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These fas­ci­nat­ing guided tours aren’t just for tourists

Time Out (Sydney) - - INSIDE -

Syd­ney Ar­chi­tec­ture Walks: Ut­zon and the Syd­ney Opera House

Hours on your feet: 3 What to bring: Hat and sun­screen Time Out tip: You can get a cof­fee and a toi­let break half­way through in the Opera House foyer Per­haps the only thing more gob­s­mack­ing than the Syd­ney Opera House it­self is the story of how it came to be. For in­stance, did you know Jørn Ut­zon’s de­sign wasn’t even short­listed from among the 233 en­tries un­til the late ar­rival of the fourth judge, Eero Saari­nen, who plucked it from the maybe pile? That Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe hated the de­sign? The ironies pile up in this excellent walk, led by Eoghan Lewis, who in ad­di­tion to be­ing an ar­chi­tect and Opera House ex­pert is an in­spired sto­ry­teller. Lewis leads the walk around the iconic struc­ture, while ex­plain­ing the phi­los­o­phy be­hind Ut­zon’s de­sign (in­spi­ra­tions in­cluded Mayan ru­ins, birds, fish and wal­nuts). Go un­der and into the build­ing to learn how the ar­chi­tect tack­led prob­lems like drainage and ex­pan­sion; hear how the me­dia first fawned over, then later cas­ti­gated him; and dis­cover how badly off the rails things went af­ter Ut­zon was fired. ND Meet­ing point: Mu­seum of Syd­ney, Cnr Phillip & Bridge Sts, Syd­ney 2000. 0403 888 390. www.syd­ne­yarchi­tec­ture.org. 9.30am. $45-$59. Tue Jun 5.

Royal Botanic Gar­dens Syd­ney: Abo­rig­i­nal Her­itage Tour

Hours on your feet: 1.5 What to bring: Hat, cam­era and pic­nic blan­ket Time Out tip: Al­low a bit of time to re­lax in the gar­dens af­ter­wards to ex­plore the Ca­lyx St­in­g­less bee colonies, climb­ing More­ton Bay fig trees and juicy David­son plums are just a few of the nat­u­ral won­ders you’ll see and taste on this tour of Syd­ney’s har­bour­side hor­ti­cul­tural oa­sis. You’ll wan­der through Farm Cove and learn about how the Gadi­gal peo­ple lived and worked with the sea­sons be­fore the area was colonised. Time Out vis­its on a sunny Thurs­day morn­ing, and our guide, Hen­ri­etta Baird, cheer­fully im­parts her knowl­edge of ev­ery plant, tree, flower and nut on the 1.5-hour tour. While this is a tour of beauty, you’ll also gain in­sight to the prac­ti­cal uses the flora is put to by Gadi­gal peo­ple. Soft yel­low banksias can be used for main­tain­ing em­bers and as a paint­ing tool; can­dlenuts can be soaked and eaten or used for their mul­ti­pur­pose oil; pa­per­bark is used for ev­ery­thing from wrap­ping food to swad­dling babies; and those tall, thick Gymea lily stems were used to prac­tice spear­ing, while the bases can be roasted and eaten. JK Meet­ing point: Gar­den Shop, Botanic Gar­dens Res­tau­rant, Mrs Mac­quar­ies Rd, Syd­ney 2000. www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/what­son/abo­rig­i­nal­her­itage-tour. Wed, Fri & Sat 10am. $41.

Bonza Bike Tours: Syd­ney Clas­sic Tour

Hours on your bike: 4 What to bring: Cam­era/phone, com­fort­able cloth­ing and footwear, hat, wa­ter and snacks. Bonza Bike Tours sup­ply sun­screen Time Out tip: Take pho­tos dur­ing the stops and dur­ing the walk­ing parts of the jour­ney Get­ting to know Syd­ney by push­bike can be a sweaty af­fair, but it’s worth the work­out. We took to the sad­dle a for a 17km ride around Syd­ney with jovial tour guide, Brady. We rode from the Rocks up Ob­ser­va­tory Hill, onto the Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge, through Baranga­roo Park and Dar­ling Har­bour, then past Mrs Mac­quarie’s Chair and all the way to the Syd­ney Opera House. The pace is pretty easy go­ing even for kids and older folks. The guides liven up lo­cal his­tory with some fun facts. Did you know Syd­neysiders orig­i­nally thought they’d have to drive over the arch of the Syd­ney Har­bour Bridge? Mad­ness. At the half­way point, we stop at Syd­ney’s old­est con­tin­u­ally li­censed ho­tel, the Lord Nel­son Brew­ery. There isn’t time for a feed, but there is time for beer, so pack snacks or grab nib­bles from the shop next door. OG Meet­ing point: 30 Har­ring­ton St, Syd­ney 2000. 02 9247 8800. bon­z­abike­tours.com. Mon, Wed, Fri, Sat 10.30am-2.30pm. $99-$119.

