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Beautiful North Head


By pip_c


Gasp! I actually needed a quilt on my bed last night. I think the weather is finally cooling down in the Land of the Midnight Mosquito… well, that’s if you can call 24 degree temperatures ‘cool’! I certainly do… I think I’m cold-blooded :o( I’ve never wanted to move to England, quite frankly!!!

Now, back to nature. Well, I suppose weather is nature, but you know what I mean!!!
A few Saturdays ago Mum and I went on a 13km bushwalk around Sydney Harbour’s North Head. It is a fantastic area featuring loads of Aussie native plants and wildlife, including penguins!! We didn’t see any while we were there, though.
This aerial photo of North Head, which I found on Wikipedia, is a fabulous way to see where we went. Please keep referring back to it and you will be able to see our path very clearly!

Our day started with a ferry ride from the south side of the harbour, where we live, to the north side, on one of Sydney’s famous green and yellow Manly ferries.

We landed at Manly, which is one of the biggest tourist draws of the Northern Beaches area. This is the beach next to the ferry terminal:

Boats moored near the ferry dock:

Don’t forget our trusty guidebook! says Mum

We began walking along the promenade and into the suburb of Manly, heading for the small bay in the bottom right of the aerial photo which I showed you before. Manly was named by Captain Phillip (who led the First Fleet). When colonising the area he was impressed by the ‘manly-looking’ native Australian Aborigines that lived there. Unfortunately they proved to be a bit too manly for him and he was speared here at Collins Flat:

After Collins Flat we headed into the bush, climbing steeply up onto the road. You can see the track we took on the aerial photo – there’s a sharp left turn about halfway up. You can also see the point where the track emerges onto the road, just opposite the small residential area on the left hand side of the road at the bottom of the photo.
The path we took was almost semi-tropical in appearance and I took lots of photos of the ferns and other plants.

After the hairpin right turn at the top of the track, we walked along the road, passing the Artillery Museum:

We didn’t go in, but we did learn that the massive stockpile of weapons which had once been stored there in preparation for a possible invasion by the Japs featured machine-guns that could fire a bullet for 50 kilometres!

Reaching the fork in the road, we turned left. As you can see, the right-hand-side fork leads down to the old Quarantine station:

After that it was a simple walk along the length of the road, ending at the loop track at the top of the picture. There were lots exciting photo opportunities along the road, with plenty of Aussie natives.

As you can imagine, lookouts are every few hundred metres at North Head. A slight sea mist made for some attractive scenery.

This is Sydney’s infamous The Gap, identifyable by The Gap lighthouse. A notorious murder case occured here several years ago. (It got a LOT of media coverage when it was finally resolved in 2008.)

After taking in the spectacular view from several lookouts on the loop track… and meeting this water dragon…

…we walked back the way we came, this time bypassing the track to Collins Flat and exiting the National Park through the Parkhill Gate:

I couldn’t find out who the Parkhill gate was named after! You can just see the gate at the bottom of the aerial photo.
Turning right, we walked up Bluefish Drive (love the name) for about 300 metres before turning left onto a bush-track, clearly visible on the photo. We followed the track right off the edge of the picture. You had to squeeze through this gap at one point!

The colour and texture of the stone wall was great :o)

The track led us to Shelly Beach:

We loved this clever sculpture…

It was a walk along Manly Beach and back to the main drag for us. Manly Beach is actually three beaches: Queenscliff, North Steyne and South Steyne.
About every third shop in Manly is a fish and chip place – I’m not exaggerating! Most of the rest sell surf clothing, but for lunch, we chose one of the fish and chip shops ;o)

We ate a YUMMY dessert here….

I don’t know if you have Royal Copenhagen icecream in England, but boy, is it good! A Sydney city treat…

A novel way to get your beer from A to B…

We had to walk the length of the main drag, which is called The Corso, to get back to the ferry wharf. By the time we made it home we were very tired!

Anyhow, I hope you enjoyed the walk and pictures! :o))))))) Happy Gardening!

