Tag Archives: Sydney Harbour

Historical and arty… in Sydney

Just back from weekend wanderings and writing workshop fun in Sydney. Here’s some of the historical and arty things that caught my eye around town…

Most people were checking out the posh boats at the Sydney Boat Show in Darling Harbour, but I was captivated by the ripples…

© Louise Creely. All Rights Reserved.

Definitely painting this one next!                                                             © Louise Creely

EB had me walking for hours, so finding fabulous street art like this was the perfect distraction…


Taking art to the streets, in a roundabout way…

Here’s a clever way of interpreting history. It really puts you in the picture…

Copyright: Louise Creely

Nicely interpreted: Brown bear lane (then little Essex street) in 1901

We just loved all the square-cut sandstone and the gorgeous plantings at Sydney’s newest harbour foreshore park, Barangaroo Reserve.

Created on one of Sydney’s oldest industrial sites,  the area had been inaccessible to the public for more than 100 years, until it was transformed into a space for the people and opened in 2015.

Copyright: Louise Creely

The Harbour Bridge from Barangaroo

Copyright: Louise Creely

For me, it’s just a reminder that there are amazing and beautiful things all around us… if we really look.

Copyright: Louise Creely. All rights reserved.

Solid as rock…


First stop, Surry Hills

Copyright: Louise Creely

Last weekend we took a quick trip to Sydney to try out a tandem touring bike (as you do), to catch up with family and, the unplanned bit, to fall in love with Surry Hills.

Located on the city fringe, adjacent to notorious Kings Cross and right near Central Station, Surry Hills was once a bit of a slum area.

Today, it’s a melting pot of cultures, with a delicious retro, arty, entrepreneurial flavour – a happening place that has a village feel and a real sense of community.

Copyright: Louise Creely

Sunday breakfast in Surry Hills

Wander along its tree-lined streets window-shopping, then stop for a coffee (or vino) to watch the world go by.

It’s the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon – and you’re likely to be served by switched-on wait staff, who are easy going and up for a chat.

If you’re keen to see some great parts of Sydney on foot (I’m with EB, so keen or not…) take a stroll past the Domain to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, then walk along the foreshores of Farm Cove to the Opera House, and back through the city to Surry Hills.

Of course, you can always take the civilised option and jump on a train to Circular Quay to catch a ferry around the harbour… but this 1.5 hour easy walk is worth every step.

The ‘civilised’ option comes later at one of our favourite restaurants, Longrain. It’s just down the road from our hotel and a perfectly delicious way to end a great stay in Surry Hills.

Copyright: Louise Creely

Fort Denison is a former penal colony and defensive facility

Copyright: Louise Creely

A swim with a view – a battle ship docked at the Garden Island Defense Base

Hanging out around Sydney Harbour

We arrive in Sydney on Friday and walk out of the airport into a wall of dry heat. At 46 degrees celsius, it’s the hottest day on record. But that doesn’t stop us taking to the scorching pavements…

Copyright: Louise Ralph

I see a photo opportunity… a seagull poses in front of a giant, world-travelled rubber duck, the mascot for the Sydney Festival

It’s my real ‘new year’ and EB likes to make sure I grow old disgracefully.

This means my birthdays usually involve things like jumping out of a plane, driving a racing car, hanging doughnuts around an oil-slicked track at a defensive driving course, or whatever crazy thing EB can think of…and that I might actually agree to.

So far he hasn’t convinced me to go bungy jumping.

This year, we’re hitting the water for something a little more relaxing. So, after a scorcher on Friday, we’re up early to join our Sydney Harbour Kayaks eco-tour of Middle Harbour – and it’s 20 degrees cooler than yesterday. Of course.

Sydney Harbour is awe-inspiring, whether you’re walking around it, sitting beside it, driving over the Harbour Bridge, or taking a ferry ride. From a kayak, it takes on a whole new perspective.

We weave between moored yachts and cruisers and past affluent harbourside residences, glide past stunning sandstone formations and remnant bushland, and stop at a tiny secluded beach fringed with oyster-clad rocks.

The hours drift by too quickly and soon we’re taking on a fiesty headwind to make it back to the Spit. It’s so beautiful out on the water, even when it’s choppy, and we’d happily keep paddling all day…

Back to reality, and EB’s plan to do another section of Sydney’s stunning coastal walk is thwarted. Too much good wine and conversation with friends on Saturday night makes waking up at dawn the next day an impossibility.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

Balmoral Beach

Instead we have a lazy morning walking around Darling Harbour, before meeting up with family and heading to beautiful Balmoral Beach. The cool change evolves to threatening grey and we watch the sheets of rain cross the harbour towards us.

Soon everyone is scrambling for shelter and the beach is deserted, except for a couple of teenagers and a jogger who shakes off the rain as he splashes along the pathway.

We shake the rain off too and frock-up for dinner at the iconic (and rather posh) Bather’s Pavilion.

Mais oui, there are worse ways to welcome in another year… Bungy jumping springs to mind.

Copyright: Louise Ralph

The Bather’s Pavilion at Balmoral Beach