Sydney’s Botanical Garden – Friday 9th December 2011


Having checked out of the Bayview Boulevard at 11 o’clock, we have the day to spend in Sydney before the Greyhound takes us to Melbourne at 8 pm.

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Like all botanic gardens in Australia, the one in Sydney is free. It feels like a cross between a park and Kew Gardens in London. There is little need for green houses though! The ‘friends’ we meet at the entrance are a mine of information as they give us a map.

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From fern house to herb garden, from lake to Mrs McQuarie’s seat, which is really just outside the gardens, we wander and admire the designs the planting, and the school parties.
The first thing to grab our attention are the fruit bats hanging in the palm trees in their dozens.

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These are regarded as a pest because they are destroying the palm trees. The answer is noise pollution but I thought the bats impervious to this, although they stretched their arms a lot, they clearly have no wish to be re-housed.

By the herb garden is a spectacular sun dial, adorned with sculpted herbs.

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John is fascinated by the mechanics – or physics – in the Southern hemisphere but we both agree it is a piece of exquisite beauty and outstanding craftsmanship.
After sharing our sandwiches discretely with a myna bird, we realize that the blue body of water is not a lake but the bay, follow it round to find the Opera House or to Mrs McQuarie’s seat in the opposite direction.

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A vast ocean liner has berthed at the passenger disembarkation location, so an additional 3-4000 tourists must be in Sydney today.
Many Japanese tourists pile out of their coach to snap photos at the lookout. We agree this is great place for posing.

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Back through the gardens and by the Opera House, a high school has a graduation ceremony with a Scottish pipe band. They are very impressive in their tartan and bearskins but I pity the boys who have bear fleece constantly blowing across their faces.

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This seems a packed day, which includes sorting out a problem with my phone and recovering for a while in Hyde Park but we fell we just have time to go back to the Kasbah in Darling Harbour for another splendid meal. It sets us up well for the long journey ahead tomorrow!

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