Sunday, September 05, 2010

My Macquarie Lighthouse to Rose Bay walk

When I woke up in the morning, the sky was grey. Peering out of my window sill, I noticed that the ground outside was wet. Argh, it rained. Wonder if the rain would continue to fall later on in the day. No, I am going to trust the weather forecast, which said that it would be a sunny day and so at around midday, I took the train to Town Hall and walked up to Hyde Park to take a bus off one of the many stops along Park Street:

The bus took me to a stop on the other side of the road from Christison Park. The park is perched on top of the ocean cliffs, providing sweeping views to the ocean and Sydney Harbour, which at the time I was there, had some event on (see the yachts?):

What made me decide on visiting this lighthouse? Well, my uni used to have this lighthouse as its logo. After all, we are not called Macquarie University for no reason.

Named after the then Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, Macquarie Lighthouse is the longest serving lighthouse in Australia.

Unfortunately, they were not open for tours when I was there. So, I managed only to capture the outside of the lighthouse. I made a detour and began my coastal cliff walk from the pathway behind the lighthouse. I kept taking photos of the historical building!:

As I walked along the cliff, I noticed that the yachts have sailed to out of the harbour!

It felt a little weird to be walking alone. If you have been following my blog, you would have noticed that my coastal walks have been a two-person affair. I mean, two people makes a long walk seem shorter and more interesting. And besides, my partner-in-crime has better scenery-taking than I do. I suppose, this walk gave me the chance to hone my own scenery-taking skills. Here are more views of the lighthouse from various stops throughout the walk:

There was another white building further along the walk with this plaque:

This was Signal Hill Reserve.

The above fortifications were originally built to accommodate a 9.2 inch breech loading disappearing gun as part of Sydney's coastal defence - two others were installed, one at Bondi North (still in position but buried) and the other at Clovelly. It was housed in the centre of the group and had a steel canopy with a slot through which the barrel protruded in the firing position. It was hydraulically jacked-up to the firing position with the recoil pushing it down under the canopy for reloading. The gun was commissioned in 1893, the last firing there was in 1933 and it was removed in 1937 and replaced by two 6 inch MK 11 guns placed in each of the outer pits - these were removed after World War II. The barrel of the 9.2 inch disappearing gun can be seen at the Artillery Museum at North Head.

I continued on with my coastal clifftop walk. Haha, yup, it was definitely a 'cliff top' I was walking on, alright!

It brought me to Gap Park. Gap Park is a major tourist destination offering spectacular views of the ocean and Sydney Harbour. The park also supports a rich history containing early fortifications, shipwreck relicts, disused tramline and windswept native coastal vegetation:

The gun emplacement at Gap Park for a small calibre gun, which was never installed, dates from World War II:

I had the chance to see shipwreck remains of The Dunbar:

It was a full-rigged ship that was wrecked near the entrance to Sydney Harbour in 1857 with the loss of 121 lives.

With a cliff face like this one (despite all its magnificence) 200 odd years back, how could a ship not sail into it in bad weather? Anyways, continuing with my walk...

... there were scores of tourists here with cameras clicking away. Haha, I was one of those tourists waking photos of Gap Bluff:

Doesn't this rock formation look like it is pointing at Middle Head?

Of course, when you reach the top, how could you not take left-to-right pictures of the surrounding scenery?

Hm, where to next?

I decided to cross the road and walked on through Robertson Park, which is located in the centre of Watsons Bay:

Here is where you would find the famous Doyles On The Wharf:

Open for business from 10:00am to 6:00pm, this seafood takeaway and bistro is right at the wharf, which proves convenient for those of you travelling by ferry:

Strolling along the beachfront...

... brought me past the Vaucluse Yacht Club...

... and Gibsons Beach Reserve, which has dinghy storage available:

Unsure of where to go, I followed the road through some residential area and turned into a pathway with this sign:

It took me down a narrow walkway that snaked right outside the majestic and expensive houses there:

There was even a mini waterfall, as if a totally different world existed behind here:

A few steps onto this bridge, and...

... Parsley Bay Reserve unfolds itself!:

I love, love, love the crystal clear waters just below the bridge!

Little did I realise that Neilsen Park was around the corner:

Forming part of the Sydney Harbour National Park, it is also made up of Bottle and Glass Point:

On the other side lies Shark Beach:

Hm, I wonder if the beach got its name from the shark nets protecting beach-goers? At the end of the beach, there was a sign that caught my attention:

Oh, yes! I am definitely up for a foreshore walk! And hence, my Hermitage Foreshore Walk adventure began!:

I had great views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and fascinating rock formations:

This part of my walk was Hermit Point. Very secluded, I spent quite some time here taking close-up photos of the crustaceans:

I found it quite amazing how the walkway brought me past the back of people's houses. And I mean, literally the other side of their fences. I suppose it serves a purpose for the local residents, as they have free and extremely easy access to the sand and sea, like Tingara Beach:

There was another beach called Queens Beach, where I saw someone fishing (maybe for dinner?):

By the time I made it to Rose Bay, the sky was beginning to morph into its daily golden sunset colours:

From the beach, I walked through the small lane next to Westpac Bank and out to the main road to wait for the bus back to the city. I am so proud of myself! In total, I walked 9.5km. Oh well, plus minus, I suppose. It was tiring but hell, it was satisfying!

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