Sunday, November 04, 2007

Journey to Sydney and Back, Part 2

We’re going to learn a little bit about the Sydney Harbour
The Rocks and the suburb of Kirribbi and have a look
at some photos I took during my visit to
with Peter
from Holties House.

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the main crossing of Sydney
Harbour carrying rail, vehicular, and pedestrian traffic between
the Sydney CBD and the North Shore. The dramatic water vista
of the bridge together with the nearby Sydney Opera House is
an iconic image of both
Sydney and Australia. The bridge is
colloquially referred to as the coat hanger because of its
arch-based design.

The bridge was the city's tallest structure until 1967.
According to Guinness World Records, it is the widest long
span bridge in the world and is the highest steel arch bridge
with the top of the bridge standing 134 metres (429.6 feet)
above the harbour. It is also the fourth longest spanning arch
bridge in the world.

The bridge's two ends are located at Dawes Point (in Sydney's
Rocks area) and Milsons Point (in
Sydney's lower North Shore area).
It carries six lanes of road traffic on its main roadway, two lanes
of road traffic (formerly two tram tracks) and a footpath on its
eastern side, and two railway tracks and a bicycle path along its
western side.

The steel used for the bridge was largely imported. About 80%
came from
Middlesbrough in the North East of England, the rest
was Australian-made. The granite used was quarried in
New South Wales
, and the concrete used was also Australian made.

Over 1500 workers were employed on the Sydney Harbour Bridge
each year over the eight-year building period.
The standards of industrial safety during construction were poor by
today's standards. Sixteen workers died during construction, but
surprisingly only two from falling off the bridge.

Construction of the arch of the bridge began in 1929, with two
separate teams building the arch on each side using creeper cranes.
The first panel was erected on the southern side in March 1929.
The southern end of the bridge was worked on a month ahead of
the northern end, in order to detect any errors. During construction
the two halves of the arch were held up by numerous support cables.
Once the arch halves were completed the cables were slowly
released to bring the two halves of the arch together.
This was finalised on the afternoon of
19 August 1930.

The total financial cost of the bridge was £10,057,170
(double the original quote). The bridge was formally opened on

19th March 1932
. The Premier of NSW, Labor politician Jack
Lang, was to open the bridge by cutting a ribbon at its southern
end. However, just as he was about to do so, a man in military
uniform moved forward on horseback and slashed the ribbon
with a sword, declaring the bridge to be open "in the name of
His Majesty the King and the decent and respectable citizens of
New South Wales". He was promptly arrested. The ribbon was
hurriedly retied and Lang performed the official opening ceremony.
After he did so, there was a 21-gun salute and a RAAF fly past.

The intruder was identified as Francis de Groot. He was convicted
of offensive behaviour (he was fined £5) after a psychiatric test
proved he was sane. De Groot was not a member of the regular
Army but his uniform allowed him to blend in with the real cavalry.
He was a member of a right-wing paramilitary group called the New
Guard, opposed to Lang's leftist policies.

100,000 school children marched across the Bridge on March 16th 1932
before the official opening day. It was rumoured they were asked not
to march in time in case the vibrations might cause the bridge to fall!

Today an average of around 161,000 vehicles use the Bridge each day.
When the Bridge opened in 1932 only 11,000 vehicles crossed daily.

Sydney is a great place to visit and one can easily spend a couple
of weeks sightseeing and enjoying the many delightful restaurants
and visiting the various tourist attractions.

Peter on the Manly ferry

overlooking the Sydney

Harbour Bridge.

While Peter was watching one of the footy finals on the

t.v. back at the motel, I decided to walk across the bridge.

That morning Peter and I had taken the train into the city.

He went on the bus tour to Bondi Beach, and I went back on

the city bus tour that we had taken the day before. This time

I decided to get off at those stops I wanted to visit with my

camera instead of taking photos from the moving bus. It was

at one of the stops at The Rocks were I departed the bus to

begin my walk across the bridge. The length of the walk is just

over one kilometer and takes about 20 minutes to complete.

To return one can either walk back, take the train or

a ferry back to Circular Quay. I chose to take the ferry.

It was a brilliant sunny day and the views from the bridge

were spectacular.

