The Santas of Sydney’s Christmas Past

Some of us still have the photos taken of us crying, having a tantrum or terrified while perched on the knee of the strange Santa at the shopping mall, his nylon beard glistening under neon lights. But what about those other Santa-like figures of Sydney’s Christmas...

Sound the alarm! Shark nets at Coogee

It’s summer, and for many of us, that means swimming in the sea. There has been a long tradition in Sydney of enclosing ocean bathing areas a nets to protect bathers from sharks, but the consequences of decisions about shark nets that were made in the 1920s and...

The Newcastle Hotel

In honour of Clive James who died this week, today we’re going to peek inside the doors of one of the Sydney establishments that helped him along, the Newcastle Hotel on George Street.   Listen to Mark and Alex on 2SER here Like the Newcastle Hotel, writer...

James Waugh’s Stranger’s Guide to Sydney

We’ve all used a tourist guide when we’ve visited a new city. They can help us orientate ourselves, to find the landmarks we want to see, and understand the locals. But have you ever wondered about Sydney’s first tourist guides? I recently had the...

The Explorer’s stump

On the southern side of the Great Western Highway just west of Katoomba is a colonial relic known as the Explorers’ Tree. But you would be forgiven for not recognising it as a tree. Today all that remains is a concrete stump on a rubble stone podium. Listen to...