Sydney travel blog day 1

Sunday 15 January 2023

Travel blogging is still a thing

Back in the days when TravelPod was a thing, I used to write travel blogs whenever I went on holiday. It was a fun way to keep track of where I’d been, what I’d done and what I’d seen.

I haven’t done a travel blog since that platform closed down in 2017. I also haven’t done much travel since then so haven’t had the need for a travel blog.

But I have a blog, I went on a holiday, and, okay, I maybe could have done the blog while I was actually on the holiday, but I didn’t.

I’m doing it now.

Randwick Bells

Kramstable (my young human) enrolled in a short course at NIDA in Sydney this week. This was one of his activities for the award program he’s doing. Obviously, we couldn’t send him off to Sydney to stay in a hotel by himself for a week, so it became an all-in holiday.

NIDA is in Kensington, and the closest reasonably priced accommodation we could find was in Randwick, which is the next suburb over. Last year when I went to Geelong, I said I didn’t know much about the place other than it had a football team, an oil refinery and a Ford factory. I knew even less about Randwick. It has a race course and, um, Paul Kelly wrote a song called Randwick Bells.

I also knew, thanks to a publication from Randwick City Council (which I found several years ago in preparation for a trip that never happened) that Randwick has some lovely Art Deco architecture.

Apart from that, I didn’t even know where Randwick was . . . I did learn, however, that the original owners and inhabitants of the place are the Gadigal and Bidjigal clans of the Eora Nation.

Departure day was Sunday. We flew on Jetstar, and if I were aviation-minded I could tell you something about the A320 Airbus, but I’m not so I won’t. My main strategy here was to have a well-fitting facemask and keep it on from the moment we got to the airport to the moment we were back in the fresh air.

View from a plane window coming in to land over water
Sydney from a 727 (sorry, mixed up my Paul Kelly song titles again)

The place we stayed was on Avoca Street, which joins onto the main road of Randwick, Belmore Road, as well as High Street, where the light rail terminus is. Handy to know.


After we arrived, had lunch (across the road from the Ritz Cinema), and got into our room, my first instinct was to explore and find out where I was.

An Art Deco style cinema with a vertical sign "Ritz"
The Ritz – a Randwick icon

Walking along High Street, I discovered that what lay between me and NIDA was a huge block of the Prince of Wales Hospital and another entire block taken up by the University of NSW.

There were ample photo opportunities at UNSW and I wished I’d taken my camera.

A large monolith with UNSW logo outside a four-storey brown brick building
UNSW Chancellery building

Not to worry, I was going to be walking past here twice every day taking Kramstable to NIDA, so I was going to have many opportunities to wander round with the camera.

My plan for the holiday was to stay mainly in the area and explore the suburb. I didn’t particularly want to go into the city, other than to see one particular building, and I didn’t want to be wandering around every day in the heat because me and heat don’t mix too well. I took a pile of books with me to read and a couple of other things I wanted to catch up on. (Spoiler: I did none of these things.)

I found a bunch of restaurants in the Newmarket precinct which isn’t really the type of place I’d ordinarily seek out, but there was a lot of well-spaced outdoor dining that was off-street so we headed there for dinner.

Golden letters spelling out the word NEWMARKET
Maybe take a step back next time . . .

And of course, because it’s a small world, we met someone who said their friend’s family was from Tasmania. Their friend’s late father was someone whose work I’d heard of, and their friend had recently moved back to Tasmania.

Of course.

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