Day 7 was one of the best days I have had on this trip because of multiple different views and due to the food I ate! Exploring a new place by yourself can be difficult, even confusing and if you’re like me and you can’t use your data because of the enormous roaming charges you could accrue on your current phone plan, it can even be dangerous. So far, I couldn’t even keep track of the amount of times I had gotten lost on the streets of Sydney, but somehow I always made it home either by asking people for directions, looking at traditional maps, or stopping outside a Starbucks to steal their WiFi for a few minutes. The trails around Watson’s Bay as well as the Sydney Harbour National Park had many opportunities for me to get lost, but thanks to the signs and the natural landmarks in the area I had a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
My day began with a long bus ride to the Wharf near the Opera House, from where I took a ferry to Watson’s Bay, which was on the opposite side of the city. Although the day started out cloudy and rainy, the drizzle of rain and the brisk wind felt soothing on my face as the ferry picked up its speed and zoomed by the Sydney skyline. I really treated myself to a fancy lunch this time at the famous Doyle’s seafood restaurant, a family-style sit-down restaurant where I surprisingly had enough confidence (and hunger) to dine on my own. I ordered their winter special which came with a glass of Chardonnay, fish chowder as an appetizer, and a main course of fish and chips. The food was incredibly delicious and well worth the hype.
Not only is Watson’s Bay home to the famous Doyle’s seafood, but it is also home to Sydney’s National Park with some of the most beautiful views in all of the city. Although quite a few tourists are aware of the area, it is not as popular as some of the places in the central part of the city and I love places without crowds blocking my views 😉 A short hike from the ferry wharf at Watson’s Bay took me to to Gap’s Bluff where I had an amazing view of the Tasman sea. The sea was a beautiful royal blue and was surrounded by cliffs that the intense waves would crash into. I kept walking onto trails where I slightly doubted whether I would be eaten by an animal. Some of the noises I heard were probably not just birds! Nevertheless, I continued. After a longer walk, I made it to a historical part of the national park: The Hornby Lighthouse, which had been one of my destinations for the day. On the way to the lighthouse, I passed the lightkeeper’s cottage, built in the late 1800’s. Until the early 20th century, the cottage was home to a lightkeeper who would look after the lighthouse and make sure it was in working condition.
The Hornby Lighthouse was a red and white striped building (yes, like a candy cane) and the view from the cliffs surrounding it was one that I had a hard time leaving! The lighthouse was built back in the late 1800s when several ships crashed into the cliffs of Watson’s Bay because it was so dark they couldn’t quite navigate the ships well. Before the lighthouse was built, many fatalities as a result of the darkness and the intensity of the waves and cliffs had occurred. I sat on the cliffs near the Hornby Lighthouse for a while just admiring the majestic waves and the clear, sunny skies above.
Just when I thought I couldn’t be more amused by Watson’s Bay, on my walk back down towards the wharf I discovered Lady Bay Nudist Beach. It was a small beach where visitors could walk around nude, just like the many common nude beaches in Europe. Only one man lay on the surrounding rocks, naked and proud, taking in the bright sun and managing to receive all the attention from several passersby. A final walk through the residential area of Watson’s Bay and then Green (or Lang’s) Point, allowed me to appreciate the man-made creativity of the homes as well as the nature at Green Point that surrounded it. Before it was time for the last ferry of the day to depart, I walked along the shores near the wharf, admiring the little boats bobbing up and down as the sun set beyond.
In the evening, my friend and I ventured out to experience Sydney’s nightlife to a bar/club called Ivy. The place was 3 stories high and full of people, music, alcohol and lights on every floor. The top floor had an outdoor swimming pool, where we relaxed, dipping our feet into the water and reflecting upon the day’s accomplishments.