Sunday, October 27, 2013

Two genies go down under: Janelle and Maria tour the Tank Stream beneath Sydney

Two genies went down under the streets of Sydney today on the Tank Stream Tour. What a fascinating tour it was. I  always remember learning about the Tank Stream in my old school days but it was so much better to see, feel and smell the real thing.

After being given plenty of protective gear (hard hat, harness, hair net and gumboots), we were off ... climbing down a set of stairs backwards, past the group-of-three cockroach welcoming party and into the tunnels under Sydney.

The Tank Stream was one of the first sources of Sydney's water in the early days of white settlement. The early settlers unfortunately didn't look after it that wisely and it had turned into a sewer by 1826 whereas the Gadigal had used the stream a for thousands of years before 1788. These days it's used as a storm water drain.

Running along under the streets of Sydney, the section of the Tank Stream that we toured through showed three main sections: a convict-built section, a mason-built section and a more modern section. The builders' marks and initials can be seen on many of the sandstone bricks that make up the tunnel walls.

Yvonne Kaiser Glass, Sydney Water's archaeologist, gave us a wonderful, informative tour.

If you ever have the chance to go on the Tank Stream tour, I can recommend it wholeheartedly. Thanks, Janelle, for inviting me along!

Check out this map of where the Tank Stream is situated, in relation to the Streets of Sydney:

From the Living Museum site:

Visitors on a Tank Stream tour during Sydney Open 2012. Photograph © James Horan
Source of photo:

For more information about how to join a Tank Stream tour, check out the Sydney Water site.

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