Sydney has a very efficient and inexpensive public transportation network. One can buy single day tickets, or, in our case, a seven-day ticket that allows ‘hop on, hop off’ travel on city buses, subways, trains, and ferries for about $6 a day. We used our seven-day cards often, sometimes using all means of transportation in one day. No hassles, clean vehicles, help when you need it, and friendly fellow passengers.
Ferries Across Sydney Harbor
Our favorite form of transportation was taking ferries across Sydney Harbor. We took several to see the harbor and the many islands, suburbs, coves, waterfronts, and towns in the area. Harbor ferries start and end at Circular Quay near the Harbor Bridge and next to the Opera House. If you miss a ferry by a couple of minutes, you can walk around the Quay, have a bite to eat, sip a beer, buy an ice cream cone or souvenirs, or enjoy street artists, buskers, and didgeridoo players.
Three wharves at Circular Quay are for the public ferries, some making ‘milk runs’, stopping at all destinations east or west, and others connecting the most popular destinations. A fourth wharf is reserved for the Manley ferry which leaves twice an hour 17 kilometers to the northeast and 40 minutes by ferry.
Manly is a popular place for vacation homes and weekend getaways from the bustle of Sydney. It boasts both an ocean beach popular with surfers and swimmers and harbor side beaches with miles of coves, trails, and vacation cottages.
Trail to Spit Harbor
After disembarking at Manly wharf, we walked along the beach to link up to the paved trail to Spit Harbor, 15 kilometers to the west. But we didn’t make it all the way to Spit Harbor, taking a more leisurely pace to snap pictures of the coves, lush vegetation, and beaches.
Across the harbor was Sydney Head, the narrow passage from the Pacific Ocean into Sydney Harbor which we passed on the ferry.
Manly homes were not like summer resorts in the U.S. There were only a couple of high-rise apartments; most residences were two or three-story modern or traditional beach cottages with flowering vegetation, palm trees, and decks facing the harbor. The cottages looked comfortably ‘homey.’
Corso to Ocean Beach
Back at the ferry terminal, we walked to the ocean beach along the Corso lined with shops and restaurants. We had an early dinner at a Mexican side-walk cafe watching surfers on the ocean beach. We walked on the sandy beach and I waded into the surf, relishing the warm ocean water.
I tried to take pictures of the swimmers and surfers at ocean beach, but my camera monitor was dark. I thought my battery was dead, but back on the ferry, I discovered I hadn’t taken off the lens cap! Oh well, we’ll be on other Australian beaches in a few days. I’ll be sure to remove my lens cap next time.
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Next: Walkabout Sydney
I recently published my first international thriller, Thirteen Days in Milan, which is available on Kindle as well as other ereaders, tablets, and smartphones.
I’m back in Europe for the summer to hire a translator and to research my next book which will also be a thriller based in Milan. I’ll be posting along the way from Milan, Stresa, Zurich and other locations.
I have a few posts on another blog, Anatomy of a Thriller, where I write about the process of researching and writing an international thriller. I’ll add more posts there as well.
Please share these links with writers or readers who might be interested.