Since I was spending ten days in Sydney, namely to give myself as much opportunity to explore the city as possible, I decided to jump on a ferry that I hadn’t been on before – the one to Watson’s Bay. Now I wasn’t intending on going to Watson’s Bay but rather a suburb that was about halfway there, though I soon discovered that the Ferry doesn’t actually stop at Double Bay, at least on the way up, which meant that I ended up going on a bit of a cruise around the eastern part of the harbour before I finally arrived at my destination. If there was a reason why I was going to Double Bay that would simply be because I hadn’t been there before so I wanted to do a bit of exploring around here (if only to write a blog post). Mind you, it was probably fortunate that I ended up going the long way because I did get to see a restored tall ship sailing around the harbour.
Okay, you do get quite a number of yachts of all shapes and sizes floating in the harbour, as well as some industrial ships hidden away from the eyes of the tourists (for some reason the naval ships are all pretty much in plain sight, however I doubt you could simply sail your yacht into the Garden Island Naval Base – you will probably find yourself on the wrong end of a cannon, though more likely than not you simply end up seeing what it is really like to sit on a patrol boat). Actually, the ferry does stop off at the Garden Island Naval Base, though from what I saw when I was sitting on the ferry, you are generally met by some guys in suits and soon as you set off (probably because they happen to be the tour guide).
So, after a brief stop at the Watson Bay Ferry Terminal (where I got to see a Ferry Terminal, some buildings on the pier, and a beach) the ferry then turned around and began to make its way back to Circular Quay the long way – namely via the Double Bay Ferry Terminal. The ferry may have stopped at another wharf on its way back but I wasn’t really all that interested in any other embarkation point – I wanted to get off at Double Bay, and Double Bay was where I ended up getting off. Mind you, I did take some photos on my way there, which I have to admit is an annoying thing about travelling on the Ferry – I am always met with the quandary of whether to read my book, or to look out the window at all the wonderful sights going by – I usually end up looking out the window.
Anyway, that was the end of my nautical journeys for the day because the rest of the time my feet where going to be firmly embedded to the land (though I was going to go on a couple of more trips by boat – though I have to say that I went on an awful lot of boat trips that year, but then again I did go to Phuket). Anyway, I got off the ferry, walked past a cafe that was sitting over the harbour and found myself in a quiet park. Okay, I probably wasn’t expecting Manley, but that’s not surprising because Double Bay doesn’t have a surf beach a short walk from the ferry terminal (which is probably why they don’t have a fast ferry going there, or even to Watson’s Bay). Sure, Double Bay does have a beach, but it is one of those placid beaches along the harbour where people who don’t like huge amounts of swell go for a paddle.
As for me, well I went for a short walk around the park, taking in the fact that it was a park, but nothing hugely outstanding on the scale of, say, a botanic gardens, and then decided to make my way into the commercial district, which wasn’t all that far from the wharf mind you, but not so close that when you step off the ferry you find yourself surrounded by cafes and bars. Actually, I suspect the reason they do this is to try and keep Double Bay a little secret from the tourists that seem to flock to Sydney, and only those of us that are either in the know, or are adventurous, will ever land up there.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: I’m talking about this place called Double Bay but I haven’t actually told you where it is (or even shown you). Well, I could always be cheeky and say “it’s in Sydney and it’s on the harbour” and leave it at that.
But on won’t. Instead I’ll actually show you where it is located by embedding a Google Map (which I tend to do anyway because I like embedding things into my posts):
As it turned out the Royal Oak seemed to by like your ordinary every day pub. Actually that is probably being a little bit too harsh because it wasn’t one of those sleazy joints out in the suburbs where people look at you strangely if you are reading the book and most of the conversation revolves either around pokie machines, or, well, actually the conversation generally only revolves around pokie machines. As I usually say “I have much more sophisticated ways of losing money – I lost $500.00 simply because Tony Abbott opened his mouth”.
So, after spending a little time here I then headed across the road and further down Bay Street, which happens to be the trendier part of Double Bay, namely because there are a number of restaurants and cafes, as well as Mrs Sippy, which happens to be a bar (and for some reason I ended up buying a pot of tea here, not that the pot of tea was bad, but rather because I generally don’t buy pots of tea in bars, I buy beer – I go to cafes for pots of tea, but then again I didn’t actually realise that this was a bar – maybe next time, but then again maybe not).
Well, after spending some time sitting out the back of this rather lovely bar (thinking that it was a cafe) I then made my way down Bay Street to New South Head Road, where you will find the main shopping strip. It was here that I decided to turn in a different direction. I was planning on heading back towards the city, however decided to do a bit more exploring, at which point I came across another pub – The Golden Sheaf (I believe it’s called). Well, I went inside for a drink and I have to say that I wasn’t really all that impressed. Okay it is probably a nice pub for the locals, but then again I’m not a big fan of my local pubs, and the only reason I go there is because sometimes I want to get out of the house for a little while and they are the only place that is close, and open.
So, after a drink, I headed back towards the city, while taking in some of the large houses and apartment blocks that lined the road.
I shortly arrived at Edgecliff Station, which the the last station before you reach Bondi Junction. However it wasn’t my plan to head back to the city just yet (especially since it was still early) so instead I walked through the shopping mall that had been built on top of the station, and out the back. It was another short walk to another of Sydney’s little secrets – Trumper Park.
Okay, maybe it isn’t much of a secret, at least not to the locals, but to me it was something that I wasn’t really expecting. Most of the time when I am wandering through a city, especially through parks, I tend to expect those manicured parks where everything has its place, the lawns are meticulously mowed, and the gardens are arranged by professionals. You won’t discovered this in Trumper Park because, like other parts of Sydney, it is actually natural bushland. In fact this is one of those things that I love about Sydney and that is that you can be wandering through the inner suburbs and suddenly find yourself surrounded by bush.
Anyway, after a wonderful, and peaceful, walk through Trumper Park (though they do happen to have an oval there, probably for playing cricket, though I didn’t go and check it out), then stepped out the far end and found myself in Paddington, however that is another story for another day.