With hardly a day left to 2017, I’m ready to breathe a sigh of relief that this crazy ride of a year is coming to an end.
I can look forward, with hope, to a new one of excitement but to look back with gratitude, I find it best to single in on three simple things: sun, sand, and waves.
If there is one thing I can say about 2017, it’s that it’s taken me to many a beautiful beach–possibly more than in any other year of my life. Goals!
From a relaxing vacation in Puerto Galera and a surf trip to Baler in the Philippines to camping in Port Macquarie and road tripping to Byron Bay in Australia and of course all the day trips to beaches in and around Sydney, it’s been one sunny year.
I can’t think of a better way to wrap up this (half) year of blogging than with a write-up of four beautiful beaches I’ve visited this month, all of which have some standout features that make them excellent spots to bask in the hot, hot glow of summer as you start the new year right.
Here’s a quick look at our four beaches.
1. Manly Beach
Manly, the first beach I visited in Australia, is still a favorite.
It’s a scenic 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay and the walk from the wharf to the main beach takes you through warm streets graced with park benches, fountains, sandwich shops, bookstores, cafes, surfboards, and the occasional talented musician.
While it can get crowded in summer, it appears to be an excellent surf spot and one I look forward to trying out in the new year.
When the sun starts to dip behind the trees and cast shade on the beach, you can chase it back to a nice little bit of sand just beside the wharf.
2. Shelly Beach
Shelly Beach is a 15-minute walk along the coast from Manly but you can also drive there directly, park just up the path, and have a nice barbecue in the shade. The waves that hit Manly don’t reach this little spot so it’s great for little kids and snorkeling.
From the parking lot, and before heading down to the beach, catch this gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean.
3. Whale Beach
Whale Beach, north of Sydney, features a pool and fun rocky area for adventure play and exploration. On the opposite end of the beach, there is a surf rescue and, coincidentally, a gnarly surf spot. Those seen slashing the waves over here certainly had a seasoned appearance.
This beach has also got tables and grills for barbecues and a little playground in the shade for the kids.
4. Wattamolla Beach
Wattamolla is south of Sydney and tucked away in a beautiful nature reserve. You’ll have to drive here and once you get off the main road you’ll lose signal on your phone–a beautiful thing, really.
This stretch of cool ocean water is perfect for a swim because the waves are very mild. If the open sea is a little too chilly for you, however, you can hang out in the warmer pool of water on the other side. There is plenty of shallow water here for little kids to wade in and rocks off of which the older ones can jump.
There you have it, just a small taste of Sydney beaches but I dare say it’s a good start.
Here’s to a beautiful evening and a blessed 2018!