Towradgi Rock Pool

Amigos para siempre
Means you’ll always be my friend
Amics per sempre
Means a love that cannot end
Friends for life
Not just a summer or a spring
Amigos para siempre
Jose Carreras and Sarah Brightman ‘Amigos Para Siempre
Beach Number Three – Towradgi Rock Pool

Towradgi Rock Pool

A late December swim with a High School comrade.
A friendship spanning 27 years and counting,  Jose and Sarah capturing it in song form during the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
An early morning dip in a pool I had longed to visit.
A post swim coffee and gossip session that will tide us over till we meet again.
Amigos Para Siempre

Amigos Para Siempre

Though we reside on different continents, the lure of the Australian summer or a dose of European culture means are destined to cross.
Family and the strength of friendship ensures it.
Salt water and South Coast sand an added bonus!

Frenchmans Bay

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The third beach of Christmas.

Presenting Frenchmans Bay.

Located in the suburb of La Perouse, 14 kms southeast of Sydney’s CBD.

From the shore of Frenchmans Bay you look directly across at Port Botany – shipping containers and cranes decorate the horizon.

But closer afield rock platforms, crystal clear water, the infamous ‘ ice cream boat’ distract the eye from the proximity to industry.

I have visited Frenchmans only once.

That appears a great crime.

I read recently that there are some 10,000 plus beaches in Australia and that it would take 27 years to visit them all ( one beach per day)

This series was started in 2011 and I have reviewed 106 in that time.

Sorry Frenchmans, a one visit policy I may have to introduce!!

 

Yarra Bay

Beach Number Four is the spectacular Yarra Bay.

Walking to Yarra Bay

Walking to Yarra Bay

 

Randwick City Council puts it simply ‘ Yarra Bay is located on the northern side of Botany Bay in the suburb of Phillip Bay, approximately seven kilometres south of the centre of Sydney.

I count my lucky stars I have an endless supply of frolocking options at my doorstep! And countless companions to accompany me as I set out to review 12 of the best each year.

I visited Yarra Bay close to two years ago with a friend who is a Sydney local, a man who in retirement MUST become a city tour guide, his knowledge of this town of 5 million plus people is second to none. And I can always rely on him to take me to the best water holes come December.

Yarra Bay is no exception. A simply stunning place to swim.

Add this strip of coastline to your memory bank. Place Bondi, Manly and Palm Beach to the side and make a day of it at Yarra Bay.

A smart move I hear my tour guide friend say!!

Yarra Bay

Yarra Bay

 

MacKenzie’s Bay Beach

There was no time to waste with the review of the 5th Beach of Christmas, MacKenzies Bay Beach, Eastern Suburbs, Sydney.

I’ve lived in the city for 14 years and never had the opportunity to swim at this pocket size playground. Speaking to numerous locals, a friend remarked he’d had the pleasure of a dip at MacKenzies back in the 1990’s. Another recounted a swim their every two years of so. But in my time in Sydney I’ve never known it as a swimmers paradise.

Cut to Summer 2019 and Mackenzies Bay Beach has made a triumphant return. Enough sand has been wash ashore, covering rocks and providing swimmers the opportunity to sun bake on soft sand, to splash in ocean blue.

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I urge any Sydney sider to strike whilst the iron’s hot or rather whilst the sand bank is present and forgo a swim Bondi, Bronte, Maroubra.

Mackenzie’s Bay Beach is were it is at in 2019.

Haley’s comet is something I’ve witnessed in my lifetime, I cast my mind back to 1986, I was 8. The comet is next to make an appearance in 2061, I’ll be 83.

Mackenzie’s is a beach for the people NOW. Do yourself a favour and take a dip.

Make it a priority.

One never really knows when it will once more provide the opportunity!!

 

Inyadda Beach, Bendalong

I have mixed reservations about writing up this beach review – Inyadda Beach, Bendalong.

The Six Beach of Christmas, the half way point of the 2019 campaign, and what a beauty!!

In May this year I holidayed with my family : Mum and Dad , Brother , Sister-in-Law and two nieces. It was magic.

The South Coast and the countless beaches that dot the coastline are just that : magic.

It was nearing the end of Autumn and still my Father and I swam. The water was fresh but it made us feel alive.

The swim that sunny afternoon the highlight of our 2 day vacation.

Mixed reservations surface as that weekend my Father suffered a health setback.

But as with many things that occurred during the year, the challenges, the trials and tribulations –my Dad made a full recovery.

Beautiful Inyadda Beach – you hold a special place in my 2019 memory bank.

Como Tidal Pool

It is a joyous thing to discover a new swimming spot.

And today was one of those blessed days.

Como Tidal Pool

A South Coast girl at heart, who happens to call Sydney home, I have travelled the Illawarra Train Line countless times and often wondered the name of ‘that pool’ , viewed out the window as we crossed ‘ some bridge’.

