Thursday, 1 February 2018

Sydney - Northern suburbs

I've just spent 5 days in Sydney on a short visit to my husband who's been working there since the end of October. 
Still pondering what to do with our life, so we've decided to wait a few months and hopefully something will pop up in his area in Perth and he will return home instead of the upheaval of relocating to Sydney. 
I love visiting Sydney but find that we have so much more quality of life in Perth, we have our house here, friends, my job, a quieter I have our baby grandson. And another downside is the exorbitant price of property in Sydney!!

Sydney as seen from outside North Sydney station, photos from the flight

Last Tuesday 23rd January, I flew on the 11pm flight  - a 5 hour flight plus Sydney is 3 hours ahead, so not much sleep and a very uncomfortable flight. I don't think I will be choosing to fly in that time slot again.
On arrival I caught the train from the airport into the suburb of North Sydney where my husband was waiting for me at the station. Just outside the station we caught a bus to his place of residence - a little studio granny flat in the lovely suburb of Middle Cove, which isn't far from his workplace.
When we got home my husband took the bus to work and I went to bed to take a nap.

I set the alarm for 10,30 as my friend Bebe would come and pick me up at 11 and lay down. 
The surrounding noises were different from what we have in our street, and it took me a while until I shut my eyes. Just as I was falling asleep I heard a lawnmower going. 
I got out of bed and looked out the window to see two guys mowing the lawn just outside the granny flat. After mowing, they started with those awfully noisy blowers...
Well it wasn't meant to be, no sleep!
I showered, changed and watched some TV until my friend arrived.

Our first stop was just a few kms down the road to take photos of Long Gully Bridge (or Suspension bridge) linking the suburbs of Cammeray and Northbridge just 7km from Sydney's Central business district.
The bridge was originally built as a suspension bridge in 1892 by a team of land developers in a Federation gothic style. At the time it was the largest suspension bridge in Australia and the fourth largest in the world.
The reason for the bridge was to have a tram line linking the more developed areas of North Sydney to the new suburb of Northbridge where they were hoping to attract buyers to the new allotments being sold.
Due to the 1890's recession and the severe drought,  little development in the new area took place, and the company that built the bridge went bankrupt. 
The bridge was purchased by the Government in 1912 and it was only in 1914 that the first tram crossed the bridge.  
In 1936 corrosion was found in the steel cables and it was decided to replace the suspended bridge with a concrete arch structure. The Gothic towers and archways were retained and the new bridge was reopened in 1939.

Views across the bay, entry to Cremorne point walking trail, MacCallum pool

Next we drove to Cremorne Point, a leafy suburb on the northern shores of Sydney to walk the 3km circuit trail and enjoy the beautiful views of Sydney Harbour,  the city       skyline and across to Mosman Bay.
At the start of the walk all you see are the lovely seaside houses across the bay, but soon the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the Sydney tower appear into view.

Bridge, Opera House and Robertsons lighthouse
Halfway through the walk a 33mt long sea pool comes into view - MacCallum Pool
Built as a rock pool by Olympic swimmer Fred Lane in the early 20's it was looked after local resident Hugh MacCallum. In 1930 North Sydney council named it after Mr MacCallum in recognition of his work.
Entry is free with a great backdrop but the bottom of the pool looked very grubby. 
There was a council notice that it would be closed for cleaning 2 days later and I've hence learned it gets emptied and cleaned once a week, as it's filled with water from the harbour. 
At the Robertsons Point on the southern tip is a lighthouse constructed in 1910 and still active. The access to the lighthouse is closed but you can get close by descending a couple of stairs carved on the rock.  

All along the walking trail is lined with unique and beautiful homes built around the 1910's to 1930's and some modern more recent constructions. I can just imagine the price tag!!
Some of the bigger houses have been converted to apartments, but with views over Sydney across the bay a three bedroom apartment can set you back $1000 a week!!

One of the areas has a well planted garden leading to the edge of the water.
A local couple, Lex and Ruby Graham built the gardens in the 1950's and volunteers maintain the gardens nowadays.
And it all started with an elephant's ear that floated by while he Lex swam in the area. He planted it and together with then girlfriend Ruby watched it grow. Friends provided them with cuttings and so began this amazing garden. 
Rubbish and weeds were cleared and paths made with rocks and logs. Clivias, agapanthus and tree ferns were used to hold the soil and avoid erosion.

There are paths leading to the water and spots to sit and enjoy the peace and the birdlife.
Lex died in 1988 and Ruby died in 2009, having given 10 years of their life to create this little haven, a true labour of love.

Exquisite flowers, birds feeding on flowers, a big lizard, and a bird having a bath in a little water pool

And we reached the end of our walk, sweaty (Sydney is very humid) and tired, so it was time for my friend to take me home.
Loved the walk and getting to know this little gem and hope you enjoyed getting to know this beautiful area too.

If you don't have a car you reach this area by ferry from Circular Quay to Cremorne.

Cremorne Point walk map
Cremorne Point - walking trail  (F in green is the ferry wharf)
Northern Sydney suburbs -Northbridge where Long Gully bridge is, and Middle Cove top right where my husband is living


  1. Yes, those blowers drive one nuts! What about doing it the old-fashioned way, healthier, too!

    That is one thing I disliked about Sydney: The hectical lifestyle - and the prices.
    But they sure do have some lovely houses there.
    Fingers crossed it´s all back to Perth soon. You got such a nice workplace there - and well, yes! Baby!!! They grow so darn fast!

