I grew up in middle-of-nowhere Town and every year we’d go to Sydney for a family holiday. It was an annual trip to civilization, culture and the Pacific Ocean. Sydney seemed like fairyland to a girl from the land of red dust.
Most of my friends married each other and stayed around town or on the land but I went off to university in Sydney and never went back – well, that sort of became impossible anyway as my parents sold the farm and moved before I’d been gone a year.
My 3 kids are Sydney-born and don’t seem inclined to leave. My siblings and parents all live within 4 hour drives of the city. I have no need to go back to middle-of-nowhere Town.
The usual postcard views of Sydney are of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House so I thought I’d give some alternative views……. these are thumbnail images so I could fit more in – just click on any one to enlarge it.
Looking down on the Harbour Bridge – the white building (forefront) is Australia Square which was the tallest building in Sydney from 1967 until 1976 and was probably Australia’s first true “skyscraper”. It was the world’s tallest light weight concrete building when it was built – it is 170 metres tall – 50 floors. There is a revolving restaurant on the 47th Floor (The Summit) and an Observation Deck on the 48th floor. Apparently the carpark is one of Sydney’s largest basement carparks with parking for 400 cars.
Looking down on the Royal Botanic Gardens which were founded on this site by Governor Macquarie in 1816 as part of the Governor’s Domain. The point is called Mrs Macquarie’s Point and it is said she sat on a rock there (now called Mrs Macquarie’s Chair) and watched for ships from the homeland. The first bay has the fabulous name Woolloomooloo Bay and then there is Garden Island which is the main east coast naval base of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and home port to many of our major ships. The next bays are Elizabeth Bay, Rushcutters Bay, Double Bay. Across the harbour is Cremorne Point and Bradley’s Point (where the zoo is).
This is some of Hyde Park with the Archibald Fountain and St. Mary’s Cathedral. The Archibald Fountain is named after JF Archibald, owner & editor of The Bulletin, who bequeathed funds to have it built and named after himself. He also specified that it must be designed by a French artist to commemorate the association of Australia and France during WW1. Francois Sicard was chosen as the designer and the fountain was unveiled on 14 March 1932.
The foundation stone for St. Mary’s was laid on 29th October 1821 by Governor Macquarie and the church was a simple stone building in the Gothic style. In 1851 the church was modified and in June 1865 it was destroyed by fire. The foundation stone for the present cathedral was laid in 1868 and the church was dedicated in September 1882 though it was not finished. In 1913 the foundation stone for the nave was laid and it was dedicated in 1928. The crypt was not completed until 1961 and the spires were built in 2000.
Looking towards the Eastern Suburbs – Bondi Beach and Coogee Beach are way in the background. Bondi beach is less than 10kms from the city centre (6 miles).
In the middle background of this shot is Sydney Olympic Park – an area of 640 hectares (1,581 acres) which contains the Arena, Stadium, Aquatic Centre, Athletic Centre, Sydney Showground and includes 430 hectares (1,062 acres) of parkland/wetlands/saltmarsh/mangrove forests. On the bottom right is the ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park – unveiled November 1934 it is the main commemorative military monument in Sydney.
This is looking across at Darling Harbour – that’s the Pyrmont Footbridge in the middle. The Pyrmont Bridge is a swing bridge opened in June 1902 – it was one of the largest swing spans in the world at the time and the first to be powered by electricity! The bridge is only a pedestrian/cycle one now. I usually park at Darling Harbour and walk across that to the city – or I could take the monorail if I feel lazy. You can see the monorail snaking across – it’s pale blue and looks like a line in the middle of the footbridge.
The tributaries of the Parramatta River and Lane Cove River flow into Port Jackson (more commonly called Sydney Harbour). Looking west towards Parramatta – I would travel over the Anzac Bridge (on the left) to visit my kids – the Economist and the Princess live in Gladesville (11kms/7miles) and my Locksmith son & wife live in Parramatta (25kms/ 15 miles).
When I was home I took all the above photos from Sydney Tower (previously called Centrepoint Tower) which is 309 metres (1,014ft) tall to the top of its spire. The observation deck is at 250 metres (820ft). It looks like I was at the edge of someone’s backyard taking this shot across the harbour – and obviously on a much nicer day than the grey, dreary day I took the 40 second elevator ride to the top of the Tower! If peering through glass windows is too boring for you, you can get dressed in a safety suit and get hooked up to safety cables and crawl out onto that little open platform stuck on the edge of the tower up there on the left – 268m (879ft) above ground level… I’m pretty sure I’m the sort who will always be peering through the glass at the world rather than hanging over the edge of it.