Welcome to this blog, the story of a great big Australian adventure. It documents my travels, life in Australia, and a subject close to my heart – environmental conservation. 

Sydney rocks 2: Paddington

There have been many occasions during the last 18 months when I've been unable to stop photographing this or the other new landscape or intriguing creature. So it was nice, a few weeks ago, when an old favourite subject popped up – the back streets of Paddington.

An inner suburb of Sydney, Paddington is east of Darlinghurst and south of Kings Cross. It takes about 10 minutes by bus from Circular Quay. (By the way, buying a bus ticket is much more of an ordeal than finding the right bus stop. If you are not in Sydney long enough to benefit from a TravelTen, you may still need to buy your ticket in advance – unless it's Sunday. How you know before the bus turns up that it is of the prepay variety, I'm not sure. You can buy tickets from kiosks, but how you find one, I'm not certain. There is one just behind Circular Quay, that I do know.)

Paddington is bisected by yet another Oxford Street, which was once an Aboriginal walking track. Today it is bustling and busy and lined with boutiques and high street chain stores from Sass and Bide to Billabong, as well as cafes to keep you going while you trawl. Every Saturday morning there's a large market, the Paddington Bazaar, in the grounds of the Uniting Church.

But it's off Oxford Street I was headed, to the photogenic back streets of Victorian terraced houses and well-established plane trees. The cottages were built between 1860 and 1890. After the War, they were saved from rack and ruin by migrants moving into the city, and the houses are still being renovated in what is now a highly desirable residential area complete with art galleries, antiques dealers, restaurants and intimate hotels, high-end fashion boutiques and speciality shops.

The glory is in the detail of the wrought-iron 'lace' work, the stonework, tiles and the riot of colour...

Other details caught my eye...

And the locals seemed friendly enough...

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