Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sydney: Fun with Ferries!

Once I got through my only morning meeting on Wednesday, I was off to Circular Quay to catch me a ferry.  The ferry system in Sydney is famous and I can now understand why.  I purchased myself a full day pass (a very reasonable $20) and checked out the schedule and map.  Where to go first!  Definitely a lot of options.  I was thankful I had received some local advice.  Manly first, then Darling Harbour.

I noted that my ferry to Manly left from Wharf 3 in about 20 minutes.  They leave every half hour.  Very convenient.

Meanwhile, I checked out the scene on the quay.  There were lots of little souvenir shops, coffee shops and takeout restaurants.  You also have a great view of all of the ferries coming in and out of the quay, operating seamlessly in the backdrop of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I also spotted a billboard that I thought was great.

Before I knew it, it was time to board.  Since the ferries all back out into the harbour, you are guaranteed a fabulous view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Most people seemed to know what they were in for and headed out to the outdoor seating (at the bow and stern).  I opted for the stern so that I would have the best views of Manly as we approached.  The ride took about 30 minutes.  Manly is situated at the very start of the harbor, with one side bordering the harbor and the other side the Tasman Sea.

A few shots as we approached
Here's a picture of a beach on the harbor side and a few shots of the beach on the Tasman Sea side.

Clearly the harbor side is more calm.  The Tasman side is famous for surfing.  There were a ton of them out there but the waves were breaking so high that it was hard to capture them in a shot.  The two beaches are connected by a series of shops and restaurants on The Corso.  It's basically a straight shot from the wharf.  I thought The Corso was fantastic.  It had take-out restaurants, sit down restaurants, banks, fun beach shopping like Roxy and Billabong and also trendy shopping for a night out in the city.

Side bar, I have to mention that Hungry Jacks = Burger King in Australia.  After taking in the scene on The Corso, I headed back to the wharf.  I wish had more than 45 minutes to spare but I had a lot on my to-do list today.  I needed to get back to the Circular Quay and head off on my next ferry adventure to Darling Harbour.

On the way back to the city, the passengers literally gasped as we turned the bend and the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge came into view.  They really do take your breath away for a second.  We got some great shots as we approached and a nice woman from Sacramento that I was chatting away with snapped a picture of me as well.

When I arrived back at the Quay, I checked the schedule for Darling Harbour and was pleased to find out that I only needed to wait 15 minutes.  I scored a seat over at wharf 5 and made a quick call back home as I waited.  The time difference was rough and made it hard to find a good time to call home.  When I boarded the new ferry, I chose a seat in the back and was thrilled to discover that the boat turned itself around.  It provided me with some fantastic shots of the city skyline, the Opera House and the bridge.

This ferry headed in the opposite direction of Manly, moving further into the harbor.  We actually went right under Sydney Harbour Bridge.  I tried to snap a picture of myself, as well as capturing a picture of an amusement park amongst other things.

As we moved closer to Darling, the sun started to come out more readily.  It was turning into a beautiful day in the mid 70s.  Just prior to docking, we came across a huge cruise liner, a tall ship and some ships from the National Maritime Museum.

Once back on land, I headed straight in the directions of the animals.  The koalas were calling me.


  1. just beautiful! You are so lucky to have experienced it all. I enjoyed Hungry Jacks and the dueling sided beach shots!!

  2. Hangry Jacks?! That's too funny.

    The water is amazing. So clear and blue!

  3. Wow, what a beautiful ferry ride! The views are amazing!