Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hello Sydneysiders (Part VI)

Introducing the AAT King Bus... the one who took us to North and South Sydney....

I guess this might be the last post before leaving for Annapurna, Nepal.

I don't have much time to write due to duties and travel plans stuff, but i am sure it has been great to be able to tell something. To tell to someone that i will be just good. Happy. Fine. :)

To do Sydney, knowing the history and how people thrive for some better living, it is the most expensive city in Aussie, yet it shows how vibrant the city is. Same goes to other places in this world, but sun shine, sea and wharf is the one i look forward to, perhaps I spent many years visiting beaches, and till today, I am still loving  every part of it.

So this post  mainly to highlight the outer side of the city, how the first explorer, The First Fleet made it to the coast and how interesting it was to learn it from the day tour and a visit to Museum of Sydney. Valuable.

Image showing how Australia was found by Captain James Cook... belajar sejarah sikit, eehhehehehe... picture courtesy of  NSW State Library....

We took two day tours with AAT Kings, which I think the best day tour to explore North and South of the city. The North Experience. The journey begins from Harbour Bridge, North Sydney and of course Mainly. We waited the company bus, and to our surprise it came with so knowledgeable Mr. Guiliano Nyuen, our tour guide cum the driver.

As we made our introduction, it is nice to know that Mr. Guiliano himself is an avid Penang Island visitor, almost bought an apartment somewhere in Batu Kawan for once a year trip to the Island.. cool, hope to see u again, mate! 

It is good to find someone who share the same passion :)

The tour begin to the ride on the Harbour Bridge, a structure built in future use in mind, which they had this idea of building it with 8 lanes to cut off the traffic congestion, how clever, isn't it? 
The other side of the city, Olympic Drive to Milson Point/ Luna Park. North Sydney was initially being the centre of business/commercial district, where offices being built and the day time would be bustling of activities. Till to some time, it was again Sydney CBD (the other side) to be the centre.
We were brought to capture some view of  splendid Safety Bay, Port Jackson where from this picture, you know the dwellers were rich people, owning boats, yacht, and the residence, oh my, millions of money to own these. Guilano's dream is to have one of this.
Now somewhere towards Mainly, but we were heading to Sydney National Park.....sorry Mr.Guiliano, i fell asleep when we came into the town.penat......

Yes, this is one of the must  for any Sydney first timers.

For those who have no idea where  the place we were visiting, some map for direction. The tour highlight was to show visitors where Captain James Cook and the rest of First Fleet entering Sydney from this point, the opening between two capes, namely Watsons Bay and north part of National Park..
The view, looking at North Head part... way back, hundred years ago, there was a quarantine place for sick ship passengers/immigrants at this point... legend say it is a haunted spot where sometimes visitors who do come to the place  can listen to wailing sounds at night, huhu goosebumps... love the water, the bluish tint of Tasman Sea is something nice, isn't it... i do not make any editing on this cobalt blue as it is...

We had a quick stop for some photos at Arabanoo Lookout. Who is Arabanoo? Some excerpt taken from Australian Dictionary of Biography;

"Arabanoo (d.1789), Aboriginal, was captured at Manly on 31 December 1788 by order of Governor Arthur Phillip, who wished to learn more about the natives. Arabanoo was taken to the settlement where a convict was appointed to guard him; he was at first pleased by a handcuff on his wrist, believing it to be an ornament, but became enraged when he discovered its purpose.
Then a severe epidemic of smallpox broke out among the Aboriginals in April 1789, several who had been found in great distress were brought to Sydney where Arabanoo helped to care for them; he caught the disease himself and died on or about 18 May. He was buried in the governor's garden"

A statue made to dedicate the effort of Duke Kahanamoku, the Surfing King, all the way from Hawaii, an Olympic athlete who made surfing a popular spot.

The tour became interesting when our bus stopped at this point, and Mr. G  wanted to tell us how a statue was built in honor of Duke Kahanamoku. Err,  who is this guy?  The statue itself is a piece of interesting object, and our first time seeing a statue of a man on a surf board, well not the typical one you can see is called the long board. 

Some excerpt about the Duke himself, 

During the first half of the 20th century, Duke Paoa Kahinu Mokoe Hulikohola Kahanamoku -- known to most as Duke or The Duke, and as Paoa to Hawaiian and long time island friends -- "emerged as the world's consummate waterman, its fastest swimmer and foremost surfer, the first truly famous beach boy," wrote biographer Grady Timmons. Duke Kahanamoku is best known to surfers as, "the father of modern surfing."

"Duke competed in an Olympic trials swimming meet held in May 1912, in Philadelphia. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic team by winning the 100 meter freestyle event in exactly 60 seconds.Less than a month later, at Verona Lake, N.J., Duke qualified for the U.S. Olympic 800 meter relay team. More importantly, during his 200 meter test heat, he bettered the existing world record in the 200 meter freestyle held by Daniels"

"The New South Wales Swimming Association invited Duke Kahanamoku to give a swimming exhibition at the Domain Baths, in Sydney. While in Australia, Duke brought surfboard riding to the continent. Yet, he did not bring a surfboard. Instead, he made one. Patricia Gilmore, an Australian reporter/historian, described what happened, in a nostalgic look back forThe Sydney Morning Herald, in 1948: "Having no board, he picked out some sugar pine from George Hudson's, and made one. This board -- which is now in the proud possession of Claude West -- was eight feet six inches long, and concave underneath. Veterans of the waves contend that Duke purposely made the surfboard concave instead of convex to give him greater stability in our rougher (as compared with Hawaiian) surf." ---- taken from

More info on the legend icon can be found here

Yeah, we learnt many stuff on the day itself. The first Aborigine found and the King of Surfing. This tour was full of info, how some places like Manly got its name, so apart from the breathtaking coast view, please do have consideration to have this tour for those who want to do Sydney. It is very informative on its own, something you can relate to the existing our Sydney, Australia and the famous sport of surfing.

                                          I wish I have ample time to do some Olle style walking on this coastal side... sigh....

Later, we made it to Manly Town for a stop for coffee. The place itself, being a tourist spot, makes a good place to learn surfing. Too bad we could not see  many surfers on the beach due to calm sea. A row of cafes facing the beach makes a good spot to chill, but we proceed to the inner town to check on the shops for souvenirs.

Sight seeing in the town... we bought some marshmallow pink sweaters for ourselves... nice spot to see people move around...

We left Manly to Sydney CDB as it was already getting dark. The next day was our second tour to the south of Sydney... to be continued......

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