Continuing our Sydney exploration on foot, here is the second walk in the series – St Mary’s Cathedral to the State Library. To see our first walk click here, it covers from Sydney Town Hall to Hyde Park. These are self-guided walks and you can download the map to follow the route.
Disclaimer: The data included as part of Sydney Walk – St Mary’s Cathedral to the State Library has been obtained from other agencies, HolidayLogue cannot guarantee that information contained in the walk is comprehensive and up to date.
Walk 2 – St Mary’s Cathedral to the State Library
Walking Time: 20 mins (excluding time spent at each place), Distance 1.6 km
This walk starts at St. Mary’s Cathedral. You can plan your journey to St. Mary’s Cathedral using Transport Info trip planner at http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/explore/getting-around/public-transport
St. Mary’s Cathedral
- The layout of the cathedral is unusual; it runs north-south, rather than the usual east-west
- The magnificent Sydney sandstone exterior and façade,
- Breathtaking sweep of the arches in the main cathedral
- See St Mary’s treasures and devotional objects:
- Magnificent stained glass windows
- Around the walls of the aisles are located the Stations of the Cross
- In the western transept is a marble replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà, the original of which is in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome
- In the aisle of the cathedral is the Grave of the Unknown Soldier, a realistic depiction of a dead soldier sculpted by George Washington Lambert
- The crypt has an extensive mosaic floor. This design has as its foundation a cross elaborately decorated like a vast Celtic illuminated manuscript, with rondels showing the Days of Creation and the titles of the Virgin Mary
- Free Tours, lasting one hour are conducted on Sundays after Mass, approximately 11.30 a.m.
- Opening Hours:
- Cathedral – Daily 8.30 a.m., 5:00 p.m.
- The Crypt – Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Exit the cathedral via the shop on the left side
Head north towards Macquarie Street. On your right is the Hyde Park Barracks
Hyde Park Barracks
- It was the principal male convict barracks in New South Wales until 1848
- Modern Sydney is built on convict foundations – on convict labour, convict skills and convict stories. In June 1819 the Hyde Park Barracks opened to house convict men and boys working in government gangs, and over the next three decades as many as 50,000 convicts passed through its gates.
- With the end of transportation, the building was converted to a hostel for orphan girls escaping the Irish famine, female immigration depot and later asylum for aged and destitute women.
- Today, as a museum about itself, the barracks tells stories of convict Sydney, and of those since then who have had the misfortune to spend time there. The Hyde Park Barracks is one of 11 Australian convict sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
- Enter via the front door and have a look at the first room on the left, which shows some of the historical uses of the building over the years.
- Also have a look through the shop and note the pet rats. You might also like to pay the entrance fee to look through the museum
- Opening Hours: Daily – 9.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Good Friday and Christmas Day
- Admission applies
Exit back onto Macquarie Street. Across the street is St. James Church and the Supreme Court of NSW, fronted by a large statue of Queen Victoria, facing a matching statue of Prince Albert in front of the Barracks. Look south for a magnificent view along Hyde Park’s esplanade of trees, past the Archibald Fountain, to the ANZAC Memorial. Head north along Macquarie Street
The Royal Mint
- Redevelopment of Sydney CBD’s oldest public building and historic coining factory, past and present truly co-exist
- The Mint is also home to the Caroline Simpson Library, which holds the only public research collection in Australia dedicated to the history of the home and garden
- Check the coining press shipped out from England in the peak of the gold rushes to make sovereigns from the colony’s gold
- You are free to look around (Admission Free)
- Opening Hours:
- The Mint – Monday to Friday: 9.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Closed on weekends and public holidays)
- Caroline Simpson Library & Research Collection – Tuesday to Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Make sure to make a wish (and a donation) by rubbing the nose of the pig statue outside the Hospital
Across the road from the Hospital is Martin Place, the major open square within Sydney. It extends two blocks west; halfway down is the fountain featured in the “woman in red” scene in the film The Matrix. The first building on the left is the Reserve Bank of Australia
Reserve Bank of Australia
Image by Danausi via Wikipedia
- Has a free museum accessed via the buildings main lobby, if you wish to visit
Continuing north along Macquarie Street, the next building past the Hospital is the New South Wales Parliament House
- Enter via the stairs on the left and have a look around. Free tours are also available and give you direct access to the floor of the parliament chambers.
Exit the Parliament and again continue north up Macquarie Street
State Library of New South Wales
Left Image by J Bar via Wikipedia, Top Centre Image by Gord Webster via Flickr, Middle Centre Image by Coekon via Wikipedia & Right Image Source – Main Reading Room, State Library of NSW, Sydney (NSW)
- Enter the new wing of the State Library of New South Wales via the revolving doors
- Head up the stairs and left along the corridor to view the latest exhibition from the Library’s collection
- Continue through to the end of the gallery, through the large doors and down the stairs to the main lobby of the old library building, note the old map in the floor
- Enter the magnificent old Reading Room, which many Sydneysiders would never have visited
- Exit the Library via the main entrance, note the images of aboriginal life in the heavy steel doors
- If visiting on Tuesday or Thursday look for free unbooked one hour History & Heritage Tour which starts at 10.30 am
- Opening Hours:
- Exhibition Galleries – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Governor Marie Bashir Reading Room – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Mitchell Library – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Library Shop – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Other Sydney Walks
Sydney Town Hall To Hyde Park