Sydney Favorite Tips by iandsmith Top 5 Page for this destination
Sydney Favorites: 433 reviews and 524 photos
Surf breaking over Bondi Icebreakers pools
Favorite thing: New tourists to Australia will undoubtedly have this iconic image of Bondi Beach with sunny skies, scantily clad people and benign surf.
Fondest memory: However, as you can clearly see from the pictures, Bondi Beach isn't always like that. Some days you can't even swim in the baths. A few thought they might the day I took this picture but they quickly left the scene when the swell burst over the top of the baths.
For me, it's worthwhile to go there on such a day just to experience the fury of the sea.
Kaleidoscope cube, one of my favourites
Favorite thing: This is the 2012 version of an annual sculpture show that can be viewed between Bondi and Tamarama. Though it's a relatively short walk, it certainly is scenic and definitely worth a look.
Fondest memory: The price is certainly right because it costs nothing and there's such a variation in styles I'm sure you'll find something of interest.
I attended on a day when the weather was certainly not in my favour although the background of big seas and stormy skies made for some interesting variety in the photographs.
The Manor, Iluka Street
Favorite thing: You can follow the walk around down below on your way to or from Clifton Gardens or, if you want to chack out some lovely real estate, you can climb the stairs and walk along Iluka Road. We chose to go to the upper part of Iluka Road as it's split into twol
These shots were taken on that walk.
Looking back to Taronga Park wharf
Favorite thing: The first time I did the walk I missed Bradley's Head. I was in a bit of a hurry and, in order to save time, tried to take the short cut but got lost and eventually found my way back on the trail. This time I deliberately aimed for the hisotric headland.
Fondest memory: There are some lovely vistas to be had, opening up between gaps in the eucalypts that are present all through the walk.
After that there's the history. In 1895 there were huts put here because a mine was going to happen but, fortunately, a meeting in Mosman led to the mine lease being rescinded due to a unanimous vote being cast by the citizens.
The headland gets its name from a Lt. William Bradley who was assisting Captain Hunter in early boat surveys of Sydney Harbour though the aborigines originally called it "Dalyungay" which roughly means "place of surveillance".
In recognition of pioneer women
Favorite thing: Commissioned by the Women's Pioneer Society of Australasia in recognition of the courage and endurance displayed by the pioneer women.
Part of the BiCentennial celebrations it was unveiled in 1988 by Lady Rowland.
The sculptor was Kolozsy.
Fondest memory: It's located just back from Circular Quay in Jessie Street Gardens, along with some other nice works.
Margeret Olley in her younger years
Favorite thing: Some people can truly be listed as national treasures. The lady pictured here was one such person.
This art work is significant inasmuch as it won Australia's most prestigious art award, the Archibald Prize for portraiture, and she was also the subject of another winning entry in the year of her death, 2011.
The one shown here was painted by the late Sir William Dobell, somewhat of a recluse but with a distinctive style that brought him fame, and it is owned by the State Gallery of N.S.W.
Fondest memory: Her name was Margaret Olley and she strode the art world almost like a messiah. She was much loved and revered not necessarily for her art, which was notable in itself, but for her philantrophy. Her encouragement of other artists, her generous funding of those in need, financed by her art and astute real estate investments, will long be remembered even though she has now passed.
She was rough diamond, still smoked right up to her death at 88, and wasn't afraid to voice an opinion, but try to find someone who didn't love the lady for what she was and you'll spend fruitless hours going nowhere.
I never actually met her but on more than one occasion read articles about her that made admire her and what she had done. May I say, in my own little way, thank you Margaret for gracinng the world with your presence.
Quote from a newpaper:
"Prime ministers and politicians, artists, children, musicians and Buddhist nuns - all were embraced over the years in her exuberant home in Paddington, where she has died aged 88.
Olley was painting until the end, her dealer and friend, Philip Bacon, said. Bacon was with her on Monday as she put the final touches to her forthcoming solo show.
''She went the way she wanted, with paint still on her fingers, cigarettes stubbed out and off to bed after a full day of painting,'' Bacon said of her death.
The artist has been remembered as a generous and unique spirit.
The director of the Art Gallery of NSW, Edmund Capon, described Olley as one of the most unforgettable - and politically incorrect - people he has encountered.
''Margaret Olley brought a new dimension to the word 'individual','' Mr Capon said.
''As a painter, Margaret found a wealth of beauty, humanity and inspiration in the most humble and prosaic of things - bowls of fruit, flowers and interiors.
''We often talked about colour and what was her favourite colour. Her answer was swift and straight forward. 'Green,' she would say. 'It's the colour of re-birth.'''
Favorite thing: The gallery is housed in a purpose built neo classical style building in the Domain, one of Sydney's famous parks.
On your way you'll pass Goodwin's sculpture from 1986 (pic 3) that can be interpreted in many different ways but when you reach the entrance, on your left is a statue of man on horse with a somewhat poignant message enscribed around the base. It reads, "The real and lasting victories are those of peace, not war" and is by Gilbert Bayes of England in 1923 (pic 2).
