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Sydney Writers Walk

Home > Sydney > Books and Writing | Free | Outdoor | Walks
by Vanessa M (subscribe)
I am always looking out for new experiences, wherever I may find myself.
Published May 31st 2015
If you've been to Circular Quay, you've probably spent a lot of time marveling at the sights on the water. Well, next time you go, I advise that you look at your feet, specifically at the plaques you will find all the way around the edge of the quay.

sydney writers walk, circular quay activities
Among the sights in Circular Quay are a whole lot of plaques on the ground

Given that there are all sorts of lines and markers here representing elements of Sydney's history (such as the original shoreline), you would be forgiven for thinking that the people these plaques focus on would-be-important figures from the past. But they're not.

All the people mentioned on the plaques are writers who have spent time in Australia, or specifically Sydney, at some stage of their career. That means they're not all citizens; some have just lived in, or visited, our shores briefly.

Each of the plaques include a quote from one of the author's works, usually referencing Australia in some way. Below this is a little bit about their career. There are 60 plaques in all, located between the Sydney Opera House forecourt and the Overseas Passenger Terminal.

Australian authors included on the walk include Peter Carey, Mary Gilmore, Germaine Greer, Barry Humphries, Henry Lawson, Thomas Keneally, and Kylie Tennant.

International authors include Charles Darwin, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Anthony Trollope.

The walk was created in 1991 by the NSW Ministry for the Arts, and an extension was added in 2011. However, the plaques themselves have not been updated, so some of the information is wrong (some authors have now passed away, but the date of death is not listed).

Another walk nearby, this time focusing on local history, is the Nurse's Walk over in The Rocks. It's short and can be found in one of the area's hidden alleys.
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Why? Learn about some of the writers who have shaped, and been shaped by, Australia
When: Any day
Where: Between the Sydney Opera House forecourt and Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay
Cost: Free
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