Tuesday, 10 April 2012

G'day Sydney!

Our flight was just not long enough. Usually we get board of flying, but the A380 was so comfortable and had so many onboard choices, we didn't want to get off! The only complaint we had was that we had a wing seat, and the wings were so big that we couldn't really see anything else!

Woolloomooloo Wharf & Boy Charlton Pool

We arrived late in the evening and met the owner of the apartment in Woolloomooloo before unpacking and crashing out.

We woke up to blue skies and warmth! 15 minutes after the leaving the apartment and just about the time we got to the middle of an open area with only a few trees for cover, the grey clouds rolled in and a heavy shower stopped us in our tracks for 30 minutes!

Once the rain had blown over, we walked to Mrs MacQuarrie's chair and had a great view of Sydney Harbour.

Sydney Harbour (in case you didn't know!!)
We wandered through the Botanic Gardens to the Opera House. It was designed by Danish architect Jørn Utzon and opened, 16 years after it was initially designed, in 1973, and in 2007 it became a UNESCO World Heritage site.

From a distance the roof looks white, but up close it is actually a pale cream colour.


The building is mostly pre-cast concrete, but the roof is made of ceramic tile.

Ceramic tiles

Roof detail
Although it was 10 years behind schedule and cost 14 times more than the original budget, the SOH has become the symbol for Sydney and for Australia as a whole, as it is the most recognisable of structures and is the most photographed building in the southern hemisphere.

As the clouds gathered again, we headed around circular quay and into The Rocks, one of the oldest areas of Sydney, it became established shortly after the colony's formation in 1788. The original buildings were made of sandstone, from which the area gets its name. It was a rough area, full of sailors and sailors 'entertainment' but fell into decay when the plague broke out in the late 19th century. Most of the buildings were demolished, but World War 1 stalled the destruction.

In the early 1970s the area was redeveloped into a tourist destination, and today is one of the busiest areas of central Sydney.  It is home to many artisans and independent cafes and houses a craft and farmers market each weekend.

The Rocks

The other world famous vista is the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The southern bridge end is located at Millers Point in The Rocks area, and the northern end at Milsons Point in the lower North Shore area. It carries six lanes of road traffic on its main roadway, a footpath, two railway tracks and a bicycle path.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge, known to some as the 'Coathanger', was opened on March 19th 1932 after six years of construction. Made of steel the bridge contains 6 million hand driven rivets.

Sydney Harbour Bridge is the world's largest (but not longest) steel arch bridge at 1149m and its arch span is 503m. The top of the arch is 134m above sea level and the clearance for shipping under the deck is 49m. The total steelwork weighs 52,800 tonnes, including 39,000 tonnes in the arch. 

It is possible to climb to the top of the arch
We wandered back to Woolloomooloo and headed off to Kings Cross in search of a supermarket. What a place 'The Cross' is; from luxury apartments and swanky restaurants, to peep shows, down and outs and adult shops, it has it all and everything in between!!

Woolloomooloo Wharf

The next morning brought warm, clear skies and we made the most of it by jumping on a harbour cruise.  We cruised around the harbours before getting off in Manly for a stroll.  The beach was fairly quiet as it was windy but the surf was up which makes a nice photo!


 From Manly, we walked along the beach promenade, around the headland and along a path to Shelly Beach, a nice secluded beach with a nice cafe where we had a coffee and watched the world go by!

Shelly Beach
 Walking back to Manly, a Water Dragon popped out to say hello and didn't seem too bothered by us!

We walked back down through Manly town centre and walked the trail to the Spit. The bay was beautiful and deserted!
Not a soul in sight!

We boarded our boat and sailed back to Sydney. The views of the Opera House from the water (with a blue sky!) were awesome!

We rounded off day two with a huge Greek feast - thanks for a great day out Kelly, Maddie & Doug!

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