Potts Point to Rushcutters Bay
Welcome to Kings Cross, notorious for being a bit of a seedy destination. However, you will discover this particular street is full of characters from all walks of life.
You should be standing outside King's Cross Station, next to Darlinghurst Road.
Hello, my name is Deb Carr. I am a Potts Point local and the editor of Sydney Lifestyle Blog, Sydney Chic. I blog about things to do in Sydney, Sydney restaurants and venues, events in Sydney and much more. I am recognised as one of Sydney's top bloggers. I love Potts Point, it's my home, and I want to share it with you.
So, let's get moving. Turn so that the station is on your left and the road is on your right. Start walking, while I explain how VoiceMap works.
VoiceMap uses GPS to pinpoint your location and trigger the relevant audio. This means you can put your phone away now and relax. I will tell you where to go. Silence between tracks is normal, so if you don't hear from me, don't panic! Just keep going.
As you continue along Darlinghurst Road, try and imagine a past when Kings Cross and Darlinghurst were home to the Underworld of the 1920's, including notorious characters like Tilly Devine.
Tilly Devine arrived in Sydney from England in 1920. She soon gained a reputation as a prostitute, and later as a madam and brothel owner. She was also linked to numerous drug and gang-related activities. It’s been claimed that she also ran an elite "call girl" service for both local and foreign high-profile men. Although she was convicted of many crimes during her life, including violent assault and attempted murder, she managed to become very wealthy through her various illegal businesses. She bought several properties around Sydney and became fond of hosting opulent parties. At the same time, a significant portion of her profits were used to bribe police and pay her numerous fines. She died in 1970.
Once described as "the most notorious woman in Sydney", there are many memories of Tilly Divine to be found in the Darlinghurst area, including a bar named after her.
Continue walking in this direction.
Can you see a little lane running off to your left? Stop here for a moment and look up at the giant multi-coloured “medallions” that run down the lane. This is Llankelly Place, known to be a hip ‘eat street’. There are eleven of the medallions and they all have a colourful starburst pattern. In the evenings they light up the cafes and restaurants in this lane. You may want to come back here later to have a look, and maybe even dine at one of the restaurants.
When you're ready, you can carry on walking along Darlinghurst.
Cross Darlinghurst Road
Up ahead on your left is Andersen's Ice Cream shop. Stop outside here for a moment while I give you the next set of directions.
Look over the road, to the open space a little further along. Can you see a dandelion shaped fountain? I'm going to meet you over there, but you'll need to cross the road here at the traffic lights first. Please take care as you cross.
The El Alamein Memorial Fountain
This is the El Alamein Memorial Fountain. Stop here for a moment.
The fountain was commissioned as a memorial to soldiers who died in 1942 during World War II, in two battles at El Alamein in Egypt. It was designed by the Australian architect Phill Taranto who was employed by architectural firm Woodward and Woodward.
This public space is called Fitzroy Gardens. Feel free to have a little wander around. You will see many birds with long beaks wandering around, they are ibises and are also common around Sydney's Hyde Park and Botanical Gardens.
When you're ready to continue with the tour, you'll need to meet me at the end of the gardens, further down this road. So, now you'll need to keep the road on your left and the gardens on your right. I'll meet you next to the red postbox.
Continue along Macleay Street
Well done, you found me!
Darlinghurst Road has now turned into Macleay Street. Keep it on your left, as you continue to walk away from the gardens.
As you can see, this area is awash with delightful cafes and restaurants. If you're a foodie you may want to stop and take in some of the beautiful artisan food shops, including a butcher, Fratelli Fresh, which sells fresh produce and gourmet food items. The store also stocks some fabulous kitchen ware and has a great restaurant.
Potts Point has a highly dense population, consisting of mainly couples who choose the area because it's so close to the CBD by train, bus or on foot. There are many stylish people in the area, and it's considered one of the trendier places to live in Sydney. You may even spot a celebrity or two.
Cross over Greenknowe Avenue
Take care when crossing this road. Then continue heading along Macleay Street.
