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 



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.


Edwards Beach

The 12 Beaches of Christmas 2019 is here. Time to get your swimmers on and apply a generous lathering of suncream. With a good book in hand and a keen sense of adventure, to the water one must go!!

And to the ocean I did head, finding myself at the delightful Edwards Beach, Mosman, situated to the north of Balmoral Beach, separated by Rocky Point Island.

Never was their a more picturesque beach to herald in the Christmas reviews and the arrival of summer in our city!

I was not aware that Edwards Beach existed. I have frequented Balmoral Beach on numerous occasions unaware that if you strolled along the tree lined promenade, heading North, another beach would roll out the red carpet.

Complete with historic bathers pavilion, calm blue waters and squeaky white sand, Edwards Beach is a site to behold. Often overlooked for the jewel that is Balmoral ( I admit I assumed Edwards was said beach!) discovering yet another Sydney beachside gem was indeed a Sunday morning treat.

So next time you say ‘ Let’s go to Balmoral Beach’, walk on the wild side, the north side, and park your beach towel on the golden sand of Edwards Beach.

You will not be disappointed. I’ve heard that locals remark is as good, if not better that their beloved Balmoral!







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