Thursday, November 24, 2011

Around Australia in a van: Sightseeing in Sydney

Some people visit Sydney and say that climbing Sydney Harbour Bridge is their most memorable moment; others might pick a performance at the Opera House. But when I first visited Sydney, aged 12, the thing that stuck out most in my mind was, of all things, a skateboarding dog.

Dog skateboarding at Manly Beach, Sydney
We were all spending the day in Manly and my mother and sister must have gone off to do something, because just my father and I were alone near the beach (at least as I recall!). Suddenly, there was this dog, skateboarding along. Not only could he stand on the skateboard beautifully, he could also pick up the board in his mouth if he crashed, and put his front legs on and push off with his back legs, until he hopped up and continued skating. It was incredible! Fortunately my father had his camera at the ready and got this shot, but it wasn't until later (back in pre-digital days) when we had the film developed that my mother and sister truly believed what we'd seen.

Of course, we also did the obligatory Opera House visit and saw Circular Quay and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but to be honest, I don't really remember much about those experiences. I have been back to Sydney quite a few times since then and, sadly, have never seen another skateboarding dog, but it is a fantastic city to visit even without seeing a clever canine. One of my favourite recent Sydney experiences was camping on Cockatoo Island in the middle of Sydney Harbour, and perhaps on my next visit I might get the courage up to do the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb. I'll be looking out for that dog (or his descendants!) though.


  1. I once saw a collie who had been trained to do football with the kids, he used his head obviously but was totally brilliant, pity there was no England dog team or he'd have been captain for sure.

  2. What a clever dog! I hope his descendants have learned the trick too.
    What a pity I didn't visit Cockatoo island when I visited Sydney last year, it must be quite an experience to be in an island across from Sydney.

  3. @ Jenny - wow, that's impressive! I'd like to see that!

    @ Sami - yes, Cockatoo Island is something quite special - do get over there if you have the chance.

  4. Haha! There are several dogs in Venice Beach who can skateboard too- I only wish my own dog could!

  5. I was just in sydney last week! great city and can't wait to go back for new years eve! great blog!

  6. @ Jade - I think Venice Beach is a perfect place for skateboarding dogs! You'll have to ask around for some tips for yours!

    @ Vanessa - thanks! I've never spent New Year's in Sydney but I would love to - enjoy!


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