Wednesday, 6 January 2010

What a place to spend Eternity!


The sandstone cliffs, stretching south from Sydney Harbour and restraining the Pacific Ocean, host glorious beaches such as Bondi, Tamarama, Bronte, Clovelly and Coogee. Between Bronte and Clovelly, sweeping down the escarpment to a giddying halt at the precipice of the cliffs, lies the Waverley Cemetery, that same cemetery that was the backdrop to yesterday’s post about the surf-boat training.


Still offering internments, the cemetery opened on 40 acres in 1877 and remains self-sufficient to this day, ensuring that all graves are dug and maintained by hand. Being open to the elements, the damage that is done can be extreme as can be seen in one of these images. This slippage will be repaired by hand with sandstone shoring up the crumbling cliff.


It is a salutary experience to meander from the top of the cemetery in a higgedly-piggedly way searching for the last resting place of either Henry Lawson or Henry Kendall, of Edmund Barton or Edmund Resch, of Dorothea McKellar or J.F. Archibald and, as you wander, to occasionally glance up to the magnificent vista that the residents can no longer appreciate.

On RIFF you may meet the Vietnamese journeyman seen here trudging to the top of the cemetery incline.

44 comments:

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

Wow, such beautiful photos, they're spectacular.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

Hilda said...

Wow. And if that view doesn't get family members to visit your grave, I don't know what will!

Virginia said...

I was thinking the same thing and then read your title! A beautiful resting place. Your photos are lovely.
V

Luis Gomez said...

This is such a great cemetery. While I was living in Sydney I used to take walks around it. Always bringing back wonderful memories. Thank you.

Lois said...

That has to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries I have ever seen!

Riet said...

That is indeed a wonderful place to rest in peace.Never seen such a beautiful cemetery. The stones are spectacular

lizziviggi said...

It looks like an amazing place-- what a view! Our city cemetery also has one of the best views in town... which is nice for the visitors, who can still appreciate it. It's not nearly as spectacular as this one, though! Looks like some of those graves near the edge may not spend eternity there, just till a really big wave.

lizziviggi said...

By the way I added more info on our volcano to answer your question!

Olivier said...

Impressionnant ce cimetière, avec une tres belle vue.

Woody said...

Quite a spectacular resting place - and one for quiet contemplation as well. Thanks for sharing!

brattcat said...

I had to search to find the journeyman in that last exquisite photo in this beautiful post but find him I did. Thank you, Julie.

Leif Hagen said...

Some special cemetary sights! Did you see Sydney's silly Sally selling seashells by the seashore??

Arija said...

They must be phenominally expensive plots considering the prime real estate. Incredibly beautiful views and well kept gravestones. I love wandering atound old cemeteries.
Thanks for the tour.

paul said...

Great pictures and narrative! A couple of years ago we walked the Bondi-Bronte coastal walk, continuing on through this cemetery. Your pictures bring back great memories.

PurestGreen said...

What an amazing spot. If there was a blog about unique cemeteries around the world, I'm sure this would be on it.

Vera said...

Lovely photos, but methinks I would rather be sent into the winds of the Earth rather than being put into the ground, so to the crem I will go when I am no longer requiring of my body, and off into the air my remnants will be thrown. There was an underlying atmosphere in your photos which confirmed my desire to be free and not interred. Well done for getting me thinking!

Joan Elizabeth said...

I was of course aware of this cemetery but have never seen photos of it beyond a stone angel looking to sea and never walked through it so this was a real eye opener for me ... thanks. Had no idea all those important Australians are buried there either. Great job Julie.

Ann said...

I've yet to walk round as far as the cemetery but its definitely on the things to do list. Would love to have a stormy sky as a background.

Rinkly Rimes said...

I've always passed that way by bus! Look what I missed!

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Amazing cliffs and a fascinating old graveyard.

Ken Mac said...

incredible panorama ! But cemeteries spook me something crazy...

Marka said...

It's interesting how close to cemetery is to the cliff.

ρομπερτ said...

Even though next to the ever moving sea, it seems indeed, that time stood still.
Impressive sight indeed. What a refilling force it must be, to climb all the steps up alongside that place.
Please have a wonderful Wednesday.

Carol said...

Gorgeous images, Julie. The first shot is wonderful from that vantage point. And the cemetery is impressive. Beautiful seascapes also.

Martha Z said...

I'm not sure which I would enjoy more, the view or the tombstones. These look very interesting.

Tulsa Gentleman said...

The cemetery is spectacular but then so are the sandstone cliffs. Those are a geologists dream with all the layers and colors.

~Cheryl said...

Very beautiful area. It would be fun (and super tiring!) to meander throughout that cemetery. It's filled with an overwhelming amount of beautiful crosses.

diane said...

Thats a beautiful area. I loved that walk around the cliffs when I was there last. Interesting place for a cemetary. I bet it gets developers salivating. I was amazed to see cows grazing near there too.I agree about retirement throwing you back onto your own resources. It is like being a poor student again.

Julian Davis said...

You got amazing photographs as always ... Great job!!
Sydney Harbour Attractions

Shelle said...

this is awesome...i haven't been past coogee. would be great for a morning walk.

freefalling said...

I know it's utterly ridiculous but all I can think is:
"they're so selfish, those dead people" ??

Julie said...

Letty: just the opposite, actually. With the dead people living there at least we can all wander through.

Shelle: I have been from South Head down to Coogee but no further. I will go from Coogee until the end of the track before the end of January.

Gunn White said...

Wow, a strong and unique photo.

cieldequimper said...

Hello Julie and happy New Year! This is indeed a fantastic place to spend eternity as you say! The photos are of course fantastic too.

VP said...

What an incredible place for a cemetery, and one that is actually beautiful and kept with extreme care.
Great post, love the no-sun no-shade images with deep and wonderful colors!

Davine said...

Hows that for prime property location. Thanks heaps for your comments on my jewellery blog plans. I've got brain overload a bit.

brattcat said...

Just heard. He's doing well!

Ann said...

The Chinese say Good Feng Shui, on the hill slope looking out to sea.

Is the weather hot?

It is too hot for me on the GoldCoast.

Susan said...

Stunning place to spend eternity...I find cemetaries very peaceful places, but will opt to run with the wind down the river when it is my turn...

Julie said...

Oh yes, me so, too.

I am intruiged by cemeteries; I have been my entire life over. But when it is my turn, I wish to be scattered to the four winds and leave the real estate for the living.

I am a social historian. Every fibre of my being yearns to learn more about how people lived, how people felt and how they interacted with others. I learn much by wandered the paths in graveyards.

Thank you so much for your response to this post. It has been most gratifying.

Kitty said...

A cemetery with a view!

And thanks for your comment - "Lough" is a great word, I pretty much use it to describe any body of water bigger than a pond! It's the Irish version of the Scottish "Loch". And I'd never thought of the word "pondage" before, it's always just been part of the place name, but yes! I'll probably start using it more often too :)

JM said...

Two WOWS! One for the place, one for the shots, Julie!

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Perfect spot Julie, I could stay there for a while alive too! One of my favourite cemetery is Highgate Cemetery in north London it is a WOW.

http://waxholm.blogspot.com/2009/05/highgate-cemetery-london.html

Tyra

Jeanine DeNitto said...

what a gorgeous cemetery! looks like tons of beautiful stones.