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Lifestyle : Sydney Harbour in Spring
1HERSA1 S002 JANE BENNETT Industrial and maritime heritage plein air painter of Sydney Represented by FRANCES KEEVIL GALLERY Double Bay p: 02 9327 2475 .fran es ee ilgallery. om.au Star City Casino Site ll oil on an as 122 x 183 m iG5427422AA-280912 Deep Sea Fishing Harbour Party Cruises Christmas Func ons New Years Eve Cruise firstname.lastname@example.org www.deepbluecharters.com.au 0403 085 672 MV Susannah John Bokor Andrew Christofides Elisabeth Cummings Jayne Dyer John Edwards Rachel Ellis Paul Ferman Salvatore Gerardi Myfanwy Gullifer Robert Hirschmann James Jones David Keeling Jan King Martin King Joanna Logue Rod McRae Idris Murphy Peter O Doherty Amanda Penrose Hart Leo Robba Jenny Sages Wendy Sharpe Adriane Strampp Marc Standing Kensuke Todo John Turier Richard Wastell Shona Wilson King Street Gallery on William 10am -- 6pm Tuesday -- Saturday 177 William St Darlinghurst NSW 2010 Australia T:61293609727F:61293314458 email@example.com www.kingstreetgallery.com.au Director: Robert Linnegar Director: Randi Linnegar Marc Standing Hunters and Gatherers 2012 oil on canvas 100x100cm G5424506AA-270912 OPERA BAR NYE 2012 BEACH PARTY FOR MORE INFO & TO BUY TICKETS GO TO OPERABAR.COM.AU/NYE iG5426656AA-280912 2 Friday, September 28, 2012 smh.com.au SPECIAL REPORT Treasures of a quirky past Put on your walking shoes and discover the city's little-known historic sites, writes Julietta Jameson. Jump in . . . Maccallum Pool is the city's last remaining harbourside pool. Photo: Rick Stevens The island was considered the epitome of romantic beauty.' Lisa Murray, historian N ext time you're enjoying a glass of wine and the sparkling harbour view at King Street Wharf, consider what once lurked in the water at the end of Erskine Street. In the 1830s a hulk called the Phoenix was moored there, incarcerating within its dark, dank belly an overflow of convicts who couldn't fit into the colony's jails. Likewise, on your next trip north along Hickson Road, take a glance to your right just past the Park Hyatt and spare a thought for the way things were pre-Harbour Bridge. You'll see a little hut on the water's edge. ''It's evidence of the old Dawes Point vehicle ramp,'' Sydney's City Historian, Dr Lisa Murray, says. ''It's where horses and carts, then cars, got on the punt to Lavender Bay before the bridge opened in 1932.'' Sydney Harbour is burgeoning with obvious historical landmarks and stories. But it's also a cornucopia of obscure, yet intriguing, urban sites and tales that span more than 220 years of European settlement. Council historians, the Australian National Maritime Museum, and the National Parks and Wildlife Service are all good sources of information on this remarkable legacy. The City of Sydney recommends dictionaryofsydney.org as a resource as well. But no resource is better for finding these spots of interest than the combination of a pair of walking shoes, a sense of curiosity, a ferry pass and, of course, a keen pair of eyes. On Dr Murray's list of interesting, but often overlooked, historic sites is Beare Park at the bottom of Ithaca Street on the water at Elizabeth Bay. ''It was set aside by Governor Macquarie for Aboriginal people to live there (1817). He gave them things for fishing and had huts built in an effort to try to get them more settled and to start some farming practices. Of course, it wasn't at all successful.'' Another of her picks is at Henley, on the Parramatta River, near the Gladesville Hospital. On the rocks since 1891 is a marble column, a memorial to one-time world- champion sculler Henry Ernest Searle, known as the Clarence Comet. ''Sculling competitions were huge in late 19th-century Sydney and there was a mile course [1.6 kilometres] from Shepherd's Point up to Henley,'' Dr Murray says. The Clarence Comet was a marvel and went to London to defend his world championship but caught typhus on the boat back and died at the age of 23. Garden Island is another of Dr Murray's picks. ''It's now connected to the mainland with the naval dock. But before the Second World War, the island was disconnected, and considered the epitome of romantic beauty,'' she says. The island's pretty parklands, not accessible from the Woolloomooloo side, can be reached via select services on the Watson's Bay ferry route. ''It's beautiful out there and you can get to the Royal Australian Naval Heritage Centre,'' Dr Murray says. The North Shore also holds quirky treasures. For North Sydney Council historian Dr Ian Hoskins, the author of the prize- winning Sydney Harbour: A History, the artists' camp at Little Sirius Cove is one such treasure that every Sydneysider should see. ''It's a lovely little site, well interpreted, where Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton, among others, set up a nice little encampment. They saved on rent, enjoyed life, and Streeton did over 140 paintings of the harbour. He loved it.'' Right next door is now ritzy Mosman Bay, amazingly once a whaling station. ''For a brief period in the early 1830s, the colony of NSW was making more money from the export of whale products than wool,'' Dr Hoskins says. ''There was a fleet of 22 ships sitting out from Sydney Harbour. And there were American whalers coming in -- the kind Melville wrote about in Moby Dick -- that had come all the way from Nantucket and New Bedford Connecticut, on the east side of America, all the way around the Horn, to refit and raise hell in The Rocks.'' Although there are no remnants of that history left, Dr Hoskins says it's worth considering the upmarket residential enclave with its past in mind. There's more to see at Cremorne Point, ''which is one of the most beautiful walks you can do in Sydney''. Dr Hoskins points out that the Maccallum Pool, ''the last of the quirky little harbourside pools that were once all over the place'', is there. And for something experiential, he recommends a visit to Balls Head at Waverton, where the old coal loader is now a public park. You can walk through the coal tunnel from the harbour and into bushland. ''It's a great industrial relic, a reminder of the harbour's roots.''
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