I recently moved flat, and now find myself in the affluent suburb of Rose Bay. It has a completely different feel to where I lived before and without me realising, was exactly what I was looking for. Sydney is a tremendous place but I feel like once you get over the beautiful harbour, there’s little to distinguish the city centre from many other places around the world. Now that I’ve moved East, away from the high rises, franchise restaurants and highstreet shops, I’m beginning to see what makes this city different. Suddenly it’s easy to see why so many people fall in love with this place. Again it was another case of me looking for something in the wrong place (like in New York).
On my days off, it has now become much easier to take advantage of the plethora of outstanding walking trails that snake there way around this part of the city. My flat is a mere 20 minute walk from the world famous Bondi Beach, so I wandered down on a windy Monday morning and then eventually ended up meeting my friend Holly.
We set off to do the Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk, which is rated the best attraction in the whole of Sydney on TripAdvisor. Somehow Holly and I both hadn’t got round to doing it so off we went. The path includes some of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast of the city, taking you over the rocky headlands, along sea battered cliffs and through serene parkland. The walk is 5.5km in length and took us about one and a half hours… because we’re young and super fit obviously. Well actually the real reason was the wind turned out to be shockingly frigid so we didn’t dawdle on the cliffs to admire the views, as we had our minds on reaching the warmth of a restaurant in Coogee. Which is exactly what we did. But here’s some photos of the views we appreciated for about 5 seconds each as we rushed along the path.
Yesterday Holly and I met again to tackle another beautiful walk which starts right near my flat. The Sydney Harbour National Park is a short but incredibly scenic bushwalk that starts from Rose Bay and follows the coast round through various bays and beaches, delivering you at the exceedingly luxuriant neighbourhood of Vaucluse. It comprises the largest track of untamed bushland on the south side of the harbour, and the views of the harbour and the city are breathtaking. We were fortunate enough to be blessed with a gorgeously clear, warm and still day. So the views we got couldn’t be beat. One of the best things about the walk was how quiet it was. We only met a handful of people all day on the path. Incredible to find so much solitude in such a big city.
After we finished with the walk, we stopped by Vaucluse House for tea and Devonshire scones. The house is possibly the closest thing to a stately home in the whole of Sydney, and parts of it date from the early 1800s. After admiring the grounds, which are an intriguing combination of tropical vegetation landscaped in a traditional English style, we walked on to Watsons Bay, one of Holly’s favourite places in Sydney. It feels like a small seaside town, but the city skyline is still visible from across the bay, and from on top of the cliffs that plunge into the Pacific Ocean, there is the most wonderful view of the city. Watsons Bay is always so quiet though, I’m surprised if many people make it there. Which is a shame, but at the same time, better for all of us that know about it!
After hopping off the bus back in Rose Bay, I climbed up to Dover Heights on a hunch that the sunset that evening would be particularly spectacular. I power walked up the hill and finally arrived at Dudley Page Reserve as the horizon flared with colour. The skyline I’d admired copiously all day was silhouetted against the astounding colours… it was one of the most vivid sunsets I’d ever experienced and was definitely one to remember.