Category Archives: Sydney, New South Wales

Sydney, Australia and surrounds 2018

Central Coast and Return.

Took a drive to Umina Beach and Woy Woy and back today. The motorways are fast and efficient when not crowded, but the trucks can be very intimidating! And the engineering involved in creating the motorways, is awe inspiring.

The M1 – Central Coast. The sheer rock faces you drive between are amazing, and beautiful.

Once I arrived in Umina Beach I went to visit my 93 year old Aunt, who is astounded that I bother to see her. As I assured her, a trip to Sydney must have a visit to her, or it would not be a trip to Sydney.  I have a cousin of my mother’s who also turned 93 this year who lives in Sydney who will have a visit on Friday. So looking forward to seeing him too.

Near Fisherman’s Wharf Woy Woy, New South Wales
“Fishermates” in retro effect style. Brisbane Waters, Woy Woy. Reflections
The American black duck is prolific on the central coast areas. These ones are well fed by humans and as a result are very likely to wander over to look at you, looking at them. Beautiful plumage.
The Indian Myna Bird. Wonderful trill and a neatly, well ‘painted’ little fellow.
Mallard duck. One of the most dramatically coloured of the ducks.
Fisherman’s Wharf at Woy Woy, Central Coast, New South Wales


Today I have driven east to the coast and will meet up with my cousins for lunch. It is a beautiful day at the moment but by 1pm there are forecasts for thunderstorms- I hope they are wrong – make it 4pm – I’ll be safe at my digs by then.

I was early, as usual, so proceeded to the beach to see the surf at Freshwater Beach.


It really does look inviting. Lots of grommets out and about and older surfers. It is a moving tide of black rubber covered humans with long wet hair – in some cases -and a board under their arms. Not a bad way to spend your time.

Bella Vista Farm


Today we visited one of the first farming properties in Australia. In 1799 Joseph Foveaux was granted 980 acres which, in addition to other purchases, he sold to John Macarthur in 1801. John Macarthur enlarged this through additional purchases until it comprised around 2,000 acres. John and Elizabeth Macarthur farmed sheep on this property in addition to their properties at Camden and Parramatta. For much of the time that the Macarthur’s owned this farm John was overseas and it fell to Elizabeth to manage the various Macarthur properties and flocks.

The farm is being restored and maintained and it is used for a range of activities and community happenings.


We left our first home of three days and drove east towards the north shore.

Well now we are on the north shore of the city in a leafy suburb called Chatswood. It has huge numbers of retail outlets in the streets and in the malls. Westfield, Chatswood Chase and stores all around them. Eateries are everywhere. Very Asian influence around here with heavy emphasis on Korean. This morning we wandered down to #Crazy_Uncle_Frankie’s where we had a lovely breakfast between us with the addition of an orange juice, tea and coffee. lrg_dsc09621

It was a birthday breakfast – did you see the candle?? We ate at Crazy Uncle Frankie’s 1/405-419 Victoria Ave, Chatswood. Terrific service and food. We were welcomed warmly and we ate at an outdoor table.

After breakfast we watched children chase bubbles on the expanse of green outside the Chatswood Library under the only tree in the vicinity, but a good one.

We then ventured off into retail land through the doors of the Westfield shopping complex.There are some great stores and some great décor.

After the walk through and a couple of useful purchases, we returned to our apartment and readied ourselves for a 20 min drive to see one of my cousins who is 93 and thoroughly warm and amazing man, who continues to live life to the full, working 3 days a week at the office of the firm, established by his father Edward (Ted) way back 1929 with his brother Hector (Bob). My cousin joined the Law firm with his brother in the 1950s.

Great to see him. Great Man oh and an MBE too.

That’s it for now – end of post for now.


Got paranoid about my one and a half hour drive from Tascott to the airport so even though I considered 6am kickoff as being adequate – I did not sleep as well as I have so was awake several times during the night.  I had set my alarm for 5:30 but woke around 4:15am.  I decided it was better to be there hours early than to arrive too late or to hit peak hour traffic. Local reports are that there are people who commute everyday from the same areas so leaving at 6am would be a good idea.

The house in Tascott

I started out at around 5:15 and drove towards the M1 Motorway.  The speed on the motorway is 110 for most of it and it drops to 90 and 80 in parts.  The cars act as if there is a race on and they thunder down the four lanes with speed and conviction. I tried setting my cruise control but it didn’t last long.  Cars in front were slower or trucks and I was continually adjusting and going around vehicles in an attempt to stay at the constant speed.

Arrived at the airport around 7am after having filled up the car and returning it.  Did the bag drop and went through security – got bomb residue tested and then went to the Qantas Club to relax.  Had a bowl of toasted muesli and a couple of cups of tea.  Decided the cups are too small, so I always make two now, with the one teabag.  Then I stack them to take them to where I am sitting. I was in the lounge for about 3 hours so was able to do all that I needed to using the wifi there.  Got to check my email and blogs and then I blogged more and ate more and just vegged.

Flew to Melbourne – hilariously short flight – one hour and five minutes.  Had a wonderful spinach and cheese Pide – so hot, so yummy.  Very tasty and just enough. I managed to get one movie in and this time it was Anne Hathaway and quite a light movie but interesting and it was gentle and easy and heartwarming. image

M collected me from the airport and I did not have to collect a car and it was lovely having someone at the gate.  I dont mind when there isn’t but I enjoyed having the meet and greet.

