Travel Postcard: 48 hours for beachlovers in Sydney

Fri Dec 26, 2008 1:43am EST
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By Pauline Askin

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Sun, sand and surf -- Sydney's beaches have got it all. Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help beachlovers get the most out of a short stay in the city.


10 a.m. - Start off at Circular Quay, near The Rocks, the oldest part of Sydney. For about A$7 (US$5) you can take a Sydney Harbour ferry to the seaside town of Manly, with the 30-minute journey providing breathtaking views of the iconic Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Kirribilli House -- the prime minister's residence -- as well as the spectacular north and south heads, the maritime entrance to the harbor.

10.30 a.m. - Manly is one of Sydney's most popular seaside destinations, considered the jewel of north shore beaches. It offers gentle activities from strolling along the pine-tree lined Manly Beach, to fishing and scuba diving as well as more extreme sports such as diving with sharks at the Oceanworld aquarium, kayaking and parasailing.

12.30 p.m. - Enjoy an early lunch at The Bower Restaurant on Marine Parade. This restaurant is situated on the south side of the beach overlooking the ocean and is a perfect spot to enjoy fresh seafood while watching surfers ride the waves at the Fairy Bower surf break, just over the balcony from your table.

2 p.m. - Take the rest of the day to stroll along the northern beaches, stopping for an occasional drink and to soak up the views from Freshwater, Curl Curl, Dee Why, Long Reef, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Warriewood, Mona Vale, Newport, Bungan, Avalon, Whale Beach and finishing up at Palm Beach. To do this trip justice you need five or six hours, but if you get tired, you can always hop on the L90 bus which runs on the main road close to all of these beaches and will drop you off at Palm Beach, the northern most suburb of Sydney.

Fans of the Australian soap opera "Home and Away" will recognize Palm Beach, as it is where the show is shot -- the area is called "Summer Bay" in the series, however. Visitors can often see the cast and crew filming there.

7 p.m. - Enjoy dinner at Barrenjoey House Restaurant at Palm Beach. This area is nestled on a peninsula with lush evergreen bushland and sandy beaches, surrounded by the blue ocean. The menu offers various choices including Tasmanian Pacific oysters with pickled ginger and wasabi mayonnaise and lightly spiced ocean trout fillet with mussels in garam masala broth.   Continued...

<p>A tourist walks towards the Sydney Harbour Bridge at Circular Quay September 24, 2008 as clouds form in the distance. REUTERS/Will Burgess</p>