SHOTS AROUND SYDNEY

Our family loved Sydney. I get there frequently but have very little time to tour. I did click off a few shots while moving around the city from meeting to meeting a few months back. One meeting was held at Cockatoo Island, a place with a long and storied history.

Cockatoo Island, an UNESCO World Heritage Site,[4] is an island located at the junction of the Parramatta and Lane Cove rivers, in Sydney Harbour,Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

At 17.9 hectares (44 acres) it is the largest of several islands that were, in their original state, heavily timbered sandstone knolls. Cockatoo Island rose to 18 metres (59 ft) above sea level and is now cleared of most vegetation. Called Wa-rea-mah by the Indigenous Australians who traditionally inhabited the land prior to European settlement, the island may have been used as a fishing base, although physical evidence of Aboriginal heritage has not been found on the island.[5]

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-23

The water taxi out. He was late. It was raining very hard …

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-15

After my speech we headed down to the wharf for a ride back to Sydney. Luckily, it stopped raining for the walk.

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-16

Someone marking time.

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-17

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-18

The old ship buildings remain intact.

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-26

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-28

There are a few unusual cottages at the top of the island, apparently for rent.

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-21

With great views of Sydney and your own private tennis court. Hard to beat the view.

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-20

2013 05 23 Cockatoo Island_-22

Perhaps we will consider it for our next holiday.

BACK DOWN UNDER, AUSTRALIA

Spent last week in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. A whirlwind of a tour with very little free time but I did snap off a few shots.

Canon 5D Mark III with a 50mm Sigma f/1.4 – my only non-Canon lens, most handheld HDR.

On the redeye.

image

Off the redeye.

image

A war monument in Brisbane.

image

I do like the way that Australia has preserved their buildings. So much character.

image

The clock outside the Westin in Sydney.

image

A few shots around the Westin.

image

image

image

image

No time …. just 18,453 km.

AUSTRALIAN MARITIME MUSEUM

 

Our second stop (amazing how fast the day flies by) was the Maritime Museum. Every time I go to Sydney I stare out the office window at this museum, wanting to get over there and have a look. I have never been on a military ship before and it did not disappoint. I just wish we only had 90 minutes as it closed at 5p.m.

image

image

image

Our first stop was the tall ship.

image

image

The Endeavour is a replica built in 1988 (took 5 years) of James Cook’s original ship that was used to discover Australia and New Zealand between 1769 and 1771. It is rather cramped quarters and the tour (thanks to local volunteers) gives you excellent insight into what life would have been like. I would not have made a good seaman. Interesting point, the shuttle Endeavour is named after this ship.

Having quickly popped through that tour we made a sprint to the other ships as I really wanted on that submarine. Walking through it made it clear that I would never want to be on a sub either, but what a fascinating world of dials, tubes and cramped spaces.

The first volunteer talked all about the ships armaments, having been on a sub in the 70’s. At the other end of the sub are a host of other tubes that were decommissioned for torpedo storage and repurposed by the men to hold 48 cases of beer (smile).

image

image

Some traditions are the same in all navies, the Captain’s china. The quarters on the submarine and the destroyer were of the same time period. Fun to see a TV with a dial and a VCR, which I am sure was state of the art in the 70s.

image

I say old chap, is that a Canadian symbol on the wall?

image

The engine room.

image

Up we climbed onto the next ship, the “Vampire” destroyer. This shot is in the shell loading bay below the big guns. The instruction method to the loaders is quite straight forward.

image

Big guns

image

image

Unfortunately we didn’t have much time inside the museum which is 3 stories and chock full of memorabilia and stories. My only advice is that if you head here – you need 3-4 hours to truly enjoy it. Next time ….  One last ship, an odd looking one. It is a lightship built in 1917.

image

HYDE PARK BARRACKS

 

Our first “tourist” stop in Sydney was the Hyde Park Barracks:

Constructed by convict labour by order of Governor Lachlan Macquarie, the Barracks is one of the most familiar works of the accomplished colonial England-born, Australian architect Francis Greenway. As the principal male convict barracks in New South Wales it provided lodgings for convicts working in government employment around Sydney until its closure in mid 1848.

It has had many occupants since then. It was an Immigration Depot for single female immigrants seeking work as domestic servants and awaiting family reunion from 1848 to 1886 and also a female asylum from 1862 to 1886. From 1887 to 1979 law courts and government offices were based at the Barracks.

It is a beautifully maintained building, full of fascinating bits.

image

Not knowing a lot about Australia’s history, it was a good first stop. The barracks walk you through one of the original intake buildings, detailed descriptions of the evolution of the colony and how it evolved from a penal to a proper society.

image

image

What is most interesting is the collection of memorabilia from the rats, it makes up a huge part of the exhibit; all of these pieces that they stole away and were later recovered in the foundation and floor boards. Amazing.

