• Kylie Harber

A Love Letter to Sydney

Words and photos by Kylie Harber.

Written in 2018.


A dream six months in the making, brought me to you.

And when I arrived, I felt instantly alive.


I waited for the feeling to give way to the ho-hum of work and the grind of daily

routine. I waited for treasured views to fade into familiarity. I wondered when

shimmering Harbour Bridge glimpses from quiet Balmain streets would no longer

be a feature of my home, but normality.


This has never happened.

You call to me, over and over, in different ways.


I breathe in your beauty and I am renewed. You are delightfully grounded in

nature, with every street moulded into the shapes of an ancient land. Beach and

bush merges with heritage, history and urbanisation. Despite the frantic rush and

buzz you create, I’m never far away from the smell of earth.




I touch your roughened sandstone and pound your cobblestone streets, gaining

instant perspective and respect for the many feet that have walked here before

me. You remind me that cities are layers of memories and stories – feet

wandered here long before there were streets.


I listen to the rustle of pines as I practice yoga in a little blue waterfront workshop that once housed ships and migrant workers. Outside, the Harbour rushes in at the seawall,

a constant rhythm of swooshing – sometimes gentle, other times powerful – that

quiets my racing mind.


I taste the salt water in your rock pools and spend countless hours dreaming of

the moment I can get back to more of these invigorating moments of peace. Your

beaches allow the ocean to hold my weight and the sunshine to kiss my skin. To lie

on the grass, sip smoothies and feel the sea breeze is a true joy.





I see your changing seasons, presented to me as distinct phases in time. These are

defined by brassy leaves, descending fog, smoking chimneys, cherry blossoms and

evergreen trees.


I see the sun and moon dance over you – the light never hits your iconic sails the same way twice, and the Harbour sings in colour, all day, through a variety of blues, greens and greys more varied than its depths.


You are so bright that I cannot quite see all of the night stars. You are your own

star – lighting the way for the most diverse, transient and vibrant community I’ve

ever lived in. You encourage me to look for beauty everywhere, every day, and

inspire me to create, celebrate and enjoy. That’s what cities are for.


I left my heart with you, Sydney.









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