Sunday, June 22, 2008

Strolling Around Sydney Harbour

The flat I'm sharing is in a great location, quite close to the centre of Sydney but on the north side of the harbour. This means I get to ride a bus or train across the Harbour Bridge when I travel to the city centre. I'm also close to some fantastic walks. This afternoon I caught a bus to the beachside suburb of Manly and completed the Manly Scenic Walk, a 9km route through a variety of harbour landscapes.

Initially I strolled along footpaths in front of fancy harbourside houses in Manly and Fairlight, indulging in some property voyeurism (probably Sydney's most popular pastime). Then I got my boots slightly wet crossing a beach and some rocks to enter the national park on Dobroyd Head. The track meandered through an environment that hasn't changed much since European settlement: scrubby native vegetation, Aboriginal rock carvings of kangaroos, fish and boomerangs, and spectacular views through the heads out to the open ocean.

The path skirted a suburban park and soccer field, complete with an ice cream van to provide a mid afternoon sugar boost, before dipping down to the base of some cliffs. Then I was walking along Middle Harbour, again gawking at expensive houses as I crossed a beach and a park planted with Norfolk Island pines. The final section cut through some more scrub to the Spit Bridge, which swings open occasionally to let bigger boats through. I then caught a bus home through heavy traffic (all the pretty peninsulas and inlets make for a tangled and congested road network).

I'm lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and such a temperate climate. It was sunny all afternoon, with only a few fluffy white clouds. At the start of the walk it was about 17 C, with a brisk but still pleasant sea breeze. As I headed inland the wind eased considerably, while the temperature dropped to about 14 C as the sun set. Quite pleasant for the middle of winter!

No comments: