Magic Maui 1

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Oddly enough, after seeing the memorial to the Hawaiian surfer who taught Australia how to surf (see yesterday’s entry), the next stop on our journey was the island of Maui in Hawaii. We were there for about a week and were impressed by the idyllic tropical beaches. Elvis was certainly right about Blue Hawaii.

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Hidden Sydney 5

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This statue is on the northern headland at Freshwater Beach, in the Manly-Freshwater World Surfing Reserve. It depicts Duke Kahanamoku, a Hawaiian who taught Australia how to surf. He made a pine surfboard and gave a surfing demo at Freshwater almost 100 years ago in December 1914 – starting a craze that has never ended. Nearby you will also find mosaics honouring Aussie surfing heroes.

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Hidden Sydney 3

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We spent a day in Parramatta, during our visit to Sydney last week. The main attraction for visitors is Old Government House in Parramatta Park, but there are also many other interesting monuments and buildings to explore in the park.

The obelisk above marks the site of the 1822 observatory, and stands next to the few remaining pieces of the building. The other obelisk below is a monument to Lady Mary Fitzroy, the wife of the governor, who died when her carriage hit a tree at that site in 1847.

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Hidden Sydney 2

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If you like the ferry ride from Sydney to Manly, another interesting ride is along the River between Circular Quay and Parramatta.

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This less well-known ferry goes under lots of impressive bridges, past ship repair and industrial sites, and along mangrove-lined stretches of the river.

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Hidden Sydney 1

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All visitors to Sydney catch the ferry to Manly, to look at one of the world’s famous beaches. It’s very touristy, but you can easily get away from the crowds by doing the coastal walk to North Head.

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The North Head Sanctuary is an old military establishment with a variety of buildings, gun placements and observation posts. And its all set in a wilderness area, so you can do an interesting bushwalk with occasional views back to the city skyline.

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Sydney Icons

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We were in Sydney earlier this week. You can’t miss the iconic sights, like the Sydney Harbour Bridge (aka the Coat Hanger), Sydney Opera House and Manly Beach.

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But like many of our favourite cities, it also has a lot of hidden sights that you could easily miss. We’ll feature some of them during the next few blog entries.

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