A Free Day in Sydney

Sydney Travel Blog

 › entry 36 of 45 › view all entries
Saturday started out sunny so we thought we'd spend the day checking out some city sights we had yet to explore.  Since I've settled into Sydney, work has been come and go, so there is still plenty I haven't experienced in this city due to money constraints.  Money is still tight so we thought we check out some of the free activities this city has to offer.

We took off around mid day for the Botanical Gardens.  I've strolled through here only once before and we wanted to enjoy the sun while it lasted.  I'm not a huge garden enthusiast so the actual species of the plants don't really interest me, but the wild life in the garden sure does!  I still find it amazing that there are so many fruit bats living in the tree tops in the Botanical Gardens - right in the heart of a metropolis!  The bats can be seen sleeping up in the tree tops right in plain sight.  They're furry little critters that chirp and squawk.  It's annoying and they're considered to be pests by the city.  Apparently, the city has been trying to get rid of them for years but with no success.  The novelty is still new for me though so insisted on stopping to watch them for a bit. 

Yesterday was the first time I noticed the sulphur-crested cockatoos living in the gardens.  I stood around and watched them a lot too.  They're all white with yellow head plumage that sit up when provoked.  I don't know much about birds so all I can say is that I thought they were pretty.  There were several photographer enthusiasts sitting on the lawn near the feeding birds.  The cockatoos are used to humans so it's easy enough to get near them - especially if you have food.  I didn't have my camera on me although I with I had.  But I don't have a long telephoto lens so until I get my hands on one, I probably won't be making any special trips back.  So no photos to share - sorry!

From the gardens we walked over to the Art Gallery.  Yeah free admission!  The gallery is quite huge and we underestimated how much time we wanted to spend there.  We took our time exploring the paintings and the new media sections, but we found that there was still loads to see and the afternoon was slipping away.  One of my favourite exhibits was in the new media section.  It was a piece created by Phi Collins.  It was just a video showing clips of people lip syncing to The Smiths songs on a karaoke machine in Indonesia.  They were just regular people standing in front of a fake nature backdrop with a mic in hand.  I've never seen karaoke in this light and I probably will think back to this exhibit every time I see karaoke from now on.  The piece was a statment on the power of music and it urged the viewer to note how your average person starts off a bit introverted when beginning a song but then slowly and then more rapidely transforms into a whole other energetic, emotional persona.  So simple and true.

We ended the afternoon leaving the Art Gallery mostly unexplored.  You see, the main reason for our little excursion into the city was to visit the World Press Photo 09 exhibition at the NSW State Library.  The show will only be there until the end of the month before continuing on its world tour.  It was an incredible exhibit and I would urge everyone to go see it if you get the chance.  It was a jarring show depicting some of the most tragic and/or monumental current events this past year has seen.  Winning photos included the fighting in Georgia, the Beijing Olympics, the earthquake in China, the cyclone in Burma, Obama's presidency, the US recession.... the list goes on.  Admission was free and it was a wonderful way to get a crash course in world events in such a moving, in-your-face presentation.  So go see it! 
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: Sunflower300