Balmoral is a fantatstic place for a day out at any time of year.
It's a great spot for families as, being a Harbour Beach & not an Ocean Beach, there are no waves to speak of. Also there is an enclosed swimming baths section if you are concerned about sharks, which, I must admit have been sighted in the Harbour on the odd occasion over the years.
It has a good park area running along for most of it's length & there are a number of play areas for children & also a couple of sporting fields at the southern end. These have a fitness track running around the perimeter with different exercises suggested on posters at various points around it.
There are a number of nice cafes & take away food places as well as a couple of upmarket dining options. We had gr8 fish & chips at "Bottom of the Harbour Fish & Chips" then sat overlooking the water eating it before we had another swim, after letting our food digest a bit.
You might also be interested in the little bit of history when the trams used to run right down to the beach. There are a couple of tracks with just the last few rails left & a memorial plaque on one side of the cutting in the rock. I love this sort of history of Sydney.
This is a genuie off the beaten path tip as you either need a rental/hire car to get here or else you would need to catch a bus from the city. I'll have to do some research on what number bus this is & from where in the city you'd need to catch it.
All in all a great spot to spend a day relaxing, or being a little bit of a daredevil like my friend & his kids & me & my girls were jumping off the pool enclusure into the water about 2-3 metres below. My wife took some photos of that so when she gets them developed I'll add on here.
Yes Watson's Bay is this, but also the scene of VT lunch meets.
If visiting Sydney you really must take a ferry ride past our gorgeous (& very wealthy) harbourside suburbs to Watson's Bay.
On arrivng there you can do a walk around the harbour & to the Historic Lighthouse (yet to do that with my girls). Then I'd suggest coming back to have lunch.
There are 4 options for lunch & I'm pretty sure they are all owned by Doyles the famous Restaurant name. There is a rather upmarket restaurant on your right as you get off the ferry. At the landside front of it is the least expensive option where you can buy take way fish & chips etc to enjoy either on the sand or along the parklands fronting the harbour. On the couple of occasions that I've been here we have eaten at Doyle's Palace in the Watson's Bay Hotel. Doyle's Palace is not what I'd call "Gourmet Food", but it's quite o.k. & reasonably substantial servings.Lastly there is a cafe/restaurant just to the left of the Watrson's Bay Hotel on the waterfront which is your fourth option.
Now after you've had your coffee or last beer/wine or whatever you absolutely must go for a short walk to see, "The Gap", a famous, or perhaps, infamous Sydney landmark. Yes, dear reader the scene of quite a few suicides & what police still aren't sure were suicides or murders. Now on a lovely sunny day you shouldn't be tempted to jump, but you abxolutely must take lots of photos. It is an excellent spot for taking photos back across & up the Harbour to the City. You'll see a photo I took from there in my intro above. The cliffs themselves make for good photos too.
You catch the Watson's Bay ferry from Wharf Number 4 at Circular Quay. If you're wanting to have lunch & haven't a reservation you'll be lucky to get a tabel if you don't catch the 11:00 a.m. ferry or an earlier one.
All in all a gr8 spot to spend a day.
Sydney Harbour kayaks in Mosman offer kayaks for rental (1hr, 3hrs, half day, full day) or you can take part in a guided kayak tour.
Visit secluded mangrove forests and sandy beaches. See Sydney's abundant marine and bird life. Admire the wealthy Sydney-siders cruising the harbour on beautiful boats.
Stop for refreshments on beach and enjoy a swim or short walk before making your way back to Mosman.
Sydney Harbour Kayaks shop located at the base of the Spit Bridge in Mosman. Easily accessible by bus from Wynyard station
Watsons Bay is the most northern of all the eastern suburbs of Sydney. On one side of this fishing-village atmosphere of a suburb is the Pacific Ocean and the other is Sydney Harbour. Beautiful houses, great little (and hidden) beaches, nice cafe or three, a pub that is RIGHT on Sydney Harbour AND it gets the last sunshine of the day, so its beautiful to sit in the beer garden by the harbour and watch the sunset. You could spend half a day checking out Watsons Bay.
