Sublimely beautiful Parsley Bay (see below for info about the name) in Vaucluse, on the southern side of Sydney Harbour was the destination for today's adventure.
Your intrepid reporters:
It's billed as a "hidden gem", and despite it being a beautiful, sunny, 26 degree day in the school holidays, it wasn't crowded.
Before a swim we went for a walk:
Yes, I swam, to the net and back, but had forgotten my waterproof camera battery, so no shots from in the water. Nevertheless, there was lots to record on land!
We even saw some of the famed Eastern Water Dragons sunning themselves on rocks.
But the only sand crab was a sculpture!
The water was beautifully warm...no frisson upon entry. It was clear and calm.
Toilet and change amenities were adequate - clean and well maintained but without any hand soap.
One of the highlights was the on-site kiosk, where the coffee was wonderful, and there was an array of lunchy snacks - fresh fruit, sandwiches, toasties, a couple of pasta specials, cakes and biscuits, pies and sausage rolls.
Here's a short documentary about Parsley Bay, created by the Seniors Workshop in January 2014.
Supported by Woollahra Council :
There's a parking area, but it was full when we arrived, so we parked on the street up a fairly steep street, but only 100 metres or so away. Parking is a bit limited, so I'd say it's best as a week day destination.
The traditional owners of this land were members of the Birrabirragal band, a coastal group which clustered around the periphery of Sydney harbour, their culture, way-of-life and economy attuned to the natural characteristics of their foreshore environment. (from: http://www.woollahra.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/16272/Parsley_Bay_Reserve_Web.pdf)
There are two popular versions of the origin of the name. One, that a hermit called 'Parsley' lived in early years in one of the caves at the head of the bay, the other is traditional and was probably used by the first exploratory parties (1788) to refer to an edible plant growing there, closely resembling parsley, which was used as an anti-scorbutic (scurvy) by the vitamin starved First Fleeters.
The Bay was set aside for public recreation use in 1907.
The bridge (from Woollahra Council site)
As early as 1906, Vaucluse Council was considering the benefits of installing a footbridge across 'The Parsley Glen' to improve pedestrian access between the two shores of the Bay. A cable suspension bridge was constructed during 1910 at a cost of £500. The work was carried out using Council labour and the bridge built to the design of Edwin Sautelle, then Town Clerk and Engineer of Vaucluse. Sautelle was later an Alderman of the Council, serving as Mayor twice. His greatest legacy to Vaucluse, however, is found in the graceful lines of the Parsley Bay Bridge - the distinguishing feature of the Bay and a focal point of the Reserve.
And that's a VERY large floatie you have there!