More blog posts by pip_c

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Fantastic blog,Pip,and your native plants are lovely,also the scenery.You and your mum must be super fit,to walk all that way..Glad you refreshed yourselves with a nice lunch,you would be ready for that !.I enjoyed the history too..Thanks :o))

26 Feb, 2011


Wonderful blog, Pip ...
A really interesting selection of photos and captions...
Well done :o)

26 Feb, 2011


what a really interesting blog Pip-- its got everything !!
all fascinating thankyou-- the plants and flowers, scenery and history but you must have been shattered when you got back-- and no we don't have that icecream that I know to-- but I'd love to try some.......

26 Feb, 2011


You definitely deserved that yummy dessert after that hike . . . loved the unusual sculpture too! Brought back great memories - we stayed in a Manly hotel years ago, and I woke up amazed to see a machine smoothing the beach; remember the giant delicious prawns too. Many thanks, Pip. :))

26 Feb, 2011


What a great blog, such scenery (notice you have grey skies too)
Love those ferns and the dragon and such amazing tropical plants and flowers.

26 Feb, 2011


Fantastic blog Pip, great to see the links to your walk, it was very interesting. The flowers look wonderful. :o))

26 Feb, 2011


Loved this Pip, some wonderful plants! The views took us back to when we visited was a lovely trip by ferry and when we were there we passed a lovely Tall Ship which was making its way to Sydney.
We didnt discover this walk thanks for posting it...fascinating!

26 Feb, 2011


I enjoyed reading your blog Pip, I like to know the history of a place so appreciate your telling us all about the places you visited on your walk and the photo`s are smashing. Thankyou and take care.

26 Feb, 2011


very enjoyable blog and wonderful photos,

26 Feb, 2011


enjoyed your blog Pipc...... lovely pics....

26 Feb, 2011


I've viewed your blog twice Pip ... in case I missed anything the first time! Fantastic native plants ... I'll show this to my daughter tomorrow ... she visited Manly Beach on her 'Gap year' ... thanks for sharing your walk with us. : o ))

26 Feb, 2011


Great photos Pip, and I'm not surprised you don't fancy moving to England!! I hope the weather doesn't get too cold! 24 degrees is a really warm summer day here and they are sadly far too few! Last summer we broke all records with 27...warmest day I've ever known in Scotland...but it was only like one or maybe 2 days max!

26 Feb, 2011


great blog pip and nice to see you and mum, bet you both had lots of fun there, lovely pictures to especially love the pink spiky flowers ;o)) wish our winters were like yours, i would be happy,

26 Feb, 2011


Thanks everyone, I have to say I didn't expect such a fantastic response! So glad you enjoyed... love the new avatar Holly! :o))))))

27? Really? We broke all records with 45 or 46 a few years back on New Year's Day. Dad went to the cinema and Mum and I were lying under the fan with wet towels on our foreheads :o)

26 Feb, 2011


I just thought I'd mention that putting all the links in the blog was inspired by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks, I love her blog and I thought I would use the idea in my own :o) Glad it worked...

26 Feb, 2011


Yes Pip, really! :)) England gets much warmer of course, but here in Scotland, if it is 18 degrees, we put our short kidding!

27 Feb, 2011


lovely blog ~ thanks pip, wonderful plants, loved that water dragon.

27 Feb, 2011


my avatar is of my lovely yorkie Ella who we sadly lost 4 weeks ago aged almost 16...

27 Feb, 2011


Thanks Sticki :o)

3 Mar, 2011


18? Jeans and hoodie weather for us I'm afraid Karen, lol

3 Mar, 2011


By the way, I had to rearrange some of my historical facts after Mum and the guidebook provided some mixed messages! If you plan on quoting anything out of the blog to anyone better check it again, lol

3 Mar, 2011


Pip, I have only just come across this, and so glad that I did! Fantastic and so informative, and such great photos too...I enjoyed following you on your day out my antipodean friend...Brilliant blog!! \0/xxx

5 Mar, 2011


Thanks Bev!!

5 Mar, 2011

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