'The Gap' offers dramatic views in all directions, definitely worth checking out if you make the trip here.
If its hot weather and you would like a swim, its worth taking a 10min walk from the ferry to 'Camp Cove' where there is a lovely, little beach with crystal clear water and not too many people. Walk North and then follow signs to Camp Cove.
The reknown Doyles seafood restaurant is also in Watsons Bay, bringing about some fame to this fishing-village like suburb. Great location, good seafood but a lot pricier than the beergarden next door. Depends what you are after.
Most scenic way to go is by ferry from Circular Quay (wharf 4) to Watsons Bay. Or, you can also catch a bus from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay, but its not as much fun!! Make sure you check ferry timetables though, as ferries are not too frequent.
See Travelogue for more Watsons Bay, The Gap photos
Here's something most Sydneysiders have never heard of yet, right in the middle of the harbour, it sits unnoticed by the majority. There's a couple of reasons for that. One is that there's too many other distractions and the other is that you can only go there on a specially organized tour. Such was my luck.
It's named Spectacle Island by the way, due to its shape.
Between 1863-65 a powder magazine was built on this island for the purposes of the navy. In 1885 it was made the arsenal and appropriate buildings were added.
This was to remove the danger from the more famous Cockatoo Island where ships were docked.
With the advent of the First World War its importance increased and the navy officially took it over during this period. When WWII was at its peak, over 600 people used to work here.
In the 1960's, the Naval Historical Society took the place over and in 1987 the Naval Reserve Cadets came here as well.
Walking around the island is a bit like being in a time warp. Some of the exhibits are stored in dimly lit, dusty rooms, seemingly awaiting an even more gloomy fate. The exhibition is scattered, seemingly randomly, with model ships, old uniforms, ships' memorabilia and lots of armaments.
The cadets and the historical society have done a lot of work that belies that impression however; the rejuvenated depth charger shown here as a typical example.
I'd like to tell you that it's easy to get here but I jagged a trip through the local Adult Education Centre in Newcastle, out of sheer curiousity.
One day it will undoubtedly be displayed to a broader public.
You can escape the tourist bustle of the Rocks, Darling Harbour and the Quay by popping off to Walsh Bay. We discovered this little haven when we walked along HIckson Road from Darling Harbour around to the Quay. A lovely little restaurant called Senso had a nice lunch. It is a residential area, old warehouses converted into flash flats and lots of money in the boats there! Good fishing spot. Worth a quiet look.
Walsh Bay pier one is a magnificent, QUIET spot to take a photo of the bridge.
..."A particularly harsh punishment for the convicts who washed up in Sydney soon after 1788 was confinement on this stranded rocky island. Nicknamed “Pinchgut” after the prisoners' meagre diet, the island served as a stern warning to locals; visitors in 1796 would have seen the body of a murderer hanging on the island's highest point.
In the 1840s, the strategic position of the island was seized upon by an anxious governor, and Pinchgut was transformed into a fort to protect Sydney from (imagined) attacks from Russia, France and, incredibly, America.
It is hard to imagine these tense times when feasting on an excellent brunch at the fort's restaurant. Plan on wandering through the defence installations and absorbing gorgeous harbour views. Book a visit by calling the Sydney Harbour National Park centre—visitors meet in the Rocks at Cadmans Cottage, which is perhaps central Sydney’s oldest surviving house (1816). From there it is a short ferry ride to Pinchgut"...
One of the best places to view the entire Sydney harbor is from the Pylon lookout located at one of the Harbor Bridge towers. The Pylon lookout entrance tickets of AUD 11 is inexpensive compared to the bridge climb packages and it is more suitable for the less adventurous. If you're on a budget, head onto the bridge for free views of the harbor.
When I first saw the Anzac bridge I thought I was asleep and still back home in the frigid Massachusetts... The resemblance between Anzac and the new Zakim bridge in Boston are amazing, especially from a distance. Luckily, a quick look around reminded me that thankfully I was still in good ol' Sydney.
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