COLOURFULWORLD

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Sydney - Day 4 - Chinese Garden of Friendship

Tuesday 23rd October - My last day in Sydney, but my flight back to Perth was only at 5.30, so I still had time to do some sightseeing before taking the train to the airport.
My husband had taken my carry on bag to work with him in the morning, so I was "hands free".
At around 10am I alighted from the bus at Elizabeth street, across from Hyde Park, and walked towards Darling Harbour to go and visit the Chinese Garden of Friendship.

DARLING HARBOUR

The revamped area of Darling Harbour was looking bright and beautiful.
After a bit of a twirl around the area and some photos I walked towards the Chinese garden.










CHINESE GARDEN OF FRIENDSHIP

I had been there before a few years ago, but a Gardening program I watched on tv about the Chinese Garden made me want to revisit it.




The walled garden occupies about 1 hectare of land, and you have to pay an entry fee of $6 (adult) to visit it, but once inside you are in a little oasis that recreates the philosophy and harmony of traditional Chinese gardens, with waterfalls, exotic plants, pavilions, hidden pathways, bridges, sculptures, koi fish...it's all so graceful and peaceful.

The garden was built to symbolize the friendship between Sydney and the sister city of Guangzhou in the province of Guangdong, China, to mark Australia's bicentenary in 1988.

The art of Chinese garden design was started during the Shang Dynasty 3000 years ago, and this garden is just a small version of a typical private garden, and it's design follows the "Yin and Yang" Taoist principles and incorporates the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

There is a traditional Chinese Teahouse by the entrance to the garden and you can enjoy the peacefulness of the garden while you drink a cup of tea.

THE BONSAI GARDEN

Right by the entrance is a tiny garden with lots of bonsai plants. I've always admired them and the art and patience it takes to create such marvels.













THE DRAGON WALL

Next comes the Dragon wall with two flying dragons, a symbol of majesty and perfection.
The brown dragon represents the province of Guangdong and the blue dragon represents the state of New South Wales.




WOOD, WATER AND METAL

There are beautiful views wherever you turn to, with pavilions, waterfalls greenery and koi fish swimming around.


Pond and waterfall
One of the pavilions with a big lake below


Statues scattered through the garden





































Pavilions and water ponds








































Through the park there were small metal statues depicting the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs - I only found 6 - Rat, sheep, dragon, horse, rooster and dog. 
















WILDLIFE
Turtles (which I didn't see) to birds, koi fish and water dragons, inhabit the Chinese gardens.
I was most excited to see the water dragons of course! They have powerful limbs and claws to help them climb, a muscular tail for swimming and a row of spikes at the base of the neck (nuchal crest) that get smaller towards the tail.
The females can reach 60cm and males can grow up to 1 metre! I think I just saw females as none of them were that long.
They are very shy but have adapted to human presence in suburbia, seeking cover in thick vegetation or in the water if they feel threatened. They can be submerged for up to 90 minutes.

An Ibis collecting twigs, a water dragon and koi fish

Various water dragons



 CHINESE DRESS UP

Visitors can rent traditional Chinese dresses, and I saw a few young girls and some older women parading around with beautiful colourful kimonos.




The photos probably don't do the garden justice, but I loved the time I spent in this amazing and beautiful garden in the center of Sydney!

Sadly it was time to leave the garden, and I walked back towards Hyde park via George Street where I saw a few interesting buildings, with architectural details like the one below.


Interesting detail in building on George street, and Chinese quarter near the Chinese Garden
Close to Hyde Park I called my husband and he met shortly on the corner of Park street with my hand luggage.
We chatted for a little bit and it was then time to say goodbye and he returned to work while I walked just down the road to Museum Station and caught the train to Sydney airport, just a couple of stations down the track.

And about 2 hours later we took off to Perth, where I arrived 5 hours later at 7,30pm.

On the flight I watched the movie "The book club" with Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, which I found very entertaining and I think I might have laughed a bit, as once in a while the lady travelling next to me would look at me and my screen to see what was going on 😁😁.

I then watched 4 or 5 episodes of the series "The Bold type" which was inspired by the life of former Cosmopolitan editor in chief Joanna Coles . I had seen the first 3 episodes on a flight a few months ago and thought I would follow up as I liked the 3 spunky girls that play  the main characters.

Flying over Sydney, the sun going down gives the sky a purplish hue

















Map of my walking route from Hyde Park to the Chinese Garden and back to Hyde Park

LINKING WITH SATURDAY CRITTERS .


