Posts Tagged ‘garden’

We deliberately sought out a dog friendly pub somewhere near the water this weekend as Sydney was set to experience a beautiful (record breaking) 26 degree winter’s day.

Dick’s is an iconic Balmain hotel, well known to Swans fans as a designated fan hotel showing every Swans game live. A very suburban hotel opposite The Exchange in Beattie St, it has a really clever canvas sound shell over the dog-friendly beer garden that contains the noise and keeps the neighbours happy.

A good range of beers and ciders on tap in the various bars.


What a great little local.

Right near the very end of Darling Street, close to the wharf and bus turning circle, this hotel is a great place to relax in one of the various cars and dining areas.

A great outdoor area, a cozy fire, good range of beers on tap and a decent menu from the kitchen.

It would be a terrific place to book an area for a birthday.

We’ll be back.

IMG_5059After the death of her husband (artist Brett Whitely) Wendy Whiteley started to clean up and landscape a large patch of derelict land adjacent to her home in Lavender Bay, owned by the NSW Rail Corporation. It was choked by weeds, overgrown and strewn with old train carriages, abandoned refrigerators, rotting mattresses and broken bottles, and some homeless people sometimes slept there.



Screenshot (110)

The Rail Corporation had no interest in doing anything with it, and they raised no objections to her beautifying the area.

Over 15 years, it has become a coveted spot for those who have heard about or chanced upon it, with random benches in quiet spots, secluded paths, and a spectacular view to the Sydney Harbour Bridge.


IMG_5065It’s affectionately known by locals as “Wendy’s Secret Garden”, although the public have always had free access.

In October 2015, the New South Wales Government, which owns the land, agreed to give the North Sydney Council a 30-year renewable lease on it. [so says wikipedia]

So on a beautiful Sydney early summer Saturday evening we headed over to the garden with champagne and nibbles to see it for ourselves. We weren’t disappointed.



The first person we came across, working just below her house, was Wendy Whiteley herself.

Sydney Royalty.

Sydney Royalty

This was definitely one of the best things we have done this year.
We’ll be back with interstate and overseas visitors for sure 🙂
The gardens have hidden spots with tables and chairs, views, steps and stairs that just draw you to climbing and exploring.

Lovely statues are dotted around the place. Winner winner.






Beautiful Moreton Bay or Port Jackson Fig, with Whiteley’s house behind




Whiteley’s house