Seven Rewarding Pit Stops to Make When You're Tackling the South Head Heritage Trail
Weave past pristine harbour beaches and historic monuments on this scenic track.
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Unless you're lucky enough to live close by, Watsons Bay isn't a stumble-there-by-accident kind of place. You've either made the journey by ferry, bus or car, or you powered here on two legs. However, it's worth the effort. This picturesque suburb is home to harbour beaches, legendary fish and chip shops, wedding venues and a family-friendly park. It's also where you'll find the one-kilometre South Head Heritage Trail, which snakes through national parkland and overlooks the ocean and city. Together with Adidas, we've picked out seven rewarding pit stops to enjoy next time you tackle the South Head Heritage Trail, starting and finishing at Robertson Park. Take a look, then launch the map below to plan your own adventure.
GREEN POINT RESERVE
From Robertson Park, stroll along Marine Parade looking out to the city beyond. Follow the path around to Camp Cove and you'll soon find Green Point Reserve. Looking out over Sydney Harbour's glistening blue waters, this small patch of grass is the perfect place to stretch your limbs and take in the view. Take a moment to snap a few photos and relax on the grass as you gaze across the water. In your swimmers? There are secluded swimming spots here if you prefer to take a dip away from the crowded beaches.
Barely a stone's throw away from Green Point Reserve is the harbour-facing Camp Cove Beach. This strip of golden sand is well known for its calm waters and you'll sometimes spot divers entering the water near the kiosk. Nab a spot by the shore for quick access in and out of the water, or set up a brolly for a picnic before tackling the rest of the walk. Rich in history, Camp Cove is believed to be an important fishing location for the Gadigal people before invasion.
After you've brushed off the sand from your swim, follow the trail up the stairs for just 100 metres. Here you'll find a canon. Originally placed to protect the headland from potential attacks, this historic monument has become somewhat of a photo op location for tourists. Take a rest on the sandstone and appreciate the magnificent backdrop.
LADY BAY BEACH
Continue along the path and you'll soon find Lady Bay Beach, also know as Lady Jane Beach. This small, sheltered beach is a popular nudist spot for (mostly male) locals and tourists. If you didn't pack swimmers and you are open to a nudie swim, take the opportunity to plunge right in. While swimwear is accepted here, it's far from the norm. Be respectful and avoid taking photos. And, as always, slip, slop and slap.
HORNBY KEEPER'S COTTAGE
Next stop on the trail is Hornby Lighthouse — the third lighthouse to be built in NSW in 1858 — and the nearby Hornby Keeper's Cottage. Originally built for the lighthouse keeper, of course, this sandstone cottage is a key milestone in the walk. From here you can spend time whale watching in winter, or spotting yachts in the harbour in summer. Swot up on your local history, or use the opportunity to lay down and enjoy South Head's views. From here, turn back around and retrace your steps to Camp Cove.
CAMP COVE KIOSK
By the time you've made your way back to the beach, you're sure to have worked up an appetite. For a quick refreshment, head to Camp Cove Kiosk for an ice cream, juice or smoothie. Or, if you're feeling a bit more peckish, opt for one of its sandwiches (tuna, brisket, egg and chicken are usually on offer). Breakfast options include avocado and feta on sourdough and healthy brekkie bowls. Take your snacks to the sand as you refuel by the gentle waves.
After your feed, take the most direct route along Cliff Street for 650 metres to reach The Gap. The stunning ocean cliff has unique rock platforms and the pounding ocean below. Before colonisation, the area was home to the Birrabirragal people. Today it's a lookout point, but it also has a history of being a place where people have taken their own lives. Local man Don 'Angel of The Gap' Richie was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for his prevention of more than 160 deaths at The Gap. Take a moment to remember Don and those who've walked here before us. Then, head back down the steps to Robertson Park to mark the end of your run or walk. Want to extend your day further? Enjoy an afternoon drink at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel.
In need of a new pair of runners? Take a look at the new Adidas Ultraboost 21 runners here. Launch the map below to start plotting your own running adventure in and around Sydney.
Top image: Andrew Gregory; Destination NSW
Published on March 31, 2021 by Bec Zhuang
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