An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

You know, when I set up this anniversary special voting thing , I thought it would be exciting to run these posts from eighth place to first...

Seizing The Means of Production: Oatley (3rd Anniversary Special)

You know, when I set up this anniversary special voting thing, I thought it would be exciting to run these posts from eighth place to first. 


Instead, here's yet another equal fifth. 

Oatley

Oatley is another South Sydney suburb, this one sitting on the Sutherland Train Line. As usual, this meant an easy 25 minute train ride to get in from Central. Oatley Station's actually quite a green and pleasant place, 


with perhaps the funkiest station exit ever. 

I took the western exit to the station to start my Oatleyan foray. 

It turns out that Mrs Completing Sydney lived in Oatley during her formative years (that is - from three to seven years old). She informed me that this side of the tracks was the rich side of Oatley. She lived on the other side (the poor side). 

As such, I began by exploring how the bourgeois (as defined by a kindergartener) live. 

It turns out, they live in lush surrounds, with Oatley immediately showing me plenty of greenery as I walked down the street. 

This actually led me immediately into part of Oatley's small commercial core, 

of which the starting point is this pearly white house. 

Rich-Oatley CBD is a pretty understated affair, with a few cafes and restaurants, 

an old-school garage, 

and these flowers. 

Not the sort of place you'd go out of your way to see, but pleasant for the locals I'm sure. 

The quiet feel of this place is only accentuated by the fact that the other side of the road is residential, rather than having shops on both sides. 

And as quickly as it started, the Oatley shops finished and I headed into this Oatley's suburbia. 

As has been the theme so far, residential Oatley (on the side that all the Bank Executives live in anyway), is very calm and pleasant, with the sort of brick houses you'd find anywhere in the country, 

and a generous helping of trees and greenery. 

I also passed a few unique structures, such as this house's aggresive angles, 

this one with an unusually skinny frontage, 

and Wavy-McGee. 

A sucker for paths off of the street, I took this pedestrian-only express way deeper into the suburb. 

On the other side, the suburb gets even greener, with huge gum trees, 

this adorable playground, 

and even a peek of water - but there will be more of that to come. 

The main reason I headed this way was to make my way to what seemed to be the most intriguing aspect of the suburb

the semi-bushland, semi-park that is Oatley Park. 

Rather than walk on the road, however,  

I took this trail in instead. 

Oatley Park is actually a huge piece of land with bush, waterside views and swimming spots, and a few other surprises we'll get to later. 

As such, the waterside trails here alongside the lovely Georges River are about as enjoyable a way as any to spend a Saturday morning.

I even made a few friends - supporting the theory that the rich are lizard people. 

Apparently, this bit of the Georges River is known as Jewfish Bay. Why is it named that? I assume after the fish. Why is the fish named that? I assume racism. 

From the trail, you can head closer to this uncomfortably named stretch of water, 

where there's a riverside beach and swimming spot, 

with some attractive surrounds. 

After following the waterside for a bit, I headed back onto the trail,

apparently joining the Headland Track. 

This bushwalk continues hugging the riverside, 

with more beautiful views along the way.

Soon, the path curved and led through a bushier patch, 

which allowed my amateur botany skills to shine. Here's a plant I liked, 

and another plant I liked,

and one flower. 

With my Nobel Prize claimed, I continued on, leaving this bit of bushwalk,

and heading towards perhaps the most surprising spot of this park. 

Here we have Oatley Castle, further cementing this side of Oatley as the plaything of the 1%. 

Inside the castle - a barbeque,

and a child's birthday party to be. How lovely. 

This part of the park is also definitely the more family-friendly side, with picnic areas, 

and, if you follow the road, 

a bloody big playground. 

Bonus Stonehenge. 

Convinced I'd seen the best of Oatley Park, I was now ready to head back into suburbia, so I followed the shared road back.

I made it out after not too long. 

From here, I headed back through the suburb, essentially retracing my steps. 

On the way I passed this bloke who's running for council. I have no idea who he is or what his policies are, but this is a free advertisement for Peter. Feel free to look the fellow up if you're an Oatleyan voting in the council elections, and I hope he's not a racist. 

With that political campaigning out of the way, I continued past more of the regular Aussie houses I'd seen earlier in this post, 

and before long, I reached the quiet shopping street again. 

