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Old August 12th, 2005, 12:56 AM   #1
Ipggi
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Woolloomoolloo, inner-Sydney: A tour of contrast (bw warning)

Well sorry guys this is a really big one, I hope you have a fast connection. I thought about doing something different and covering a suburb that most people don't really know about, Woolloomoolloo. W'loo as I will now refer to it is a tiny suburb nestled just east of the Sydney CBD. It's right next to The NSW art gallery, The Domain, sydney harbour. And is a very quick walk to the Opera House, Martin Place, Town Hall, Kings Cross and the inner eastern suburbs. What make this suburb interesting is it's location, history, diversity and the extreme contrast between rich and poor.

I don't know where else in Australia you would find an Oscar winning actor, the countries most famous radio personality, a Starwood Hotel, a number of well known restaurants, bars, and a marina. All within a tiny suburb that is predominately made up of public housing and is known for its homelessness and drug related problems.





Well we will start the tour at the top of Horden Stairs. These days thanks to the legalised injecting room in Kings Cross there are not that many junkies who shoot up on the street. They had this bin installed decades ago (though it's been replaced recently) because people often used to shoot up while enjoying the city views.


Horden walkway


Horden stairs


Some peoples front yards in a private laneway


Brougham Street


Victoria Point Tower. This tower and the other two twins were at the center of the infamous Victoria Street union green bans of the 1970s. The developer bought up all the large and grand terraces on the street and used very heavy handed and illegal tactics to evict the residents. He wanted to demolish the terraces and replace them with these towers. The original plan though was to have them at 40 stories high (as oppose to the current 16). But the local residents fought back and thanks to the unions blacklisting the site, eventually won their bid to save most of the street. Though it did come at a price with Sydneys most famous and still unsolved crime, the disappearance of Juanita Nielsen who was the the grand daughter of the department store tycoon Mark Foy.








Southern end of the 'Fleet Base Sydney' with a Navy transport


Admiralty Apartments, across the road from the Fleet Base


Dowling Street, opposite the now closed southern entrance to Fleet Base


The famous Harry's Cafe De Wheels on Cowper Wharf rd


A busy fleet base to the right, and The Finger Wharf to the left


The left half are hotel rooms, right of the gap are private apartments


Potts Point in the background


Road access way for residents


The brick building is known as The Armoury and its an art gallery. The building behind is the hip Tilbury Bar and then a 100 or 200 metres futher down is public housing.


Tourists and drivers passing by often eat their Harry's pies down by the water


Foyer to the W Hotel, hence the parked taxis and expensive cars


The Bells Hotel and the start of Bourke street that if followed by foot (or bike) runs all the way down to the Airport Domestic Terminal entrance


The boardwalk

















These would be the penthouses of the Finger Wharf Apartments. Russel Crowe bought the top floor for a cool $15 million, while John Laws unfortunately owns the bottom floor.


Rene Rivkin used to park his 7 million dollar runabout here


The Boy Charlton pool, originally was a sea pool but due to polution in the 1960s it was rebuilt suspended over the previous pools


View from the end of the wharf








Inside, the area beyond is for residents only


The mesh I assume is to stop birds flying in


There are a number of these glass boards detailing the history of the wharf and the fight to save it from being demolished


The W hotel entrance and reception is down the other end. Access to the hotel rooms are through thoroughfares that run along the side of the building seperated from this public area.


The W bar, make sure you bring your creditcard to open a tab as cocktails start from $16


Back onto the streets, just 100 metres from the W


Typical old housing


New private residences mixed in with the public housing behind


Potts Point and Darlinghurst are in the background


Cahill Expressway running under The Domain parklands


The Eastern Distributor (or the M1) that now divides the suburb


The Cross City Tunnel exit


This overpath goes over the ED and links W'loo to The Domain and the NSW State Gallery


Public housing off Bourke and Plunket


Once the ED was built a number of small streets became instant dead ends





In 1982 a number of murals were commisioned and placed onto the rail over pass pylons. They celebrate and document the history of the surburb as well as the battle to save it from developers during the union green bans. Back in the 1980's Midnight Oil filmed one of their famous film clips here but I think the area is now covered by the ED.








A lot of the pirately held terraces are now home to small firms or office branches


This is the Matthew talbot Hostel, Sydney's largest homeless hostel. Just 100 metres away is a Ferrari car dealership.





Dotted around the suburb are a number of murals painted by school children








During the summer a couple of years ago there were upto 300 homeless people sleeping here and in the nearby parks.





When they turned this area into public housing they closed off this street and turned it into a parkway. It is an interesting walk.


The southern end looks alot shabbier then the rich northern end which is only 500metres down the road











Just across the road from that graffitied public housing area is this nice pub


Then these nice terraces














This is the 4 star Woolloomooloo Waters Apartments


Then directly opposite is the Plunket Public School with wire meshing all over the windows


















The graffiti used to say 'fuck the police'. There is alot of innercity graffiti and murals at the central sporting yard area. Unfortunately I was down there on a Sunday when a lot of the young teenage locals where hanging about. So I didn't want to be taking photos of the tributes they had created for some of their dead friends and family.











These terraces are on Victoria Street Potts Point and have sweeping views of the city. Notice the old-style outdoor toilets


The Butler Stairs, notorious for drug runs and often the target of police sniffer dogs









Last edited by Ipggi; August 12th, 2005 at 03:27 AM.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 01:49 AM   #2
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Awesome. Loved the mini history lesson
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Old August 12th, 2005, 04:21 AM   #3
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Great tour.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 05:30 AM   #4
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Woolloomooloo is my stomping ground. I've lived here for 17 years, and it's one of the most conveniently located suburbs in Sydney. I'll always call this place home, even when I do move down south across the border in a couple of months.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 05:51 AM   #5
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good stuff mate, though the several last photos don't show up.

