There’s a unique smell about Sydney Harbour that hits you once you reach the city’s edge. The sky scrapers fall away and roads and rail abruptly twist or end as if startled by the sea. It’s a smell of salt water and mossy rocks combined with hot food and the occasional wafting diesel from the ferries shunting in and out of the pier in a grind of engines and splash of churning water.
As you walk the water’s edge, the soundtrack is eclectic from aggressive, squawking seagulls, improvised melodies from a busker’s guitar to the to the low hum and rumble of city movement. Trains clatter and hiss into the station above as ferries thrash an exaggerated white-wash before slowly sliding away from the pier and bobbing out into the harbour.
Waves, agitated by pushy propellers gently lick the jaded oysters that cling to the foreshore in a lap and clack as the tide bloats and contracts submerging and exposing rocky escarpments. The Opera House sits proudly on the headland. Like the bottom jaw of a great white shark, its tooth-like sails point upwards piercing the bright blue sky.
It’s companion on the other side of the bay is the Sydney Harbour Bridge that lazily stretches its steel spine from south to north connecting the roar of city commuters.
I don’t know when I’ll be back to Circular Quay on Sydney’s foreshore again. I will miss the smell, sights and sounds of the most beautiful harbour in the world.