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Published December 6th 2010
Sydney has a myriad of Heritage Walks to tantalise those who love to walk, yet crave intellectual stimulation too. Heritage walks can be an enjoyable way to spend your morning, lunchtime, or afternoon.
Dotted in and around Sydney, there are heritage walks to suit the novice romantic, intermediate family trip, or expert traveller. Take a walk in Campbelltown, Charing Cross or the lovely Botanical Gardens.
Take one of the Walking Tours, or browse at your own pace on one of the Self-guided walks. You will be amazed at what Sydney truly has to offer in the way of historical value – whether you live in Sydney or just visiting, why not get to know more about what makes Sydney tick.
The 'Windsor Heritage Walk' winds its way along the Hawkesbury River, where you can delve into the Romance of Windsor's colonial history. Built in 1974, Windsor was amongst the first settlements in NSW and boasts many heritage buildings.
Did you know that Sir Francis Greenway, a well know convict turned Architect, designed the Windsor Courthouse? What if I told you that Windsor was named by Governor Macquarie in 1810; yet was known as Green Hills prior to that period?
Windsor's heritage walk can be undertaken at your own pace and is completely free. You can pick up a Map and brochure at Windsor's Visitor Information Centre anytime. Why not pack a lunch and take the family on a Historical journey back in time!
A little closer to central Sydney you will find the 'Walsh Bay Heritage Walk' around Sydney Harbour. Close to The Rocks and Circular Quay, the Walsh Bay Heritage Walk will take you under the Sydney Harbour Bridge with views over the Bay and a glimpse of the old and new architecture that Sydney has to offer.
Walsh Bay Heritage Walk is a self-guided tour that will showcase some of Sydney's most interesting artefacts and scenery. Now safe and secure under the Sydney Harbour Trust, the Walsh Bay district was not always such a showcase, having once been the site of one of Sydney's worst Rat plagues at the turn of the 19th Century.
The Sydney Harbour Trust rebuilt the Port, the Wharves and added Bridges and whole new Streets. Named Walsh Bay after the Sydney harbour Trust's Chief Engineer, H.D. Walsh in 1919, Walsh Bay soon became the hub of Sydney's shipping industry.
After the shipping industry in the Walsh Bay area began to wane, the Wharves slowly became re-used for some of Sydney's notable attractions; a Shopping and Amusement complex, the site of the Sydney Theatre Company and a delicious restaurant.
If you love the modern as well as the old and archaic, then the Walsh Bay Heritage Walk will help you delve into your cultural and historical tastes and you might even enjoy a lunch or dinner at the Restaurant or an evening at the Theatre as an extra treat.
'The Rock's Self-Guided Tour' would definitely be next on my list if you love amercing yourself in historical buildings and information. With over 30 heritage listed buildings and sites on The Rock's Self-Guided Tour, you will definitely not get bored and there are plenty of photo opportunities to boot!
Perhaps you would like to visit a Sailor's home, or a Neoclassical Mariner's Church? The Rock's Self-Guided Tour also has gabled Storehouses, a Geological and Mining Museum, Foundation Park's cliff face houses of the 1870's, an old three story Sandstone Coach house and one of the oldest surviving buildings in Australia known as Cadman's Cottage.
'Preservation Heritage Walk' at Glebe Point offers another completely different style of Heritage walk, with its bohemian cultural aspects, heritage buildings and lovely winding pathways.
Taking a little over one and one half hours, the Preservation Heritage Walk features the University Halls and Cottages, as well as the Lyndhurst and Reussdale buildings, all of which are State Heritage listed.
Another interesting Heritage walk that you might consider is the 'Botanic Garden's Heritage Walk' that is home to Australia's oldest gardens and features one of Sydney's oldest Scientific Institutions.
Starting at the Palm Grove Centre, the Botanical Garden's Heritage walk is another of Sydney's fine Self-Guided Tours. Expect the tour to take at least an hour and there are Maps available with numbered destinations for you to follow.
On your walk around the Botanical Gardens, you will see the Governor Phillip Fountain, the Palace Garden Gate, Replacement Wishing Tree, Sydney's first Zoo and Chinese Cabbage Palms.
Did you know that some of the first Palm's that were planted in the Botanical Gardens were planted by Botanical Garden's Superintendent Charles Fraser in 1862? Or did you know that the Conservatorium of Music was originally designed as Horse Stables for Government House by Francis Greenway in 1915?
Imagine the richness of history just under your nose in and around Sydney waiting for you to embrace and enjoy. So if you thought Heritage Walk's were something boring, why not reconsider them and discover the amazing journey of the development of Sydney through its delightful architecture, buildings and gardens.