Friday, July 11, 2014

Sydney - Balls Head Reserve

Marianne and I continue to do our walks around Sydney Harbour. We took the train to Circular Quay and then a ferry over to McMahon's Point where we had finished our Sydney Harbour Bridge walk.

The ferry approaches the wharf.

Interesting apartment building. Poirot could live here.

Uninteresting apartment building. The Blues Point Tower is universally recognized as an eyesore with possibly the best views in Sydney. You have to wonder what kind of architect thought this building would be appropriate for this position. If you read the wiki article, you will see that the architect thought it was one of his best works! I don't mind most of his other buildings, but this one does not fit its location.

Another interesting apartment building. I really liked this one.

You can't get away from the bridge.

Interesting play ground.

A quiet spot of fishing. Because of years of contamination, it's not recommended to eat fish taken from former industrial areas of the harbour.

Darling Harbour in the distance. It's a popular tourist area just to the west of downtown.

Tree roots growing out of the sandstone rocks.

Houses on Goat Island. I see tours of the island are available on week days so perhaps we can go there sometime.

Berrys Bay.

The steps are made of some sort of non slip plastic.

Private pool by the water.

The Blues Point Tower up close. Knock it down, I say.

Do you like pink?

Back street that passes behind the house with the pool beside the harbour. Fortunately, most of the walk is beside the harbour.

Very old sandstone house.

Old ship wreck.

It's a lovely little park that most people in Sydney don't know about.

Biggles! I used to read the books when I was a kid and I have a small collection of them now. For a long time they were banned from libraries.

Bridge leading to a shipyard.

Modern apartments.

That is quite a lean.

Eventually we would climb a hill behind these apartments and look down on them.

Climbing the hill.

Looking down on the apartments. I would have liked to take a tour of them.

Old house that looked like it would either be demolished or repaired. I suspect the house is old enough to be heritage listed and will be saved.

A railway line that goes as far as Luna Park but does not seem to carry any passenger traffic.

Ship repair yard.

Floating dry dock.

We sat for a while to have a rest and I the telephoto to pick out some interesting older houses. It's amazing what a modern camera with a 24 times zoom can do.

We climbed some steps to the road leading to Balls Head Reserve.

The eastern part of the reserve used to be used by BP to store petroleum products in big circular tanks. The tanks are now gone and replaced by park land.

Isn't it wonderful when everybody benefits and the property developers are thwarted.

That bridge is back.

If we ever knew how dangerous some industries are, we would never allow them near cities. Back in the early 80's I had a short term contract programming at a fertilizer plant in Brisbane across the river from the airport. It basically was a huge potentially unstable bomb.

A new section of the walk.

When Robin was young, she would have described this wharf as 'boney'.

Steps leading to a road that went to the tip of Balls Head.

It was a beautiful walk in the dappled light.

That damned apartment tower again. Here is a moral question for you. Would you have the nerve to live in an eyesore like this?

The views of the harbour from the Point are as spectacular as you could wish for.

Reminds me of Scandinavia.

Here you are in a city with over four million people, walking along a bush track.

Former ship yard on Goat Island. 

Shelter from rain and storm.

Marianne struggling up the hill. I suspect we had walked about four miles by now.

The walk is sign posted, but it's not always obvious which way to go.

It's not the easiest of walks and I wished I was wearing my hiking boots.

It's rare these days to see large ocean going vessels like this in the harbour.

Cockatoo Island in the distance.

Gladesville Bridge in the distance.

The final attraction on the walk, one of the coal loader tunnels. 'Skips' would enter the tunnel and coal would come down the chutes you can see in the roof.

One of the holes in the roof where the coal would come down. The basic idea was to transfer coal from large boats to smaller boats.

Remains of the wharf.

By this time we were getting tired so we did not investigate the Nursery.

The next section of the harbour side is an navy shipyard so access is restricted.

So we climbed the hill to Waverton Station and went home to a cold beer. It was a most enjoyable walk and it was so good to see how former industrial sites have been returned to the people as parks.


  1. Nice pictures of Sinney. Blues Point Tower is Seidler's best work and probably among the top 1000 buildings of the 20th century.

    Do you prefer the atrocious red brick, red tile 'apartments' littered all around the foreshores of what was once a beautiful inlet?

  2. You may have a point about the red tile 'apartments' but you only see them up close. I looked on Streetview and obviously few would miss those two at the end of Blues Point Rd. I find many of the other residential buildings in the area interesting and typical of Sydney's jumble. Blues Point is too conspicuous. Opinions are divided and I don't like it. Top 1000 over a century means an average of 10 per year and a simple internet search of buildings from 1962 reveals more interesting buildings. The simple test is whether the building enhances the site or whether the site is better off without it and I reckon the Harbour would look better without it.