Watsons Bay

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Lluís Enric Mayans


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 Watsons Bay, located just a few kilometers from the City, is a place of relaxation and tranquility that will delight lovers of the beach, nature, history… and seafood!

Fishermen village

Less touristy than Manly and closer to the city, Watsons Bay is a real little relaxation area that will delight lovers of sunbathing and walks as well as history buffs.

Recognized as the oldest fishing village in Australia, established in 1788, it will not surprise anyone that many fishing boats are still moored in the bay today, among sailboats, kayaks and other pedal boats, or lined up along the beach.

Located 11 kilometers from Sydney, you will have to take the ferry to reach Watsons Bay, and if the journey offers a very beautiful view of the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge, there is nothing comparable to the grandiose view of the City that we have once arrived at our destination.

A short hike in the land of history

If you like to observe the ocean as far as the eye can see, I recommend that you take a look (and only a look) at the “Gap”.

This cliff, beyond which stretches the Tasman Sea, is famous for having precipitated the sinking of many boats which confused it with the entrance to Sydney Harbour, and at the sight of its steep rocks it is easy to grasp the whole tragedy of the fact.

Be careful not to bend over too much!

However, the view is worth the detour and the Gap is the place to go if you set foot on Watsons Bay.

On the other side of the bay, the trails will delight everyone, as they are a delight for the eyes.

Between the trees and the bushes which provide the path with much needed shade in hot weather, you will see the City on one side, Manly on the other and between the two dozens of boats and sailboats.

There is no more relaxing landscape! It will take you about an hour to reach the lighthouse, the "Hornby Lighthouse", which is distinguished by its red and white colors.

You can also see the old lighthouse keepers' house, which was renovated in 1977 and now belongs to Sydney Harbor National Park.

Around the lighthouse, you will be able to see in the ground old bunkers which were once used to store weapons (now kept at the Museum of Artillery, located at the northern tip of Manly).

To conclude this historical page, an old cannon, whose last shot was fired in 1933 despite being operational during the Second World War, is located on the heights of the beach, towards the City. 

Watsons Bay Beaches and Restaurants

Although small, the beaches of Watsons Bay are never crowded and it is relatively easy to find a place in the sun.

The absence of crowds makes it a calm and quiet place where you will undoubtedly like to spend the whole afternoon.

In addition, many small restaurants will satisfy your hunger and quench your thirst, the main menu being of course fish!

Note that the first Doyles restaurant (seafood specialist) was opened in Watsons Bay in 1885.

Very good reputation, I strongly advise you to stop there but beware of the endless queue at mealtime! Because in the absence of being on the beach, the crowd rushes to Doyles.

Finally, if you are in the mood for naturism, know that Watsons Bay also offers a beach where clothes are not compulsory!

 Useful Links

An overview of Doyles restaurants

Ferry schedules

A little history! Watsons Bay Lighthouse Information Site

Marielle Aithamon © Azureva.com

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