43 comments:

  1. I found the Sydney rail system easy to navigate and efficient when I was there. I didn’t even know of the existence of these Chinese gardens, but would certainly try to visit if ever I return. We did see water dragons in a couple of spots, but dragons in a Chinese garden seem highly appropriate given the role of the dragon in Chinese culture and mythology.

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    1. Yes the train system is easy to navigate David. You're right about the water dragon being in the appropriate place in the Chinese gardens :)

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  2. I love all gardens and never miss an opportunity to explore them.

    Darling harbor looks wonderful. Since we are boaters we would check that out.

    Have a fabulous day. ♥

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    1. You would love the garden and the harbour too. Well in Sydney you would have a great choice of harbours to visit as well :)

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  3. What a beautiful and peaceful space, Sami. I would love it there. Thanks so much for sharing. :) :)

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    1. Thanks Joanne, it is so peaceful, it's amazing.

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  4. That is a beautiful place to wander for awhile! The little dragons are fun to see.

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    1. Thanks William, the dragons were cute :)

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  5. I don't think the Chinese use the term kimono, which is from Japan typically. Those the Japanese kimonos were derived from the hanfu clothing which this appears to be.

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    1. You are quite right Adam, the Chinese have another name for their dress, kimono is Japanese.

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  6. This looks an amazing place, Sami. I particularly like the tiny garden with the bonsai plants

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    1. The bonsai area was very cute, thanks Carole.

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  7. What a lovely place to walk around. I love the statues that are scattered around the gardens. Very nice!

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    1. Thanks Bill, plenty of interesting bits and pieces to see around the garden :)

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  8. The gardens are just wonderful, as your photos show. It was damp and grey when we visited last year, but the gardens still impressed us. We missed the water dragons. No sun out to warm them, I suppose. I've very much enjoyed your Sydney visit.

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    1. It is an impressive garden indeed Andrew. What a pity you missed the water dragons, yes I think they like to sun themselves.

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  9. Quem vive na China percebe a geomância do jardim, o dedo do mestre de feng shui.
    Bjs, bfds

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    1. Tudo tem a ver com Feng Shui. Obrigada Pedro, bom fim de semana.

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  10. As my first husband was one of Australia's top bonsai growers and I his 'watering handmaiden' for over twenty years, my eyes inevitably strayed back to the photos you showed. One indeed has to have incredible patience with a perfect 100 year old tree oft being only 10-15 cms high and the decision to cut just 2-3 mms oft taking an hour or a day ! Been there, done that . . . but like the kimono the glorious art comes from Japan not China.

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    1. Thank you Eha. Wow what a job! I had no idea bonsai came from Japan too.

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    2. *smile* No, no - by profession a company director: that was one of his passionate interest, but it was beautiful - we oft spent weeks in Japan in Bonsai Villages at school . . .

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  11. Such a lovely place Sami. I would love to see those water dragons in person!

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  12. Impressive is (nearly) all I can say, I guess (that little fat statue... cute!).
    Beautiful. Sad your hubby had to work.
    And who these days does not do the laughing-thing, getting looks :-) We´re digital, too. But glad there are gardens of friendship.

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    1. Thanks Iris. I think I've seen more of Sydney than he has, but he's working when I travel there and do my touristy thing...

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  13. Gorgeous shots of the Chinese Gardens, this is one of my favourite places to go if we have time. It always amazes me that just beyond this tranquil garden you can see the skyscrapers and the bustling city is so close. Super interesting post as always Sami xx

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    1. So true Grace, the city is right there but the garden is so tranquil.

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  14. Beautiful Chinese Gardens. It's been a very long time since I was in Sydney so I think these gardens did not exist when I was there.

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    1. Thanks for visiting Joyful. The Chinese Garden opened in 1988.

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  15. Hello, wonderful post and photos. The gardens are beautiful. I like the pond and waterfall, the statues are lovely. Neat capture of the Ibis and the Water Dragons are cool. Visiting Australia is high on my list. Thanks for linking and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your day and weekend! PS, thanks for the comment and visit.

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    1. Thanks for hosting Eileen. I'm sure you would enjoy the "critters" in Australia :) Have a great weekend too.

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    1. Thank you for your visit. Yes it's beautiful :)

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  17. Wow, thank you for taking us on this journey with you. I especially love the little Buddah

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    1. Thanks for visiting KB. The buddha statue is cute :)

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  18. What a beautiful garden! Amazing photos. It all looks so peaceful!
    (ツ) from Cottage Country Ontario , ON, Canada!

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    1. Thanks for the visit Jenn. The garden is really beautiful and peaceful.

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  19. This looks such an amazing place, I would love to walk around it.
    The tiny garden with the bonsai plants is my favourite.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan, the bonsai corner is very pretty :)

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