My friend Heather and I decided to take a jaunt about Sydney today (because we were bored) and we ended up going to the Sutherland Shire. I’ve only tiptoed into the Shire before to drop film equipment off at a friend’s grandpa’s house, who lives just past Tom Ugly’s Bridge. But Heather informed me that until I had been to Sylvania Waters, I had not lived.
I have vague recollections of the television show (circa 1992, thanks Wiki) which shares the same name as the suburb… I remember my parents watching it and thinking that the CUBs (cashed up bogans) featured on the show were pretty funny.
I could barely drive along the roads of Sylvania Waters due to our laughter. It is the craziest mish mash of architecture I have ever seen, from the faux canal system that is created by the properties being on artificial islands (think dodgy Dubai), to the large Grecian statues adorning the entrances of many houses. Gated porticos, boisterous colonnades and Asian inspired letterboxes were just some of the style statements. Windows came in the arch, circle and square variety, just like on Playschool. Perhaps the owners of these homes are indulging a childhood fantasy… instead of having to pick one of the windows, when you have money, you can have all three of those windows to look out of! And there are lots of rendered houses. And lots of blue coloured houses for some reason. And a few peachy/pink coloured ones.
And so many palm trees. One house had about 12 in their front yard alone. Less is more is definitely not the policy in this part of the world.
Nearly all the homes seemed to be in some sort of state of constant renovation… you could see that most had an additional floor thrown on the top, and they were all big, without a single front fence in sight.
It was very Gold Coast. And very "Australian". Heather said she could imagine Rose Porteous living somewhere like this… I reckon Pauline Hanson would fit right in, along with Bob Hawke or Bec and Lleyton Hewitt.
After we finished guffawing at the over-the-top opulence of Sylvania Waters, we drove to Cronulla which was much more normal. Except for the swells… the beach was closed due to the massive waves.