This blog illustrates day walks and trips in
the Blue Mountains, Sydney and the nearby areas that we have visited. Most were accessed using public transport.

Sep 11, 2014

Rocky Point Island - Balmoral

Rocky Point Island separates Edwards Beach from Balmoral Beach on Hunters Bay, Middle Harbour. The small island is connected to the Esplanade by a bridge, built as a government employment project during the Great Depression, as was the Bathers’ Pavilion.

Rocky Point Island, looking towards Sydney Heads
The Mediterranean style 'Bathers' Pavillion' on Edwards Beach (below), was built in 1929, and now houses a restaurant, cafe and function rooms.

 I travelled to Balmoral by ferry to Taronga Zoo, then bus from the wharf.           Location Map

Ref: Mosman Historical Society - 'Historic Guide to Balmoral'

Aug 27, 2014

Statues of Dogs, and 'Trim'

The following pictures are a collection of dog and cat statues we have come across, on walks around Sydney. 


In a busy part of Sydney, outside the Queen Victoria Building, near a statue of Queen Victoria herself, is a statue of her favourite dog 'Islay'. The statue presides over a wishing well, with donations going to Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children.    [c.1987 by Sydney sculptor Justin Robson]  

'Biggles' (1980 - 1994) the subject of this statue, can be found at the corner of Atherden and Playfair Streets. I'm not sure how he managed to roam The Rocks, but he was regarded as a loved friend, among the residents and shopkeepers of the area. location map
[c.1995 by artist, Anne Dybka] Ref: monumentaustralia

 A plaque near Central Station tells us 'Donna' (1975 – 1995) (below), was a hearing guide dog, the friend and constant companion of John Hogan of Pyrmont, who travelled on trains extensively, throughout NSW.
 The memorial also recognises the love and companionship that all Guide Dogs give to the visually and hearing impaired.
(Sculptor: Ian Shaw)


 “For 17 years (1953 – 1978) ‘Billy’ (above) was a familiar figure in Mosman as he went on the daily rounds beside his master, Cliff Williams, a street sweeper. The statue was given a gift as a reminder of the reliance of animals on man and the debt mankind owes to animals.”  - memorial plaque.  [Billy, c. 1978 by Denis Adams]  Located in Balmoral Beach Reserve. location map

Next to the State Library, in busy Maquarie Street, is a statue of 'Trim', Matthew Flinders’ intrepid cat who circumnavigated Australia with his master 1801 -1803.  [c.1996 by sculptor John Cornwell]

The best and most illustrious of his race, the most affectionate of friends, faithful of servants, and best of creatures. He made the tour of the globe, and voyage to Australia, delight and pleasure of his fellow voyagers…

'Foxie', a bronze sculpture by artist Clary Akon, was commissioned in 2006 to adorn the pedestal of the  'Jessie Broomfield Memorial Dog Drinking Fountain' built by North Sydney Council in 1953. We passed through Bradfield Park North, Milsons Point, early this year, on our way to visit Wendy's Garden. (view post)

Aug 1, 2014

Knapsack Viaduct - Lapstone

Knapsack Viaduct, completed in 1867, was originally built as a rail bridge, and formed part of the zig-zag* railway at Lapstone, on the Sydney side of the Blue Mountains.

In 1926 this sandstone viaduct, designed by the railway engineer John Whitton, was widened to accommodate use as a road bridge. The viaduct remained part of the Great Western Highway until 1993, when it was replacing by a section of the M4 Western Motorway.
                                           Elizabeth lookout
The viaduct, 57Km from Sydney, is now a pedestrian path/cycleway which continues down the hill to the end of the Great Western Highway at Emu Plains.  Lucasville platform (left), can still be seen nearby.
When the first Glenbrook deviation was opened in 1892, the Lapstone ZigZag was abandoned, and John Lucas (Minister for Mines), lost the convenient rail link to his country retreat.                   

location map            'WildWalks' notes             

* Sometimes known as the "Little Zig-Zag" to avoid confusion with the Zig-Zag railway on the western side of the Mountains