request as well. Please email Tourism Reservation team for more information tourismbookings@sydneyoperahouse.com

What information will I receive after making my booking? 

When a booking is made, a confirmation email will automatically be sent to your registered login email address. Check the confirmation carefully and advise immediately of any discrepancies between the confirmation and your booking request. Please include the Order Number on all correspondence.

Can I have multiple logins for the trade portal?

Yes you can. Please contact the Tourism Sales team to create the new login for you. Please keep your login details secure as it will be under your company’s account. 

When will the credit card be charged?

The credit card you put in the trade portal to check out will be only charged 24 hours before the tour. Please ensure you have sufficient credit on the card to process the payment.

Where can I get more information about the product?

You are welcomed to download our sales manuals available on the trade portal. And if you would like to have more information, please contact our Tourism Sales team at salesteam@sydneyoperahouse.com

Can the Tour Guide or Tour Leader join the tour with customers?

No FOC Tour Guide or Tour Leader applies if joining the public tour. One FOC Tour Guide or Tour Leader applies if booked as a private tour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What safety and hygiene measures are in place?

Nothing is more important to us than the health and safety of everyone on site, and we are closely following NSW Health guidelines and advice. Our COVID-19 health and safety information is available on the Plan your visit page.

Do I need to be vaccinated to attend the tour?

The Sydney Opera House no longer requires patrons to show that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

Am I required to wear a mask?

Yes, please bring and wear a mask. For safety reasons, patrons are required to wear a face mask at all times during the tour, unless lawfully exempt.

Some members of the community may have issues wearing masks due to health conditions. We ask that you be respectful to others as reasons for not wearing a mask are not always obvious.

Can children join this tour?

For safety reasons, children under the age of 10 are not able to take part in the Backstage Tour.

What are the transport options to the Opera House? Where is the closest location for bus parking and drop off?

You can catch public transport (bus, train, ferry) to Circular Quay and enjoy a 6 minute walk to the Opera House. If you’re getting dropped off in a car, head to the roundabout at the bottom of Macquarie Street where staff will direct you to a safe place to pull over. Driving? Park in Wilson’s Car Park, you’re just minutes to your tour meeting point. Need a bit more info? Click here

The closest location to disembark from buses and coaches is on Macquarie Street. Please contact City of Sydney to confirm bus and coach set down areas. We recommend allowing an additional 10 minutes for walking from Macquarie Street. There is no bus parking onsite at Sydney Opera House. 

What should I do if my guests are running late for the tour?

If your clients are going to be late for your tour please call our Tourism Reservations team on 02 9250 7250 for assistance.

Where do I go for the tour?

The tour meeting point is at Stage Door which is located beneath the Monumental Steps.

View map

What time do I need to arrive before my tour?

Please arrive at at 6.45am, which is 15 minutes before your tour to allow sufficient time to cloak any large bags.

This should allow enough time for the mandatory visual inspections and/or cloaking of bags and personal belongings by Opera House security staff before starting your tour.

Where possible, please leave bags at home. Please note we are unable to cloak bags larger than A4 size.

If I am late for my tour what can I do?

If you are going to be late for your tour please call our Tourism Reservations team on 02 9250 7250 for assistance.

What can I bring with me on the tour?

Where possible, do not bring any belongings with you on the tour, as cloaking facilities are extremely limited. 

Please note there is no video or photography permitted on this tour.

Mobile phones are permitted on the tour however please ensure they are switched off or on silent for the duration of the tour.

Will we go inside all the theatres on the tour?

You will have the opportunity to visit some of the Opera House’s many venues and theatres on this tour.

Please note that as we are a busy performing arts centre, venues and theatres are subject to availability at the time of your tour. 

Will the building maintenance works at the Opera House affect the tour?

The Opera House is currently undertaking critical maintenance works to address water leakage issues affecting the Lower Concourse. These necessary works are required to mitigate long-term water damage to the Opera House building and its structure. These works will not impact your visit, it's business as usual!

Do ensure that you arrive at the Sydney Opera House at least 15 minutes before your tour to allow sufficient time to cloak any bags and personal belongings.

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