We got to see a lot more of Sydney today and really enjoyed it.
Our first sighting of a Kokaburra
When we had lunch yesterday we saw that the little ‘restaurant’ offered a full English breakfast for just Aus$6 and it included either a juice or a tea/coffee. And we discovered that this Chinese cook knew a real FULL English breakfast far better than some of the hotels we had stayed in. 2 eggs, sausage, bacon, tomato, mushrooms, baked beans and toast. Excellently done too. The bus stop was right outside his little place, and I mean little, but it was really popular. All coffees before 08:00 were half price. The driver on this first bus of the morning was very welcoming and jovial. This was not just a job for him. Rather like ‘Big Joe’ of Washington DC, he loved doing this job.
We made our first stop today the Botanic Gardens to see as much as possible in an hour as there were so many other stops to make as well. There was a set of stairs with 4 statues, 2 each at the top and bottom, representing the 4 Seasons. This led down to a Palm Tree lined path which bisects after a short distance, to themed gardens to the left and to a building called The Calyx on the right. The Calyx is where different informative displays are set up. While we were there the display was on Plants that Bite. We waited, as the notice stated that it opened at 10:00 but when it hadn’t by 10:15 we moved on.
Stairs with statues representing the 4 seasons
Palm Trees line 2 paths
Other interesting sections were the Rose Garden, Cacti Gardens and a write up on what happened when the British settlers and local people first met. It was not entirely successful as they really did understand each other in language or way of life at all. There was also a row of different grass for lawns and it was most educating to read about each one on a plaque at the end of each row.
Small part of the Cactus Garden
Flowering Aloes and Cannas at the lower gate
First encounter between locals and settlers
Statue of Arthur Phillip, Captain of the First Fleet, at the Top Gate
There were a number of other statues throughout the gardens as well. A carving which we didn’t get to see due to its distant position in the Gardens was Mrs MacQuarie’s Chair. In 1810, when her husband was Governor of Australia he had slaves dig out of the sandstone rock a comfortable seat for Mrs MacQuarie to sit on and enjoy the view over the bay.
We left the Gardens by the top gate which took us passed the Art Gallery one side of which we had seen the day before and a Memorial to NSW Police who had died in the line of duty. We also passed the National Herbarium on the other side of the street. It is these sort of off the main tourist routes that one sees when you decide to walk around the ‘back’ lanes.
Entrance to the Art Gallery with a equestrian sculptures named Offering of Peace and Offering of War
Remembering those policemen who died in the line of duty
We emerged from there at the intersection where Hyde Park was on one corner and St Mary’s Cathedral on another. The bus arrived almost immediately and we stayed on board until we reached the Central Railway Station and we got off the bus to take lwe decided to take a look at the station itself. It is a massive building with huge, wide and very clean Concourse which seemed to be alive with a moving mass of people. It was an amazing sight with, not only people but adverts, shops and kiosks. Everybody wanted our money but they didn’t get any.
Main Concourse of the Central Station. Shops on the left and tickets on the right
In a passage outside the station but within the precinct there was a large shop which sold practically anything and most for just $1. This was where I found my Sydney magnet and 2 tubes of toothpaste for just $1 each. Lovely feeling!
We boarded the bus to go to King’s Wharf where we planned to walk across the Harbour Bridge. We walked along the wharf itself and once we had passed the warehouses and offices we found ourselves at a walkway lined with sandstone. On the bay side the rocks were fairly randomly laid out but it was possible to walk and sit on them as they were flat. On the other side there was a small wall made of the sandstone rocks and topped with grass.
Bay side of the wharf walk
A section of the wharf walk
Above the walk are lovely pcnic areas or just a place to sit and relax
The pavement in between these 2 was smooth and easy to walk on. We walked quite a distance and as we came around a corner there was a beautiful bay and on these rocks we found a credit card and, later, we delivered it to the Police Station at Fitzgerald Park.
After walking around the whole area for almost an hour we made our way back to the bus stop. We alighted at the stop under the Bridge. We asked a gentleman how to get to the road above us and he explained that we could walk up a small bank on to a road and follow that around. Once up the bank we met a couple who told us that the Bridge was closed to pedestrians for the day as there had been an accident which had damaged safety railings. A huge disappointment.
As we made our way through the city on the bus we saw a number of interesting buildings, especially those which had vertical gardens which are grown through hydroponics. They looked really beautiful.We stopped at the Powerhouse Museum which had some super examples and displays of vehicles for every form of transport – flying, motoring and railways. We looked around the 1st floor but it is a massive museum and needs at least a half day to see and appreciate it all.
An engine, a helicopter and at the back right, a bus
Vertical Gardens on an office block
Stop number 4 brought us to the Chinese Garden which was quite a fascinating place to visit and inexpensive to enter. There was a stream running through the centre of the garden with large variety of plants, both local and Asian. It was well maintained and felt a very soothing place to be.
Entrance to the Chinese Gardens
Water feature and stream in Chinese Gardens
Unfortunately I had developed a rather chesty infection and by now was feeling awful so we caught the bus back to the hotel where I got into bed. Trevor decided to do a bit of food shopping and then to walk the roads near the hotel. I was determined to feel well enough to enjoy our 3rd and last day in Sydney.
Entrance to Jewish Museum near our hotel