The Harbour City Beckons

Harbour City Harbour City
Inspiration for This Poem

Earlier in the year my wife Kathy and I decided to go on a road trip to visit our daughter and grandson in Sydney (known as The Harbour City). It was Logan’s birthday and we decided to surprise them.

For those unfamiliar with Australian geography, our road trip would take us from Ballogie in Queensland to Sydney New South Wales, via the longer but more scenic inland route and  encompassing approximately 1200 kilometres. I began writing this poem during our few road stops on the journey but it has taken me until now to actually bring it up to scratch enough to publish.

The Harbour City Beckons

When the Harbour City beckons

You can’t ignore the call.

We planned our trip the best we could

With details big and small.


Deciding on the inland route

To see more of the land,

Through Warwick and Toowoomba

Before we left Queensland.


An ever-changing landscape

Encroached upon the road,

Through many small quaint country towns,

A scenic trip it bode.


I recall a song made famous

By Peter Allen, Boy from Oz.

It’s called the Tenterfield Saddler

About the town where he once was.


Tenterfield’s a lovely town

Where we stopped for food and rest.

Of all the places we passed through

We both liked it the best.


On through the night we travelled,

Past Stonehenge and The Balancing Rock,

Bushranger Captain Thunderbolt’s cave,

Needing sleep, at Uralla we stopped.


We awoke with the sunrise,

Nine hours still to drive,

Allowing for roadwork

We’d hit Sydney by five.


At the top of the Great Dividing Range

We stopped to observe the view.

Despite the fog and misty rain

Glorious scenery ensued.


Down the range to Gloucester,

And Shroud’s convict rich past,

We’d leave the rural landscape

Behind us, too fast.


As the traffic increased,

The storm clouds released,

As onto the highway we merged.

The rain fell so hard,

And came down in sheets,

That parts of the road were submerged.


A highway and ocean, I thought how ironic,

That they’d both share the name “The Pacific,”

And here at this very moment in time,

They shared more than a name so specific.


Crawling along at a snail’s steady pace

On the final leg of our journey.

Tired, but relieved when we both saw a sign

That greeted us, “Welcome to Sydney.”


The Harbour Bridge and Opera House,

Famous icons it is true,

And Sydney is Australia’s hub

For things to see and do.


But all sight-seeing would have to wait,

We desired a day of rest.

After two long day’s upon the road,

A comfy bed sounds best.


by John Hansen © 2016

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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBook of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" at Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years are now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

12 thoughts on “The Harbour City Beckons

  • October 9, 2016 at 3:00 AM

    I love this delightful poem, John. It is very interesting to read about parts of your world and the beauty therein. Very well penned. Thank you for sharing your journey.

  • October 9, 2016 at 4:04 AM

    Thanks for tagging along on this road trip, Phyllis. I thought I’d share a little about Australia. I appreciate the kind comment.

  • October 9, 2016 at 12:37 PM

    Thank you for the lovely poetic tour. My hubby has been to Sydney on a business trip so I know it is a beautiful harbor city. Would like to see it. Hope you had a great visit.

  • October 9, 2016 at 3:15 PM

    When someone pulls out a vacation album, I immediately start looking for an exit. This poetic method, however, is so intriguing that one is pulled in immediately and quite willingly!

    Good stuff John H!

  • October 9, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Yes, Will. I know where you are coming from. I cringe at the holiday albums too. This isn’t my best poetic effort by far but it was languishing in my travel diary so I thought I’d give it an airing in the hope someone may find it interesting. Cheers.

  • October 9, 2016 at 4:59 PM

    And what a wonderful country we live in John, so many beautiful and diverse towns and environs, and Sydney a gem of cities, so iconic. Born and bred there I do miss some aspects of its lifestyle but I do enjoy a less hectic life in Adelaide. Nicely penned and brought back memories of travelling this great continent. Cheers

    • October 9, 2016 at 8:13 PM

      Yes, Tony. It is a wonderful country. I didn’t get to see as much of Sydney as I would have liked but enjoyed the drive through southern Queensland and NSW there and back. I lived in Sydney for a short time as a child.
      I too prefer the quieter, slower lifestyle now.

  • October 9, 2016 at 5:25 PM

    Makes me more than ever want to visit your fair country…..

  • October 9, 2016 at 8:26 PM

    delightful travel log in poem form. Traveling 1200 kilometers is a long way. You have to be cut out for travel. I love your naming and describing other places. I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. Nice job, John.

  • October 10, 2016 at 2:03 AM

    Thank you, Lori. I am glad you found this interesting. I considered including my return journey in the poem but as we went a different route, but I didn’t want to make it too long and bore everyone 🙂

  • March 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM

    This was a pleasant journey past some places I’ve heard of, but will likely never see. I was perfectly content to sit back and allow you to drive through the storm. Thanks for the poetic journey. I enjoyed it.

  • March 24, 2018 at 8:28 PM

    Thank you, Chris. I didn’t feel this my best poetic contribution by far, but I did try to capture the essence of the journey. Glad you enjoyed it.


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