Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

Sydney Harbour Bridge at night

Patricia Newell-Dunkley – Photographs Reginald J. Dunkley

Greetings from down under where winter has finally arrived, cool crisp days and bright sunshine.  Everywhere is still in lockdown and travel to other states is not open as yet. However, New South Wales has much to offer and the bucket list is growing.

Sydney is a favourite with tourists and on top of their list of adventures is the climb over Sydney Harbour Bridge, which has been the first site to be opened after lockdown, ready for the school holidays, and called the Bridge Experience.

Nicknamed “The Coat Hanger” Sydney Harbour Bridge is heritage listed and carries rail, vehicular, bicycle, and pedestrian traffic across the harbour to the north side. The Bridge and Sydney Opera House are iconic images and recognised around the world.

The Bridge climb is a truly once in a lifetime experience, walking over the Bridge’s arch all the way to the highest point, with views that are simply phenomenal, and one of those experiences you will never forget.

The climb is extremely well organised, and completely safe as you are latched on at the climb base below Bradfield Highway, you then walk below the road-deck until you reach the south-east pylon. There you climb four ladders to reach the upper arch. With the summit in sight, your journey continues along the Bridge’s upper arch on the Opera House side until you reach the top.

Climb leaders will give you all the history of the bridge and the city. There are various climbs available, so pick the one suited for you and your family. This adventure has to be booked and has great appeal.

Tuggerah Lake surfer

Tuggerah Lake surfer

For those naturists that are out for an all-over tan, who like to skinny-dip, or just sun-bake without any worries. There are twenty-three legal beaches, and the following are classed as the five best beaches in New South Wales.

Lady Bay Beach is one of the favourites. Tucked away between South Head and Camp Cove, this tiny beach is a designated naturists location in Sydney Harbour National Park. Bathing suits are optional at Lady Bay- and the beach also boasts spectacular scenic views while still a relatively quiet area.

Cobblers Beach tucked away in bushland on the northern edge of Middle Head in Mosman. Cobblers Beach offers expansive water views and is ideal for swimming, picnicking and total relaxation. For a mini holiday without leaving town, and it is regularly visited by both sexes and all age groups. Enjoy the tranquillity and picturesque surrounds of this little piece of paradise. The most beautiful beach.

The stunning Birdie Beach is on the Central Coast, and known as Red Ochre Beach due to the sand colour. It is in Munmorah State Conservation Area. You can also camp the night, with toilet and cooking facilities.

Werrong Beach is an hour south of Sydney in the Royal National Park. It is a remote and secluded nude swimming beach with scenic coastal views, it is not good for swimming due to the rips. It also has a challenging walking track to reach it.  But it is a lovely location.

Armands Bay Beach, on the South Coast. Amands Beach was named after a man of French origin, Armand Lemmeeric, who owned a farm behind Armands Bay. He regularly swam nude at the beach in the 1930s. Nude cricket matches were also held at the beach. The beach is not patrolled and has no facilities.

Here at Shelly Beach the waves have been spectacular with high tides and fabulous surfing. Lifesavers are on duty once again now that the beach is open. So far everyone is following the rules and spacing themselves out, but it is winter so not too many out and about, only the hardy. Prince Charlie the Pomeranian is an absolute darling and a wonderful companion in these difficult times.

I have had some beautiful birds visiting the garden, including Lorikeets, Parrots, the beautiful Butcher Bird with his fine song and fluting, absolutely lovely. Magpies and Yellow Wattle to name a few.

Cheers. Patricia