Posts Tagged ‘Sydney History’

My nephew’s gorgeous partner, Gosia, is Polish. Gosia Streets are a bit thin on the ground in Australia! Gosia assures us that the equivalent of Gosia in English is Margaret.

Margaret St in North Sydney is a tiny little street near Kirribilli. At the foot of Margaret St is Anderson Park, where an extraordinary little micro-environment encourages a tine rainforerst-like environment to flourish.

Anderson Park contributes an interesting little anecdote to Sydney and Australia’s history – it’s where thousands gathered in 1934 to watch Charles Kingsford Smith take off for a promotional flight over Sydney.

As Peter Fitzsimons is want to say… “Gotta love this city.”


What a beautiful spring morning for a walk from the bottom of Mowbray Road along the northern shore of the lane Cove River towards Fullers Bridge Road.


This part of the Great North Walk takes you through the historic Fairyland Pleasure Grounds, made famous by the Swan family in the 1920s. It’s an easy walk in.

The Council has done a good job of identifying what used to be there, quite extraordinary to imagine women with parasols  and man in boater hat’s and blazers picnicking and going on Ferris wheel and merry-go-round.

Plenty of historic pics here



After parking, we walked to the base of the ANZAC Bridge where we had walked some weeks ago  and walked around the water’s edge to the bridge, completing that bit of the loop.

Breakie at Zebra Lounge along the way, and a coffee on one of the finger wharves before walking past the new Barangaroo urban development, we finished up at The Rocks where Sydney’s annual Aroma Coffee festival was running.

Great day.


A new arrival in Sydney – Barangaroo.

On the headland just west of the Harbour Bridge is Sydney’s newest urban park. Barangaroo was a local Kamaraygal woman who was the second wife of Bennelong, an important interlocutor between the Aboriginal people and the early British colonists in New South Wales. (wikipedia)

We wandered around this new park (it’s quite beautiful) and then made our way around the foreshore to the Opera Bar for a drink at the Opera House before a walk through the Botanical Gardens and home.

Quite lovely.


Looking south from Barangaroo towards Glebe




Looking west towards Balmain


Looking west towards Balmain


Drinks at the Opera Bar


Drinks at the Opera Bar

We bought our first home unit at Gladesville in 1983 and lived there for a few years, but never visited the site of the former Gladesville “Mental Hospital”, a psychiatric hospital, established in 1838 in Gladesville. Its original name was Tarban Creek Lunatic Asylum.

It’s located at Bedlam Point. Those of you who don’t get that connection > look here

It was purpose built to house “lunatics” in 1838, and apparently was a genuine attempt to improve the treatment of the mentally ill, allowing relatives to visit, patients to have access to recreational facilities and worthwhile work in what were once beautiful grounds.

In 1997, all inpatient services were consolidated at the Macquarie (North Ryde) site in Wicks Road.


Beautiful grounds


The pool looks a bit tired, but was probably once pretty advanced for a psych hospital.


Bedlam Point (not joking… it really is called that)


Gorgeous old fig by the water






One of these graves is that of a patient who was a resident there for more than 60 years



Had no idea there was a tunnel under Victoria Road


Imagine being housed in wings like this for perhaps years and years. Imagine the tears shed by inmates and families visiting.


Right at the end of Harris St (no. 1 Harris), by the water at Pyrmont, is the Zebra Lounge.

We had a beautiful breakfast there – delicious food and fantastic presentation. Coffees were a bit slow, but otherwise, can highly recommend it.

This Jackson’s landing area has been really nicely done so it’s a great place to have a wander afterwards.

This site has some history about the area, and its links to CSR, and there’s a fabulous photo gallery as well.