Year 12 Geography students travelled from Blacktown to Town Hall to explore the CBD and Pyrmont. It was an overcast day with threatening rain as we walked through various parts of Pyrmont to observe the changes that took place over the last century. The old wharves, renewal of Darling Harbour, the conversion from heavy rail to light rail, the gentrification of old cottages, the protection of heritage, the establishment of new commercial enterprises, the construction of modern apartments and the transformation to parkland along the foreshore demonstrate the significance of urban renewal. Pyrmont once had the unenviable reputation of ageing industries, a polluted environment and social disintegration. The group marvelled at the Ways Terrace, a listed heritage building that has the only heritage listed clothes-lines in Australia. Students observed, photographed and discussed the geographical issues past and present. The guide was very informative and helpful.
The highlight of the day was the ferry trip from Pyrmont to Circular Quay via Balmain. This provided a much needed rest for tired feet and the chance to observe changes in the CBD from a different perspective. The recording of land-use changes along George Street completed the fieldwork although it was a significant challenge as the two groups navigated George Street in the lunch hour rush. A much needed late lunch at the Queen Victoria Building was enjoyed by all. The completion of this fieldwork forms the basis of a major assessment task but it is in understanding the workings of the beautiful city of Sydney that the value of this fieldwork is revealed.