Daytripper: Watson’s Bay

There is a lot of architecture going on in Watson’s Bay. Chiefly, there is a weatherboard, slightly nautical look that struck me as an architectural cross between The Ghost and Mrs Muir and Admiral Boom’s house from Mary Poppins. It intrigued me and I would have taken photos except that I felt a bit awkward about snapping pictures of people’s homes.

I ended up in Watson’s Bay simply because it was the next ferry leaving Circular Quay when I arrived on the train one sunny Saturday morning not too long ago. I realised that although I’ve been there in the car a handful of times, I’d never really paid much attention to where it actually is and I certainly didn’t know about the spectacular views back over Sydney Harbour.

I got off the ferry and felt like I had stepped straight into a seaside holiday town. Or  into a movie set in a seaside holiday town. Doyle’s famous seafood restaurant (and it’s little sibling takeaway) is right there, dominating the shoreline of the Bay, and the crowds mill and push around the outside. It’s only a few steps from this busy-ness to the peace and calm of narrow suburban streets, with impossibly gorgeous weatherboard homes and twisting paths and laneways.

There’s a convenient map of the district just at the end of the ferry wharf, and a walk up onto South Head is only a few hundred metres, so off I went.

No matter where you go in this little suburb, the views are spectacular. You can see all my photos from this day trip here, but look at this!

And this!

The Hornby Light is quite a surprise as you head along the short loop track around the headland:

There is a very sobering side to Watson’s Bay however. It is the home of The Gap, a notorious Sydney suicide spot. There are phone booths with direct lines to Lifeline, and this reminder that for many people, Watson’s Bay is a place of despair and sadness.

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