The author of the Sherlock Holmes stories was a big celebrity in his lifetime. He believed passionately in spiritualism and lectured to large audiences on making contact with the dead and other spiritualist topics.
In 1920-21 Conan Doyle travelled to Australia with his wife and two children, visiting Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, meeting with Spiritualists and giving lectures.
He wrote about his journey to Australia in a book called ” The Wanderings of a Spiritualist” (available as an e-book).
In the book he describes many aspects of life in Australia including this comment on Sydney beaches.
“We all devoted ourselves to surf-bathing, spending a good deal of our day in the water as is the custom of the place. It is a real romp with Nature, for the great Pacific rollers come sweeping in and break over you, rolling you over on the sand if they can catch you unawares. It was a golden patch in our restless lives”.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s visit to Sydney is remembered with a plaque in the Writers Walk at Circular Quay.