Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Warning: Holiday Photos

Replying to a comment on an earlier post I said that although Sydney has a reputation as a beautiful city, it isn't. It's actually very unattractive with ugly architecture. What's beautiful is the natural part, which really means the harbour. I'll include Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Here's what I mean about the beautiful part, with some of the shots we took a couple of weeks ago.

I include two man-made structures in what's beautiful. While the bridge isn't unique, it's a copy of the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle in the UK, its size and location make it special.

The Opera House is one of the world's most extraordinary buildings, a brilliant piece of design, mind-boggling breakthrough architecture.

When the first Europeans sailed in a couple of hundred years ago they commented that it was the perfect sheltered harbour. Here's why - there's only one small entrance, The Heads.

The Botanic Gardens is a great relaxing area to wander around and you get a great view of the Opera House from there.

Between the Opera House and the bridge is Circular Quay with its non-stop hustle and bustle. Cruise liners dock there but it's also the main public transport hub because it's the ferry terminal for the city, there's a Metro station and many buses run there.
It also has hotels, pubs, restaurants, street entertainers, shops, the Museum of Contemporary Art and is adjacent to The Rocks, a popular historic area which was the site of the first European settlement.

There are plenty of harbour cruises but they're expensive so I think the best thing to do is buy a Day Tripper ticket for A$17 for the ferries and spend the day on them sailing all the different routes.
The ferries are great fun, the inner harbour ferries are small boats...

...but the Manly ferry, which takes 30 minutes to get across to the beach suburb of Manly and goes across the swell coming in through The Heads, is much larger. That's a great trip and costs only A$12.80 return.

We did the Manly run on a typically beautiful Sydney day...

Across from Circular Quay and the city centre high-rise is the residential suburb of Kirribilli, to the right of the bridge in the photo above, with smaller buildings and the Prime Minister's Sydney residence out on the point.

And only minutes from the city centre all the apartment and high-rise buildings have disappeared and you have just individual houses, plenty of greenery and protected national park areas.

This, by the way, is my contribution to Australian tourism. Tourist figures are down, naturally, and as Tourism Australia has stuffed up badly yet again it falls to us as individuals to encourage people to visit. The economy needs your money folks...and you'll have a great time.

Tourism Australia has, true to form, got the international ad campaign completely wrong. At least they're consistent, they do it all the time. This year they've based the whole international ad budget on the film 'Australia', which no-one will go to see because it's absolutely awful.

The script is nothing but a string of old movie cliches cobbled together into an amateurish screenplay, the good actors ham it up embarrassingly - which I suspect they did deliberately to show their contempt for the script - and there is some terrible acting in it too. The much-trumpeted 'sweeping vistas of beautiful Australia' - on which TA has based the ad campaign - are in reality a few snap shots amounting to a minute or so in the overly-long two and a half hour film.

I digress, but the film was so bad, and having dealt with, and argued with, Tourism Australia over their wasted ad campaigns for many years, I had to get it off my chest.

Pretty harbour isn't it.


Dave said...

I saw the film Australia when I was downunder at Christmas time.

I didn't think it was that bad Seabee. But maybe I am easy pleased.

Seabee said...

Dave, fortunately people have different opinions about things - the world would be very boring otherwise.

Warning: stand by for more holiday photos.