We're very lucky to live in a country where people can still live in the Housing Commission in such expensive, beautiful areas. In fact I find them much more appealing buldings (well at least from the exterior) than the Finger Wharf development, which I dislike
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Old August 12th, 2005, 06:19 AM   #6
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OK, it's official: Woolloomoolloo is my favorite city name in Australia.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 06:32 AM   #7
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I like Wooloomooloo.

Last week I had drinks at The Tilbury (the hotel behind the Armory) and then had a wonderful lunch at China Doll on the Boardwalk, you can see it on the right - the weather in Sydney was perfect!!

Love the houses and the water off the pier was so clear, and the fish

You captured the essance of the suburb very well - I'll be back for a second and third look.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 06:41 AM   #8
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LOL - "Lego Land" dominates the suburb too much, should never have been built. Though I know plenty of people who live in it.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 07:16 AM   #9
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Thats HMAS Tobruk, and its called Fleet Base East - Thats what the Sydney base is.

There's Fleet Base east and west, Perth being west, what this means is that these are the 2 biggest and imortant bases.

Fleet Base East - Sydney is what i am going to put down as my 1st preference to where i wish to be posted. My 2nd will be perth - fleet base west.



oh btw, totaly awsome pics, big, clear, sunny, cooL!
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Old August 12th, 2005, 07:20 AM   #10
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keep australia beautiful?
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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaUSA


Thats HMAS Tobruk, and its called Fleet Base East - Thats what the Sydney base is.

There's Fleet Base east and west, Perth being west, what this means is that these are the 2 biggest and imortant bases.

Fleet Base East - Sydney is what i am going to put down as my 1st preference to where i wish to be posted. My 2nd will be perth - fleet base west.



oh btw, totaly awsome pics, big, clear, sunny, cooL!
Actually AmandaUSA, it's the New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Endeavour, a tanker, you can see the stern of HMAS Tobruk, an amphibious landing ship further down towards Garden Island in this other pic of Ipggi's below. There is also a New Zealand Anzac class Frigate, the HMNZS Te Kaha next to Endeavour.

Good Luck with your posting.

Great pictures Ippgi, you really covered the place well, brought back some memories of my time there.

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Old August 12th, 2005, 09:44 AM   #12
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Very nice tour there. I took a walk one friday night down to the waterside from Surrey Hills. Pretty stupid as it was dark and the party was over when I got back at 2am. I took that "interesting walk", there were people running around the side alleys and shouting and such. And the crowd at Harry's cafe de wheels was huge.

So how much longer will W'Loo remain the way it is now?
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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:00 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickid
good stuff mate, though the several last photos don't show up.

We're very lucky to live in a country where people can still live in the Housing Commission in such expensive, beautiful areas. In fact I find them much more appealing buldings (well at least from the exterior) than the Finger Wharf development, which I dislike
Yeah it would have been a horrible mess if those 1970's and early 80's developers got their hands on this suburb. Just look at the ugly towers that line William Street from that period, enough said!
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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JayT
LOL - "Lego Land" dominates the suburb too much, should never have been built. Though I know plenty of people who live in it.
Including myself actually .. while I agree its a mess to look at from the outside. Its a nice place to live. Just be grateful the original plan never went through .. Imagine something twice as big.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:12 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaUSA
keep australia beautiful?
It's wierd because the SCC routinely clean up the suburbs next door, such as Potts Point, Kings Cross, Darlinghurst etc but the W'loo streets are often left very messy.
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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:30 AM   #16
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A great thread.Many facets of the surburb were shown.Obviously I like the terrace housing.That should never be removed.But I kind of like the tall housing blocks facing the flat area from up high next to the Cross.

They kind of blend in to the color of the place.Nice browns and a shady baige.

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Old August 12th, 2005, 10:32 AM   #17
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Also.

You should put this thread on cityscapes in the world forum.It really shows off a side of Sydney not many people get to see
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Old August 12th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #18
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What divides the burb more - Cahill expy or ESR?

They best skyline hit you can get in Sydney is when you head through Woolloowoolloommooolloommoolloo when you emerge from the King's Cross tunnel
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Old August 12th, 2005, 11:39 AM   #19
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What a thread! Thanks Ipggi, for the effort that went into it. I think the Victoria Point Tower and it's 2 other twins look quite good in that it "kinda" emulates the sydney sandstone in its colour and general shape (cliff, gully, cliff, gully, cliff...). I won't go so far as to say they look aesthetically pleasing as architecture, but in a Sydney way, it does quite match the rugged sandstone terrian of the area. I'd still prefer to have kept the original terraces that were there though.

It's still and area that seems forgotten by most Sydneysiders. I tend to go east quite a lot for drinks et al, but hardly ever to Woolloomoolloo, save for the waterfront areas every now and then. Great work Ipggi!
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Old August 12th, 2005, 12:06 PM   #20
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Fantastic. I'd like to see a thread like this for all the inner suburbs.



This shot is amazing. It looks very old world.

Tays, the Eastern Distributor is a lot more disruptive as it lies mostly at ground level through Wooloomooloo, whereas the ESR is elevated across the valley. Most people don't seem to like the viaduct very much, but at least it's easy to cross under. The ED is a nightmare.
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