Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #8 An Odyssey Through New South Wales – Manly and Sydney

This is the eighth in my Highlights series. It opens in Manly, lively, buzzing beachside suburb of northern Sydney, where we stayed in the Quest Apartments overlooking the Harbour.

Taking the boat from Manly to Circular Quay was delightful and although I have visited Sydney a few times before in the past this time I felt such a thrill as we approached the Opera House across the harbour. It was wonderful to see it for the first time in this way.

I had a special reason for wanting to inspect the tourist shops as I have written a short story in which my main character visits Sydney and he arrives at Circular Quay. I make reference to a certain item of quintessentially Aussie headwear he buys (overseas tourists think it absolutely sums up Australia – Australians themselves might disagree).I’m glad to report the shops are still selling them!

I loved walking round the Opera House. Which newly arrived visitor can resist the allure of walking right up to one of those sails and touching it?

Later we took the harbour ferry to The Australian Maritime Museum where we found a magnificent replica of Captain Cook’s ship The Endeavour. Whatever you might think of his ‘discovery’ of this great southern landmass later claimed by the British to be ‘terra nullius’ before the subsequent colonisation of the land, nevertheless he is an iconic figure for Australia.

In the Maritime Museum we found a dazzling variety of different galleries filled with exhibitions on the marine environment, ecological challenges facing us and much more. I was fascinated by a presentation on the big screen of what Sydney looked like before British settlement – groups of indigenous adults and children playing on Bennelong Point around their campfire where the Opera House now stands. Everywhere around the harbour, rich dense forest where now glittering towers rise.

Our next destination was a truly magical place across the harbour behind Luna Park in Lavender Bay.

It was Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Garden, created by Wendy the wife of renowned Australian artist Brett Whiteley, on a steep abandoned harbourside site owned by the railways. The land is close to the home which she shared with Brett and with their daughter Arkie before each of them – at different times – died tragically. Wendy assuaged her grief by creating this phenomenal tropical garden. Lush, rich and abundant it frames so many astonishing views of harbour and bridge.

Lastly in this Sydney experience we visited a beautiful Chinese inspired tea room and art gallery in the area of Chippendale.

There we enjoyed Chinese dumplings, scones jam and cream, and lotus blossom tea. Afterwards we browsed the shop full of curious, fanciful and quirky gift items before visiting the exceptional art gallery in the same building which showcased contemporary Chinese art.

Finally we explored Spice Alley nearby. A quixotic, colourful street market and cafe area: a true delight to taste another unexpected facet of the multi-dimensional and wonderful city of Sydney.

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Published by SC Skillman

I'm a writer of psychological, paranormal and mystery fiction and non-fiction. My latest book, 'Paranormal Warwickshire', was published by Amberley Publishing in November 2020. Find all my published books here: https://amzn.to/2UktQ6x

One thought on “Highlights of My Australian Journey 2022: A Travel Diary #8 An Odyssey Through New South Wales – Manly and Sydney

  1. Lovely photos once again, reminiscent of my stay in lovely Sydney a few years ago. My cousin’s son lives in Manly and came across the waters to dine with us. Sadly, we never got to visit Manly. It makes me long for another visit there.

    Like

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