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Kamis, 16 Februari 2017

TOURS from Sydney

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Sydney’s range of available day tours out and about is almost unrivalled for the variety of scenic and

recreational attractions on offer. In the frantic rush to get out of the city, however, it is easy to overlook two of Sydney’s greatest assets: Royal National Park, little more than an hour’s drive south from the GPO, and Ku-ring- gai Chase National Park, 40 km north; both offer good bushwalking.

Harbour Cruises An ideal way to view Sydney and its harbour is by boat. Sydney ferries criss-cross the harbour as a means of public transport; as well, several cruises are available. State Transit run three cruises; all depart from Wharf 4 at Circular Quay: a one-hour Morning Harbour Cruise (departs 10 a.m. and 11.15 a.m. daily)

through the main reach of the har¬bour then west along the Parramatta River; a two-and- a-half hour

Afternoon Harbour Cruise (departs 1 p.m. week¬days and 1.30 p.m. weekends) down the main harbour and Middle Harbour, and an Evening Harbour Lights Cruise (departs 8 p.m. Mon.—Sat.), a one-and- a-half hour cruise of the main harbour at night offering splendid views of the city’s lights. Bookings are not


Captain Cook Cruises offer a wide variety of cruises (which depart from Wharf 6 at Circular Quay)

including the Sydney Harbour Explorer which stops at six hWbourside attractions enabling pas-sengers to disembark, explore then catch the next Explorer; coffee cruises, which run twice daily through Main and Middle harbours; luncheon cruises travel to Cockatoo Island; and the John Cadman makes a dinner cruise nightly. Captain Cook Cruises also conduct tours daily’ to Fort Denison. Built on an island in the middle of the harbour during the Crimean War to discourage invasion, the fort is now a fascinating museum man-aged by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Matilda Cruises offer a range of harbour discovery* cruises of one-and- a-half or two-hour duration,

departing from the Aquarium Wharf at Darling Harbour and Circular Quay. As well they offer cruises aboard the Sotcay Lass, a restored sailing- ship. Another Tall Ship, the Bounty departs from Campbells Cove at The Rocks for lunch and dinner cruises. Sail Venture Cruises use large sailing catama¬rans for their sightseeing, lunch, cocktail or dinner cruises. Departure is from the Aquarium Wharf at Darling

Harbour or the East Pontoon at Circular Quay.

Taronga Zoo Taronga is set a 30 ha of harbourside bushland giving it a magnificent and imiqre unique setting; the views back to the city are splendid- Of particular interest are the displays of Australian native animals

and the nocturnal house. Children will enjoy meeting the tame animals at the Friendship Farm.
Manly Manly ferry or JetCat from Circular Quay Manly on the north side of the harbour has traditionally been a popular day trip for both locals and visitors. The historic Manly Wharf and modem Harbourside Centre offer specialty shops, restaurants, a ferris wheel and a merry-go- round. For a first-hand look at the ocean’s creatures, take a short walk from

Manly Wharf along West Esplanade to Oceanworld. The Corso, a pedestrian walkway, links the harbour side of Manly to the famous ocean beach with its Norfolk Pines.

Palm Beach 48 km from Sydney via Pittwater Road This beautiful beach in bush surround¬ings offers swimming and boating facilities, and a choice of ocean or Pittwater beaches. The drive from Sydney reveals many7 of Sy dney ’s lovely northern beaches and it is tempting to stop at every one. The Mona Vale Road provides a shorter route if you are based in the northern suburbs; allow time to visit Waratah Park, a fauna reserve at Namba Rd, Duffy Forest.

Captain Cook’s Landing Place, Kurnell 35 km from Sydney via Princes Highway and Captain Cook Bridge The site of the first recorded landing by Europeans on the east coast of Australia in 1770 is set aside as an historic site on a pleasant reserv e. The Discovery Centre displays items related to Captain James Cook’s life and discoveries. A short historical walk takes visitors past several points of interest. There are picnic/ barbecue facilities in the grounds.


