Sydney from an insider

I have been reading a bunch of travel blogs lately, getting ready for some summer and fall travel. I thought it might be fun to share some thoughts on my home town, Sydney. Later, I’ll move on to a cruise and a train journey that are coming up soon.

Sydney Gardens
One of the best things about Sydney is the gardens with views of the water. The Botanical Gardens can be entered from the St James station end, across from the New South Wales Art Gallery, or from down near the Opera House. It is a lovely planned garden, with loads of interesting and brightly colored flowers, wandering Ibis, shelters and follies. You can see fabulous views of the water from the gardens. Other fantastic views are just around the curve of the walk. Locals wander the gardens too; it’s a favorite place for lunch in the middle of the city.

SydneyGardens

Beaches of course
No trip to Sydney would be complete without a visit to a beach or two. One of own pleasant memories is going over to Manly on the ferry (a passenger one, boarded via a plank, I kid you not), grabbing some fish and chips and eating them on Manly Beach. Take a train out to some of the Southern Beaches as well. If rivers are more to your liking, the National Parks are accessible by train as well, and you can rent a row boat for an easy afternoon on the water.

ManlyBeach2

A trip to the zoo
It’s true that we have the wackiest animals on the planet. Among them are kangaroos and koalas. Locals who rescue roos will tell you that the little blighters do kick, as I learned when I was in high school. A friend rescued a wallaby, and when it had grown a bit, we got kicked if we got in its way. The cuddly looking koalas sport wicked claws too, all the better to climb the gum trees. Find both of these animals at Taronga Park Zoo. You can also get up close, though behind glass, from some of the worlds most poisonous critters, if that takes your fancy. Catch a view of the emu, the crocodile and the lyrebird with its fabulous plumage too.

AustralianAnimals

Hyde Park – green belt through the city
Hyde ParkHyde Park is a great lunch spot in the middle of the city. Visit the Archibald Fountain, with its classic Greek figures Apollo, Diana, Pan and the Minotaur, right across from St Mary’s Cathedral near St James railway station. St Mary’s is a lovely spot, and interesting for being a north facing cathedral, instead of the usual east-facing architecture. Bit of a novelty. It even has a lady chapel all the way to the north, behind the main altar. Not something you’ll find on the tourist information.

WarMemorialThe War Memorial in Hyde Park has a figure of the fallen soldier, draped across his shield, and mothers carrying the fallen. The contemplation pool reflects all the moods of the Sydney sky. A walk across the street finds you at the Sydney Museum, and along the way, stop to enjoy the enormous Morton Bay fig trees.

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