While there I bought the book A Little History of Australia. I read it on the beach the week after and enjoyed the 10,000 word essay, although I found it a little too politically. I would have liked to read more about specific incidents that shaped the Australian society.

A couple interesting quotes/facts:

    • “South Australia women achieved women’s suffrage in 1894, followed by Western Australia in 1899” (remarkable).
    • (World War I) “by the end of a war in which 330,000 Australians had served, one in six had been killed, half wounded, and even physically unharmed would hear the guns of war for years to come” (Canadian’s can relate to the WWI loss, with 620K serving and 66,000 losing their lives on European soil for England).

I would highly recommend stopping here if you are in Sydney, worth the visit.

TOURING SYDNEY

 

On the Friday before Christmas I took the day off and we toured Sydney. The ride in was a) to the right location and b) beautiful.

image

image

image

A beautiful building beside the ferry harbour. Love the big mirror.

image

We decided to “big red bus” it. I love the big red bus in most cities (except Tokyo as it is all in Japanese). You get a sense of history, tour the city and can jump on and off. Sydney is a beautiful city. Reminds me architecturally of Montreal .. have I mentioned Toronto could learn something?

image

I happened to enter this mall during the week (searching for a football) and it is beautiful.

image

The library.

image

image

Old against new.

image

Growing a wall garden. I have seen a surprising number of these in Tokyo.

image

Beautiful city.

LETS TRY THAT AGAIN: COMMUTING TO SYDNEY

 

Day two and instead of taking the Sydney fast ferry I took the Manly fast ferry. The same boat that I had taken the night before from Darling Harbour to Manly beach, or so I thought.  It ended in the same location – Circular Quay. So I started walking, again.

A few shots of Manly Beach in the morning. Good morning Mr. Hemmingway.

image

There are a lot of 40’s themed murals around.

image

We always struggle finding good surf shops for things like flip flops and bathing suits for our boys. Not so in Australia, every other store is a surf shop of some type.

image

My exit point.

image

Sydney has a LOT of military ships kicking around. This one was coming into port. When I shot a few photos, they waved.

image

This shot was from the night before. A big port.

image

Not to get too far off track, but these two shots were from the night before also. The clown creeped me out.

image

image

And a very big cruise liner in port.

image

image

I laughed at this sign. I really wanted to go in and ask where I could get a good cappuccino.

image

This building has no scientists according to this article.

image

According to this article, Leopold struck out on his own on January 4th, 1888 (right side of the page).

image

Almost at the office.

image

Another good walk.

THE COMMUTE IN TO SYDNEY

 

While staying at Manly Beach I commuted to downtown Sydney each day for work. Despite a significant amount of coaching and planning, I kept getting on the wrong ferry out of Manly Beach each morning (there are 3 every 30 minutes and many go to different places – a few permutations). The upside is that I got dropped off at different places each morning and had my camera, so I explored my way to the office with a little help from Google maps on my iPhone. The downside … it often took longer.

A few (quite a few) photos from Day 1’s wander to the office and the ferry ride in.

image

image

A friendly ferry.

image

No one honked while I stopped in the middle of the road.

image

image

I have been to Sydney a handful of times and never explored the city. It has always been airport > hotel > office >  customer > office > hotel > airport. It was nice to walk through the streets. I was struck by how Sydney has preserved so many older buildings. Toronto and Sydney are similar in age, and compared to Sydney – Toronto falls way short. They would have torn most of these buildings down by now .. which is a shame. Well done Sydney.

image

image

image

Someone told me this is a rubber tree. I think they are wrong, I believe it is a sycamore tree.

image

Beautiful church.

image

image

This fellow stopped to have his photo taken. He was charming the people exiting a long line of buses.

image

During my “lost” wander to the office I stumbled upon a coffee shop that I had been to before. It happened to be the shop which serves the best cappuccino in Sydney (or the best that I have had so far). I asked about the froth – as I would love to get it that thick on my home machine. Alas, it is a special milk only delivered to the shops.

image

The sky was very blue in Sydney. This is a zero processing handheld HDR. Well done Canon.

image

The place where I should have gotten off each morning. I only got it right the last time. Which isn’t a bad thing.

image

Thanks for stopping by.

MANLY BEACH AT NIGHT

 

A few shots around the beach.

image

image

From our room. Nice view.

image

LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT WORD

 

I cannot figure out the right word to describe this picture. Oxymoron? Doesn’t quite fit as the two are not in the same sentence. Contradiction? Feel free to help me out.

image

Or perhaps I could sing that Sesame Street song “one of these things is not like the others”. Feel free to help me out.

SHOOTING AROUND MANLY BEACH

 

While in Sydney, I kept playing with the HDR on my 5D. The biggest lesson when shooting handheld HDR is ghosting is a pain, and simply doesn’t work when there is motion. The options are to keep the originals (The 5D has the option of just keeping the combined HDR or keeping all shots) or shooting with the knowledge that you will discard a few shots (or a lot of shots, depending on the situation). An example of the ghosting below.

image

Despite the handheld challenges, I do like the way it brings out the colors.

