on May 4, 2006
Once I reached Circular Quay on my first trip into Inner Sydney, I decided to take a trip out to Manly Beach on the Manly Ferry. This was not only so I could see a beach I had heard was extremely nice, but also so I could see the harbour itself and the world-renowned landmarks it contained. And for $12 ($6 for a concession ticket), this ride is one of the best deals you can find in Sydney.I only had to wait about 10 minutes for the ferry to leave. No one ever has to wait exceptionally long--the ferry departs every 30 minutes, and if you just miss one, you can always take a walk to the Opera House and be back in time for the next ferry. The view from the ferry is spectacular as soon as it sets off. I felt torn on which way to look. In one direction, the city was shrinking behind me—the closest skyscraper of all was the one the helicopter crashed into in the original Matrix. In another direction, the architectural wonder of the Opera House slowly slinked by. In a third direction, the giant metal coat hanger spanning the harbour, also known as the Harbour Bridge, was getting ever larger. Luckily, I was sitting on the back deck of the ferry, which was open, so I could sit in one place (luckily there weren't too many people milling about this early on a weekday morning) and turn my camera to get as many snaps as possible.The views didn't become any less amazing throughout the ride, which took at most 20 minutes from Circular Quay to Manly Wharf. As soon as we moved a little farther away from Circular Quay, we could see a sweeping panorama of the city, the Opera House, the Bridge, and Luna Park. It really was a lot to take in, and it was such a beautiful, nearly cloudless day that everything just gleamed. I couldn't have asked for anything better than to be standing at the back of the ferry, taking in the deep blue of the harbour, the sky blue above me, and everything in between.Even as we moved towards Manly and the city and landmarks weren't visible anymore, the views kept me transfixed. Homes sat on hills around the harbour, waves beat against tiny cliffs. There was plenty of smaller traffic in the harbour as well, and a few of the fisherman/sailors/day-trippers waved at the children frantically waving at them from beside me. I tried to see Bondi, since I knew it was just over a hill, but I never did get a glimpse of it.This trip offers all the views of a harbour cruise, and it operates all day, so you can choose to see the harbour in brilliant sunlight, at twilight, or at night, (or maybe all three if you keep going back and forth!). This is an absolutely brilliant way to see plenty of Sydney in a very short time!
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