Weekend in Manly & Whale Beach

Friday was the hottest day in Sydney for years, reaching a high of 45 degrees, I made my way to Circular Quay & within a few minutes I was sitting on a wonderful ferry that was taking me across the Sydney Harbour to Manly (30 minute ferry ride) to spend the weekend with my cousins in Whale Beach, Northern most point of Sydney Harbour. It was a beautiful day & I certainly felt so content & at “home” when I was riding along the ocean. Amazing what certain things can do for our soul. Passing the Sydney Bridge, taking photos at every opportunity I could, I battled to take in everything I was seeing. It was great seeing such iconic buildings from the water side, such as the Sydney Opera House.

Cruising past us were yachts, recreational boats & various types of  other water transport. I soon realised at how busy this water way was, in fact similar to a highway, that was for sure! Passed a kayak-er, who very daringly was paddling in and around the harbour. Something I certainly wouldn’t do given the fact that a ferry or speed boat may not see you paddling & ride over you!!

Arrived in at Manly, a beautiful sea side town. I browsed around & then waited for my cousin to arrive and take me through to their home in Whale Beach. Winding along the peninsula and coastal road, my soul was immediately made at home when I smelt & saw the sea. So very different to what I was used to at home, yet at the same time very much the same to home! Wild & rugged cliff faces curved around the coastline dropping into the side of the ocean, leaving it to the imagination as to what lies beneath the surface! I was getting very excited for my weekend ahead!

After opening up a beer & relaxing on the lawn at my cousins house, it was time to put my feet in the water. We all duly walked down to Palm Beach . The sea calm & flat like glass. Temperature about 22 degrees, heavenly!  We splashed around, jumped off high rocks, laughed & made many great memories together seeing as it was about 10 years since we last saw each other.

Saturday was Avalon Market day, taking place on one day once a year, the entire town comes to a stand still & four roads are closed for the stalls, which were setting up the night before. Fantastic day browsing around all the stalls and buying odds & ends that were once off items, making them unique gifts to family back home.

After spending the entire day just about wondering around the market we made our way home for some delicious dinner, steak & chips.

Sunday I booked a day of scuba diving at Shelly Beach, Manly . I started my day at 09h00. After preparing my equipment we were finally ready to set off down to Shelly Beach, where upon arrival I was shocked to see how many divers were there already. Clearly a very popular spot to go diving! I was very excited & nervous at the same as I hadn’t been diving in a couple of months. However I managed to set up my equipment successfully  with no hassles or hiccups. GoPro in hand I was ready to hit the water. What a great sight it was indeed. I felt so free and happy under the water, enjoying every minute of it & really trying to absorb all the sights and environment that was surrounding me.

My photos are not the best, however I just had to put them up to share them with you all. So do excuse the quality! I finally got to see a few Wobbegongs all of which were hiding under the rocks & so well camouflaged. Caught these fascinating creatures on video. (Australian video will follow once I return home). On the fish species side of things I saw Crimson Banded Wrasse, Striped Catfish, Blue Grouper, Leather Jackets, Maori Wrasse, Goat Fish and so much more. My first dive went to 12m. Visibility was about 5-7m all round. Because of the incoming low tide, my second dive was a bit shallower, going to a maximum depth of 9m, but still there was so much to see. Really beautiful indeed.

Diving in Australia was a great experience, however it definitely made me more aware of how grateful I must be of where I live in Cape Town, being able to snorkel every day & to see the life I do beneath the surface is certainly very special. I constantly tell myself how lucky I am to live 5 minutes

away from such fantastic waters and marine life.

I spent Monday with my cousins at Palm Beach, browsing the shops and exploring all the sights and sounds it has to offer like a real tourist, before making my way back to Bowral on Tuesday morning!

Fantastic weekend, I certainly loved every minute of it.


Cheers Fi 🙂

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