    1. Thanks Iris, fingers crossed it all works out.

  2. What a trip. I had NO idea Australia was so large it encompassed three time zones. Your photos are superb and I loved them all, but I feel for you and hope you and your husband can stay and he can find work in Perth. I also had no idea the cost of things were so much higher there, but it makes sense. It IS a beautiful area you shared with us.

    1. Hi Elizabeth, in the top 10 largest countries USA is the 3rd and Australia is 6th, so a pretty big island. Thanks, fingers crossed!

  3. I'm not familiar with any of these places and so I have noted them for our next Sydney visit.

    1. It was a lovely area for a walk. There is a little cafe at the ferry wharf but it closes early (as usual).

  4. Never having been to anyplace in Australia, I am captivated by your photos. It does look beautiful with that wonderful water and harbor and of course the walking trail and the terrific houses are beautiful. I guess big cities are always expensive but it is sticker shock -- and I can tell how much you like Perth, so I'll be thinking good thoughts that your husband can find work he loves closer to home!

    1. Thanks Jeanie, the Sydney harbour is beautiful.

  5. Um belo trabalho fotográfico, gostei bastante minha amiga.
    Um abraço e continuação de boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa

  6. Vi na net que a distância entre as duas cidades é de quase 4 mil kms. Estar longe do marido não é nada agradável. Para quem está habituada a uma cidade mais calma como Perth deve ser difícil pensar em viver em Sydney. Os meus primos vivem nessa cidade e adoram. Pelo que vejo nas fotos, deve ser uma cidade incrivelmente bela.
    Que tivesse tido uma boa estadia. Nós ganhámos com isso. Vimos fotos fantásticas. : )

    1. Obrigada Catarina, sim a Australia tambem e enorme e Perth e Sydney ficam nos lados opostos. Realmente acho Sydney demasiado stressante. A zona central e muito bonita e a zona norte e das praias tambem e, mas claro tem zonas antigas a sul que acho muito feias.

  7. Adorámos Sydney quando lá estivemos em férias.
    Tanto que a minha filha mais nova quer ir para lá estudar.

    1. Sim uma cidade fantastica o unico problema e o custo da acomodacao, comparando Perth a Sydney o custo semanal deve ser mais que o dobro!

  8. I couldn't imagine being that far away from my wife for a long period of time. She went to the west coast for a week to visit her dying grandmother

    1. Thanks Adam, not easy for me or my husband either, but right now there's no work here for him while Sydney and Melbourne are going through a big boom. I'm used to it as my whole married life we have had many times when we were apart during the week and saw each other on the weekends. That's the nature of his job unfortunately, so either I jump around all over or stay put and he or I fly home regularly, which is the case now.

  9. Welcome back Sami, I know exactly how you feel. I'm always so happy to be home after a visit to Sydney, as much as I miss my family there. It is lovely though and I love to see the bridge. Pat also used to work away a lot, you kind of get used to it I guess ☺

    1. The bridge, harbour and opera house are magical. It would be easier if the commute wasn't as long as it is and tickets were cheaper. Fingers crossed a railway project pops up in Perth soon.

  10. OLÁ Sami! Tenho um primo em Sydney, aliás, filho do meu primo já falecido, o filho já nasceu aí! Tem agora 40 anos e é empresário.

    1. A comunidade Portuguesa em Sydney é maior do em Perth. Em Perth somos cerca de 10 mil, em Sydney não sei, mas há o "bairro português" com loja produtos portugueses, vários restaurantes, etc.

  11. Dearest Sami,
    Oh my, you really got the red-eye flight and not a very lucky aftermath either.
    It is about as long a flight going from the West Coast to the East Coast here in the USA and also with a 3 hour time difference.
    You are so right about looking at the cost of living... that's one reason we didn't want to move to California, property is out of reach.
    Not easy and being separated because of a job far away is tough!
    Lovely photos, we've been to Sydney several times but never had the time for such a long walk!
    Sending you hugs and wishing you good luck in resolving this issue.

    1. The red-eye flights are a killer! Thanks Mariette, I too hope for a good outcome. Have a lovely weekend.

  12. Ual!
    Que maravilha de postagem.
    Grata por compartilhar.
    Feliz domingo.
    Bjins e/ou Abraço

    1. Obrigada Catia, bom fim de semana para si tambem.

  13. Lovely photos! I have been wanting to visit Australia for many years and hopefully it will happen soon. I just need to talk someone into going with me! I hope the situation with your husband's job works itself out.

    1. Thanks Lois. It's a beautiful country with a great variety.

  14. Nice walk and photos, Sami. Good that you could enjoy the surroundings even if you hadn't slept so well.
    I enjoyed Sydney when I visited but I understand that it would be a big change for you to move there. I hope your husband finds something else in Perth. Good luck!!

    1. Thanks Sara, I would certainly prefer to stay in Perth, a more manageable city.

  15. Cremorne Point Circuit é muito bonito! O livro "Sydney's best Harbour & Coast Walks" de Karina O'brien, por onde me guio para novos percursos, este é considerado o mais bonito. Durante vários anos fazia este percurso antes de iniciar o dia de trabalho. Mas já há que não ia até lá e gostei de rever na tua companhia.


I would love to hear from you, please leave a comment.