The city of Sydney is blessed by nature. The Port Jackson harbor, with its deep inlets, peninsulas, islands, bays and ravines makes for numerous stunning views. The Mediterranean sunshine and climate allow verdant, tropical gardens to grow easily, and this combination of blue water, green hillsides and limestone cliffs is absolutely stunning.
City authorities have done a decent job of protecting some of the coastline from development. Yesterday we went for a hike in the Harold Reid Reserve, a protected area on the Middle Cove peninsula. It is about 3 kilometers from where we are staying in Chatswood. Running through the reserve is the small Scotts Creek where I caught a brilliant blue glimpse of the Azure King Fisher. The reserve also has a mangrove area and we identified massive tree ferns, banksia trees, and saw two kookaburras. There was also a flock of sulfur-crested cockatoos, and a pair of rainbow lorikeets, loudly squawking in a date palm. I was sure we were going to see one of Australia’s infamous poisonous snakes, but no such luck.
The only thing that bothers me as usual, is the encroachment of housing developments. I guess the money is too good not for people to put multimillion dollars homes on. On the way back we looked in the window of a real estate agency and were shocked what goes for a million-dollar home + here in Sydney. In the USA, the same homes would go for a 1/3 of the price. I don’t know how so many people can afford such expensive homes.
It is always nice to have access to a bit of nature close by in a city of 5 million people. Let’s hope city officials can build on this and preserve more areas of coastline.