Sydney Harbour

As we caught the ferry back from an afternoon at Manly’s 16ft Skiff Club, we headed straight to the front of the vessel. I NEVER get sick of catching the Manly Ferry, though I’d imagine if I had to do it every day, it might get tiresome.

But today there was another reason to find a spot at the front: we had an overseas visitor. Or rather, a former Sydney-sider who has been living in Ireland for about a decade. Coming back for him must seem both familiar (family and friends) and unfamiliar (so different from his day to day life in Dublin).

Many photographs were taken, but this is actually my favourite. As we made our way to the quay I looked back towards the Opera House, and all of a sudden I saw it: the perfect opportunity to snap two Sydney “icons”.

7 Comments

  1. Soon after moving to Sydney from West Australia c.1956, my sister & I went on the Sunday excursion on the South Steyne from Sydney Circular Quay up to Broken Bay (off Palm Beach) & back again. What a great day that was. I think I still have the packet of photos I bought. For some years (1957-1962, before & after marriage) my husband & I did the daily commuter run from Manly to Sydney, then home again in the evening. I don’t think we ever tired of the crossing. Saw the same people every day although we didn’t know them, sat in the same seats, did the crossword in the evening paper. On arriving at Manly wharf we hurried off the ferry to the bus station, boarded our bus, and when the whistle blew, all the buses took off with their passengers now keen to get home. “A whistle of buses, referred to the buses leaving the Manly wharf”. While on the ferry, there was always something to see, the shipping, the heavy swell as we passed through the heads, sometimes saw the submarine from the naval base headed out on exercises, sometimes an albatross as it followed the ferry & on occasions the flying boat coming into to land in the water at Rose Bay. In winter, coming home, you couldn’t see a thing, it was pitch black, you knew if the swell was big by the way the ferry pitched & rolled, that was not always great. After moving to another area in Warringah, it was always a joy, in later years, if I was going to the city, to drive to Manly & get the ferry across. Next best thing to a sea voyage. On a recent visit to Scotland I travelled on the Caladonian McBrayne ferry from Ardrossan to the Isle of Arran. Those ferries were bigger but you experienced the same joy of travel. What a privlege it was to travel to & from work on the Manly Ferry.

      1. That trip, Circular Quay to Parramatta sounds great, would love to do it, but now I am living on the mid-north coast I don’t get to Sydney very often & when I do it is to visit family, so no time for doing the tourist thing.

  2. Like you and Victor, I never tire of the journey. A visit to Sydney is incomplete without a trip on the Manly ferry. I kind of think the same about Bondi Beach, but it has become such a bunfight to get there, I will skip that in favour of another beach the next time.

  3. Been to both already by foot to Coogee from Bondi. My partner used to live in Coogee. Next visit, La Perouse and Balmoral Beach, again places serviced by trams from the city.

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