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Sydney Insiders Blog

History

For King and country

The Corso is the best-known thoroughfare on Sydney’s northern beaches and hosts largest and most significant war memorial on the peninsula. Like most streets in Manly, The Corso gave some of its young men to what was supposed to be the war to end all wars, but sadly it wasn’t. As was the case with…

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September 14, 2021

Sydney’s forgotten girls

The Female Orphan School was first set built in 1801 on the corner of George and Bridge streets in Sydney. This establishment was driven by the zeal of Reverend Samuel Marsden, who wanted to replace the informal boarding out system to deal with orphaned and abandoned children in the colony. Marsden’s family would go on…

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September 13, 2021

When Sydney ran dry

Busby’s Bore, which runs under Sydney’s streets between Centennial Park and Hyde Park remains as one of the most impressive pieces of convict-built infrastructure in Sydney. In the mid-1820s, Sydney was in the midst of a water crisis.  In the space of 30 years, the European settlers had managed to make their main fresh water…

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September 10, 2021

Now I lay me down to…

Did you know that Sydney is home to the largest cemetery in the southern hemisphere? It is the final resting place to over 1 million former Sydneysiders, including my ancestors.  Rookwood Necropolis, in Sydney’s western suburbs, was first opened in 1867 and is still an active cemetery today. The term necropolis refers to its enormous…

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September 7, 2021

When shopping was a regal experience

If you venture into the centre of Sydney today, you’ll find the extravagant Strand Arcade linking George and Pitt streets. It is Sydney’s only remaining Victorian shopping arcade dating back to the late 19th century. It was once one of six shopping arcades built in the city centre between 1881 and 1892, concentrated in the area…

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September 6, 2021

Taking a punt each way

Until the construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, there were two ways of crossing the harbour with a vehicle. One was to go inland to Bedlam Point, near Gladesville where there was a punt, the other was to catch the horse ferry. There were several horse ferries operating in this vicinity, but only two wharves…

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September 3, 2021

Sydney’s Lost Palace

The Garden Palace was located just south of the present-day Conservatorium of Music (in the southwestern end of the Royal Botanic Gardens). It was constructed for the Sydney International Exhibition which opened its doors on 17 September 1879. It was designed by James Barnet and constructed in just eight months, an achievement at the time The…

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September 2, 2021

Sydney’s ‘ghost platforms’ discovered

During construction of Sydney’s new metro train line, two ‘ghost platforms’ were uncovered. These has lay hidden beneath Central Station, buried and abandoned for over 40 years. Platforms 26 and 27 lie dormant and gathering decades of dust as 270,000 people walk above them every say without knowing what lies beneath their feet. These platforms…

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September 1, 2021

Where a legend first swam

Tucked away on the harbour near Elkington Park on the western side of the Balmain Peninsula is the heritage listed Dawn Fraser Baths. Originally constructed in 1882, these swimming baths are said to be the oldest in Australia. It is the home to Balmain Swimming Club, the country’s first Swimming Association and location of Australia’s…

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August 31, 2021

When you need to zig-zag

This imposing structure was built between 1863 and 1867. The Knapsack Viaduct was constructed to transport railway traffic across Jamison’s Creek and into the “little zig zag” train line. This climbed the eastern side of the Blue Mountains to Glenbrook. The enormous structure stands at 40m tall, is 118m long with seven sandstone arches rising…

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August 30, 2021

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