Sydney turns on the charm at Strickland House

This year we spent the Christmas break with family and friends in this most beguiling of cities, Sydney. A perfect time to look at some of Sydney’s  green spaces.

IMG_7805 (1024x623)My brother suggested we visit one of Sydney’s best kept secrets, Strickland House, Vaucluse.

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This house was designed and built in the 1850s, with a looped carriage entrance, pathways and a backdrop of wonderful mature trees. It was originally called ”Carrara”‘IMG_7641 (1024x660)
Some of the trees include Himalayan chir pine, stone pines from the Mediterranean, hoop pines, Port Jackson (or rusty fig), a giant bamboo, African Olives, a large mature tuckeroo, a Canary Island date palm and on site is a Tipu tree from Bolivia.

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These trees now provide a wonderful buffer against the outside world.

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Strickland House was originally the home of John Hosking, Sydney’s second mayor. It is a Victorian Italianate mansion, made from three storeys of sandstone and featuring verandahs with Doric columns.

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There are two trees on the right hand side of the building, and the smaller one (slightly hidden) is an evergreen magnolia from the Southern USA…flowering gloriously while we were there.

From 1879 to 1888 the owner of the house, Hon Henry Moore MLC had 12 children, and the youngest son, Verner, said they were invited on board ships anchored in the bay and would return the hospitality by having people visit them in Strickland House.

The long lawns of the property  take us down to the bay and a small beach. (Milk beach)

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In 1914 the Foreshores Resumption scheme in New South Wales bought back land along the foreshore of Sydney for public use.

Oh how wonderfully enlightened they were!

IMG_7647 (1024x601)To the left of Milk Beach is the harbour walk to Rose Bay.

However, today we are taking the path to the right of Milk Beach to Nielson park.

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IMG_7744 (1024x802)With sandstone stairs and magnificent rock formations on one side, and wonderful views of the harbour on the other.

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A short pleasant walk and we are at Nielson ParkIMG_7784 (1024x737)

This beautiful little beach is at Nielson Park. It is early in the morning, and swimmers are enjoying the soft white sand and gentle sunlight before the crowds get here.

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Paul has a swim and then we sit under the shade of the Port Jackson fig tree and sip some coffee as we watch the harbour slowly waking up.

The busy Manly ferry goes by taking people into the city, many returning to work after the Christmas break.

We feel slightly as if we have died and gone to heaven…

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On the edge of Nielson Park is another historic home, Greycliffe House, also built in the 1850s, looking splendid in Rustic Gothic style.

We take a small local road back to our car, amazing trees and shrubs to the left of us, and unparalled views of Sydney Harbour to the right.

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An early morning  yacht sailing past Shark Island.

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IMG_7637 (1024x610)Not far from Strickland House we take another look at this unbelievable view on such a wonderful day. The gardens and the grounds of the Strickland House site make one of the finest habourside parks in Sydney.

It makes sobering reading to see how many times Strickland House and grounds have almost been sold off by successive state governments….congratulations to the Woollahra Council and the communities who have fought to have this historic home and grounds remain public for all to enjoy.



12 Replies to “Sydney turns on the charm at Strickland House”

  1. I can almost feel a plate of scones with strawberry jam and lashings of whipped cream coming on! What a great venue for a taste of Devonshire fare.

    1. Yes exactly, but no sign of scones there! It is only open once a year…surprising really. But is also leased for movie making, and I can imagine that happening. I think there is a photo of us there some (many!) years ago.

  2. Simply charming! On this gray winter day in Virginia, your post had me feeling the warm breezes there. Love the historic architecture. Ah, to dream.

    Happy spring! Diane

    1. I’m glad to have warmed your day Diane…it is a lovely city. Sydney’s winter is very mild compared with ours here in Canberra. However, by the time we hit winter, (June, July and August) I’ll be looking forward to your summer posts! I hope you have plenty of plans for spring.

    1. Thanks Sylvia, it is a lovely city….the climate and the beaches are very similar to South Africa. (but the traffic is becoming a bit of a nightmare.)

  3. Hi Gerrie! I’m so glad that you found and followed my blog and that led me back here. Your photos and the scenery are simply stunning ~ what a gorgeous place to live! I’ve signed up to follow you and I’m looking forward to seeing more of beautiful Canberra.

    1. Thanks Carol, and I look forward to looking out for your posts. I haven’t been blogging for long, but one of the unexpected bonuses has been connecting with people all over the world. It opens doors to many worlds. Thanks for the comment!

    1. Yes, we had a lovely time. I don’t think I would be able to stand Sydney’s traffic all the time, but lovely for a family holiday. Thanks for comment.

  4. I think I would have liked a Christmas holiday in Sydney. It is such a beautiful, scenic place. The skyline is magnificent. I am glad to see the historic preservation. Wonderful old structures.

    1. Yes, it is a beautiful city…we lived there many years ago, I don’t think I appreciated its beauty at that time, we were too busy working! So a holiday in summer with our grown-up kids was wonderful. Thanks for stopping by…

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