International Travel

Mon, 11 Dec, 2017Danielle McCarthy

Exploring Australia’s oldest university campus

Exploring Australia’s oldest university campus

Robyn Kennedy loves to explore and photograph Sydney and surrounds. Her blog Life Out & About has become a passion, sharing ideas for outings in and around Sydney - charming gardens, bush walks, art galleries and inspiring places to eat!

University of Sydney is Australia’s oldest university campus. With its striking neo-gothic sandstone structures and the impressive award-winning Law School Building, there is much to see and enjoy here… particularly if you love architecture. In addition, the University is in close proximity to the vibrant Glebe village where you will find plenty of eateries and bars, as well as boutique shops and art galleries.

Where: Sydney Uni. – Cnr City Rd & Broadway Glebe/Camperdown
Website: University of Sydney Tours
Allow: 1/2 day
Getting there: Short walk or bus from Central Station.
Alternatively drive & park in Glebe village or refer Getting to campus
Also See: Ultimo Architecture & ArtChinese Garden Hidden Oasis

Glebe to the University of Sydney

It was an overcast day and my partner and I were looking for a destination where we could walk, eat and if necessary find shelter from the rain… excitedly we settled on a walk from Glebe village to the University of Sydney. Before exploring the university campus we started our outing with a brunch and walk around Glebe… always enjoyable.

Glebe Village

Glebe Village - street scenes

Glebe Village – street scenes

With its village charm, Glebe could be considered a destination in itself,  a vibrant suburb that attracts many visitors from all walks of life. Cafes and bars, art galleries and homeware stores, as well as some fabulous character homes make Glebe an enjoyable place to explore.

1. Eat & Drink

Glebe Village Cafes

Glebe Village Cafes

The variety of eateries and bars that line Glebe Point Rd provide ample opportunity for visitors to indulge  At the southern end of Glebe Point Rd, close to Sydney Uni are some of our favourite cafés… Clipper Café or The Wedge Espresso Bar.  Close by is the Badde Manors bohemian café with its cosy wooden booth seating and extensive vegetarian menu… a Glebe institution for 30+ years!

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more substantial than a café lunch, try the Glebe Point Diner at the northern end of Glebe Point Rd. Also, for fine dining we love the Boathouse on Blackwattle Bay.

The lovingly restored Tramsheds at Harold Park is a food hub and could easily be considered a destination in itself.

2. Walks & Architecture

Glebe Village architecture

Glebe Village architecture

Glebe is a fantastic suburb to explore on foot! Being one of Sydney’s oldest areas you will find heritage-listed buildings and rows of 19th century terrace houses lining the streets. Take a wander down Glebe Point Rd toward the water’s edge. Along the way are a number of impressive terrace houses as well as numerous small shops and eateries. Once you reach the water’s edge of Rozelle Bay you will be rewarded with a fantastic view to the Anzac Bridge. If you have the energy, take the path that winds its way around the foreshore to Blackwattle Bay.

Glebe view to Anzac Bridge

Glebe view to Anzac Bridge – follow the path to Blackwattle Bay

3. Art Galleries & Shopping

Glass Artists Gallery Glebe - exhibition by Maureen Cahill

Glass Artists Gallery Glebe – exhibition by Maureen Cahill

Sprinkled between the cafés and bars are a number of fine art galleries, quirky antique shops and vintage fashion boutiques. I always love to visit the contemporary Glass Artists’ Gallery on Glebe Pt Rd, also known as Gauge Gallery. Also, if you take a wander down Bridge Road you will discover some fine interior décor stores, my favourite being Orient House.

4. Glebe Markets

Every Saturday from 10am – 4pm the well known Glebe Markets are held at the corner of Derby Place and Glebe Pt. Rd, selling second-hand goods, records, furniture, arts, crafts, clothing, jewellery and bric-a-brac.

University of Sydney Campus

Sydney University Lake Northam & Quadrangle

University of Sydney – Lake Northam & Quadrangle

The main reason and highlight of our outing to Glebe! From Glebe Point Road, cross Parramatta Rd/Broadway and enter the University campus via Victoria Park. Upon entering the park you will find a small lake covered in waterlilies, ‘Lake Northam’. On the north eastern side of the lake is the historic Gardener’s Lodge… until recently home to a lovely café with outdoor seating and views over the lake!

1. Quadrangle & Great Hall

Sydney University - Quadrangle & Great Hall buildings in detail

University of Sydney – Quadrangle & Great Hall buildings in detail

Follow the path from the Gardener’s Lodge to the impressive neo-gothic Quadrangle and Great Hall… you can’t miss them! There are many striking architectural features, so this is where most people tend to gather to take photographs. If you prefer, the University offers guided tours on Mon-Fri… we preferred to explore on our own, nothing like a mystery tour 

2. Science Road

Sydney University - Science Road architecture

University of Sydney – Science Road architecture

On the northern end of the Quadrangle is access to the tree lined Science Road, home to a number of historical places of interest. The Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Holme buildings were some of our favourites.

3. Maclaurin Hall

Sydney University - Maclaurin Hall

University of Sydney – Maclaurin Hall

On the southern side of the Quadrangle is the magnificent Maclaurin Hall. I would love to see it on a bright sunny day with the agapanthus in full bloom!

4. Law School Building

Sydney University - Law School Building & sculpture

University of Sydney – Law School Building & sculpture

After exploring the historical sites we wandered around the new Law School Building and grounds. Couldn’t help but admire the contrast in architecture as well as the views through to Victoria Park. In the same area are some very quirky contemporary sculptures!

5. Museums & Art Galleries

The Nicholson Museum is Australia’s first University Museum and home to the largest collection of antiquities in the Southern Hemisphere. Located in the Main Quadrangle, admission is free.

The Macleay Museum and the University Art Gallery are currently closed in preparation for the opening of the Chau Chak Wing Museum in 2019.

Have you ever explored this beautiful part of Sydney?

All image credits: Robyn Kennedy