The Sydney Opera House taken from the Harbour Bridge

The Hyatt Hotel

just below the

Harbour Bridge

One of the Manly Ferries in front of the Opera House.

The suburb of Kirribilli,

one of the most affluence

areas of Sydney.

Another way to view Sydney is the climb the bridge.

Since 1998, Bridge Climb Tours has made it possible for

tourists to climb the southern half of the bridge. Tours

run throughout the day, from dawn to dusk and are only

cancelled for electrical storms or high wind. Night climbs

are also available. Groups of climbers are provided with

protective clothing and are given an orientation before

climbing. During the climb, attendees are secured to the

bridge by a wire lifeline. Each climb begins on the eastern

side of the bridge and ascends to the top. At the summit,

the group crosses to the western side of the arch for the

descent. Each climb is a three-and-a-half-hour experience.

There are some restrictions in place. Visitors are not allowed

to bring their own cameras due to the fact the camera could

fall and hit people or cars below. Each person is required to

go through a metal detector and take an alcohol-breath test.

Click on the photo to see climbers on top of the Bridge.

Views of a few of

the Terrace homes

in Kirribilli.

What a view, looking

down the street towards

the harbour.

One of the most visited parts of Sydney, nestled at the

foot of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and on the western

shores of Sydney Cove, is The Rocks. This is the

foundation place of Sydney and Australia. It is the oldest

area of Sydney and has recently undergone an amazing


There are about 33 galleries, museums

and art institutions. The Rocks has an exciting array of

artworks from Aboriginal and modern art to sculpture,

photography, glass, ceramics and textiles.

Some views of the

old district of The Rocks.

Originally home to local Indigenous people, the Cadigal,

The Rocks is the site of Australia’s first European settlement

in 1788. Since that time, The Rocks has undergone many

changes, from a convict town to a city port by the mid 1800s.

The 1900s were a period of change and immense upheaval.

Sydney’s first suburb’s character was totally altered as whole

streets and homes were demolished when landmark events

took place such as:

The Government resuming the area following the rat plague in 1901.

The construction of the city circle railway from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The building of the Harbour Bridge in the 1920’s and early 30’s.

The Cahill Expressway being built in the 1950s.

More views of the

old district of The Rocks.

Roadway to The Rocks underneath the Harbour Bridge.

With this one exception, all the smaller non-descript buildings

of the period of first settlement at Sydney Cove have vanished.

This sandstone structure was built in 1815-16 as the

‘Coxswain’s Barracks’ attached to Governor Macquarie’s

dockyard and stores on the shores of Sydney Cove.

The present name comes from John Cadman, who took up

residence there in 1827. The building has largely survived

because of constant Government or institutional ownership,

first as a barracks, then as Cadman’s residence as

superintendent of Government Craft from 1826 to 1845.

Restoration began in 1972 and the building is now used

as an information centre by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Every New Year’s Eve in Sydney there is a huge fireworks

display and if you’re in Sydney the spectacle of being among

the million odd people who crowd the shores of Sydney and

swell the waterways with hundreds of small crafts, is well

worth the visit.

On my next post we will be visiting the Sydney Opera House,
the magnificent restored
Queen Victoria Building and a cruise
to Manly on one of
Sydney’s ferries.


Peter said...

Gee, looks like a good place to go for a sightseeing trip Wazza, well researched as usual.
Do you know you lost a line of text in the rocks area? and missed the lli in your opening paragraph.... picky!!!!

Raggedy said...

Thanks for the tour and pictures!
Have a wonderful day!
(=':'=) huggles
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Puss-in-Boots said...

Great photos, Warren. The bridge is a marvel of modern engineering, isn't it?

Sounds like you two enjoyed yourselves without getting into too much strife...well!

LZ Blogger said...

Warren ~ Some truly awesome shots of the Bridge, The Rocks, Etc. ~ THX for taking me back! ~ jb///

Raggedy said...

Have a wonderful weekend!
(=':'=) huggles
(")_ (")Š from
the Cool Raggedy one

Merle said...

Hi Warren ~~ I thought I lefta comment the other night. Anyway this is a wonderful post with the usual great photos and the usual info. You
do put a lot of work and research into all your posts. Thanks for taking us with you and Peter on this trip. Take care, my friend, Regards, Merle.