I was actually ready for lunch now, but rather than wine and dine with Oatley's rich and famous, I chose to make my way back to the station, 

and head to the wrong side of the tracks, where four-year-old Mrs Completing Sydney spent her troubled youth. 

This led me to another shopping area, 

with smutty businesses, 

and a very nice (but more modest) local park where folks were doing things that they do in rough neighbourhoods like sitting on benches and exercising

This is also where Oatley Clock Tower is, which is apparently a local landmark. 

Unlike the commercial district on the fancy-pants side of Oatley, these shops had a little bit more activity, with a few more takeaway shops and things like a bakery and florist. 

For lunch, I couldn't look past the local seafood takeaway. 

And this is one of those legit seafood shops where the fresh seafood is sitting in the window before they cook it, so you know it's not coming out of a box. 

Having not had baby octopus since before the lockdown, I couldn't say no to some sweet-chilli grilled baby octopus with chips and a greek salad. Every time I eat baby octopus I feel like a bad person, because octopi are pretty smart, and, you know, these ones are babies. I am a person with loose morals however, as this meal was a wonderful follow-up to the bushwalk through Oatley Park. 

After lunch, I was ready to make my way towards a different suburb (not my next suburb however, as you all didn't vote for it). 

This took me past the only church I've ever seen with a picture of sperm on it, 

the local RSL and post office, 

and into this side of residential Oatley. 

Unlike the free-standing brick homes on the moneybags side of Oatley, this side is generously populated with those brick units from the twentieth century that you also see all over Sydney. 

But still with plenty of greenery to decorate the place. 

Heading on through, 

past the beachouse invoking Oatley Palms, 

and an Oatley Castle for this side too, 

and I reached the path that would take me to Oatley's precarious border crossing - not just with its neighbouring suburb, but with The Shire.

I had to stop to document this lost baby shoe however. Perhaps Mrs Completing Sydney's colleague at daycare. 

This path is not completely uninteresting. For instance, it's sandwiched between this really long pipe

and the train line.

I also found one of these flowers. Last time I saw one of these I remarked at how pretty they are, but you all stepped in to tell me that this is actually a noxious weed wiping out native Australian flora. Well, I still think it's pretty. 

Soon, the paved path,

went bushy,

even offering peeks, once more, at the Georges River,

before I finally reached here. 

This is the Old Como Bridge, a pedestrian bridge running parallel to a second bridge that carries trains. I'm assuming that second bridge is the new Como Bridge.   

From here, you have pretty swell views of the river below,

the most pointless sign in the history of signs, 

and, most importantly, the path into another suburb. 

Oatley: You guys picked a good one. 


11 comments:

  1. Fabulous post -- really captures all aspects and the many charms of Oatley. Pictures are very evocative. It must be the longest trek you've made for any post, which perhaps says something about post-lockdown needs for leg stretching. It is a real shame jewfish Bay is still used, when mulloway is the indigenous name for the fish more commonly used in Oz. Mulloway Bay would have a nice ring to it. The picture of the Church ad is extraordinary. Poor baby octopuses though!

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    1. Thanks for reading. I'm not sure if it was the longest trek but it was definitely a walk and a half!

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  2. I adore these long posts. Please keep going!

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  3. Another good one, glad to see you did the Oatley/Como walk. Curious to see the fourth final(?) fifth place.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it - all shall be revealed on Sunday :)

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  4. At first I was worried that you would only look at houses and not get as far as Oatley Park. Good on you, Yaz, for taking such a comprehensive walk in this lovely suburb. And thanks for the campaign poster. Peter Mahoney of Oatley is a regular letter writer to the Sydney Morning Herald, so it's interesting to see what he looks like.

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  5. You finally made it to my suburb. Mrs completing sydney is totally correct the west side is absolutely better.

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    1. "I'm not sure that richer equals better, Letitia St is where it's at for me" -Mrs Completing Sydney

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  6. Great post Yaz, loved it. Thanks so much for your work. We are all back to loving Thursdays and Sundays again. But ...... at Oatley Park, near the big slide, there was a rock with a park bench on it. On the rock, there was a plaque. You didn't tell us what is says ...... Aaaghh. Can someone who lives there tell me please? I just have to know :)

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