Some may argue and some may see other harbours of the world through rose-coloured glasses, but when reality is checked, the Sydneysider joy is to have the most beautiful harbour in the world. And all can share living in and by the harbour, on the many public parks and beaches lining the harbour or even joining the throng of sailing boats and yachts that share the breeze on the water.
There is one small area of the harbour side that is exquisite and that is between Watson’s Bay and South Head. You can get there easily by bus (324 or 327) or taxi from the city, or for the adventurous, by the more expensive water taxi from Circular Quay. You must arrive before noon to sample the best of what the world can offer. On the beach behind the Watson’s Bay hotel (great beer), is the world famous Doyle’s Restaurant,the best restaurant in the world for many a Sydneysider.
If you are early, you can pick a table outside and sample the view up the harbour of the Opera House, Harbour bridge and cityscape. Select fresh fish, and maybe oysters, all local and from the fish market that morning. There is no need to select an exotic fish, caught thousands of miles away, snap frozen and flown in, the local fish, grilled or fried (beer batter) has no peer. Ask the waiter to select your white wine, or have a local beer.
After your fine repast, mellowed and smiling, it is time to explore. Follow the walkway along the beach to the north and stroll towards Camp Cove. Walk to the southern end and note that, on the grassy knoll there is a small plinth to tell you that this is where the British landed when they commandeered Australia on 26 January 1788. Camp Cove is the best harbourside beach and is normally filled with a mix of families, groups of friends and beautiful young tanned bodies clothed in not much more than a thong.
From the northern end of Camp Cove, you can follow the concrete path towards South Head at the entrance to the harbour. You may notice the hundreds of spiders ugly and magnificent, webs spun throughout the trees beside the path – if you don’t hurt them, they won’t retaliate. What you will notice after a few minutes walk is a fine small sandy beach (known as Lady Bay or Lady Jane), Sydney’s first and most famous clothes-optional beach, one enjoyed by many a Sydneysider and visitors of all shapes and persuasions.
The water is crystal clear and the folks are friendly. You could do worse than join them and feel the freedom of swimming naked in the sea looking across to the city in the distance. Lie spread out on the sand and soak up the sun – life could be worse – this is living in and by the harbour, Sydneysider joys. (Don’t forget to bring a camera for the views up the harbour.)