Wendy’s Secret Backyard at Lavender Bay is a real Sydney hidden gem, a pleasant place to lose your self and the household for a number of hours.
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Wendy’s Secret Backyard, Lavender Bay
“& we will stroll & discuss in gardens all misty & moist with rain & we will by no means by no means develop so outdated once more” (inscription on a backyard sculpture – lyrics by Van Morrison)
By Helen Dawes
Typically Sydney’s frantic tempo could make you need to discover a secret oasis to flee to, and lots of avid gardeners, like myself, know all so nicely the therapeutic and calming qualities a backyard can present.
One such hidden gem, solely a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of North Sydney, is Wendy’s Secret Backyard in Lavender Bay.
On a heat autumn day my 4 year-old son and I loved a superb morning’s journey exploring the luxurious tropical undergrowth beneath a shady cover of towering moreton bay figs, palms, jacarandas, angel’s trumpets, frangipanis and even a banana tree.
Wendy’s inventive streak is actually evident, the backyard is extra of an summary portray that has developed naturally than a formally deliberate backyard and there are many quirky collections of outdated backyard implements, curios and likewise some magnificent sculptures.
As nicely there are many hidden shady nooks with tables and chairs arrange for a picnic, or maybe convey a picnic rug and benefit from the grassy areas nearer the highest of the backyard with their sensational views wanting in the direction of the Harbour Bridge.
My boy and I cherished rambling by means of the backyard, selecting at every fork within the path whether or not we’d go left or proper, up or down.
Nonetheless I might additionally simply think about returning and spending a lazy afternoon right here studying e-book… however alas maybe not with the ever-roaming 4 yr outdated in tow!
I might point out to folks of youthful ones that this tranquil oasis is on a steeply sloping website so it does have an terrible lot of slender pathways, terraces and stairs (many with out guardrails).
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I might most likely not suggest it for small children beneath two years, except you’re keen to do some heavy lifting, and prams could be very difficult to barter.
About Wendy Whiteley’s Secret Backyard
The backyard itself has a tremendous historical past. Wendy and her famend artist husband, the late Brett Whiteley, arrange their household house right here at Lavendar Bay and lived collectively for twenty years. Brett painted lots of his iconic Sydney Harbour photos within the giant white home that overlooks the backyard.
Within the weeks that adopted Brett’s loss of life in 1992, Wendy’s grief-stricken have to regain some management in her life discovered her obsessively attacking the piles of overgrown garbage on the unused railway land on the foot of her home.
Wendy hurled herself into the positioning, hacking away at lantana, blackberry vines and privet, clearing up dumped bottles, rusty fridges, rotting mattresses, labouring until she was too exhausted to suppose or really feel, then collapsing into sleep every night time.
Wendy by no means requested any authorities for permission, and nobody advised her to cease, so she saved going.
Since then Wendy has been planting out the positioning, all paid for by herself, and the crops are actually nicely established and fortunately inhabiting some very prime actual property and having fun with the fantastic harbour views.
Now too giant for Wendy to handle on her personal, the gardens are tenderly cared for by a number of employees and a small military of volunteers, who all share Wendy’s ardour to maintain this little guerrilla backyard evolving and thriving and obtainable to the general public to take pleasure in without spending a dime.
There are quite a few methods to strategy the backyard.
For us, after catching the practice to North Sydney, we headed down Blues Level Highway then alongside Lavender Road and became Lavender Crescent.
A pathway will take you thru Lavender Bay Parklands and Watt Park, itself a ravishing little secluded park with a children’ playground and several other mature specimen timber.
We spent about half an hour at Watt Park, all by ourselves other than one workplace employee on the bench seat on his laptop computer, little question having fun with getting some work performed in such a stunning little park distant from the madding crowd.
We then went beneath the railway bridge alongside Lavender Bay’s shore and up the steps, the Wendy Whiteley Backyard is on the proper.
The Wendy Whiteley Backyard Lavender Bay will also be accessed from the opposite (Japanese) finish by way of Clark Park on Harbourview Crescent. From right here it is usually a brief stroll to Milson’s Level Station.
If coming from different components of town, one other fairly beautiful possibility could be to catch a ferry to Milson’s Level Ferry Wharf stroll alongside the Harbour foreshore (alongside previous Luna Park, though this feature might result in lots of badgering to go on the rides as you stroll previous).
By bus, Sydney Buses run every day providers to the realm with the closest bus stops situated on Alfred Road, Milsons Level; Lavender Road, Lavender Bay; Blues Level Highway, McMahons Level and North Sydney practice station.
If you happen to select to drive please remember that parking is all metered and really restricted on this space.
Bogs: No, not on website, the closest are at Quibaree Park, situated on the backside of the steps main from Lavender Road right down to Lavender Bay
Meals: BYO picnic, or (like we did) have lunch on the Kirribilli RSL which overlooks the gardens in your approach again to the station (quite a lot of children meal choices can be found).
Playground: At close by Watt Park is a wonderful (although unfenced) small playground with slide, merry-go-round, climbing body, row boat.
Additional info from the official web site right here: Wendy’s Secret Backyard
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