Now on to Manly Beach in Sydney. We wandered around Manly late in the afternoon after coming off a very long – 18 hour travel through the night. As you would expect the seafood choices were fantastic.

image

image

I enjoyed the Fish Shack .. and we had a chuckle at their Est.

image

I am not a big beer drinker, but sitting on the beach makes it taste different. I have a new favourite brew, and it is from Australia: Little Creatures pale ale.

image

A few shots from Manly beach.

image

2012 12 17 Around Manly _-20

image

Great food abounds.

image

A very purple bike. I cannot picture myself riding this bike (smile).

image

A side street, with graffiti art.

image

A very cool little town.

A DAY ON AN AUSTRALIAN BEACH

 

The Australians are a tough bunch. You have to be in an environment where it seems like everything is dangerous, the wildlife, the ocean and everything that the continent can throw at you. In fact, 2,433 tourists have died in the last 7 years in Australia according to this article. As one ranger points out …

Ranger Craig Adams, of the Australian Reptile Park, said: “Going bush here is a far cry from the urban European lifestyle. A mud pool can hold a five-metre crocodile. And while koalas are cute, people don’t realise one will give you a nasty bite or carve you up with its claws. A wombat can knock you over.”

While in Sydney I got a text from my wife (the family was out at Manly beach surfing and hanging on the beach while I worked) that both boys had been stung by a bluebottle (type of jellyfish), the beach had been cleared by a shark sighting, they had narrowed the swim area due to overly strong rip tides (a 27 year old man died the next weekend in a rip current) and they were busy announcing that a 7 year old was missing (he was with a school trip I imagine – and was found as there was nothing in the paper). Exciting beach.

image

The lifeguard was collecting these after dinner, they were staked all along the beach.

image

All along the beach were thousands of blue bottles, washed up from the strong winds and currents. Dangerous but pretty.

image

image

image

But it doesn’t stop the Aussies.

image

image

These help.

image

Update (1/9): I continue to marvel at the number of tourist deaths in Australia. It is not like the Caribbean, it is definitely more of a adventure vacation. Found this cracked.com piece on Australia very funny. A small sample:

Ah, but the tropical beaches, you say! Surely the paradise on Earth that is the Australian beach makes up for an entire continent of biological weapons. And it’s true: Australia is known for having some of the best beaches in the world…all you have to worry about are the Saltwater Crocs, Great White Sharks, poisonous Stonefish, or being stung by the Box Jellyfish: The deadliest and most painful sting of any Jellyfish species in the world.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

 

Our first beach Christmas (smile). They say Merry Christmas in Manly Beach … the handheld HDR way.

2012 12 18 Manly beach_-4

2012 12 19 on Manly beach_-6

The trees decked for Christmas.

image

image

2012 12 19 on Manly beach_-7

In Sydney they say Happy Christmas and I did find a Christmas tree.

2012 12 18 exploring Sydney_-43

2012 12 19 Sydney_-23

image

A very Merry Christmas in the sun.

A TOUGH COMMUTE

When we lived in Canada my commute was a 45 highway drive with traffic and snow.

When we lived in the UK the commute was roughly the same amount of time through a host of winding roads.

This week I am in Sydney and taking a ferry to and from work. My kind of commute. Via iPhone.

20121220-073133.jpg

20121220-074000.jpg

20121220-074229.jpg

What I have not found is the energy to do is join the people on the beach at 5:00am either running, biking, playing beach volleyball or surfing as I am out the door at 620am.

However my boys were up and about early this morning for a 7am surf lesson.

Doesn’t hurt that it is 31 degrees and their summer. Very different than when I was here during their July winter.

Quite a lifestyle.

And as an aside, expect spotty blogging for the next couple weeks as I fill my camera.

20121220-080155.jpg

20121220-080211.jpg

20121220-080223.jpg

iPhone isn’t half bad on a sunny day.

20121220-080700.jpg

20121220-080756.jpg

A WINTER RAINBOW

 

My first. In Sydney, Australia – taken with my G12.

2012 July 05 Sydney rainbow_

2012 July 05 Sydney rainbow_-5

2012 July 05 Sydney rainbow_-6

It may have been pretty, but it didn’t change the fact that it was 30C in Toronto and cold, wet and wintery in Sydney. So odd being in a cold climate in July.

AUSSIE TAXI

 

I noticed while popping around Sydney last week that the front seat of the cabs were set back. It made it uncomfortable to sit in the back due to the narrow leg room.

So I decided to jump in the front seat (something you just do not do in North America) and ask “Do your customers sit in the front or backseat in a taxi?”

His first answer was noncommittal, “Wherever you like”

I asked again “Where do most people sit?”

He smiled and said “The self important ones sit in the back seat”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,214 other followers

%d bloggers like this: