Bondi and Sydney Explorer Buses
Bondi and Sydney Explorer Buses: (33° 51′ 41″S, 151° 12′ 36″E) hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours. The Sydney Explorer circles north of the harbour and then travels across the Sydney Harbour Bridge; and the Bondi Bus on which you explore the rugged coastline and golden sands of Tamarama, Bronte and Coogee Beaches. Pick up points on the Great North Walk include Circular Quay.
The Great North Walk Companion extract- pages 146-147
On board the bus the narration continues almost exactly where Elsa left off.
The first Governor of New South Wales, Captain Arthur Phillip, had his government house built on the Bridge and Phillip streets in 1789. Originally constructed of local stone and convict sandstock bricks it was extended and repaired by the next eight Governors of New South Wales only then to be demolished in 1846.
However, the house’s parkland on the east of the original building, termed the Governor’s Domain, still remains in the form of The Domain, the Royal Botanic Gardens, and the gardens of today’s Government House.
Unfortunately we’ve joined the tour almost at its end and have to sit on all the way around Circular Quay with its description of the Opera House and Writers’ Walk. As we head out towards South Head, we learn a little about the French in Australia that interests Ian because they currently live in French-speaking Canada. My companion actually helps him write down what is being said as the speaker goes through this part of European invasion history rather quickly:
On the 24th January 1788, another explorer landed in Botany Bay — on the north shore, just west of Bare Island. This was the famous French navigator Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse. This was incredibly only six days after Captain Arthur Phillip’s British fleet, known as the ‘First Fleet’ had dropped anchored in the same bay. There ensued a most gentlemanly ‘stand off’: the British receiving La Pérouse courteously while the French, who were far better provisioned, extended an offer of assistance. Although neither offer was accepted, La Pérouse did arrange carriage of important documents such as journals and letters by the British ship ‘Sirius’, back to Europe. He wrote that he anticipated returning to France by December 1788, but neither of his ships ever returned. A scientist participating in this exploration, Father Receveur, died in February 1788, soon after the ship’s arrival, and was buried in the area now called La Perouse after this intrepid explorer’s captain.
I am able to add a little for Ian’s notes. “As far as I remember La Pérouse planned to sail back to France by way of New Caledonia, Santa Cruz, the Solomons and the Louisiades. I think that the mystery was resolved when, in 1826, wreckage of some French ships was discovered on one of the islands in the Santa Cruz group.”