State of New South Wales Favorite Tips by TheWanderingCamel Top 5 Page for this destination
State of New South Wales Favorites: 17 reviews and 17 photos
Favorite thing: Like most cities, Sydney has its share of statues to the great and the good, memorials and street sculptures. There are bronzes of royalty and statesmen, explorers (Captain Cook in Hyde Park and Matthew Flinders near near the State Library), grave war memorials and sparkling fountains. There are modern sculptures, including a fine Henry Moore in Hyde Park, and solid Victorian works. Most are traditional bronze worn to various states of patination by time and Sydney's salty air. Two of my particular favourites are much more recent additions to the cityscape and fashioned both from less traditional materials and in a less traditional manner .
Ben Chifley - Australia's first Labor post-war Prime Minister - stands amid a grid of native cabbage palms on Chifley Square at the corner of Philip and Hunter Streets. His likeness is etched into a huge two-dimensional sheet of stainless steel - though his boots are solidly fixed on the ground. He stands there, pipe in one hand, the other in his trouser pocket, as they were so often, a quiet giant in the heart of the city.
The memorial to the Irish Famine is much more conceptual. A long stone wall has been breached and set aslant to leave an opening ... a step to a new beginning ... a few potatoes and a peat shovel, symbolic of the life left behind, and a table set to receive a meal along with books on a little shelf - the promise of a brighter future. A glass panel is engraved with the recorded names of young Irish girls who came to Australia in those years of famine. It's very moving - well worth seeking out, whether you have an Irish connection or not. You'll find it up by Hyde Park Barracks, which was once used as an asylum for those same Irish girls.
Waratah and flannel flower
Favorite thing: Australia has an extraordinary diversity of flora with many thousands of plants being quite specific to very small and particular areas. Two stunning plants to look out for in New South Wales are the flamboyant waratah (the state's floral emblem) and the delicate flannel flower.
Most commonly flaming crimson though there is a rare cream variety, waratah grow as a small, shrubby tree. You'll find them growing in the coastal forests and western slopes of the Great Dividing Range of New South Wales - and in lots of gardens - gardeners have loved then for their spectacular flowers ever since the first specimens appeared in Europe in the 1790s. Tasmania has one species of waratah and another grows in parts of Victoria but it is New South Wales with which the plant is most identified. Don't ever call it a Kiwi rose!!!!
Stunning as the waratah is, it's the starry flannel flower, with its soft cream "petals" (bracts ) each tipped with a tiny green dot and and felty texture, that is my real favourite. You'll see their sprawly clumps in flower as you travel all along the eastern seaboard of New South Wales in spring. Please don't pick them - the bushland flannel flower is under serious threat from over-picking. There are several varieties available at nurseries for growing at home and most florists in NSW sell them as cut flowers from commercial growers.
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