Posts in Sydney small group tour
Antiquities and Lego

It is not every day that you come across a museum that has antiquities and a lego display. The Nicholson Museum at Sydney University however has just that.

The Museum came into being in 1865 when the second chancellor of Sydney University, Sir Charles Nicholson, donated his private collection of antiquities.

Hundreds of Greek, Roman, Southern Italian and Etruscan antiquities were acquired by the chancellor in the course of several trips to Europe in the late 1850s.

The museum has since grown in size and has the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere (approximately 30 000 artefacts).

It also has an ongoing exhibition of a reconstructed pre-catastrophe Pompeii, made out of Lego.

There is a dedicated room titled ‘Death Magic’ which includes the mummy of a six year old boy and two Egyptian coffins.

The museum is open on week days, and the first Saturday of the month. Entry is free!

Don’t expect to see a massive museum. It is a small museum that has an interesting collection, particularly if you like ancient history and or lego.

A visit to the Nicholson Museum complements a visit to Sydney University’s wonderful historic building, the Quadrangle. We recommend visiting both.

The Chau Chak Wing Museum is currently being constructed and is set to open in 2020. This new museum will include the contents of the Nicholson Museum along with two other museums located at Sydney University.

Sydney Nimble can visit the Nicholson Museum in our bespoke tour or we could adjust the itinerary of one of the other tours to include the museum.

not your average display title.

not your average display title.

where’s mummy

where’s mummy

Pompeii in Lego, before the big one

Pompeii in Lego, before the big one

needs some work on the teeth

needs some work on the teeth

Balmain and Ballast Point

At times Balmain seems to have no end of small, narrow and windy streets. These streets contain a plentiful supply of heritage architecture, ranging from tiny cottages to grand colonial sandstone homes. It is a colourful suburb that is largely overlooked by visitors to Sydney.

Balmain is located across the water from Barangaroo and can be accessed by ferry or road.

We like Balmain’s history, heritage architecture, harbour panorama and vibrant atmosphere. It’s a nice place to take a stroll.

The East Balmain Wharf at the end of Darling Street and adjacent Illoura Reserve provide spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Barangaroo.

Nearby Fenwick Store was built in the 1880s and used for storage by a local tug boat operator. A first class restoration of this stone heritage building has recently been completed and it will soon commence a new life as a café/gallery.

There are other heritage houses nearby such as Ewenton House and Clontarf House that can be seen whilst walking on the Tom Uren walking route. Have a look at the Balmain Watch House (179 Darling St) which was built from Hawkesbury sandstone in 1854.

In the 19th century Balmain was known for ship building, engineering and boiler making. For a period of time the area even had a coal mine.

Balmain was a working class area. The industrialisation of the suburb resulted in many tiny cottages being built for workers and surprisingly drinking establishments flourished in this environment! Many of these pubs (public houses) still operate in Balmain today and they are great places to visit even if only to admire the architecture.

Balmain began to move away from its working class origins in the 1960s when its industry began to wane and Sydney siders started to appreciate the suburb’s desirability. The Balmain basket weavers, as famously referred to by a former Australian prime minister, began to move into the area. Gentrification and renovations followed bringing back to life many decaying historic homes.

If you have time squeeze in a short walk around Ballast Point Park, which is only a 5 minute drive from the East Balmain Wharf. The park was created in 2009 after an oil refinery was demolished and the land decontaminated.

This urban renewal project has given the community several different recreational areas and provides a great place for a picnic or BBQ on the harbour’s foreshore.

Sydney Nimble Tours would be delighted to take your small group on a walking tour of Balmain and Ballast Point Park https://www.sydneynimbletours.com.au/inner. This activity can form part of our Inner Sydney Tour or added to one of the other days out. We visit Balmain for about two hours.

 

Fenwick Store was in a dilapidated state for many years. The recently completed restoration is a job well done.

Fenwick Store was in a dilapidated state for many years. The recently completed restoration is a job well done.

Ewenton House with exquisite oriel window

Ewenton House with exquisite oriel window

The Exchange Hotel is part of the fabric of Balmain.

The Exchange Hotel is part of the fabric of Balmain.

No this is not a tribute to an Easter Island Moai. The rustic quote at Ballast Point Park reads ‘Stone statues of ancient waves, tongue like dingoes on shore’. These words are taken from a poem (The Death of Isaac Nathan) by recently deceased Australian poet, Les Murray. The font is designed in dots to represent the rivets used on this former industrial site.

No this is not a tribute to an Easter Island Moai. The rustic quote at Ballast Point Park reads ‘Stone statues of ancient waves, tongue like dingoes on shore’. These words are taken from a poem (The Death of Isaac Nathan) by recently deceased Australian poet, Les Murray. The font is designed in dots to represent the rivets used on this former industrial site.

The bright colours of Mort Bay as seen from Ballast Point - Barangaroo and city buildings in the background.

The bright colours of Mort Bay as seen from Ballast Point - Barangaroo and city buildings in the background.

butcher and candlestick maker?

butcher and candlestick maker?