Cul­ture Scouts: In­ner West Tour

Hours on your feet: 3 What to bring: A wa­ter bot­tle (there’s a bub­bler at the sta­tion), hat, cam­era, beer money Time Out tip: En­cour­age your guide to fin­ish up at Young Hen­rys for a well earned thirst quencher You’ve heard of artists Numb­skull, Lis­ter and Skulk, but how many times have you stopped to look at their work? On Cul­ture Scout’s walk­ing tour of the In­ner West, you learn a lit­tle more about the art you al­ready know – like the her­itage-listed ‘I Have a Dream’ mu­ral (did you know one of the artists served time for mur­der?) – and about smaller tag­ging, stick­er­ing and vig­i­lante paint jobs of New­town and Enmore. Our guide Craig (aka Bunkwaa) points out art­works we may have missed, show­ing us Krispie’s hand­painted car­toon stick­ers, artist Will Coles’ metal­lic gun, and pic­tures cre­atively painted in­side grey squares left be­hind by coun­cil clean-ups on God­dard Street. But there’s also time to ap­pre­ci­ate the works right un­der our noses, like Lis­ter’s ballerinas on the Hub build­ing, or ‘Save Our Co­ral Reef’ by Phibs and Ge­orge Rose. EJ Meet­ing point: New­town Sta­tion, New­town 2042. www.cul­turescouts.com.au/in­ner­west-tour/. Thu-Sat 10am. $95. Check web­site for dates.

Diego Bonetto: Sea­side For­ag­ing Work­shop

Hours on your feet: 3 What to bring: Cam­era, pen, wind­breaker Time Out tip: Check out Diego’s Mushroom For­ag­ing Tours and Oliver Brown’s In­sta­gram feed for more del­i­ca­cies from the wild Wild food ex­pert Oliver Brown says, “The beach isn’t just about swim­ming be­tween the flags and eat­ing a Calippo on the way home.” Brown is one half of the duo be­hind the Sea­side For­ag­ing Tour in Clovelly, fa­cil­i­tated largely by the en­ter­tain­ing Diego Bonetto – a pro­fes­sional for­ager and ed­i­ble weeds ac­tivist. The tour shows you that sea­side snacks are grow­ing in the surf fringes, lawns and rock plat­forms right where you swim. The work­shop’s aim is to gift you with the knowl­edge to iden­tify medic­i­nal and ed­i­ble plants grow­ing all around us. We’re led around Gor­dons Bay to the Shark Point rock plat­form on the north­ern end of Clovelly. Diego and Oliver col­lect as we go and give in­for­ma­tion about the goods they’ve picked up. We taste ev­ery­thing, from tangy rock sam­phire to lemony dock leaves and freshly plucked urchin go­nads. De­li­cious! CF Meet­ing point: Clovelly Rd, Clovelly 2031. 0411 293 178. www.diego bonetto.com/for­ag­ing­tours/. 9am. $40. Check web­site for dates.

Baranga­roo Abo­rig­i­nal Walk­ing Tour

Hours on your feet: 1.5 What to bring: Sun­screen, hat, comfy shoes Time Out tip: Get your hands dirty and ex­pe­ri­ence the wide range of nat­u­ral colours abun­dant in the ochre-rich sand­stone In small groups led by one of sev­eral Abo­rig­i­nal guides, you can ex­plore Baranga­roo Re­serve, which sits on the edge of the har­bour and has been re­de­vel­oped with over 75,000 na­tive plants. His­tory and wis­dom are wo­ven into hu­mour and per­sonal anec­dotes from the tour guides. It’s a leisurely stroll, with many stops to touch, smell and taste the plants that have sus­tained com­mu­ni­ties that lived in har­mony with the land. You’ll learn which plants can cure toothaches, re­pel mozzies, or be ground into flour for a sweet bread. EN Meet­ing point: Baranga­roo Re­serve, Syd­ney 2000. www.baranga­roo.com. Tue-Sat 10.30am. $23.98-$38.92.

The tour shows you sea­side snacks grow­ing where you swim

Bonza Bike Tours : Clas­sic Syd­ney Tour

Diego Bonetto: Sea­side For­ag­ing Work­shop

Diego Bonetto: Sea­side For­ag­ing Work­shop

Cul­ture Scouts: In­ner West Tour

Baranga­roo Abo­rig­i­nal Walk­ing Tour

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