It's pretty damn spectacular when you reach the Pacific Ocean.
Soon after he landed with the First Fleet in 1788, Governor Arthur Phillip decided he ought to get to know his neighbours, the Aborigines.
He liked the look of the ones he’d seen around North Head. He’d even named the area Manly, after the manly specimens of the species that camped there. So Phillip kidnapped a gentleman called Arabanoo and took him back to Sydney Cove. It was the sort of thing governors did in the days before pesky human rights commissions made it all more complicated.
All went swimmingly for a while. Arabanoo learned English and taught the new arrivals some of his Cadigal language. But a year later Arabanoo died in a smallpox outbreak, and Phillip himself was speared (not fatally) at Spring Cove, just round the corner from Manly. Continue reading
That's North Head in the distance. The end of the road is in sight.
If you want a nature walk by Sydney Harbour, this is as good as it gets. The ten kilometre track through the national park from The Spit to Manly is easy to walk if you don’t mind a few steps, gives lovely views out over the water and offers a useful coffee stop by the water at Clontarf. Continue reading
I recently did an interesting job, writing a brief alternative travel guide to the city I’ve lived in for more than half my life. I welcome suggestions for great places and events I missed out (and if you want me to review your hotel/restaurant/adventure, offer me a freebee), but here’s what I included…
That Opera House looks like a nest of copulating turtles.
Australians who don’t live in Sydney are jealous. Melbourne people in particular enjoy niggling their northern neighbours. The Emerald City is a flashy, superficial town, they say. Lucky it’s got a sparkling harbour and brilliant surf beaches, because apart from that…okay, the weather’s sometimes good and yeah, yeah, there are those Blue Mountains…but apart from that Sydney just rests on its geographic laurels and pours itself a self-congratulatory beer. And BTW, that Opera House looks like a nest of copulating turtles.
Sydneysiders know better. Continue reading