Straight along Macleay Street
As you continue down this street, have a look around at the buildings. Potts Point is a great place to admire Art Deco architecture and enjoy creative food in quality restaurants and buzzing cafés.
This area is one of Sydney’s hottest dining destinations with the likes of Gastro Park, Ms G’s, Monopole, Billy Kwong, Yellow and The Apollo. Keep your eyes peeled for these little gems.
This suburb has the highest concentration of Art Deco buildings in Australia. Many of these are residential apartment blocks. The easiest to spot are the tall red-bricked buildings, with curved edges and balconies, decorative brickwork and geometric patterns.
Six-and-a-half acres of this area was acquired by Joseph Hyde Potts in 1830. It was originally known as "Woolloomooloo Hill". Potts worked for the Bank of New South Wales, now known as Westpac. As you may have gathered, Potts renamed the area after himself.
Keep going straight.
Keep following Macleay Street
Continue along this street. I'm going to let you know exactly where you need to turn in a few minutes.
Turn right into narrow lane
There is a narrow laneway coming up on your right.
Turn down this lane and follow it until you get to the bottom of the stairs. Be careful as you walk along here as it's quite tight and people may be coming up the other way.
Towards Arthur McElhone Park
As you emerge from the alleyway, turn to your right and walk towards the beautiful little park ahead. Cross the road carefully and I'll meet you at the park.
Walk to the top of the park
For the best views, turn right and walk up the hill a little.
Stop when you get to the top of the park. You'll find a little bench there, facing the road. I'll meet you there.
Arthur McElhone Park
We're going to stop here for a bit, to give you a chance to enjoy the view. Let me tell you a little more about this lovey spot.
Welcome to Arthur McElhone Park, a tranquil and manicured park, with gold fish and an abundance of flowers and trees. From here you can look down at the beautiful Sydney Harbour, with Elizabeth Bay directly in front of you.
This is a place perfect for meditation as you listen to the babbling water cascading down the pond. The pond is full of carp and some of them are quite large. As you look over the pond you will see it buzzing with dragonflies and butterflies. It really is beautiful.
Across the road, behind you, is Elizabeth Bay House. With impressive views over Sydney Harbour, this historical house is a great reminder of early settlement in Sydney. The original owner was Alexander Macleay. He was once the most important public official in Sydney, after the Governor.
This house used to be surrounded by lavish gardens. Mr Macleay was a butterfly enthusiast and loved his gardens. Unfortunately he overextended himself financially, and eventually lost ownership of his magnificent property. All that remains today is the house and the park that we're in now. But Mr Macleay does go down in history as someone who "gave it a go". A term used by many Australians which means: there is no harm in trying or if you don't try you will never know.
Let's continue with our walk. Make sure Elizabeth Bay House is behind you and the park is in front of you. Now look over to your left and you'll see a little path running through the park. Follow that path all the way to the road below. I will meet you at the bottom of the stone steps.
Turn right at Billyard Avenue
As you get to the bottom of the steps, turn right. This is Billyard Avenue. You need to keep walking along the sidewalk until the next corner. I'll meet you there.
Turn left into Ithaca Road
Stop when you get to the corner of this road.
Look at the red brick apartment block directly across the road. It's called "Winston" and it's a perfect example of Art Deco design in Sydney. Look for the rounded corners, curved windows, patterned brickwork and stepped facade at the very top of the building.
You will notice many more examples of Art Deco architecture are we walk around here.
Turn to your left now and cross Billyard Avenue. Then head down the road towards the water.
Elizabeth Bay Marina and Beare Park
Take a moment to find a spot to sit while I tell you about Elizabeth Bay.
This bay is one of many that opens into Sydney Harbour. This particular little bay is usually quiet and locals often take their dogs down to the park for a play. In front of you is a small marina with a great cafe, which could be a great place for you to take a break from your walk and enjoy a coffee and something to eat.
