The weather is just too good. I make no apology for the fact that we’ve spent another day at the beach… There are sooo many beaches to explore. Last time we were here we saw the big names: Bondi and Manly. This time we’ve been exploring the smaller beaches. And – honestly – they are so much better! Idyllic. Perfect coves with crystal clear water and golden powder sand. Not what you’d expect to find, just outside of such a large city. Cornwall…. yes…. Sydney suburb… well…….
So, today we decided to spend the day at the beach we glimpsed yesterday: Neilsen Park Beach/Shark Bay. SHARK BAY!!!!! And yes, the swimming area is totally enclosed off in massive shark nets! Yikes! Did I feel at all concerned? Not in the least!
We got the bus there from right outside our hotel. The number 325, or it could equally have been the 324. Used our Opal card. The whole journey took 50 minutes and cost $3.25. Bob got off in the CBD and walked to Paddy’s Market to get us a new cabin bag. I went on, to our Neilsen Bay stop and set up camp. I asked the driver to tell me when we were there just in case I didn’t recognise it. But I did. We went right past Rose’s old school shortly before… an amazing old world Harry Potterish place in Rose Bay. As we went past a line of small girls came out, all in uniform with, old fashioned straw berets on. Reminded me of the one I had to wear….
Walked down from the bus stop to the beach, through the park. It’s lovely. Gorgeous trees and so many birds. It was quiet and really didn’t get any busier as the day went on. Bob joined me after about an hour complete with a new bright blue cabin bag!!!! A bargain at $40. It’s not worth buying expensive luggage when you travel a lot. The handlers literally throw it about – we’ve seen them. Nothing survives long.
So, we spent the rest of the day just enjoying the beach and the water, people watching, boat watching…. There’s a lovely cafe just above the beach and Bob got us the occasional drink and snack from there. The water was so clear, lots of fish. The nice thing about this beach is that IF it did get crowded, you could walk along the coastal path back towards Rose Bay and there are two really quite coves along the way that I don’t believe many people would ever go to.
We got the 430 bus back to our hotel! A nice ride around the harbour, through King’s Cross, past the Victoria Centre. Isn’t it lovely to have a shower at the end of a day at the beach???? Is there any greater pleasure than to rinse off the sand and the sea???
Tonight we ate dinner at The Gantry, the restaurant that belongs to our hotel. It’s fine dining, a 1 Chef Hat restaurant and tonight it more than lived up to its reputation. We ate outside on the huge wharf that runs the length of the hotel. It’s a spectacular vista: the bridge, the other side of the bay; fireworks; cruisers going up and down. We started with 6 fresh oysters and spanner crab in a chilli cream sauce with apple cubes, pickled green almonds and sunflowers. We shared. YUM. Then I had wagyu fillet steak with crispy kale, swede, radicchio and creamed potato. Bob had rose veal steak, sweetbreads, mushrooms and sugar loaf cabbage. My steak was unbelievably flavourful and tender as was Bob’s veal. His sweetbreads were crisp on the outside and then melt in the mouth on the inside. We finished off with coffee on the dockside couches and watched some fireworks across the harbour. A spectacular setting. We liked it so much that we have booked for tomorrow night.
We are just loving Sydney. We could easily spend a couple of weeks here, just exploring around the Harbour. There are so many inlets to find and enjoy. People are so friendly and helpful. It’s just a pleasure….