We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our site. Click here to find out more. Allow cookies

arrow Register here

Forgotten password?

Full Circle

Day 141: Sydney to Auckland

Sydney, Australia 
click to enlarge 
file size
Sydney, Australia. The Harbour Bridge, the Oriana, the Opera House - all from my hotel room.
Michael Palin - Full CircleI take a walk out onto one of the most momentous waterfronts in the world. The Sydney Harbour Bridge, epitome of the no-nonsense age of heavy engineering, looms like a great protective patriarch over the delicate, playful outlines of the Opera House. One a practical solution to a practical problem, the other a work of art in itself. I am surprised what a successful pair they make.

Until yesterday they were joined by a long gleaming white temporary structure whose size and elegance seemed to complement them both. The liner, Oriana, six weeks out of England, left the dockside with a big resounding farewell blast, at midnight last night. Our time in Australia has run out and today we must leave too.

Later: Flying across the one-thousand mile stretch of Pacific that separates Australia from New Zealand. It is called the Tasman Sea, after the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman, the first white man to record a sighting of New Zealand, three hundred and fifty three years ago. Tasman, one of the great explorers of the southern fringes of the Pacific, was trying to find a route from Java to the gold-rich coast of South America (which, for slightly different reasons, we are as well).
Choose another day from Full Circle


  • Series: Full Circle
  • Day: 141
  • Country/sea: Australia
  • Place: Sydney
  • Book page no: 196

Bookmarks will keep your place in one or more series. But you'll need to register and/or log in.