In the heat of the day, when the city is getting crowded, there’s nothing better than hitting the parks of Sydney for some calm (ish – you’ll see!) escapism.
We started off at the rather smart Hyde Park, with the campest statue we’ve ever seen (and we’ve seen a few), then the wonderful Royal Botanic Gardens with stunning views over the bay and frenetic parrots, then over to the calm and tranquil Chinese Gardens, until we see a fat-off spider *screeeeeeam*
Sydney’s Hyde Park used to be the site for public executions ’til 1802. Only one year later it was used for Sydney’s first cricket match and then their first horse race. That’s an eclectic mix!
Today it holds impressive fountains and statues.
James and I chuckle at the most effeminate statue of a bull we’ve ever seen,
with a mean bloke holding his horn (oh my!).
Sydney Tower looms over the bushy fig trees.
We popped into St Mary’s Cathedral, which was cool, dark and gave us a short rest bite from the Aussie sun. It’s only Autumn, but we are English and practically melting in the 30 degree heat.
This was our very favourite area in Hyde park.
Full of flowers, shaded seats…
and fountains begging to be run through!
It’s quite mesmerising.
We have fallen in love with Botanical gardens recently. Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens is located around a little cove tucked behind the Sydney Opera House and was once the land used to plant the settlers first crops.
Charlotte’s rather enamoured with this pretty gazebo.
The old Governors House is here. It’s open to the public but we want to avoid the crowds and so we move on.
And we discovered some cool things.
It’s a statue of a wave.
Some very odd flora
and some very cute fauna.
Hitting the Aussie beer?
I’m not sure why I whistled at this bird.
a) It may cluck or quack for all I know
b) I can’t whistle
If you imagine peace and love right now, play James’s video below for a taste of the atmosphere…
Feral and fighting parrots screaming the place down!
Luckily for us, and all the other birds, most of the park was peaceful.
You get great views of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. I wonder if anyone was doing the BridgeClimb that day?
We enjoyed the flowered areas. Reminiscent of an English flower garden in parts.
But overall a lot more exotic.
and met some pretty cute characters…
We reached the other side of Farm Cove and take a lingering look back.
The grand old buildings within the gardens are dwarfed by the gleaming city standing behind.
We’ve reached the tip and Charlotte takes a moment to appreciate the awesome views.
This is Mrs Macquarie’s Chair.
She was the Governor’s wife and had this sandstone bench carved in 1816. A lady after my own heart. She could sit here after her walk and soak it all in.
Charlotte just managed to slide onto the seat for a quick snap before coach loads of pushy tourists took it over. It is a landmark, so a bit a patience is needed here.
When you’re planning to visit the parks of Sydney, you must visit the Chinese Garden, where peace and tranquility was practically guaranteed?
A haven given as a gift to Sydney from China, it is a haven where willows, well… willow!
We all found ourselves snorting with laughter at James, who checked for spiders before entering any structure.
To be fair, we had come across mammoth spiders in the Botanical Gardens and we were all a little twitched.
All good here.
Trying to ignore the huge spider webs and turning our mind back to the beauty of giant golden fish gliding through the lily pads.
And getting up and personal with a giant bird.
The feeling wasn’t mutual.
Everything buzzy with stingers was majorly attracted to James this holiday. Bypassing us and beelining him. As arms fling wildly we showed our support and care by cracking up in laughter.
So, as James’s eyes scan up we all set off again.
He’s acting cool, like the Eddie Murphy sketch ‘snake’.
But we know.
I get distracted taking shots of beautiful and unusual plants.
It’s all so breathy and divine…
Until, there is a fat-off spider just above our head.
I grab hubby in a ‘Save me OB1’ manner and as I focus in on the long legged Arachnid it builds to a rather un-tranquil scream.
Ironically, James is buzzed. Taking photos. While we run for the exit warning anyone heading vaguely in it’s direction.
So, if you want to avoid tourists and meet the locals, head for a parks of Sydney.
Just remember to be Eddie Murphy cool.