After a brief meet-and-greet we will escape the city centre through the Botanical Gardens which showcases tens of thousands of native plants and provides a welcome breathing space for many locals and visitors. A short run to the neoclassical Art Gallery building, then down to Woollomooloo Bay where we run the length of the Finger Wharf, the longest timber-piled wharf in the world. Home to the wealthy and famous and housing some of Sydney’s top restaurants, we will enter inside where the remains of the working class wool processing and storage facility can still be seen.
From here we ascend a few steps (112 but who’s counting!) and into the back streets of Kings Cross. This area was originally established as housing for the dock workers and many original terraces and buildings remain and with the tree-lined streets it gives out an air of leafy quietness. Continuing a block or so and we hit the main street of the Cross. This became the entertainment mecca of Sydney, serving the returning and visiting sailors from the neighboring Naval Base. This area has now transformed into an eclectic mix of suburbia and trade and many quality cafes are tucked away down side streets and alley ways. We will pass the El Alemein Fountain, a significant memorial to WW2 and inspired by a dandelion blowing in the wind. Under the classic Coca Cola neon billboard at the southern entrance to the Cross, then we head around through the eastern back streets before returning to the foreshore of Woollomooloo where we continue along the shoreline path to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, commissioned by Governor Macquarie to give his wife the best views overlooking the harbour to Fort Dennison (formerly named Pinchgut Island).
A short run along the harbourside brings us to the uniquely stunning Sydney Opera House. Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon and inspired by billowing sails, swans and a Danish castle, it was an intense engineering feat to bring the idea to fruition and involved many innovative construction techniques. With views directly to the adjacent Sydney Harbour Bridge, these two icons set the baseline of the beauty of Sydney Harbour. We then return to the meeting point via the bustling Circular Quay ferry terminal where you can put your feet up for a well earned rest or plan the rest of your day!