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  • Writer's pictureDonna Zabel

Sydney: Friendship Garden

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

photo: Donna Zabel, CC BY 3.0

After almost three weeks of travel, and having spent the last couple of days exploring much of greater Sydney on foot, it seemed appropriate to wind down by visiting the Chinese Garden of Friendship, an oasis of tranquil beauty gifted by Guangzhou for the 1988 Australia Bicentennial as a reminder of the long friendship between Sydney and its sister city. The very traditional array of covered paths, koi filled ponds, and precisely positioned pagodas are lovely, and a welcome contrast to the nearby high-rises and noisy highways.

photo: Donna Zabel, CC BY 3.0

photo: Donna Zabel, CC BY 3.0

On the opposite side of Darling Harbour is the fascinating Maritime Museum. Australia might be the size of the United States, but it is an island, and nothing gives a better sense of what that means than the varied exhibits of the museum. There are the maps and settlement records from explorations as early as the 15th century. There are detailed tributes to legendary Aussie sailing and surfing leadership. There are personal accounts of the travelers and immigrants that have made Australia the incredibly diverse and strongly independent country it is, and shaped the unique Australian identity. It was a perfect last visit before getting ready to leave and travel home, to an uncertain Covid19 future.


· Allow plenty of time to the airport. Traffic can be brutally slow.

· Get to the international airport early. It is huge with every conceivable shop and a multitude of restaurants, most with carryout options for the long flight. The gates are a very long walk—allow plenty of time.

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