A Perfect Day Trip from Sydney: Watsons Bay
Right at the southern head of Sydney Harbour’s entrance, just 11lm north-east of the CBD, is gorgeous little Watsons Bay. This is the first place Captain Cook would have dropped anchor as he sailed into the harbour. As Sydney’s oldest fishing village (established in 1877), this picturesque suburb is full of history. There are a number of highly recommended activities to do here, but we chose to sloooow down…. and do as little as possible.
Watson’s Bay is one of Sydney’s top spots for picnics, long lunches, park sprawling, sunbathing and trail walking. An absolute must-do here is the fish and chips by the water – whether it’s fancy and on a plate at Doyle’s, or wrapped in paper and dripping vinegar on the sand at Camp Cove Beach. We opted for the latter, but we sat under some trees in the park that overlooks the bay.
Traveling to Watsons Bay is relatively easy. The biggest plus about the journey is that it is a very enjoyable one! In fact, it is said to be one of the most pleasant ferry rides this city has to offer. We rode from Circular Quay and passed a few picture-perfect bays along the way. Another way to get there is to take advantage of the latest addition to Sydney Ferries’ route map and visit Watsons from the north, departing from the legendary beach hub of Manly.
Check out all Sydney Ferry Timetables HERE.
Needless to say, it was PRETTY WINDY on the outside decks of the ferry (as you can tell from my earring!) but the views were amazing! The ferry moves at quite a speed – which is great since there is quite a distance to cover between the bays. It was nice to look out at some of the magnificent mansions in the eastern suburbs (below) as we whizzed from port to port.
Doyles on Fishermans Wharf
As you exit the ferry, and before you even climb off the wharf, you come across a Fish& Chips restaurant called Doyles. This is apparently the spot to get Sydney’s favourite fish and chips. TIP: Avoid the fancy upmarket restaurant of the same name, across the road, and head to the takeout window on the wharf instead. If you have a less limited budget, then by all means, head to the sit down restaurant. As you can see above, there is seating available around the takeaway restaurant, but it is a far more of an authentic experience to go sit on the beach or grass along the bay.
Above, At the horizon there is a opening between the land which encloses Watsons Bay. While sitting quietly on Camp Cove Beach, you can look over at Sydney’s central business district, like it is another world. We were told that many people live in Watsons Bay and take the ferry to work everyday. What an amazing way of life – living away from the noise, and hopping onto a boat to reach the office each morning. Even better if you own one of those yacht that are scattered over Watsons Bay. Bliss!
Watsons Bay sits on the end of the South Head peninsula and takes its name from the sheltered bay and anchorage on its western side, in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). It provides views across the harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Gap is an ocean cliff on the eastern side with views to Manly at North Head and the Pacific Ocean. Vaucluse is the only adjacent suburb, to the south. – Source of Quote
Eli had enjoyed walking around on the ferry, but by the time we arrived in Watsons Bay, nap-time was calling. We walked along Marine Parade and sat down in some shade at the end of the beach. Eli took this as a good time to start dosing off. We sat under the tree that you see at the end of this walkway (below). There we enjoyed a few peaceful moments – looking at at the yachts.
We probably could have done a l0t more at Watsons Bay – but we were in the mood to do as little as possible. One thing was for sure: Fish&Chips were definitely happening for lunch. We found a liquor store and bought a couple Thatcher’s Gold English Cider – pretty tasty! We ate our fish&chips under a tree, and chatted for a while. It was a perfectly relaxing afternoon.
The beautiful Dunbar House is a café, wedding venue, function centre and all-round lovely spot to spend an afternoon.
Well… I am sure that it usually is, but on this particular afternoon someone was getting arrested right outside Dunbar House. While Justin went to stand in the line for the ferry, I took a little stroll along the beach. There was a bit of commotion but I tried not to pay too much attention to the shouting. Apparently the man was mentally disturbed and causing an uproar. In fact, if you look closely at the above picture, you can see the police van on the right.
BACK TO MY TRANQUIL WALK…
When we arrived at Watsons Bay, the skies were blue with scattered white clouds (pictured above). By the time that we departed, the skies had darkened and all the blue skies had disappeared (below). Unlike in China though – grey skies aren’t always bad! I really enjoyed the dramatic cloud cover as I strolled along the beach.
There is my faithful, patient and ever-loving husband, waiting in line (below, 6th from the front of the queue), while I steal a few extra minutes of beach time. Isn’t he amazing? He is always willing to wait with Eli while I run off to take photos!
By the time that we climbed onto the subway, Eli had only been awake for a couple hours. It seems as though, despite his nap, he was tired out from all the action of the day. He lay across the subway seats – barefoot, chilled, and using up as much space as he wanted. FYI – It was rush hour! The train was pretty full, but NO ONE wanted to tell this little cutie to move. They all just stood next to him and did a little “awwww…”
Watsons Bay truly is a Perfect Day Trip from Sydney!