Could winter already be over? If the sunny, warm weather this weekend was anything to go by the answer would definitely be “yes”. Although I don’t want to sound too optimistic here, I do have high hopes that the weather will finally get back to its normal, sunny self and that Sydney will wake up from hibernation. I certainly need to get out of hibernation. Over these past few weeks I’ve become slightly slack and a bit too comfortable within my own walls. So the sunny summer-y weather last weekend was ideal to get out and about and re-discover some of the best things Sydney has to offer.
Long Reef Beach is the northern end of the sandy stretch of beach that begins in Dee Why on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. While it’s not the closest beach to our home we consider it our local beach. And boy, was it nice last weekend to visit this place again after months of absence, like meeting up with a long-lost brother!
While the kids where frolicking in the soft sand of Longy, building sandcastles and rolling down the dunes, I set out on a walk up the very northern end of Long Reef Beach, the headland that is called Long Reef Point. It’s a lovely stretch of coast up there, surrounded by the adjoining Long Reef Golf Course which hinders any further development on the headland and locks away the traffic too.
On top of the headland which is really easy to reach from both sides, not just the Long Reef side, you have beautiful views to both directions – up north towards Palm Beach and down to the south towards Curl Curl, Freshie, and Manly.
As an added bonus you can watch the paragliders that set off here as they make their turns in the blue skies with their colourful gliders. They come really close to the cliffs and you can see them swooshing past really close with almost no sound at all. Such a peaceful view!
From the top of the headland you can then find your way down to the very end of the tip – a stretch of partly rocky, partly sandy beach that protrudes out into the ocean. Rock fishers will be here, as well as surfers and maybe even a paraglider or two. A great place to take the kids – they can play with the large pebbles and stones, washed and polished smoothly in the surf over aeons, or hold a competition in collection sea shells – who will find the biggest?
Since it’s low tide I don’t need to take the steps back up to the top, I can just walk around the cliffs back to Long Reef Beach, without even getting my feet wet. On this side of the point there are so many different textures and colours, a photographer’s dream. But what makes it even more enchanting is something else altogether: the strong salty smell of the sea. It’s a smell I will forever connect with my city of choice – the rich, fishy goodness heavy with moisture and the salt of the sea. Time for a deep breath while I watch the waves rolling in over the century old rock surfaces.
As a last surprise for me, there is a little hut huddling under the shadows of the cliffs, hidden from the public eye. It’s a very basic structure made from palm leaves and other scavenged materials which give this little hut an almost romantic look. Who built it here? Surfers? Local kids? I don’t know. But it is in surprisingly good condition and also a reminder of the hundreds of generations that used to live here even before the white settlers came.
Long Reef Point is a great little seaside destination which is a fun place to explore with the whole family. And while the kids climb the rocks and check out the crabs the grownups may have a couple of minutes to themselves to enjoy the views, the smells and the romance of watching the rolling waves of the deep blue Pacific.
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