No 20: Currawong Beach – 29 January 2012

Leaving home at 10:28am we encounter the first of several instances of good public transport karma the 400 is at the previous stop when we arrive at Burwood Road.  We run up the steps as the train pulls in to Burwood Station, wait a few minutes for the L90 and arrive at Palm Beach at 12:28.  I love that Sydney’s public transport system, somewhat faulty as it is, reaches so far and wide. Once the bus turns off Pittwater Road – which, as an extension of Military Rd is like other Sydney arterials with real estate agents, kebab shops and …

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No 19: Curl Curl Beach – 1 January 2012

Friends came along on New Year’s Day to beach number 19, Curl Curl. Per Wikipedia: The name Curl Curl appears to be the original Aboriginal name for the larger area of Manly Vale, Freshwater, Queenscliff. The name Curl Curl may have been derived from the Aboriginal phrase curial curial, meaning river of life. We took the train to the city, collected Erin and her car and headed for the beach.  As with Cronulla we again hadn’t properly consulted the map before setting out and so managed to fly well past Curl Curl before realising our mistake.  The traffic, by the way, was utterly shitful. Curl Curl is 28.5km/17.7mi from our home. Arriving we …

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No 18: Cronulla Beach – 18 December 2011

We began our visit to Cronulla at Ham Harry & Mario where we had their breakfast plate: kind of a European deli take on the Australian big breakfast: prosciutto, avocado, sliced tomato, ricotta, boiled egg and good sourdough toast with a drizzle of olive oil over the lot. Tasty, filling and just a little bit different.  Coffees were good; service was fine given the busyness of the hour. We’ve visited Cronulla once before in this project for beach number five, Blackwoods, back in March 2010.  Today we were visiting the main Cronulla beach and, as with Coogee a few weeks ago, we found it crawling …

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No 17: Coogee Beach – 20 November 2011

We have visited the 17th beach, Coogee, to officially get the 2011/12 beach going season under way. We’re in the midst of the chaos of moving houses but I thought it important and worthwhile to breathe salty air, feel the sand in our toes, watch waves rolling in from the South Pacific and, as it turned out, bear witness to thousands of nippers participating in a surf carnival. For the non-Australians amongst you, or those not fully literate in Australian culture – nippers are children, specifically children participating in Surf Life Saving.  Surf Life Saving Clubs have been responsible for much of …

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BBQ Brekky, Bowls & Cricket – Not a Beach: 30 October 2011

It began inauspiciously but developed into a nearly perfect Sydney Spring Sunday.  Rain was falling at the appointed hour of departure but in the nature of plans made for Sunday morning by the time we rolled away on our bicycles it was more like midday.  By then the sun was shining.  Its heat had a summer bite but in the shade it was still jumper-cool. When Mitch, Mac and I arrived at St Leonards Park we found Erin threatening to mobilise her Twitterverse behind an #OccupyBarbeque movement.  A gaggle of parents and costumed toddlers had commandeered the only public barbecue in the …

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No 16: Congwong Bay Beach – 3 April 2011

A southern beach! A SOUTHERN BEACH! Huzzah. Last one was No 8 Bronte on 2 May 2010. Congwong Bay Beach is 18 kilometres (11 miles) from home. Congwong Bay Beach is in Botany Bay National Park in La Perouse. LaPa has a pretty interesting history — named for the French dude who turned up days after the First Fleet landed and arguably the only place in Sydney continually occupied by Aboriginal people since before the European invasion and conquest. For more visit: http://www.dictionaryofsydney.org/entry/la_perouse. Congwong Bay Beach is in the Randwick LGA, the state district of Maroubra (Michael Daley, Labor) and federal division …

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No 15: Collins Beach – 5 March 2011

Collins Beach is in the Sydney Harbour National Park in Manly.  It’s a beach that seems like it should be quieter and more obscure than it is. You have to walk a ways to get to it, it’s not obvious from any roadway but it’s busy. Heaps of people! There were several big groups and many (seeming) tourists. I guess it’s on the maps handed out by local accommodation — it felt like it’s the “secret beach” for visitors if you know what I mean. There was an American couple set up near us, speaking loudly on their mobile phones — the guy …

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No 14: Collaroy Beach – 27 February 2011

Frankly I can’t wait for a southern beach! The last one was Bronte (No 8) which we visited in May 2010. But it was good to get back to a surf beach with Collaroy. As you can see, it was an overcast day, but warm; a little drizzle which kept the beach quiet but the water was lovely. There is an ocean pool at the southern end of the beach which I enjoyed a few laps in. Despite somewhat discouraging conditions Mitch managed to catch a wave or two and was happy. Collaroy Beach is in Warringah Council LGA, the …

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No 13: Cobblers Beach – 20 February 2011

Cobblers Beach is the, ahem, first nude beach on the list. It’s a harbour beach located within the Sydney Harbour National Park. It’s right next to the naval base, HMAS Penguin. I was pleased to find bus no 244 from the city delivered us to within a few hundred metres.  Though we found ourselves wondering who among the dwindling passengers were there to get their kit off. Cobblers is 19 kilometres (12 miles) from home but it felt a million miles from my comfort zone.  I was not looking forward to nuding-up but I’d have felt even more uncomfortable sitting …

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No 12: Clontarf Beach – 5 February 2011

Per Wikipedia the suburb of Clontarf is named after a district in Dublin, Ireland. But far more interestingly this beach, in 1868, was site of Australia’s first attempted political assassination. Henry James O’Farrell, an alcoholic recently released from a lunatic asylum, shot Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh – second son of Queen Victoria – in the back. The Prince survived, most colonists were embarrassed and outraged (and took it out on the Irish as expected). A hospital was opened to memorialise the drama. Thus: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. One hundred and forty-three years later there seems to be some drama around dog poo. Clean up after …

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