Weather here is cooler than I have experienced for the last two weeks but its not horrible.  Feeling pretty tired now after all the relly seeing.  It really has been good though catching up with so many.  I really think my family is well worth spending time with.

Drove around Melbourne to do some errands today and took a few shots of buildings and places we passed. Here they are.

Villier St North Melbourne
Villier St North Melbourne
Victoria Street, Richmond
This bridge has been used to cross the Yarra since before WWII at Chandler Highway
Bridge Road Hawthorn


RoseBay Primary Market.


The Rose Bay Primary School Market is a market that sells a lot of different things from food to clothes, organics to takeaways.  Wonderful place.  Bought some organic fruit.  So yummy.





Had Gozleme – spinach and cheese $7.50 yummo!!!!



After the markets it was back to G’s to collect my stuff and drop her off. I actually repacked my case, had a cuppa and then headed north to Tascott.

Sydney – Surrey Hills, Cremorne, Pyrmont

Packed this am and left Wyndham Vacation Resort and headed south towards Redfern and Surrey Hills.  The hotel I have moved to for tonight is the Central Railway Hotel in Chalmers Street. The Hotel was reasonably cheap and not hard to find.  There was parking underneath and we were given a garage door opener to take with us because we were coming back after 9pm. The room was clean, if not a little tired.  The globe in my bedside lamp crackled a little too much for my liking and the mini Ikea ironing board had a dicky leg so would not stand up properly.image

The sound the light/fan makes when you turn it on is startling, and seems really loud when there are no sounds outside. The room was about one metre from the footpath and then the road.  It was not terribly loud with the 3 layers of window dressings designed to cope and to keep out the morning light.

Drove to Cremorne next to collect my mate G from her unit.  We walked from there to the local shopping centre to a lovely Thai Restaurant called Sam’s Thai in Neutral Bay for tea. Back to the car and then we drove to town to park in Murray Street, just down the road from the Lyric Theatre, in Pyrmont, ready for Matilda! the musical – Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin. Clever and fun.


I saw it in New York too and the production here was easier to get. The Librarian was not the same in both productions as I suspectedbut they were both terrific.  As was the lead girl playing Matilda.  Great kid. Miss Trunchbull was also wonderful.

We booked our tickets online and when we arrived there was a package for us – special deal with these tickets it appeared. A program full of photos and a booklet of the cast. Plus we were given vouchers for two choc tops and two drinks of which we availed ourselves at interval.  And some choclates – Most pleasing! 🙂

Sydney – Balmoral, Freshwater & Cammeray.

Started the day lazily because I had nothing get up for this morning, so decided to take my time. Had breakfast downstairs and went to a presentation on the holiday company I belong to to find out about the changes that have been implemented. Amazing and very hard to explain, other than saying that it is going to be much easier to get our money’s worth out of the company.   Did some washing, drying, folding, packing and then snacked on some of my popcorn.

At about 1:15 I headed out to meet up with one of my Mum’s cousins and her daughter. J & S were waiting for me at The Dining Room Restaurant down the ?southern end of Balmoral Beach.


This is the shark net enclosed pool for swimming at Balmoral Beach.  We looked out over it from the airconditioned restaurant – even though the air-conditioning struggled due to the high temperatures at lunchtime.

After lunch I followed J & S back to J’s home, where her other daughter D works. We discussed going for a swim at lunch and I had cleverly included my swimming stuff in my car.  I had a dinner invitation on the same side of the harbour at 6pm so I had planned after lunch to go for a swim anyway so I was encouraged to go to Freshwater Beach with my 2nd cousins. It was compulsory! I didn’t really mind at all. 🙂

The beach is flat for a long way out and so the excrutiating pain of the cold water on a warm body continues for some time.  It was agony – the water slapping around my ankles was so cold I could not imagine how it would feel as it proceeded to enclose my body centimetres at a time as I slowly, gingerly waded out away from the warmth of the beach.  The clouds threatened rain and the wind was a cool southerly.  The waves came further and further up my legs and then the worst area, the stomach.  At this point I had had enough.  I had to go under to end my misery. I dived through  the next beautifully clear green wave.  It was so cold and as I stood up expecting to feel better, I realized that I was now just wet further up. But I dived in again and swam a little to acclimatise.  Eventually I found the temperature to be tolerable, then pleasant.  It was cool, crisp and so salty.  Seagulls flew over our heads and we bobbed around looking up at the cliffs where houses sat precariously. The girls looked up at them and selected the one they would prefer to live in out of the choices available.  It was a really great time there with S & D.  I dont know my second cousins very well but we just talked and talked and swam, and body surfed and then went home.  It really was so refreshing and a lovely relaxing activity.  So good.  The drive home took 5 mins and then showers and I collected another book from Noel, this time short stories, and a book of poems written by June. Excellent family time. Very special and cherished.


These are the three lovely people I had dinner with in Cammeray, last night. I worked with the tall one and his wife and daughter were the company I shared last night.  The food, the humour, the time,  all magnificent.  We laughed and talked over each other and discussed a range of topics, like the differences between discussions conducted between women and between men. Had such a good time and then was home in bed by 10:30pm.  Great day.