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;
- Bookings are essential. We encourage you to purchase your tour in advance online or via phone where you’ll receive an eTicket. Please bring this with you and present it upon check-in at Stage Door;
- 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 refer to our updated General Terms and Conditions for Tickets and Attendance at Events for detailed information about our ticketing policies. These conditions may change between the time of purchase and the tour date. Ticketholders will be contacted directly regarding any changes to their tour.
Please check our Plan your visit page prior to attending the Opera House for the most up-to-date information.
“The tour was outstanding. It was worth the time to get up early for it… Amazing”
Tours run on Sundays and Mondays at 7am* Bookings are essential. Please ensure you book your tour no later then 5pm AEDT/AEST the day prior to departure.
*The tour departs at 7am on Sundays and Mondays. From 5 May 2023 the tour departs at 7am on Fridays to Mondays. Tours are subject to availability.
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 10 September 2023, 22-23 October 2023, 25 December 2023, 31 December 2023, 1 January 2024 and 29 March 2024.
There is a maximum of 10 people per tour. If you would like to make a group booking or are unable to book online, please call 02 9250 7250 to place a reservation via our Reservations team.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com
- We can’t store suitcases or large bags, however you can contact the nearest storage facility on firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Photography and videoing is not allowed.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you a COVID Safe business?
Yes. The Opera House is registered as a COVID Safe business with the NSW Government.
What safety and hygiene measures are in place at the Opera House and House Canteen?
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.
House Canteen is committed to being a COVID safe environments. View House Canteen's COVID-19 health and safety measures here.
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.
Do I need to book in advance?
Bookings are essential. We encourage you to purchase your tour in advance online or via the phone where you’ll receive an eTicket. Please bring this with you and present it upon check-in at Stage Door under the Monumental Steps.
Can I make a booking for 8 people or more?
Yes, though this is a small group tour. For capacity reasons the booking must be made by calling 02 9250 7250. Our Reservations team will assist with your reservation.
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 happens if I can't make my tour?
Please contact our Tourism Reservations team on 02 9250 7250 as soon as possible to advise if you can no longer attend. If you can no longer attend because you are unwell, or have been in contact with someone displaying COVID-19 symptoms, the Opera House has introduced flexible ticketing options to help you.
What are the transport options to the Opera House?
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
Where do I go for the tour?
The tour meeting point is at Stage Door which is located beneath the Monumental Steps.
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 should I wear?
So long as you’re wearing shoes and a shirt, whatever you like. We’re pretty informal here at the Opera House. There’s no real dress code for tours, so you’ll fit right in with casual attire.
You’ll be on your feet for a guided tour. Flat, enclosed, rubber-soled shoes must be worn or patrons may be refused entry on the tour. Your feet will thank you!
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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