The Sydney Harbor and Opera House have been on my bucket list since I was 10 or 11 years old. I had a travel calendar with the “must visit” places around the world and I used to look at the photo of Sydney Harbor and I thought that someday I would visit. Today I finally had my chance.
Fortunately, it was a sunny day and the weather was warm. We took a walk along the “boardwalk” next to the Opera House (above) and strolled the water front cafes, restaurants and tourist shops. There were so many things to take pictures of and I must have shot a hundred photos just of the Opera House.
We stopped at a cafe for some coffee and I noticed two things: the coffee is über hot and it is very expensive. It seemed that everything in Sydney is expensive. At the end of the day when we went to collect the car, the parking fees were about $60. But the ambiance of the casual walkers, the light breeze and sunny weather made it a day to remember. We checked the ferry rates and decided on a day pass so that we could sail all around the harbor.
The ferry was very comfortable; we stood on the bow and sailed out past the Opera House and east past Fort Denison to North Sydney near Cremorne Point. All along the North Sydney banks are high-rise apartments and on the long fingers of land that stretch into the bay are huge mansions with private boat docks. Near each boat stop there was a marina and we ooohed and aaahed at the beautiful yachts and boats as the bobbed in the water. Some rather large mansions commanded views of the city and I shot this photo below to illustrate what someone’s back yard view looks like:
We sailed west back past the skyline and under the Sydney Harbor Bridge. There was an active traffic of small boats as people enjoyed the sunny day. We sailed over to Cockatoo Island past the Parmamatta River finally landing at Valentia Street Wharf on Hunter’s Hill. Walking up the hill we found some lovely restaurants in Woolwich with a beautiful city view and dined on some exquisite Italian food. I really began to fall in love with the Sydney culture, the beautiful views, the nice people, the mild weather and the great food.
Looking towards Birchgrove we had a great view of the city and I saw a sea plane coming in for a landing; no doubt one of the rich residents coming in to land at their backyard dock. How nice that life must be, you can land your airplane in your backyard harbor with such a view of the city.
Up on Hunter’s Hill we saw a house for sale. From the front it looked nice but didn’t look too big. We looked at the sales billboard and I was surprised to see that it had 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and an 8 car garage! The photos on the billboard showed the inside of the house and we realized that only a small part of the property was visible from the road. While the house had a small frontage on the road, it had a large slice of land facing the bay, a private dock, each bedroom had a harbor view and the roof of the house has a patio with a great city view. I downloaded a photo of the “patio” from the realator’s website Classic Resiential. My curiosity was piqued so I called the listing agent and inquired about the price. Oh geez, only $10 million Australian Dollars!
I just don’t feel like I had enough time here – perhaps next time I’ll take a sailing lesson. I would love to spend more time in the Sydney Harbor and surrounding bays. It is such a beautiful place and visiting here was a lifetime dream finally satisfied. As we sailed back into the harbor, the fading light of sunset really made the colors of the sky, the ocean and the buildings “pop.” It is my favorite time of day to shoot photos as the colors are so vivid and the contrast so striking.
I have a feeling I’ll be back to visit the harbor and shoot some more pictures ;-)