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Sandstone in Sydney

September 5, 2019 by Runaway Tours  

As visitors explore Sydney, Australia, they quickly notice the unique buildings found throughout the streets.  These buildings are specific to the area and share Australia’s history and culture as you explore the city.
On your private day tour in Sydney, you and your group are able to see the many different, beautiful sandstone buildings located throughout the city and learn the history of each one.


The sandstone buildings in Sydney are created from Sydney Basin Hawkesbury Sandstone which is also known as Yellow Block.  This stone is true to its name as it’s yellow, gold and orange colours remind many visitors and locals of the colours found on the beach. The stone is commonly found on the Hawkesbury River located just north of the city, so the name also bears its location.
It is said that sandstone began to be supplied from quarries in 1858 and then used in building both commercial and residential structures. 

As the sandstone has been used to create Sydney’s earlier buildings, its durability is impeccable.  Standing up to anything and everything, the buildings created in sandstone have had little decomposition or damage.  Whether the elements were from mother nature, such as rain, wind and extreme sun, or man-made such as pollution, Sydney’s sandstone has held up.

More than just Buildings

Given the durability, sandstone has had many uses throughout Australia.  Prior to being used for buildings (in 1970 and 1980), Sydney sandstone was used as a material for carvings created by Aboriginal People throughout the island.  With the stone’s light colour, sandstone was also used as a canvas for native drawings as the illustration would be easily seen and would last a long time.
The rock carvings, often made out of sandstone would have most likely followed three steps.  The first would be that the worker would have sketched an outline of the carving by scratching the rock’s surface.  After the outline was completed, they would have punctured the rock using a sharp, and harder stone or shell.  Although Sydney sandstone is durable, it is quite soft, so it would have been the ideal material to carve into.  Once the holes were created, the creator would have used that same hard, sharp objects to deepen the line between the two holes until the holes were joined creating an edge. 

This long and tedious process would have been completed many times to create the individual carvings and canvases for drawings. 

As you tour throughout Sydney and the rest of Australia, you will find local Indigenous People’s groups who will be selling their own rock carvings as tokens you can bring back home with you.

Sandstone Buildings in Sydney

There are many sandstone buildings to check out on your private day tour Sydney and here is our top list, broken down by category.
Places of Worship
        St. Mary’s Cathedral
        St. Andrew’s Cathedral
        Great Synagogue
Education Buildings
        Sydney Grammar School - Main Building
        Newington College
        University of Sydney - Original Buildings
Public Buildings
        Art Gallery of NSW
        Queen Victoria Building (QVB)
        Museum of Sydney
        Sydney Hospital
        Victoria Barracks
        Government House
        Cranbrook, Bellevue Hill
        The Abbey, Annandale
        Carthona, Darling Point
        Kenilworth, Potts Point

Interior and Exterior Use

To add additional depth and design to Sydney buildings, designers have begun using sandstone beyond the typical building bricks.  You can now find sandstone pavers, flooring and wall cladding as the colour and connection to nature allows for the beauty and durability to be brought into the house.
If you look close enough, you will also find sandstone in many other products (or as products).  The only place that sandstone has not ventured to is as a roofing material. 

Using sandstone in living environments is a great addition as the stone is thermally neutral which allows it to be placed in different temperature areas and not be greatly affected.

Expert Stonesmiths

As Sydney Sandstone is not like other stone, the skill of sandstone smiths has been passed down for generations.  As the buildings in Sydney increase in age, there is a greater need for the skills these workers have.  From regular maintenance to conservation tasks, the sandstone used in many of Sydney’s historic buildings need restoring.
Although not all repairs can be done, there are many steps towards restoration that can happen.  Sandstone smiths have the ability to slow down the deterioration of the stone, protect the building from structural problems, reduce the chance of falling stone, enhance the appearance of the building and corrections or repairs that do not affect the historic fabric of the building. 

Restoration Projects

Many projects on historic landmarks made from Sydney Sandstone in the city are undergoing not just conservation efforts, but full restoration projects.  You will see many of these projects as you discover the sandstone buildings of Sydney.  While looking at these projects, you will find the types of restoration practices. 

The first type of restoration is replacement.  By replacing the original sandstone with new sandstone, the quality and integrity of the stone is renewed.  Expert stonesmiths can replace either a single block or an entire section with new sandstone. The biggest challenge with this type of repair is finding new stone that matches, as many of the quarries that were originally used have been closed.  Each quarry has a slightly different colour and texture.
Another type of restoration is retooling the surfaces.  This is explained by removing some of the damaged material on the outside of the sandstone and exposing the lower layers of the stone.  Depending on the size of the stone, this may or may not be possible.
The final type of restoration you will see happening throughout Sydney is patching.  The art of patching allows for additional material to be added on top.  This process is often used as it is reversible.  As practices and technology are always developing, reversible processes are often selected.

Discover Sydney’s Sandstone

Why wait? Book your Sydney Sightseeing private tour with Runaway Tours Australia today and discover all of Sydney’s sandstone buildings.  Not only will you be able to explore the streets of Sydney and the culture they contain, but you will be able to see a wide variety of sandstone architecture, unique to Sydney, Australia.

