Ø Indicating colours: White and green
Ø Fares: To Redfern, Alexandria, and Waterloo, 2d. to Botany terminus, 4d
Ø Trams: For Redfern, Waterloo, and Bay Street, about every 15 minutes. For Botany, 7 minutes past each hour
Ø Last tram from Bent Street: 11.22 p.m.
Ø Time of journey: to Waterloo, 27 minutes; to Bay Street, 44 minutes; through journey, 59 minutes
The route for these suburbs is the same as that for the Western steam lines as far as the Railway Gates. Here the line turns sharply to the left into Cleveland Street, passing on the left the Benevolent Asylum, with the main entrance to the station on the right, the trams stopping at the subway. Proceeding, the old burial ground is passed on the left, wearing a very neglected appearance; to the right is the large railway produce shed, and, abutting on the roadway, the fine building of the Railway Institute. Turning to the right, the line skirts the Prince Alfred Park on the right, and the large Exhibition building will attract attention standing in the near corner.
The Redfern line scenery does not call for special mention until the lower level is reached, when it opens out, and one passes numerous and large market gardens. Across them, to the right, can be seen the stacks of the St. Peters brick works. Passing through North Botany, presently a bridge across a reed-banked lagoon is crossed. This is known as the Waterworks, and not so many years ago formed the main source of Sydney’s water supply, the swamps draining down here from as far north as the spot where now stands the Centennial Park, and being pumped up to the city reservoirs from the pumping station, which is seen to the right of the bridge, its tall stack rising from a clump of fine pine and other trees.
At Bay Street the line approaches the shores of the Bay, and runs through Botany proper. To the left a wide view is obtained over undulating sandhills past Kensington and away to Randwick, while on the right glimpses of the Bay appear through the trees. The Bay soon appears in full sight, and though the tram runs some little distance further the visitor should alight at the pier and walk to its head, several hundred yards out in the Bay.
Here a splendid view of the whole Bay is obtained, sweeping round from the Heads in an almost circular sheet some six miles in diameter. To the right can be seen the whole stretch of Lady Robinson’s Beach together with the populous Illawarra suburbs that fringe the Bay and rise to the hills behind. To the left is the entrance to the Bay, and the broad Pacific lies beyond. From the Northern Head a bold jutting prominence is seen; this is Bare Island, and strongly fortified in case an
enemy, instead of trying to effect an entrance to Sydney through its front gate, might be so minded as to try the back entrance via Botany Bay. On the inside of the Southern Head at Kurnell an obelisk can be plainly discerned, which marks the spot where the great navigator, Captain Cook, the first European to set foot on the Eastern shores of Australia, landed from the ‘Endeavour’.
Botany is not a line where the visitor will be impressed by any architectural pretensions of the majority of houses along the route. It is essentially a business district, and of many businesses not at all of an aesthetic nature, such as glue works, soap and boiling down works, tanneries, wool scouring establishments, and such like, but even if the breezes are not at all times exactly reminiscent of Araby, the trip to the historic Bay is one that should be undertaken by the visitor.
This article is courtesy of the great book called ‘Juggernaut’, by david Burke’ and is brought to you by Tram Scrolls Australia, specialists in premium quality replica tram and bus destination art.