5 Great Things about Sydney

by Dave on September 16, 2009

Gardens & Bridges SYDNEY – We’re on the last day of a lovely 5 day stay in Sydney. I’ve lived in Auckland (and loved it) and wondered if Sydney would compare. It does.

After the fold, a few things that stand out …

Public Space: We spent some time in the Botanical Gardens near the Opera House and then, of course, there was this morning’s 6:00 am run in Centennial Park (grumble…). Parks seem abundant here and they are beautifully cared for. Judging by all the weddings, picnics, meetings and other strollers, Sydney-siders love their parks.

Public Art: The Museum of Contemporary Art at Circular Quay was a (free?!) highlight and it made me aware of how much great visual art there is here. The best part is how much of it is in those great parks I mentioned … Even the Korean War Memorial in Centennial Park is stunning.

Transit: Once you figure out the fare cards and the myriad of options (buses, ferries and trains), it’s easy to get around Sydney on public transit. It’s not the cheapest ride, but the buses are frequent and plentiful. If you need help, the folks at the Circular Quay fare kiosk are generous with their advice.

Architecture: Like home, there seem to be the usual ugly square pillars posing as buildings, but Sydney also has a great variety of beautiful older buildings, both public and private. The mix makes for a remarkably beautiful city (at least in the parts we saw).

Heritage: And as part of the architecture, there’s s strong sense of heritage. Not all of Sydney’s (and Australia’s) history is that postive, but it is recognized and drawn into daily life. The Hyde Park Barracks are a terrific example.

I should probably add something about the people – we’ve met a lot of open and friendly people here, in particular, those keeping the hostels here. (Thanks to Bob and Janet at Sinclair City Hostel!)

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