Before heading out of Luna Park, Phillip felt that he needed a break, so he made his way back to the apartment to rest up for a while before we would meet up for a tour that we'll see in this update. Once I was done at Luna Park, I decided to head to the other side of Sydney Harbour, but rather than take the Ferry, I decided to see if you could walk across the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I was happy to find that they had a pedestrian walkway across the bridge.
While they have the bridge climb that will take you on top of the support truss, it is an expensive experience, so taking a walk on the pedestrian path is a nice free alternative.
The bridge gives you the ability to get some great views of the harbor area to the East, below, this was the view of Sydney Opera House and Mrs. Macquarie's Point from the Northern end of the bridge.
The bridge itself makes for a pretty lengthy walk as it is a long bridge, but it is incredible to see up close after seeing if from various angles around the harbor area.
The next set of pictures were taken from just past the first pylon of the bridge heading South. Again you have a great view of the Opera House, as well as Fort Denison, the Prime Minister's Sydney Residence and the Government House.
Below are pictures taken from around the center of the bridge between the pylons. Along with the Opera House, you can also get a great view of Circular Quay.
Upon arrival to the second pylon, you can find plaques that commemorate the bridge. Also, There is a public observation deck that you can visit in the second pylon. (admission to Pylon Lookout is included with some packages for the Bridge Climb, but it is possible to visit it with a separate admission). As you enter it, there is an exhibit that shares the history and tells to story of the building of the bridge.
The view below came from a special viewing deck at the pylon just outside of the door to go up to Pylon Lookout.
And this brings us to the other end of the Bridge. Since there was still some time before the tour, I thought I would wonder around the shoreline by the harbor that is near the base of the South end of the bridge. This offered a great view of Luna Park and the Opera House. There was also an old sailboat that was also passing by.
As a fun anecdote, as I was walking around this area, there were several couples who were taking wedding photos with the harbor serving as the setting. I have to admit, if I lived in the area, I would probably do the same. I'll bet they had some great photos for their special moment!
Now we go onto one of the activities I was really looking forward to, and that was The Rocks Tour, provided by I'm Free Tours. They utilize a tour model that is very popular in Europe, where the tour guide provides the tour for tips, giving the tour participants to decide how much they felt the tour is worth.
The Rocks Tour takes people around a part of Sydney which had traditionally been a working class residential area. The tour starts at Cadman's Cottage, which is the oldest remaining residential building in Sydney, dating back to 1816. It can be found on the Western side of Circular Quay. As you take the tour, you learn about the beginnings of Sydney as a colony that was home of many convicts sent from Great Britain.
One of the highlights of the tour was the walk though some of the narrow alleyways of the Rocks. this one was known as the Suez Canal because of the high flow of water that would occur when there was heavy rainfall in Sydney. The alleyways were also notoriously dangerous as criminals would hide, awaiting people to attack or steal from.
Another highlight was getting to see the old residences of workers who lived at The Rocks. It was fascinating to see some of these buildings have maintained their original look for quite some time.
While not all residences that stood in the Rocks remained, some of the newer buildings allowed you to see the remains of them as they built some of the newer buildings were on stilts!
We passed by a few restaurants and pubs along the way, many of which made the claim to being the oldest in Sydney. Hero of Waterloo also had a dark tale associated with it. Some men would go into the pub, and be offered free drinks, leading to incredible intoxication, and then a trap door opening below them that lead to a cell in the basement, and the eventual conscription of the drunken fool.
We also went up to Observatory Hill Park, which was the location of the Sydney Observatory, and an incredible view of Sydney Harbour!
We also got to see some beautiful townhouses that have been in the area for some time. It was here that we learned just how expensive Sydney has become as some of these townhouses have recently sold for over $1,000,000 each.
Along the way heading back towards where we started the tour, we passed by the last remaining public urinal in Sydney. Essentially, it was a wall that was blocked off so you could pee without being seen.
The last stop was was Foundation Park. This park gave an artistic look at what homes in the Rocks were like as the foundation of the homes remained even as the actual homes were no longer there. There were silhouettes of the old townhouses to give you and idea of what they would have been like if they were still there.
And that completes our second day in Sydney! Our next update will take us to one of Sydney's most popular beaches, along with another popular waterfront area of Sydney.
See more of 2016 New Zealand & Australia Trip:
1: Arriving in New Zealand / 2: Walk to Mission Bay / 3 : Mount Eden / 4: Rainbow's End / 5: Arrival in Sydney /
6: Mrs. Macquarie's Point / 7: Sydney's Luna Park / 8: Sydney Habour Bridge & Rocks Tour /
9: Bondi Beach & Darling Harbour / 10: Walking Through Cairns / 11: Green Island & The Great Barrier Reef /
12: Warner Bros. Movie World / 13: Australia Zoo / 14: Aussie World / 15: Sea World & Wet'n'Wild / 16: Alice Springs /
17: Kings Park & Indian Ocean / 18: Fremantle / 19: Perth CBD & Elizabeth Quay / 20: Adventure World /
21: Walking Through Melbourne / 22: Luna Park Melbourne & St. Kilda / 23: Victoria Parliament / 24: Back to Auckland