‘ Some bridge’  the ‘ Como Railway Bridge’

‘ That pool’ the ‘Como Tidal Pool’

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Scenically stunning but a not a single swimmer in site. Referring post swim to the book ‘ Wild Swimming – Sydney Australia’ by Sally Tertini and Steve Pollard ‘ DH Lawrence noted that Como ‘….is a bit like Lake Como, but, oh, so unlike’. The 50 metre enclosure with a wharf is deep within the Georges River’

The book also notes ‘ the baths are little used’

Loving the 12 Beaches of Christmas 2019 edition. I’m really making ground, discovering new things – salt water and fresh water gems alike.

Only six reviews remain. May the count down to Numero Uno continue in the same vein : good company, blue skies, summer sun, refreshing water and salty skin.

 

Oak Park Rock Pool

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Setting off on an adventure this morning, I had high hopes of swimming at the Nun’s Pool, Cronulla. When I arrived I instead found Shelly Beach Ocean Pool.

The Nun’s Pool did not exist, rather it was the name bestowed upon Shelly Beach Ocean Pool, as it had once been a favourite swimming pool for Brides of Christ.

Intrigued by the coastal path that continued in a southerly direction I decided to follow my nose and see were I might end up.

Oak Park Rock Pool…..

What a discovery!! Magical, unexpected, awe inspiring, heavenly coastal paradise.

How could one pass up such a beautiful setting, with views to the South of the Royal National Park.? Without hesitation into the drink I did go!

Spurred on by this discovery, after the dip I continued my walk along a well trodden path……I passed Bass and Flinders Point, Salmon Haul Reserve and came to realise I was on a path known as the Cronulla Beach Walking Track.

A truly memorable 8th Beach of Christmas – Oak Park Rock Pool.

The first of many ocean swims I hope I take in this neck of the woods! Today was just the beginning. My Sutherland Shire baptism at Oak Park.

Little Manly Beach ( revisited)

I first reviewed Little Manly Beach in 2017. I was lucky enough to be spending a summer’s afternoon in a home that had Little Manly Beach as its backyard. After a bbq lunch we jumped from manicured lawn into the ocean. It was a ‘Pinch me I must be dreaming’ moment.

Yesterday I returned to said beach and it was another ‘ Pinch me I must be dreaming’ occasion. For I was with my favourite Northern Beaches natives and their 4 month old daughter. And unlike my first encounter with Little Manly, we entered the ocean via shore and sand.

The water rejuvenated. Sydney has been blanketed in thick smoke for weeks on end, with much of the State battling bush fires. Though unnerving to stand looking out at a city skyline blanketed by smog, we were thankful to be able to cool off in the crisp clean salt water.

For a small stretch of coastline, Little Manly packs a punch. There was a large school group enjoying the ocean delights, office Christmas parties set up for seaside sessions and our tribe, the Northern Beaches natives, their 4 month old daughter and me.  We all frolicked together and weren’t we better for it!

The 9th Beach of Christmas : Little Manly Beach. A beach that warranted a second review….a small stretch of coastline that packs a mighty big punch!

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Dee Beach, Bendalong

Outsourcing submission for the 2019 Beaches of Christmas series…..this entry come via my folks, holidaying on the NSW South Coast seaside town of Bendalong. A favourite holiday destination of theirs, for years an annual week long vacation signifies the start of summer.

Hot of the press, these photos were received early this morning, my parents had the entire beach to themselves. As a Sydney sider, this seems utterly unimaginable! But on the South Coast of NSW it can be your summer reality.

Having had the privilege of an Autumn family holiday to Bendalong this year, but seeing the ocean in its summer time glory, a site to behold.

Expansive blue sky, pillow soft clouds, cocooned by native gum, majestic ocean water: my Dad took a dip, my Mum paddled in up to her knees.

The verdict ‘ Specatcular’

The 10th Beach of Christmas : Dee Beach, Bendalong 

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Geoff James Ocean Pool ( Clovelly Ocean Pool)

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The 11th Beach of Christmas 2019 – the Geoff James Ocean Pool, Clovelly.

Visited on a day when Randwick Council had scheduled pool cleaning so alas no water is pictured in the 25 metre, 4 lane salt water pool.

Upon researching the eleventh entry, I discovered that the pool was named after past president and life time member of the Clovelly Surf Club. Mr James had been instrumental in the proposal and development of the pool in the 1960’s.

Having always preferred to take a dip in Clovelly Beach, to bob amongst the waves and splash about in Sydney’s biggest open air bath tub, I am yet to submerge myself in the enclosure that is the Geoff James Ocean Pool.

That day will come.

Appreciative of the history of the pool, which the National Trust placed on the heritage register in 1994, it seems fitting that that day should come sooner rather than later.

But before then, a thank you.

To Mr James for commissioning the Eastern Suburbs delight that bares his name.

 

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