A Snapshot From / Sydney

A Few of my Favorite Things: Art, Books, Religion, Music (and Ghosts)

Sydney day two featured a sprinkling of some of my favorite things, with visits to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Saint Mary’s Cathedral, and the State Library of New South Wales. The day’s itinerary also included the unique experiences of a behind-the-scenes tour of the Opera House and a “ghost tour” of Sydney’s historic district known as The Rocks.

Art Gallery NSW

Most impressive in my opinion is the extensive collection of aboriginal art, much of it commissioned especially for the museum. This artwork is so intricate and detailed, made of a series of dots, lines and cross-hatches typically on bark or logs and telling the stories and traditions of different aboriginal tribes.


While there was a good collection of Impressionist-era paintings, I didn’t see any Renaissance works, but I knew if looked hard enough I could find something with an Italian theme:


“Town Hall and Market Place, Padua early morning” by William Callow, 1879


“Weather Clearing After Rain, Venice” by Sir Oswald Walters Brierly, 1883

Saint Mary’s Cathedral

This gothic-style cathedral stands on the site of Australia’s first Catholic chapel:






State Library NSW

The pictures do not nearly capture the beauty of this place, and if this were my home library, it would become a daily ritual for me!





These doors to the Shakespeare room looked inviting, but sadly, they were locked.

The Opera House…


Loved these costumes from Swan Lake:




…and The Rocks

We took an after-dark “ghost” tour of this district, which was a fun twist, especially if you’re traveling with older kids. While I didn’t see any ghosts, I went back to the Rocks in the daylight for a self-guided tour. As you may know, Australia was home to Britain’s convicts in the late 1700s and early 1800s, and the Rocks is where the ships would leave them. Today, the Rocks is a lively and charming historical district. Friday nights it hosts a foodies street market, while Saturdays and Sundays local merchants and artists display their goods in a street market spanning several blocks.





Caught a picture of this fellow wandering around the Royal Botanic Gardens near the library. Not something I’m used to encountering back home!

7 thoughts on “A Few of my Favorite Things: Art, Books, Religion, Music (and Ghosts)

    • It was really incredible, and I was surprised to learn that much of the artwork was more recently commissioned by the museum, rather than them being much older artifacts. I did not personally come across a book to recommend, but with a quick google search looks like there are plenty on the topic. Thanks for being here! I’m enjoying following your Newport posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. The Sydney Art Museum aboriginal works are so unusual and beautiful! Thanks for all the photos. I’ll probably never get there, so you’re a great tour guide. Enjoy everything and keep us informed. Hope Jared is having a wonderful time, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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