A Few Things to know before you plan for the Blue Mountains Private Day Tours

August 29, 2019 by Runaway Tours  

Everybody should plan a Blue Mountains private day tours at least once. There’s plenty to see and do, and plenty of day tours to help you pack everything in. There are, however, a few important things you should know before taking your Blue Mountains private day tours. Here are things you need to know before considering have a Blue Mountains private tour.

The Blue Mountains are due west from Sydney and start about 60 kilometers away. The main tourist region of Katoomba and Leura is about 90 kilometers away. They are definitely worth visiting if you have time during your visit!

What to Expect on the Blue Mountains Private Day Tours

The Blue Mountains region is made up of seven separate national parks and is about 10,000 square kilometers in size. It was recognized in the year 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its unique natural diversity. Rather than pointy glacial mountains, you can expect to see rounded peaks with deep valleys and towering cliffs, often with sparkling waterfalls plummeting over them. If you plan for a short tour that can access the less-visited spots, then you may also find yourself enjoying ancient Aboriginal rock carvings and towering cool climate rainforests. You should visit the iconic Three Sisters, which is closest to the township of Katoomba and is one of the most impressive rock formations in Australia. You will also enjoy the crisp mountain air, abundant local birdlife, ornate gardens, and charming local villages like Leura.

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters is an unusual rock formation in the Blue Mountains, on the north escarpment of the Jamison Valley. No Blue Mountains private day tour would be complete without visiting Echo Point which offers one of the best views of the Three Sisters. The three striking sandstone rock formations proudly rise from the Jamison Valley and are likely the Blue Mountain’s most recognizable site. It is also almost always one of the busiest.

Wentworth Falls

One of the many waterfalls to see at the park, Wentworth Falls, is a popular spot that can be reached from the Wentworth Falls track. The trail goes by Jamison and Wentworth lookouts, before leading you to Fletcher’s Lookout, where you can have an unobstructed view of the falls and their 100m drop into the valley. Wentworth Falls, near where the waterfall is located, is another little town in the Blue Mountains. It’s an optimal spot for relatively easy bush walks that give you impressive lookouts and sweeping views.

Scenic World

Scenic World is one of the best places to visit in the Blue Mountains, as it is here you can enjoy the view from the world’s steepest scenic railway. You can also experience the scenic walkway, cableway, and skyway here, all of which provide different views and experiences of the Blue Mountains. It’s recommended to take in the beauty of the area through hikes and trails, but if you’re more into a novel tourist experience, Scenic World can be a fun way to spend an hour in the park.

There are so many things to enjoy on the Blue Mountains private tours. Just call us at 1300551608 and book your Blue Mountains private day tours.

Get Ready to Pamper Yourself by Taking a Hunter Valley Tour from Sydney

June 28, 2019 by Runaway Tours  

When you are on a tour, a diverse range of activities isall part of the fun of exploring. Different locations mesmerize voyagers with their unique charm and beauty. If you are planning to visit Sydney, Australia, then get ready to pamper yourself by taking a Hunter Valley Wine Tour Sydney. Situated due north of Sydney, this breathtaking,grape-growing spot is known as the Hunter region.
The Hunter Valley is such an amazing place for locals and visitors alike and receives an increasing number of tourists each year. With the increased demand for tourism of this beautiful place, Runaway Tours is a reputed Sydney tour operator and provides private tour packages for the Hunter Valley Tour from Sydney. They provide luxurious and air-conditioned vehicles for a comfortable ride to make your trip enjoyable. They also offer to pick up and drop services from your central Sydney location.
Spectacularexpedition to the Hunter Valley:
As we mentioned above, this is a standout amongst the most stunning tourist destination spots in the world, and there are lots of things that you can discover here for a once in a lifetime experience.
The Hunter Valley has beautiful scenic views plus typical Aussie bushland that you won’t miss on your journey. Keep an eye out for mobs of wild kangaroos. The most surprising part is that when you take a Hunter Valley winery tour, you’ll discovercaptivatingvineyards, fresh air and a wonderful climate. This tour will take your breath away!

Hunter Valley Tour Sydney
Apart from that, you will also cross over the famous Sydney Harbour Bridge, travel through the leafy northern suburbs of Sydney, cruise past the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and pass over the serene Hawkesbury River.
When it comes to your winery tour, you will visit various boutique wineries in this region and you will have a sublime experience when sampling their delicious wines. Some of these wines are considered the finest in the world and will deliver delectable sensations to your taste buds! The most popular grapes grown here on your Hunter Valley Tour Sydney are Semillon and Shiraz to produce these world-class wines.

Hunter Valley Tour Sydney
At the Hunter Valley, there are also many cheese stores to sample some local from age, plus The Hunter Valley Chocolate Company, for that delightful, post-wine sugar hit!
If you would like to book your private Hunter Valley Tour in Sydney, please visit www.runawaytours.com.au. Have a great time!