Sydney is full of beautiful beaches and coves to explore, but every now and then it’s nice to get out of the city and find something new. One Sunday I had the urge to get out of Sydney, so I planned to go to Morisset Park after church. I was excited about my plans for the day, but as I left the church someone in the congregation asked me about my plans for the day. I told her I was going to Morisset Park. She told me that going alone there wasn’t a good idea and suggested that if I wanted to go on a day trip I should go to Palm Beach.
Normally I’m not one to derail my plans just because someone else tells me to (or else I would never get anywhere!), but she had a good point. I would wait and go to Morisset Park another day with friends. So I went home quickly to change and get directions to Palm Beach.
I have to admit that I’m not used to winging any of my trips. Even if I decide last minute to go somewhere, I have at least looked at the location and have a list of things to see once I arrive there. This was the first time in a long time that I didn’t know what to expect once I got to my destination. But I decided to trust the Sydney-sider’s opinion.
I only found directions to the location (a 2-½ hour bus ride from Central Station) and didn’t look up anything about my destination. On my trip out to Palm Beach I sat on the bus reading a book until my stop, not overly excited about Palm Beach, but sure that I would enjoy it nonetheless.
My bus stopped outside of a golf clubhouse. I got off and made my way up the street towards Palm beach. At first I concentrated on the beach ahead and the hills to the right. All of the houses on the hill looked so picturesque. No sight could be prettier than this.
Then I turned to my left and stopped. The view was breathtaking. I could see the blue water crashing onto the beach, the vibrant green of the plants contrasting, and cliffs in the background receding into the ocean. I walked towards the picture, not even thinking it was real, just wanting to get there.
As I marched towards the real life painting I saw a lighthouse on the hill. If there was a lighthouse then there meant there was a path up and I could actually stand on top of that cliff and look down at where I was now. So I set forth. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse is at the end of the peninsula, and the beaches on both sides are a sight to see.
The Trip to the Top
There are two paths that lead up to the lighthouse, an easy one and a hard one. The easy climb, Barrenjoey climb, is more of a road that is paved to the top. The hard climb, Smuggler’s track, is a steep staircase. Since I was in a dress I chose the easy path, but it was still a gorgeous hike. The views from the trek up are amazing. When I got to the top I couldn’t believe the sights.
From down below, the lighthouse looks huge. But as I arrived to the top, I found that the lighthouse is smaller than I expected. It’s still a nice find, but the real treasure at the top is the vantage point. The Barrenjoey Lighthouse was built in 1881. Thirty minute tours of the lighthouse are available for purchase on certain days.
Palm Beach is a must do day trip when you visit Sydney. It’s part of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park. Palm Beach homes the biggest surf club in NSW; rock climbers come to the area as well. A famous soap opera, “Home and Away” was filmed there. Between May and September the area is a good place to whale watch. At any time of year the area is stunning and offers amazing views of Broken Bay.