Est 1994, Sydney's oldest tourism website
On The Promenade at Kings Street Wharf. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
Circular Quay to Barangaroo Reserve and Darling Harbour Walk - Part 3
Continued from part 2 of the walk
Having to divert into Hickson Road isn't a bad thing as there are some interesting distractions along the way. If you look above the huge wall of stone that runs along Hickson Road you will see rows of terrace houses above. These houses line High Street, High Lane and Kent Street in Millers Point. This is one of the oldest parts of Sydney and there is huge pressure on this area from developers.
A protest movement started around 2008 when the NSW and Federal governments announced plans to lease and sell Millers Point, Dawes Point and The Rocks properties and move existing public housing tenants. Groups were formed to protest the relocation of residents, including Friends of Millers Point, Save Our Community and Save Our Sirius. If you walk through the area you will notice some houses have posters on their porches and in their windows protesting about the encroaching development. A community website was created to try and curb development, although the government sell-off of houses continues almost a decade on.
You can access the streets and houses of Millers Point via a steep staircase on the side of the wall, known as High Steps, which is about 70 metres along in Hickson Road. If you're there around lunchtime you may notice office workers, out for a lunchtime jog, run up and down the stairs as part of their training regime.
Views of Darling Harbour from the top of the stairs are obscurred by the office towers that have been built on the waters edge. These towers are among the tallest buildings in Sydney.
Continue on in Hickson Road and you pass The Bond at 30 Hickson Road, the first building in Australia to achieve a five-star green rating. It was built over the old contaminated gasworks site.
Keep walking until you are a short distance from a huge overpass, which is the Western Distributor. You will notice the Sussex Hotel ahead on your left, with its beer garden built against a high rock wall. At this point Hickson Road becomes Sussex Street.
Walk to where the overpass crosses Sussex Street, where there are traffic lights and a pedestrian crosing. Cross the road and walk between the American Express Head Office and The Lobby Cafe. After 50 metres you will be facing No.1 Shelley Street, an ecologically sustainable building that was awarded a 6-Star Green Star - Office Design Rating by the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA). Built in 2009, the building's design features that earned it the award, according to the GBCA, are:
"... using passive chilled beam technology and harbour heat rejection to cool the building at reduced energy levels; carbon dioxide monitoring and control measures; enhanced indoor air quality by substantially reducing formaldehyde and volatile organic compunds through the careful selection of finishes; reduction of protable water consumption through the harbour heat rejection system; use of efficient water fixtures/fittings; reduction of potential long term damage to the earth's atmosphere the limiting the release of ozone depleting susbstances."
If you walk past the sculture outside No.1 Shelley Street you can continue through to The Promenade, which runs along the foreshore at King Street Wharf, one of Sydney's major waterfront dining precincts and residential living areas. Kings Street Wharf is at the far northern end of Darling Harbour. Restaurants line the wharf with more than 500 residential apartments and commercial suits built above. Moored along the wharf are large cruise boats used for harbour functions.
The Darling Harbour ferry station is also situated along this part of the wharf.
The walk from the nothern end of Darling Harbour to the southern end is about 200-250 metres. Once your visit to Darling Harbour is over you can walk back to the ferry station and catch a ferry back to Circular Quay.
END OF WALK
Millers Point terrace houses lining High Street, High lane and Kent Street tower over Hickson Street. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
The houses sit high above a wall of stone and concrete. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
A steep staircase leads up to High Street in Millers Point. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
You can look across from the top of the steps at development taking place on what was once the old gasworks site on the Millers Point foreshores. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
"The Bond" building at 30 Hickson Road was built on part of the gasworks site. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
A small courtyard beer garden and cafe at The Sussex Hotel adjoins a rock wall in Hickson Road. Picture: © Sydney.com.au
The award-winning ecologically sustainable building at No.1 Shelley Street. Picture: © Sydney.com.au