The city of Sydney is easily recognizable by many around the world for its harbor scene with the Harbor Bridge and the Opera House, but rather than just being a pretty image for a postcard the harbor serves a great purpose for the city both in the past and in modern times.
Sydney Harbor – which is part of the larger Port Jackson – was the first landing spot of European settlers in Australia. The area was already known by the indigenous people when it was discovered by James Cook in 1770. Cook named the port after Sir George Jackson (a Lord Commissioner of the British Admiralty) and later named Cape Jackson in New Zealand after the same man. Eight years later Governor Arthur Phillip visited the port and set up the first colony in Australia, which eventually developed into the city of Sydney.
In those days traveling to Australia by ship was the only way to get to the island, but with air travel now the most popular way to get to the airport, locations.
One such place to get a ferry to is Manly, a suburb of northern Sydney. Named by Governor Phillip because of the manly appearance and behavior of the locals, Manly is a popular tourist destination in particular because of its beaches. The ferry trip to Manly gives great views of the harbor – especially the opera house and bridge – before arriving at its destination. As well as its main beach, Manly has several others – often queter than manly beach – in close vicinity.
Even further up the coast – around 41 kilometers north of Sydney city center – is Palm Beach, better known to soap fans as Summer Bay. Palm Beach, known colloquially as Palmy, is famous as it is used for exterior shots in the TV drama Home and Away. Beaches are especially popular in Australia and this is a combination of many things, mainly the glorious weather experienced there and also the weather conditions that are ideal for surfers.
The Australians love affair perhaps dates back to the discovery of Port Jackson, that Governor Phillip described as the finest harbor in the world, and although flights to Sydney are now the most common way of reaching the city – particularly for foreign visitors – ferries from the harbor are still a popular way of getting around once in the country.