Upon arrival Sydney, our plan was to catch the water shuttle to Circular Quay and board one of the harbour ferries, for the scenic trip up river to Parramatta. At Circular Quay, we asked one of the volunteers which ferry goes up river. Unfortunately, the record rains had flooded the dock, so no ferries were operating up the river that day.
Change of plans – which berth does the Manly Ferry use? We headed over to berth # 3 and hopped onto the Manly ferry.
Sydney ferries provide amazing service, with a ferry departing for Manly about every 30 minutes and as seen above, these aren’t too small.
While the Circular Quay berths haven’t changed that much, since I came into Sydney in the ’70s the CBD has certainly changed, as have the condos between the ferries and the Opera House.
Back in the ’70s, I recall the area between the ferries and Opera House to be vacant, with a lot less people milling around.
As we departed the berth and rounded the Opera House, it afforded some excellent views, from a much lower perspective than available on the ship. Enjoy a series of Sydney Opera House photos:
We followed almost exactly the same route that we used this morning, in reverse. Sitting outside, enjoying the scenery, we were not surprised by the announcement just before reaching Sydney Heads – due to the swells, beware of spray on the outer decks. Sure enough, she dug in a couple of times, creating a little bit of spray. We got a little damp, which is part of the fun of sitting outside in the fresh air.
Once past the Heads the seas returned to normal and no more spray. By arrival Manly, we had been blown dry.
On disembarking we opted for the 600 yds walk to Manly Beach, of which 1/2 is a pedestrian precinct.
We stopped in more than a few shops enroute, picking up a postcard and t-shirts for our Grandsons. At the end of the pedestrian zone, we crossed the road onto a long promenade along the beach. At the steps down to the beach was a red flag and a big sign notifying the beach was “Closed”. Chatting with some locals, they couldn’t recall the surf being this powerful before.
After some relaxing, watching the surf pound ashore, we took a round-about route back to the ferry terminal, catching the next sailing to Circular Quay. We then caught the next shuttle back to White Bay, arriving about 17:30.
While we really looked forward to cruising up the river, the ferry trip to Manly was most enjoyable.
This is the final Sydney post, as we are currently steaming towards Brisbane. Hope you enjoyed reading about our travels in this great city.