Sunny Spring days in Sydney are made for being harbour side. Whether it be a family picnic in a park or a casual lunch and a few drinks by the water with friends, Sydney Harbour is one of the best places to be.
After a friend’s wedding at Hunters Hill Sailing Club, we returned last Sunday for a family picnic at Clarkes Point Reserve. Clarkes Point Reserve sits on the harbour’s edge opposite Cockatoo Island. It is easily accessible by car and there is plenty of parking only a short walk to the picnic ground. Alternatively, it is only a short 15 minute walk from the Woolwich Ferry Wharf.
It is a gorgeous spot surrounded by natural bushland, a sandstone escarpment and the gorgeous Sydney Harbour. We found a shady spot for our picnic and spent a great few hours together with plenty of activity around us to keep the kids entertained. There are plenty of sailboats, yachts, speedboats, ferries and other watercraft passing and fishermen trying their luck from the rocky edge. The kids spent hours racing each other around the trees, paddling in the water, and exploring the rock pools. Despite the sunny day, there were only a few families around us with their charcoal BBQs and a handful of people heading further out to the Point.
It’s an experience that is very rare in Sydney – finding a spot that the rest of Sydney doesn’t also want to be at the same time as you. It is for this reason, this is one picnic spot I will certainly come back to.
That brings me to our day today, a week later, at Watsons Bay. We headed into Circular Quay to catch the ferry around to Watsons Bay – always a gorgeous harbour journey. Unfortunately, the rest of Sydney seemed to have the same idea and we didn’t make it onto the boat before it had reached its capacity. We were then left with the hassle of thinking of how we would get the Watsons Bay. We were meeting an old friend so, with no desire to sit on an old, un air-conditioned Sydney bus, we jumped in a cab for the 20 minute drive to the Watsons Bay Beach Club.
We arrived just after midday but already the Beach Club was full and many of the spare tables were reserved. We met our friend, who is visiting from Sweden and managed to snag a table on the second floor on the harbour side under the shade of an umbrella. I do love being able to show off Sydney to overseas visitors – it reminds me of how lucky I am to live in this gorgeous city – especially when the harbour is sparkling under a sunny sky.
The Beach Club has a kids menu and colouring in sheets to keep the kids occupied while we share a bottle of bubbles and catch up on old times. With a bucket of fresh king prawns and chips to share (and another bottle of bubbles!) we settled in – the buzz of the crowd is infectious and it would be easy to spend the rest of the day continuing to drink bottle after bottle in the sun. Alas, the water beckoned the kids and reluctantly we left the Beach Club for the beach (albeit with another bottle of wine).
The ferries came and went full of masses of tourist and locals alike, a wedding ceremony took place behind us in the park, families queued for fish & chips and ice-cream and crowds wandered past on walks along the promenade. Despite, or perhaps because of this buzz of activity, we had a great time sitting on the beach watching the kids play in the shallows and having a sneaky wine.
So, whether you are looking for a quiet harbour side picnic, or a casual lunch by the water with friends – Sydney certainly offers the best of both worlds on a gorgeous sunny Spring day. Get out and enjoy it.