Discovering Watsons Bay, Sydney
Looking for a budget day out in Sydney? Wanting to relax on a beach that isn’t packed with people, like the majority in the eastern suburbs? Don’t fret, here’s why you should head to Watsons Bay.
What Is Watsons Bay?
Watsons Bay is actually a suburb in eastern Sydney, located just North of Bondi. Home to a wharf, Watsons Bay has a direct link to Circular Quay in Sydney CBD, in the form of a ferry. It’s also possible to catch the bus from areas around Sydney. Therefore, making Watsons Bay accessible with ease by public transport. For such a small area of a humongous city like Sydney, there’s certainly no shortage of activities in Watsons Bay. You could easily make a full day of a trip to the area.
Beaches at Watsons Bay
Sydney is absolutely nowhere near short of beautiful beaches, where the majority of people would happily relax for the whole day. The popularity of Sydney’s beaches is clear to see within the eastern suburbs. Especially on the two main beaches of Bondi and Coogee. Head to either of these on a sunny day and you’ll understand what I mean, they will be packed to the rafters with people, along with the rest of the beaches in between.
If you’re looking for a getaway from hectic beaches on the eastern suburbs, Watsons Bay could be the place for you. Although the beaches aren’t totally deserted, they certainly don’t attract the sheer amount of people as Bondi and Coogee do. One reason would be down to the size on the beaches in Watsons Bay. They’re minute in comparison to Bondi. Another reason is that Watsons Bay just simply isn’t as well known as the main beaches.
Camp Cove is the most popular beach in Watsons Bay. This small cove is home to a picturesque crescent shaped, yellow sanded beach. Depending on how you look at it, the huge holiday homes which back onto the beach may spoil the attraction, but they aren’t too much of an eyesore in my opinion. One of the pulling points of this cove is that the beach looks out onto Sydney Harbour, meaning the soaring skyline of Sydney CBD is very much visible from the shore. The calm, clear waters are also a welcomed change from the crashing waves at many of Sydney’s beaches (that’s if you’re not looking to surf, of course).
Clear Waters at Camp Cove Beach
There’s another beach around a 5-minute walk from Camp Cove, Lady Bay Beach. Naively, I went to explore this beach. There I was about to take a picture, that was until I realised Lady Bay Beach is a nudist beach. I swiftly put my camera into my pocket, thinking it was best not to be taking pictures. Then, abruptly walked away. I’ve got nothing against nudist beaches, they just aren’t for me.
Sydney Harbour National Park
This national park may not be one of the most well known in Australia, but Sydney Harbour National Park is home to some not-so-hard trails and some breath-taking views. The national park is comprised of areas around Sydney Harbour. One of these areas is within Watson Bay. The national park area within Watsons Bay is, by no stretch of the imagination, an area like the Blue Mountains, for instance, so don’t be expecting hours of trekking. Think of the trails around Watsons Bay, as more of an unwinding, leisurely stroll.
Gap Bluff is a walkway by the bus stop in Watsons Bay. This was the first place I headed to once I made my way off the bus. The reason Gap Bluff gets a special mention is down to the completely contrasting and spectacular views you get at the top of the walkway. Look one way and you will be looking out onto the waves splashing into the rocks of the cliff face and the seemingly never ending ocean. Turn your head the other way and you will spot Sydney’s eye-catching skyline and the famous Harbour Bridge, in the distance.
View From Gap Bluff
The beaches are a special part of the area of Sydney Harbour National Park in Watsons Bay. However, as I’ve mentioned above, be prepared if you’re heading to Lady Bay Beach, the nudist beach!!
Make your way north to the head of Watsons Bay. Here you will come across the delightful, red and white striped Hornby Lighthouse. Constructed in 1858 and standing at a height of 9 metres, Hornby Lighthouse still to this day has a role to play for boats approaching Sydney Harbour.
Sydney is a beautiful city, with picturesque beaches. When you think Sydney, surely what comes to mind is a cityscape surrounded by the yellow sands and blue waters? Well, that’s exactly what kind of scenery you get with Watsons Bay. Camp Cove is a perfect beach to relax on the golden sands or float about in the calm waters. All while the towering city skyline is viewable in the distance. The kind of juxtaposition imaginable when thinking of Sydney.
Budget Tip – Jump on your nearest bus heading toward Watsons Bay. Alternatively, if you’re coming from around the Circular Quay area, you can also make your way to Watsons Bay via ferry. The ferry costs 5.74 AUD each way, so it’s hardly breaking the bank! Take a packed lunch with you. Don’t forget your towel and sun-cream. Now you’re ready for a budget day out in Watsons Bay. With the only expense being the ferry or bus, it’s hard to get a cheaper day in Sydney.
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If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments section.
Have you been to Watsons Bay before? Are you planning a trip to Sydney in the near future? Would you plan on visiting Watsons Bay after reading this?