April 03, 2011No 16: Congwong Bay Beach – 3 April 2011
Yes, that’s right: Chinaman’s Beach. It’s on the Middle Harbour in Mosman.
The name comes from the Chinese market gardens which operated in the area beginning 120 years ago — first operated by Cho Hi Tick from around 1890.
Chinaman’s Beach is 16.4 kilometres from home (10 miles). We took the train from Petersham to Wynard and a bus nearly to the Spit. We walked down stairs and roads though a leafy well-to-do neighbourhood to reach the beach.
We found a narrow stretch of slightly pebbly sand hedged in by scrub and facing the narrow neck of the Middle Harbour.
The beach was busy but not too crowded. Most visitors were families — Anglos, Europeans and Lebanese Muslims (we saw a woman and girl in burkinis — I’ve seen them in the media but this was the first in person).
From the map I knew there was a reserve behind the beach but we’d missed it walking in. It’s a lovely large park with lots of shade trees and space. There were dozens of family groups enjoying a picnic there … while I napped on the beach.
Chinaman’s Beach is in Mosman, in the State District of North Shore (Jillian Skinner, Liberal) and the federal division of Warringah (Tony Abbott, Liberal).