Elizabeth Bay was named in honour of Governor Lachlan Macquarie’s wife, Elizabeth. It's original Aboriginal name was 'Yarrandabby' and Macleay Point was known as 'Jerrewon'.
You will remember that Elizabeth Bay House was originally owned by Alexander Macleay. Well, actually this whole area belonged to him. In 1828, in his capacity as Colonial Secretary of New South Wales, he was granted 54 acres and established the property.
These days Elizabeth Bay is one of the prime spots to claim a space for New Year's Eve to watch the famous Sydney Fireworks.
Take some time now to enjoy this waterfront area. You can stroll along the little promenade or visit the cafe. But when you're ready to continue on this tour, you will need to walk back up the road you came down, Ithaca Road. Keep going up the hill and you'll hear my voice again, just beyond the Winston building.
Keep walking up Ithaca Road
Well done, you're heading in the right direction!
This road is going to start curving to the left shortly. Just keep following it until you get to an intersection. There will be a little shop on the left-hand corner. I'll meet you there, to explain where you'll need to go next.
Intersection of Ithaca and Elizabeth Bay Road
Ahead of you is the intersection between the road you've just walked up, Ithaca Road, and the much wider, Elizabeth Bay Road. Stop here for a moment while I give you more directions.
If you look to your right, you will see that Elizabeth Bay Road continues up a mild hill. Please take note of this, as you will need to follow this road to get back to Macleay Street after the tour. Further up Elizabeth Bay Road, on this side, is a little park with a pond and waterfall. It's a nice place to sit and rest on your way up the hill.
But for now, all you need to do is cross Elizabeth Bay Road safely and meet me under that enormous Moreton Bay Fig tree directly opposite us.
Walk down Holdsworth Avenue
With the tree in front of you, look to your left. Can you see the next little road leading off from Elizabeth Bay Road? You need to turn down there. It's called Holdsworth Avenue.
Further down Holdsworth Avenue
You're on the right track.
You might have noticed a sign at the top of this road saying "No Through Road" on the lamp post. Don't worry, there's a secret stairway at the bottom of this road.
So keep going and I will meet you again at the bottom of the steps.
Rushcutters Bay and Park
You made it! Well done!
This is Rushcutters Bay Park. Take the first little path to your left and follow it down to the water's edge.
The original name of Rushcutters Bay was "Blackburn Cove" in honour of the Master of HM Armed Tender Supply of the Royal Navy. Many of the early convicts were kept busy cutting reeds as a source for roof thatching. This led to the area being known as "Rushcutting Bay" and from there it became "Rushcutters Bay".
Rushcutters Park is adored by locals and especially families. It has a cricket oval, tennis courts, walk along the bay and you can continue along the path all the way to Darling Point, if you wish.
It's a great spot for picnics.
Keep walking along this path, and I'll meet you at the water.
Turn right and continue along the footpath
Turn right when you get to the water barrier and continue along the path.
As you can see, this bay is bursting with boats! On the far side of the park is a marina, home to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Not only is it one of the most well-regarded yacht clubs in the country, but every year it hosts the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
This is one of my favourite walks in the area and if you are a dog lover you will find many a happy pooch enjoying the open space. If you peer over the sandstone wall you may see some fish swimming near the wall.
We're nearing the end of this tour. Keep walking along the path and I'll say good-bye to you when we reach a little footbridge ahead.
Well, there you have it. I hope you enjoyed your audio tour of Potts Point, Elizabeth Bay and Rushcutters Bay.
You have a choice now. You can either continue following this path across the bay, all the way to Darling Point. Or if you'd like to take a well-deserved rest, then turn to your right and wander over to the Tennis Courts, next to the cricket oval, and dine at the cafeteria.
When you're ready to leave the park, head back the way you came, up the steps and onto Elizabeth Bay Road. Then you need to turn left and continue all the way up to Macleay Street. From there you can take your time exploring more of King's Cross.
If you would like to know more about things to do in Sydney, then I invite you to visit my website, www.sydneychic.com.au
Thank you for touring with me, Good-bye!