Thursday, November 30, 2006

Seven miles from Sydney

When Arthur Phillip, captain of the First Fleet, first saw the beaches of Northern Sydney, he named them after the confidence and manly behaviour of the indigenous people who lived there.

On the ferry to Manly beach
Now Manly, with its classic Norfolk Island pines and its sun-drenched beaches, is one of the most popular beaches in Australia. Not as famous as Bondi, maybe, but a nicer experience all around. Sydney Ferries once advertised Manly as "Seven miles from Sydney, a thousand miles from care", and it certainly lives up to that reputation. Danger, Strong Current

We took the ferry to Manly last weekend, a leisurely ride of about half an hour, with gorgeous views of the Sydney skyline and the yachts in the harbour. When we arrived at the beach we had a bit of a cold breeze, and several stretches of beach were marked as having dangerous currents. But the beach volleyball games were in full swing, kids were playing on the beach, and there were plenty of people splashing around, and surfers looking for the perfect wave...

Dipping her toes in the waterSand delivery

At the north end of the main stretch of Manly beach, there is a large rocky outcrop. Our map showed us a smaller beach on the other side, and we decided to try and scramble over the rocks to get there, rather than going the long way around.

Through the wormhole

It was a bit of an adventure, and at one of the spots where we thought we would get well and truly stuck, we came upon a tunnel bored through solid rock, just for scramblers like us, with a graffiti label: "The Wormhole".

And on the far side there was our reward, Freshwater beach, another lovely stretch of sun and sand...

Freshwater Beach

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