Sydney Harbour, Sydney
One of my fondest memories of Sydney was my first ever morning here. I was suddenly alone as my friend had missed his flight and would catch up the next day. Checked into the hotel and after a shower and some news I was ready to get my first taste of one of my favorite ever cities.
Well I walked the two or so blocks to Circular Quay and started to be amazed. The bridge and the Opera house. The hussle and bussle. The fact it was late fall and sunny and 75. After a little walk about and a few pics I sat on a bench and watched the world. Ok. I had a book infront of me but I was really world watching. So calm. Yet so busy. This saturday morning started a love affair for me with Sydney.
Snaking their way around the harbour, the ferry routes slip into coves and visit headlands with real estate perched atop that I could only dream about affording. The ferries are like a spider's web fanning out from Circular Quay, mainly heading for the North Shore but dipping into many other wharves as well.
Fondest memory: Picture a 20 degree day, soft rippling water, a zephyr of a breeze and you're cruising on a cheap ferry ride on one of the world's great harbours. If you're thinking life doesn't get much better, you're right.
If you spend a minimum one day in Sydney, this is one of your "must-do"s.
Shown here is the ferry about to dock at Cremorne Point with Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background, another of Sydney's famous arteries, while in pic 2 you can see where the ferries berth at Watsons Bay and in pic 3 there's the back of a ferry at Circular Quay.
Favorite thing: If you are ever in Sydney on New Year's Eve you must get a glimpse of the New Years Eve Firework display over Sydney Harbour. Its the most spectacular show ever seen. Thousands of people ( Locals and Tourist) gather the streets the to watch the show. Some even camp out the night before just to get a good spot. The Firework Display starts at 9:00 pm. There are various Hot Spots to see it, however the Best one is at McMahons Point.
So it was that on another day we chose to explore some other bays on the North Shore.
This delightful location at Cremorne Point has a sublime waterside park. On the sunny day we were there, apart from us, there were a grand total of..............wait for it.................two people. That's the real joy for me of the harbour. There are so many places with fabulous views that people hardly ever visit.
Fondest memory: The view is across Neutral Bay looking to the CBD at left of centre and there's a bridge peeping out there somewhere. You might have seen it somewhere before. It's called the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Favorite thing: Sydney is built around a harbour so you are never far away from the water. When in Sydney there are many things you can do in the harbour. You can do numerous walks, rent a kayak near the Spit Bridge, take one of the ferry to the numerous destinations around the harbour or a tour. There are even sailing trips that you can book in the tourist info centre. On boxing day the amount of boats on the water in unbelievable. This is the day the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race starts.
Well, the first place of course would be around the harbour, said to be the most beautiful in the world. Basically you could spend a full week there and not see all that might interest you in Sydney.
Sydney is visibly multicultural so no matter where you come from you are likely to feel at home immediately. It also (like any other city) has its own character and appeal too mostly stemming from the harbour, water activities and the entertainment available in such a relatively small space.
Fondest memory: My daughter presently is living in Sydney and so this is what I miss most. Then I guess just the feel of the place.............. as I said before I find it difficult to explain, but when I am there, I know that Sydney is where I come from.
Nothing like a relaxing cruise on the harbour to put you in the mood for just about anything. You start off from Circular Quay with the Sydney Opera House in view (pic 2) and, from there, the harbour is your oyster, so to speak.
The small lighthouse pictured in the opening is on the north shore and you turn around it to go into Mossman Bay.
En route you will be guaranteed to see a sailboat somewhere off your bow (pic 3) and somewhere a house you can't afford (pic 4) or, if you want something to brighten up your day, there's always Luna Park and you'll get to see the underside of the bridge on your way.
Fondest memory: The thing is that there are so many points of interest between the Sydney Harbour Bridge and North and South Head that you could take a few days just to glimpse some of them. When you've finished that you could head west of the bridge, deep into Darling Harbour and many other points, even as far a Parramatta. It's entirely up to you but the ferries are definitely the best way to sample the harbour.
