“One of the finest, most beautiful, vast and safe bays the sun had ever shone upon,” Joseph Conrad
North, South East West, like all major cities Sydney is divided into different territories based on the points of a compass and the Harbour Btidge, affectionately known as the Iron Lung. Most Sydneysiders will tell you where their allegiances lie and yet even if they have built a life in the Western or Southern suburbs, all will agree with you about the beauty of the harbour
“There’s an ease I love about living in Australia, the best things about Sydney are free; the sunshine’s free, the harbour’s free and the beach is free”
The northshore of the harbour is a place I know well having spent my childhood and adolescence there. The walks around middle harbour and Taronga Zoo are among my favourites and I recall my delight at discovering the history behind some of the names of my favourite spots; Chowder Bay so named after the favourite food of the American whalers who frequented the little bay, or Forty Baskets beach, an area of plenitude for the local Indigenous people and so named when European fishermen in 1885, caught forty baskets of fish which were used to feed soldiers at a nearby garrison.
The essence of the harbour has remained intact since the first Europeans arrived;the bays, islands and points are still beautiful and extensions to the established walks have opened up even more natural beauty of the area. But Sydneysiders are engaged in a manic rush to pull down the old buildings and homes of the past replacing them with a hodge podge of large edifices of various architectural design.
Looked at from the water, there is no symmetry only houses, big and small, cheek by jowl with their distinctly different neighbours.
Sydney is growing, some would say bursting at the seams, as the traffic becomes gridlocked and trains and buses packed. The infrastructure is not in place to support such growth .
So it is a wonderful thing that the harbour remains intact and all the good things about Sydney which I remember from my youth, are still available for the growing population to access.