Sydney

Sydney – the proper post!

My last post was just to let you know that we were still in the land of the living. Now it is time to do a proper post about our stay in Sydney.

We were staying with my aunt and uncle, who are getting on in years and are less mobile than they would like. But this did not stop them driving us hither and yon. They took us to lookouts, to beaches, to the Manly Ferry, to the railway station to take us into town and to pick us up after we had been to town. And they fed and watered us.

Sydney exists because of its harbour and you find bits of the harbour in the most unexpected places. Its a drowned river system, the rivers being cut into the Middle Triassic Hawkesbury Sandstone. Everyone wants to live next to the harbour or, at least, have a harbour view. It does wonders for property prices. My relatives live miles from the harbour but it is still called the “North Shore”

Living by the harbour can be rather nice. Nice views, good beaches and floating ice cream vans!

Waiting for the ice cream boat.

Waiting for the ice cream boat at Clontarf on Sydney Harbour

A beach in Clontarf, Sydney Harbour

A beach in Clontarf, Sydney Harbour

And, in comparison to Bali, the beaches are very clean.

The entrance to the harbour is between North and South Heads. We went to North Head and watched the traffic. Nowadays most of the freight comes in through Port Botany in Botany Bay. The ships using Sydney Harbour are mostly pleasure craft and cruise liners.

Ocean-going yacht entering Sydney Harbour

Ocean-going yacht entering Sydney Harbour

The cliffs on either side of the Heads are rather spectacular and are in contrast to the sheltered waters of the harbour.

The sea cliffs north of North Head, Sydney

The sea cliffs north of North Head, Sydney

But these forbidding cliffs are interspersed with spectacular beaches. We went on a Monday and they were empty, but I am told it is very different on a weekend.

Palm Beach, north of Sydney

Palm Beach, north of Sydney

Palm Beach is undeveloped but there are others, like Bondi Beach, where a great deal of development has taken place.

Sydney Harbour is an important part of transport in Sydney. There are ferries criss-crossing the harbour all day and most of the night. The hub of the system is Circular Quay where all the ferries terminate. It is right next to the Central Business District and between the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

For the tourist the Manly Ferry to Circular Quay is the one to go for. It goes direct from Manly, near the harbour entrance, all the way to Circular Quay, non-stop. So you see a lot of the harbour – and it is well worth seeing.

Manly Ferries crossing, near the entrance to Sydney Harbour

Manly Ferries crossing, near the entrance to Sydney Harbour. These ferries are pointed at both ends, so they can sail without having to reverse out of their berths.

Manly and South Head, from the Manly Ferry

Manly and South Head, from the Manly Ferry

Downtown Sydney from the Manly Ferry

Downtown Sydney from the Manly Ferry. Note the cruise ship docked on the left.

Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Manly Ferry

Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Manly Ferry

Sydney Opera House from the Manly Ferry

Sydney Opera House from the Manly Ferry

Sydney Opera House from the Manly Ferry

Sydney Opera House from the Manly Ferry

Once you get to Circular Quay you can disappear into the urban streets which are similar to urban streets everywhere, although better than most,

Downtown Sydney from Circular Quay

Downtown Sydney from Circular Quay

or you can go into the Botanic Gardens – our preferred option!

The Botanic Gardens are wonderful, with lots of beautiful plants and wonderful views.

Please walk on the Grass!

Please walk on the Grass!

Magnolia Blossom, Sydney Botanic Garden

Magnolia Blossom, Sydney Botanic Garden

Jacaranda tree, Sydney Botanic Garden

Jacaranda tree, Sydney Botanic Garden

Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Botanic Gardens

Opera House and Harbour Bridge from the Botanic Gardens

Chris on Mrs. MacQuarie's Chair, Sydney Botanic Garden

Chris on Mrs. MacQuarie's Chair, Sydney Botanic Garden

We had a wonderful stay in Sydney, thanks to our relatives and the city itself.

We are now in Northern Queensland and I will post about this area soon.

Categories: Australia, Sydney | 2 Comments

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