Australia

Around the Bend to Woolloomooloo Bay


The weather breaks, and we head out walking into a new part of town.

We walk along Stanley Street, right behind our apartment building and reminiscent of Crescent Street in Montreal. We continue on along William Street to King’s Cross, the Soho (London Soho, not New York Soho) of Sydney, and up to Potts Point, a beautiful residential area on a peninsula.

Fleet’s In!

Then around the bend to Woolloomooloo Bay, where the Navy docks are located, walking beside ship after ship. In Woolloomooloo is an old wharf that was the centre of heated controversy as to its future, and that is now luxury condos and the W Hotel. We walk through the lobby, which serves both the hotel and the apartments, and runs the length of the wharf, and it is striking! The integration of the mechanical apparatus of the wharf into the décor is fascinating.

From there we walk around the other side of the bay, into the Domain and the Royal Botanical Gardens, vast green spaces in Sydney’s heart. We stop at the Boy Charlton Pool, a saltwater pool set beside Woolloomooloo Bay, and tell ourselves that if we could, we’d live there. We go round Mrs. Macquaries Point to find spectacular views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House awaiting us and, further around the point, of the CBD.

A Stroll Through the Royal Botanical Gardens

We walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens, which are not laid out, for the most part, in formal garden style but are more naturalistic, in the style of Capability Brown. We stop and admire various borders, and when we get to the refreshment stand we are surprised to realize we’ve been walking for almost 3 hours straight. We take a well-deserved break, and as we head out again, our ears are assaulted. We look up and see hundreds of fruit bats – flying foxes – sleeping in the trees, although sleeping is a misnomer, given the talking and the wing-stretching that was going on. I am surprised by the bright red-orange fur that we can see on them.

Sitting in our apartment around dusk over the days, we have noted that the sky fills with bats – it looks a bit like the flying monkeys scene in the Wizard of Oz – and we now know where at least some of them sleep. A sign informs us that the bats are migratory, but also that the RBG has been granted permission to try to convince the bats (in a non-harmful way) to move on, as they are damaging the trees in which they roost, and they don’t seem to be in any hurry to migrate onwards.

The RBG connects back up to the Domain, and in turn the Domain connects to Hyde Park. We walk on through, ending up back at home, just in time to avoid being caught in a brief shower.

We get upstairs, and over in the west is a beautiful double rainbow.

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