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Sydney Cove is the portion of the Harbour located directly north of the Central Business District.  It is bookended by promontories topped by Sydney’s two best-known landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the west and the Sydney Opera House to the east.  At the base of the cove is Circular Quay, which is a transportation center for buses, trains and ferries.  For good measure, an expressway runs above the roof of the train station on its way to the Harbour Bridge.  The Circular Quay area is also the site of the original landing of the First Fleet in 1788.

To have a look around Sydney Cove, we took the subway from our hotel to Circular Quay and first headed toward Dawes Point, the south end of the Harbour Bridge.   On our way there, we passed through an area called The Rocks, which has many structures of historical interest.

Nella and Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay
Nella and Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay
Harbour Bridge from The Rocks
Harbour Bridge from The Rocks

The Harbour Bridge was built from 1923-1932 and carries auto, rail and pedestrian traffic across the Harbour.  The locals enjoy encrusting it with colorful explosives and detonating them each New Year’s Eve.  So far the Bridge has been able to survive these assaults.  We got a good close-up view of the bridge from underneath, and it’s quite massive.

Bob and Connie with Harbour Bridge
Bob and Connie with Harbour Bridge
Harbour Bridge from Underneath
Harbour Bridge from Underneath (WMV Video, 7.3 MB)

Dawes Point is also a nice place from which to view the Opera House across the Cove.

Bob with Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Bob with Harbour Bridge and Opera House
Connie and Nella with Opera House
Connie and Nella with Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera House
Boats, Opera House and Fort Denison
Boats, Opera House and Fort Denison (WMV Video, 8.5 MB)

After breakfasting at a place called Pancakes on The Rocks, we retraced our steps toward Circular Quay and rounded the Cove in order to get a closer view of the Opera House.

Pancakes on The Rocks
Pancakes on The Rocks
Connie and Nella with The Rocks Area
Connie and Nella with The Rocks Area
Circular Quay Area
Circular Quay Area
Didgeridoo Player, Circular Quay
Didgeridoo Player, Circular Quay (WMV Video, 9.0 MB)

The Sydney Opera House is situated on Bennelong Point, and was built from 1958-1973, the groundbreaking work of Danish architect Jørn Utzon.  There was much controversy and bad blood between Utzon and the local government during the construction, resulting in his resignation prior to its completion, and when it was opened by Queen Elizabeth in 1973, Utzon was not invited to the ceremony, at which he was not mentioned.  There was something of a reconciliation starting in the late 1990’s, and some internal reconstruction was done according to Utzon’s design before his death in late 2008.  In the meantime, the Opera House has become one of the most instantly recognizable structures in the world, and is the first thing many people visualize when they think of Australia.

Nella and Opera House
Nella and Opera House
The Opera House
The Opera House
Opera House from Park
Opera House from Park
Opera House and Bridge
Opera House and Bridge from Park (WMV Video, 8.1 MB)

In addition to hosting the Opera House, Bennelong Point is a good place from which to observe the Harbour Bridge.

Harbour Bridge from Across Sydney Cove
Harbour Bridge from Across Sydney Cove
Luna Park
Luna Park
Luna Park and Harbour Bridge
Luna Park and Harbour Bridge (WMV Video, 5.7 MB)
Bob and Connie with Bridge and Opera House
Bob and Connie with Bridge and Opera House

But in the opposite direction is the next Cove over, called Farm Cove.

Opera House from Farm Cove Area
Opera House from Farm Cove Area
Around Farm Cove
Around Farm Cove (WMV Video, 7.7 MB)

Surrounding most of Farm Cove are the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain.  This is a large, well-landscaped park with a beautiful view of the Sydney skyline.  The Gardens are no doubt a popular place for some of the Sydney office workers to pass their lunch hours.

Buildings and Pathway, Royal Botanic Gardens
Buildings and Pathway, Royal Botanic Gardens
Bob Explaining Sundial to Connie
Bob Explaining Sundial to Connie
Sundial, Royal Botanic Gardens
Sundial, Royal Botanic Gardens (WMV Video, 8.9 MB)
Abyssinian Banana Tree
Abyssinian Banana Tree (WMV Video, 7.8 MB)

We wandered around in the Gardens for awhile and stumbled across the Tropical Centre, a greenhouse full of colorful tropical plants.

The Tropical Centre
The Tropical Centre
Greenhouse Interior
Greenhouse Interior
Purple Flowers
Purple Flowers
Tree with Hanging Red Things
Tree with Hanging Red Things
Connie and Plant
Connie and Plant
Nella and Connie in Tropical Centre
Nella and Connie in Tropical Centre (WMV Video, 9.6 MB)

We spent some time in the Centre, and then discovered ourselves to be closer than expected to our hotel.  We headed back in that direction, stopping for lunch and some last-minute shopping on the way.

General Post Office, Downtown Sydney
General Post Office, Downtown Sydney
Constance & Co.
Constance & Co.

This was to be our last full day in Australia, so after shopping ourselves out, we returned to the hotel to rest up for our imminent return journey to the States.

More Photos:

Connie and Bob with Harbour Bridge
Connie and Bob with Harbour Bridge
Sydney Cove and Ferry Boat
Sydney Cove and Ferry Boat (WMV Video, 7.9 MB)
Ferry Boat with Seagulls and Opera House
Ferry Boat with Seagulls and Opera House
Ferry Boat and Fort Denison
Ferry Boat and Fort Denison
Campbell's Stores, The Rocks
Campbell's Stores, The Rocks
Connie and Museum of Contemporary Art
Connie and Museum of Contemporary Art
Didgeridoo Player, Circular Quay
Didgeridoo Player, Circular Quay
Sundial Detail
Sundial Detail
Sundial Correction Chart
Sundial Correction Chart
Statue and Signpost
Statue and Signpost
Connie and Plant with Giant Leaves
Connie and Plant with Giant Leaves
Bob and Connie Disguised as Flowers
Bob and Connie Disguised as Flowers
Green and White Orchid
Green and White Orchid
Pink Orchids
Pink Orchids
Orchids, Tropical Centre
Orchids, Tropical Centre (WMV Video, 3.6 MB)
Hanging Dracula Plant
Hanging Dracula Plant
Pitcher Plant
Pitcher Plant
Small White Flowers
Small White Flowers
Small White Flowers
Small White Flowers (WMV Video, 2.6 MB)
Purple and White Flowers
Purple and White Flowers
Bromeliad
Bromeliad
Fan-Leaved Plants
Fan-Leaved Plants

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