The façade and old wing of the Gallery were built between 1896 and 1909. Architecturally, Sydney's Art Gallery reflects nineteenth century ideas about the cultural role of a gallery as a temple to art and civilizing values. Yet early designs for the Gallery were less confident about the institution's role and image. The present building is the work of Government Architect Walter Liberty Vernon.
Fondest memory: The painting by Arthur Stretton in pic 4 is interesting. Arthur was sitting sketching the Lapstone Tunnel being created when they set off a blast. A boy was injured and some shrapnel from the blast ended up on Stretton's painting. He painted over the shrapnel so it is still embedded to this day.
The tryptych in picture 5 is interesting as is the artist's name, Cy Twombly. Inspired by Turner's "The Fighting Temeraire tugged to her last berth to be broken up", he has utilized ships from a different era, probably Roman, as he actually lives in Gaeta, an ancient port city south of Rome. The painting is titled, "Three studies from the Temeraire.
I was attracted to, but still can't work out, the Bugatti distorted on its side. It fascinates me the minds of some of these people that dream this stuff up. This one is usually housed towards the rear of the main foyer area where you walk in.
The good news is that the gallery is free except for some special exhibitions.
Occasionally an exhibition is rubbish, such as the Photography and Place, but these are fortunately infrequent. Generally they work really hard to satisfy public demand.
Looking back to the Sydney Harbour Bridge
Favorite thing: Nothing like a relaxing cruise on the harbour to put you in the mood for just about anything. You start off from Circular Quay with the Sydney Opera House in view (pic 2) and, from there, the harbour is your oyster, so to speak.
The small lighthouse pictured in the opening is on the north shore and you turn around it to go into Mossman Bay.
En route you will be guaranteed to see a sailboat somewhere off your bow (pic 3) and somewhere a house you can't afford (pic 4) or, if you want something to brighten up your day, there's always Luna Park and you'll get to see the underside of the bridge on your way.
Fondest memory: The thing is that there are so many points of interest between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and North and South Head that you could take a few days just to glimpse some of them. When you've finished that you could head west of the bridge, deep into Darling Harbour and many other points, even as far a Parramatta. It's entirely up to you but the ferries are definitely the best way to sample the harbour.
Newcastle Harbour, a welcome sight
Favorite thing: There's another harbour about 2 hours north of Sydney. It's my home town actually.
This is an eyecatcher at night. This welcoming scupture aimed at seafaring folk casts its genial purple light every night across the waters of the harbour.
Not quite the Statue of LIberty but, we're only a small town by comparison and the French probably don't love us as much (especially since we started making wine seriously).
The statue sits at the eastern extremity of the suburb of Carrington but is visible all the way down the harbour.
It is entitled "Destiny" and is a reminder of the prows that used to grace the sailing ships that once were stacked three deep along the foreshore.
The flowing hair behind her represents the seven seas.
Wonderful views across the harbour
Favorite thing: So I turned and walked through a tunnel beneath the railway and started to climb the stairs up beside a park landscaped into the slope.
Halfway up I traversed this park over to the next ascending walkway and then, soon after, moved on to another delightful little park that had a sculpture beside the path (pic 2).
It was not long after when I accosted one of the three gardeners, named Ruben from Uruguay, and he told me how the land was actually railway land but Wendy Whiteley, Brett's widow, had always tended it and had a dream.
For years they had tried to get it off the railway until the local council managed to glean a one year lease. Hopefully, and I feel confident in this, they will have it permanently in the long term. One can imagine the public furore should the railway want it back again as it's land that was never used by them.
Fondest memory: Ruben told me how he'd been involved for some time in the whole affair and he and his two co-workers were obviously enjoying their work.
Criss-crossed by narrow walkways with benches and tables scattered here and there it is an uplifting experience just to be there.
Wendy Whiteley's "Secret Garden", much loved by all, is nestled between Clark Park on Lavender Street and the Lavender Bay rail shunting yard. Lavender Bay Precinct has committed to provide ongoing tangible support to Wendy Whiteley and her gardens by having four working bees each year.
Wendy created the garden following the death of her husband Brett, 53, in 1992, to drugs and her daughter, Arkie, 35 to cancer, in 2001. Wendy observed that “you can go two ways with grief, I could have given up and slid into an abyss of depression, or become suicidal…..I just felt an overwhelming desire to do something positive…doing something creative, right here, would be the most freeing thing I could do”.
Despite knowing little about planning a garden, Wendy was undeterred.
It's now known as "Wendy's Secret Garden'' to the locals, ``I don't get daunted by things,'' Wendy said. ``I have an obsessive personality which can be good or bad, depending where you direct you obsession.
"The garden is like I would do a drawing or anything else. It's like I need some big leaves here because these other ones are all scritchy and scratchy you know, and these things will flower so you will get a bit of colour but this won't.
"I used to read the labels (on the plants) and it said this plant needs sun so don't put it under the coral tree because it will die.''
I plan to revisit in a couple of months for a spring update; in the meantime, put this on your list of things to do in Sydney.
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