22 km from Sydney via Great Western Highway

Tours from Sydney 43 Although it is now a city within Sydney, Parramatta retains its individuality and has some interesting buildings. Pick up a Historic Houses self-guide leaflet from Tourist information, cnr Church and Market

sts; (02) 9630 3703. Elizabeth Farm (1793), at 70 Alice St, contains part of the oldest surviving European building in Australia and, as the home of Elizabeth and John Macarthur, was for the first 40 years of the colony the social, political and agricultural centre — do not miss the audiovisual presentation and the period gardens (1830s). Hambledon Cottage (1824) in Hassail St was part of the origi¬nal Elizabeth Farm property". Experiment Farm Cottage in Ruse St w as the site of James Ruse’s ‘experiment to support him¬self from the land in the early years of the colony. Closer to the centre of the city are two historic

sites: Old Government House and St John’s Cathedral. Old Government House in attractive Parramatta Park, has been beautifully restored from its 1799 beginnings (enlarged 1815) and is maintained by the National Trust A guided tour is available Tiies.-Sun. St John’s Cathedral (1855), in the heart of the shopping district, is open Thurs. and Fri.; guides are on duty Fri. St John’s cemetery is a block aw ay from the church itself and contains the oldest headstone in the colony, dated January 1791. A short trip north along Pennant Hills Rd leads to the Koala Park Sanctuarv (Castle Hill Rd, West Pennant Hills) where koalas are on show all day.

Historic Camden and Campbelltown

60 km from Sydney via Liverpool, on Hume Highway Liverpool, situated 32 km from Sydney and a major retail and commercial centre, has manv buildings of historic interest: St Luke’s Church (1818), designed by Francis Greenwav; Liverpool Hospital (1820s), now the Liverpool College of TAFE; and Glenfield Farm (1817). The ultra-modern Liverpool Regional Museum, built as a bicentennial project, fronts Collingw ood Cottage, built in 1810 for Ebor Bunker, a whaling captain. A good stopping-point is Chipping Norton Lakes, a reclaimed area with picnic and barbecue facilities, and walking tracks. Further down the highw ay, lovers of his-tory’ can enjoy a relaxed stroll around the streets of two early’ towns of New South Wales, Camden and Campbelltown. See also: Text entries for Camden and Campbelltown in A-Z listing.

Windsor and Richmond

60 km from Sydney via Great Western Highway and Windsor Road These two towns near the Hawkesbury River are reminders of the earliest days of setdement in New South Wales, and are a must for lovers of history and early architecture. Katoomba and the Blue Mountains via Penrith 104 km from Sydney m Western Motorway The Blue Mountains are a favourite destination for both tourists and Sydneysiders. They offer superb mountain. scenery, outdoor activities such as bushwalking. and a wide range of accommodation and restaurant.

The gateway to the Blue .Mountains is the historic town of Penrith, 57 km from Sydney. The town dates back to the open-ing of the Blue Mountains road in 1815, w hen a court house and a small gaol werebuilt there. Today it makes a pleasant stopover en route to the Blue Mountains. Penrith’s attractions include the Museum of Fire in Casdereagh Rd, paddle-boat cruises on the Nepean Belle through the Nepean Gorge, the Lewers Bequest and Penrith Regional Art Gallery at Emu Plains, and Vicary’s Winery south of the town.

If time permits, it is worth diverting from the motorway before Penrith to Featherdale Wildlife Park in Kildare Rd, Doonside to see the extensive fauna col-lection and to visit their souvenir shop. Another diversion off the motorway (take the Wallgrove Rd exit) is the popular Australia’s Wonderland and

Wildlife Park at Eastern Creek. The Hunter Valley Vineyards 160 km from Sydney via Pacific Highway Although it is possible to do this trip in a day, this certainly would not do the area justice - and it is definitely not a good idea if you plan to do any wine-tasting! The best time to visit the Hunter Valley is at vintage time, when you can see the grapes being fermented in great open vats. Picking starts any time from the end of January, but this can vary considerably, and sometimes does not start until well into February. Tyrrell’s and Drayton’s wineries were established within a few years of each other in the 1850s. At Tyrrell’s you can still see the classic hand- presses which were used during vintage and fermentation. Most of the wineries are open daily and welcome visitors. Visits can he arranged with the wineries direct or at Wine Country Tourism, Turner Park, Aberdare Rd, Cessnock; (02) 4990 4477.

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