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Lifestyle : Sydney Harbour in Spring
Morning Herald Friday, September 28, 2012 5 tite First used by the Cadigal and Wangal clans of the Eora nation as a feasting and fishing site, it became a galvanised-iron plant in the late 19th century and then the site of shipbuilding operations from 1923 to 1970. Many naval and commercial vessels, luxury yachts and Sydney Harbour ferries were built there. The site was completely rejuvenated in the mid-1980s and won the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects Award of Merit. Yurulbin means swift running water. Whereisit?Off Louisa Road, or you can catch the ferry to the Birchgrove terminal from Circular Quay. It has wheelchair/pram access. Good times . . . (left) old favourite Luna Park; the Island Bar on Cockatoo Island, which is especially popular during the biennale. Photos: Jon Reid, Wolter Peeters Ahoy there . . . Tahlia and Adam test their sea legs. Photo: Bellinda Kontominas Funday Sunday in ferryland Bellinda Kontominas borrows her niece and nephew for a day of thrills on the water. Icouldn't have picked a better day to take my niece and nephew ferry-hopping on Sydney Harbour. The sky is cloudless and the seasonal chill is negated by the warmth of the sun. It's also Sunday, which means we are each entitled to unlimited travel on bus, rail and ferry for $2.50 as part of the state government's Family Funday Sunday initiative. The clans are out in force with their prams and packed lunches, beach balls and cricket sets, ice- creams and wide-brimmed hats. Having no children of my own, I enlist the help of my mother, who comes prepared with cut sandwiches, bottles of juice and a never-ending supply of snacks. We start at Circular Quay, with little plans than to consult the electronic timetable at the wharves and hop on the first ferry that will take us somewhere to explore -- and we are spoilt for choice. Our first destination is Watsons Bay, providing for close inspection of some stunning waterfront homes along the way. Somewhere near Rose Bay, Tahlia, 8, and Adam, 5, point out a castle-like stone house they would like to call home. At Watsons Bay, the children paddle in the water as small waves wash ashore with boatload after boatload of those who arrive to picnic under the Moreton Bay figs in Robertson Park or dine at Doyles on the Beach restaurant. We can't resist lining up at Doyles' takeaway counter for some hot chips to share. Tahlia then explores the mini pools in the rocks, while Adam and I play noughts and crosses in the sand. People walk their dogs along the promenade; a wedding party arrives at nearby Dunbar House. Those on the sand ogle owners of private cruisers as they anchor off the beach, ready to lunch in this beautiful part of Sydney. We walk under the pier to the northern part of the beach. ''Ooh, it's lovely here,'' Adam says. And it is. Tinnies line the promenade of quaint, weatherboard houses. We are soon back on a ferry, having decided that we would like to take in Cockatoo Island, in all its biennale glory. It is a bit of a trip from Watsons Bay, requiring us to return to Circular Quay before boarding the free service provided as part of the biennale. But the time passes quickly. Adam is glued to his seat at the back of the ferry, enthralled by the wake and giggling as the spray splashes close to his face. At Cockatoo Island, we explore the impressive, and sometimes baffling, sculptures: oyster shells and teacups sprawled out from a box; wax sculptures made in secret and hidden by a former island worker; buzzing timber beehives; and the mysterious appearance of a cloud- like mist. The children run around collecting the cut-out letters scattered around the convict courtyard and form their own words across the cobbled stones. They equally enjoy exploring the old convict precinct and former gaol, as well as the island's industrial and maritime past. We take in the fabulous views of the harbour and bridge from the cliff-top walk, then head down to the Island Bar, a hip spot with sun lounges and umbrellas. The children are still going strong, so next we head to Luna Park. Again, it involves a trip back to Circular Quay, but it's not long before we are walking under the fun park's smiling face. It is late afternoon and I struggle to decide which tickets offer the best value for our limited time. We wait 30 minutes to ride the dodgem cars, which are great fun. We would like to ride them again but head to Coney Island, where the children run riot on the 1930s timber slides, in the Mirror Maze and Barrels of Fun, and their favourite, the Joy Wheel, a cone that spins faster until all the participants have slid off. Satisfied but tired, our group heads to Milsons Point train station to catch the train home. BIG DAY OUT Family Funday Sunday tickets cost $2.50 each for unlimited daily bus, rail and ferry travel on selected services. The travelling group must be related and include at least one adult and one child. The biennale finished on September 16. Cockatoo Island has tennis, kayaking, a netted swimming area, camping and other accommodation. See cockatooisland.gov.au. Entry to Luna Park is free. Prices for unlimited ride passes vary depending on height. Single- ride tickets or an unlimited Coney Island pass cost $10 each. SPECIAL REPORT Flexible hop on & hop o 24hr ticket with 7 great stops See Manly, Darling Harbour and everything in between Best value ticket to experience ALL of Sydney Harbour sydneyharbourecohopper.com.au whalewatchingsydney.net 02 9583 1199 02 9583 1199 manlyfastferry whalewatchingsydney WHALE WATCHING BEST IN SYDNEY Join us for an unforgettable experience on board Sydney s premium whale watching eet. Departs daily from May to December with whales guaranteed or a free return cruise. Only on regular discovery whale watching tours, o full Adult & Child prices, Not valid with other discounts, Must book direct, maximum 2 Adults per coupon, Must present on boarding, on line quote Coupon No. WER2012, valid Dec 2012. 20% OFF Present this ad and receive discount P p: e: l be c err e .c . u w: . l be c err e .c . u L
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