The New Year’s Day is a holiday in Australia and New Zealand. After watching “once in a lifetime” awesome fireworks at the Sydney Harbour, it was time to relax and wake up late in the morning. Moreover being a public holiday in Australia, it was even more obvious to chill out. On waking up and seeing a perfect cloudless summer day, we thought that we should make the most out of it and explore the Sydney Harbour.
|Starting from Parramatta Wharf in the ferry.|
|Plush homes on the inner harbour.|
We had visited Parramatta Wharf earlier in the week and came to know about the ferry service. However it had been suspended due to low tide. So today I checked if it was running and after confirming its running times, we enthusiastically prepared ourselves to take the longest ferry ride in the city.
|A bridge connecting the harbour.|
As the incoming ferry came and offloaded all the passengers, the ferry skipper invited us to board the ferry. We quickly boarded and sat on the window seat to enjoy the maximum views. The ferry started slowly since the river was narrow for the next 4-5 kilometres. Being a larger ferry in size, it felt very stable and cruised smoothly without any turbulence.
As it stopped at next stops, we came out on the deck to enjoy the views. As we got ahead into deeper waters, the mouth of the river also broadened. We could see some awesome river front mansions along with their personal yachts in the river. It reminded me of numerous movie scenes showing such places and the associated lavish characters.
|Hornby Lighthouse at Watsons Bay, South Head.|
|This is the entry point into Sydney Harbour, between North Head and South Head.|
|Manly Beach Christmas Tree decorations.|
The ferry started the journey towards Manly which has a beautiful beach and a relaxed suburban outlook. On the way we saw famous Sydney Harbour entry landmarks such as Watsons Bay and Hornby Lighthouse. We also got to see the North Head and the entry point to Sydney Harbour. It took us almost 30 minutes to reach Manly and disembark at the wharf.
After checking the ferry timings of the next return ferry, we walked out of the wharf to explore the surroundings. The place was busy with lots of people roaming around, enjoying their holiday. We walked across the shops to reach the beautiful Manly Beach. There were tall Christmas trees alongside the road, next to whom was the long beach. It instantly reminded me of the Marine Parade in Napier. Honestly I was surprised to see so many people relaxing and chilling on the beach.
|Marine Parade, Manly Beach.|
I noticed that there were some high points on the nearby cliff and figured out that it was the originating point of all the paratroopers going around. After relaxing we started to roam around and check out the shops. Every shop and eatery was teeming with people. I did think of walking to Fairfax lookout to get a nice view of Pacific Ocean and Sydney city skyline, it being a 2 hours walking round trip, we dropped the idea. We did click some pictures and thought it was time to go back to the city.
|A Para-glider about to land behind us.|
We reached circular quay and after getting off from the ferry, we sat on one of the nearby benches to relax. It had been an awesome excursion for the day and we were thankful that the weather also was supporting us. After taking a much needed break we started towards our friend’s place in Kogarah, where we would have a long due catch up and a sumptuous dinner.
|The Sydney Opera House seen from ferry on the way back to Circular Quay.|
Back then, if we made 8 paid journeys in a week, the rest of the journeys in the remaining week would be free. We used this facility to its best since we were travelling a lot. It did save a lot of money for us and affirmed that Sydney has one of the best public transport facilities in the world.
Lately, this free journey feature has been scrapped by the transport agency and now the free journeys are billed as half price. More here:-
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