When most people think of Sydney they probably imagine the photographic landmarks of this bright, sun-friendly city, based around Sydney Harbour. Sure these kinds of icons – and yes, I’m loathe to use that word – exist in other great capital cities around the world, but in Sydney the landmarks don’t exist without context.
Sydney’s harbour is incredibly beautiful. It frames the striking shapes, those sensual curves, of the Sydney Opera House and The Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is dramatic, but it becomes even more dramatic as you pass over the Heads – the natural southern and northern cliffs that form the entrance to the harbour – whether you’re heading north or south.
Covered in natural vegetation, the verdant headlands give way to sprawling suburbs with big backyards and swimming pools, secluded coves, and long stretches of sandy beaches, that become less populated the further away from the city centre one gets until there’s nothing but native bushland – and more secret coves and stretches of golden sand.
Flying over these familiar Australian landscapes, I always think of the places where I used to surf, and where Lara and I would drive on the weekends when we used to live in Sydney.
Sydney is one of the most amazing cities to fly into or out of – especially if you get to cruise over the harbour or along the coast as we did on this particular morning. It’s so breathtakingly beautiful, it chokes you up. It usually makes Lara cry.
It makes me think I should be throwing a surfboard in the back of the car and we should be going for a drive up or down the coast, and staying in a beach shack at one of those small towns somewhere on the eastern seaboard of New South Wales – one of those laidback holiday spots that Manly reminded us of…