An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

Despite being only a short walk from Sydney's CBD, this inner suburb is a calm refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life.  I wa...

Urban Tranquility: Ultimo

Despite being only a short walk from Sydney's CBD, this inner suburb is a calm refuge from the hustle and bustle of city life. 

I warn you, this post is long. I just couldn't help myself swooning over this place. 


Before we start, I would like to warn any sensitive readers that I have made a mistake and accidentally started this post in Haymarket rather than Ultimo (according to Google Maps, anyway). It turns out I was skirting the wrong side of the border. I would like to sincerely apologise for any heartache or inconvenience caused by this oversight. Now, without any further ado, let's get stuck into Ultimo.

For many people, Central Railway Station is their first port of call into Sydney. For me, it was how I got into Not-Ultimo. One of the many exits of Central leads you onto the Goods Line. 

The Goods Line is a repurposed old freight train line which now plays the role of a walkway and urban park, obviously inspired by New York's Highline. 

Along here is an ABC building as well as the "paper bag" building forming part of The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) campus. 

The Goods Line is awesome, and is a fantastic example of recycling something which already exists to completely revitalise an area.

If you follow the pathway to the end you eventually reach the Powerhouse Museum. 

Controversially, this museum is supposed to be moving out west to Parramatta in a few years, so it may be worth a visit sooner rather than later if it interests you (or just enjoy looking at it from the outside, like I did). 

From the museum, at the end of the line, you can also glimpse into Haymarket to catch a quick view of Sydney's lively Chinatown.

Before I left the area, I poked my head into a courtyard presumably owned by the museum. This actually seems like a lovely place to enjoy a coffee (or a beer if they sell it).

But that's enough dilly-dallying around The Powerhouse, it's time to actually explore the suburb. 

From here, I headed west, away from the city and towards one of the main arteries of the suburb, Harris St. On the way, I did pass a bit of interesting street art though, as well as Hannah's Pies, which is actually where the famous Harry's Cafe de Wheels gets its pies from. 

Turning back off Harris St, I passed some terraced houses and a self-storage warehouse. It's actually a bit hard to believe that land this close to the CBD is used so "lightly". Whatever the reason, I can't imagine it will stay this way for long, with the price of land in this city being so high.

Turning into an even smaller street, I noticed that Ultimo is also much leafier than you would expect such an inner city suburb to be.
Indeed though, there is heavier development being carried out, in an otherwise quite leafy area.

Interestingly, the fence blocking off the construction zone from passers by has been decorated with some quite beautiful artwork. I'm not "deep" enough to be able to interpret meaning of the mural, but I do appreciate the fine execution. 
The locals, however, clearly aren't enjoying this, and are using their houses to protest the construction.

When you stroll through Ultimo, it is hard to believe you are so central based on the amount of trees here. 

Ultimo actually has an industrial history, and I did see evidence of this, including this heritage listed warehouse, "Farmers and Graziers", which was built in the 1930s

Being Sydney though, part of the warehouse is also in use as a cute looking cafe. 

That being said, there is some evidence of the urbanisation of the suburb, with a fair number of more modern apartments around now as well.

Also super cool to see, is a handful of terraces repurposed as restaurants. Here's one I thought was cute. 

I had to start to head back, so I looped around, now heading south. I continued passing trees, benches and green space along my way.

This route eventually took me through a TAFE Campus whose history goes back to the year 1890 and very much continues Ultimo's pleasant theme.

The TAFE spits you out onto a much more modern area, with some glossy buildings belonging to UTS (as well as their famous Jenga Tower poking its head out behind them). 

I continued through some construction here which took me to Broadway (which is also Parramatta Road, and which is also George St). If you cross the road here, you end up in my next suburb.

Can you tell I really like Ultimo? 

Ultimo: An urban pocket that forgot to urbanise.