Our family's stay in Shanghai, China

Sydney Harbor Bridge

View of the Sydney Harbor Bridge pylon

We spent our last two days in Australia in Sydney, mostly around the harbor or on the water.  Rather than rent a car, we just used Sydney’s trains to travel where we needed.  It was less expensive and we did not have to worry about parking.  We also purchased 24-hour harbor tour passes that let us travel on and off the boat as often as we wanted for 24 hours.  We cruised all around the harbor one evening as the sun was setting and traveled to Watson’s Bay, Darling Harbor and Circular Quay the following day.  It was a great way to see the harbor Sydney is known for and the weather was absolutely perfect.

The bridge itself from the pylon. The blue suited people you see on the right side of the bridge is a group of bridge walkers.

We also went up in the lookout pylon at the Sydney Harbor Bridge.  We really wanted to do the bridge walk, but Jenna was 6 months too young.  The pylon tour was very interesting though and had great views of Sydney and the harbor.  To get to the pylon for the tour, you actually walk on the bridge, which has a pedestrian lane, bicycle lane, train tracks, bus lane and multiple vehicular traffic lanes.  It’s quite a bridge to have been built in the 1930s.

Jenna at the top of the pylon on Sydney Harbor Bridge

At Watson’s Bay, we hiked through a park along the cliffs to see the Hornby or South Head Lighthouse.  It’s a somewhat short, red and white striped lighthouse sited on a high cliff overlooking the harbor.  It was completed in 1858 in response to a shipwreck in 1857, which killed all but one of the 122 people onboard.  The hike was gorgeous and the lighthouse fun to see.  We had spectacular views of ships on the horizon, sailboats in the harbor and waves crashing on the rocks below.

Jenna at the door of Hornby Lighthouse

The waves crashing were beautiful and powerful, creating huge sprays of water, white caps and multiple shades of blue water.

View of the harbor with the waves crashing on the rocky cliff

Hornby Lighthouse, Sydney, Australia

Laura, Mom and Jenna taking a break near the end of our hike after visiting the lighthouse.


You can take a water taxi on Sydney’s Harbor. It’s a bit pricey though.

Darling Harbor and Circular Quay, we just meandered around the harbor areas.  Both have been developed with pedestrians in mind with nice walkways, landscaping, water features, shops and restaurants.  Both areas are nice in the day or evening and have easy access to the train stations, which were convenient for traveling to our hotel and the airport.

Our trip to Australia was amazing.  The country has incredible natural beauty, interesting history, friendly residents and an eye for historic preservation.  We were fortunate to interact with several animals in ways we could not have imagined.  We spent 2½ weeks there and could have spent twice that time and still have not seen everything.  It would be like coming to the U.S. for the first time and trying to see all our country has to offer.  It just cannot be done.  It is quite an undertaking to get to Australia from the U.S., but it is well worth the effort.

Mom, Laura, David and Jenna on our harbor cruise. Sorry for the funny faces, the sun was bright and we were squinting.

The setting sun on the harbor

Hope you enjoyed traveling with us.  We are safely back in Shanghai and missing those blue skies and starry nights.


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