Circular Quay is got to be my most favorite place in the city. Amazing view of the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House...and quaint cafes and restaurants to hang out in.
* pic taken from mrs.macquiries point
Favorite thing: Visit the port and take a boat trip. You can get boat trips to other places near Sydney and I chose a place at randum and had a good day out. But you also get some spectacular views of the Opera House and Harbour bridge.
I learned another lesson when our orders finally arrived. They have big servings of food in Australia. The salads came in large bowls, and my fish and chips came on a large plate. So much for their diet!
When my lemonade was served, I was surprised to see it colorless. “I’ve never seen colorless lemonade before,” I told the waitress. She looked at me as if I came from outer space, frowned, and shrugged her shoulders before leaving. I sipped the lemonade, and found it odd that it tasted like soda. When I told Lea about it, she apologized.
“I forgot to tell you that lemonade here is actually Sprite,” she explained, “You should have asked for lemon juice instead.” Well, that’s another lesson learned.
I loved that I could see so many lighthouses from the ferry to Manly. Some of them I could identify, but some of them I could not. It was just interesting to see so many different types of aids to navigation
Fondest memory: My husband the sailor would love sailing in the harbour at Sydney. Later we got a good view of some weekend races from the Sydney Tower
Having run a charter company here in Sydney Harbour since 1982, I have assisted thousands of people in that time bring in the New Year watching fireworks on the harbour.
Here is my checklist of the top 5 things you should consider before booking any Sydney Harbour Cruise -- for New Years or any other time.
1. What does the package include? I.e food, drink, music, etc?
This is very important to know from the beginning. On some boats, only beer and wine will be included, spirits will be an extra charge. If you are on a cruise you believe to be fully inclusive, it should be just that.
2. Are there any extra charges?
In some cases, depending on the wharf there may be an additional charge for the use of the wharf. With the busy traffic on Sydney Harbour, time slots are at a premium, so at most, the vessel will have 15 minute to embark and 15 minutes to disembark passengers.
3. Is the vessel safe and clean with a professional crew?
The best way to ensure you are with a safe and reputable company is to ask for feedback from previous companies. Are they positive/favourable? Is the company in good standing in the industry and experienced? Do they have a functioning website and customer service team? Not all cruise companies are created equally.
4. Which wharf will the boat be picking you up from?
This is important to know for arranging transportation to the wharf. With strict wharf time slots, it is imperative everyone arrives on time and knowing the where and how of the pickup point will help with this. If taking taxis, they should be called well in advance or if driving checking to ensure there is sufficient parking is advised.
Fondest memory: 5. What time will you need to be there?
On NYE especially, this is very important due to the congestion on the roads. If you are on the City/Eastern Suburbs side and need to get to North Sydney for example, it will take a long time to get there.
Same also for after your cruise. If possible, I'd recommend driving to the pickup point and parking nearby as it is very hard to find a taxi after midnight. Most companies will charge for additional time spent at wharves and if someone misses the boat, their only option will be to use a water taxi to transfer.
Paying close attention to my top 5 tips will ensure a memorable and stress free Sydney Harbour Cruise. See you on the Harbour.
Take the ferry around Sydney Harbour. Sydney is one of the most aquatic cities in the world, so dive into it!
Fondest memory: The coathanger aka the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It's such an impressive bridge that every New Year's eve, it serves as a backdrop for magnificent fireworks.
Favorite thing: Woolloomooloo Bay has a long association with bathing. Prior to and after European settlement, the Cattigal people bathed there and it is along this shore that Sydney's first baths were built. Between 1833 and 1955, this section of the bay was the site of four separate ladies bathing establishments, including Mrs Biggs' Ladies Baths and the Domain Baths for Ladies.
Favorite thing: Sydney Ports Corporation is responsible for the efficient management of port operations in Sydney Harbour and Port Botany. For commercial shipping we provide port communications, emergency response, port safety, monitoring and protection of the marine environment, including the clean-up of spills, and trade-related operations such as gathering manifests and trade statistics.