Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Darelle and Sally's Swimming Adventures: Camp Cove 21 November 2016

A swim at a very petite rock pool at Camp Cove in Sydney's eastern suburbs, and then a walk on the South Head Heritage Trail, part of Sydney Harbour National Park.



On our way to the beach - flowering gums

Darelle stops to contemplate the flowering gums

Camp Cove Beach from western end. At the far end is a kiosk. Smoothies, hot drinks, some sandwiches, fruit and snacks available. We had a coffee - it was hot, but very weak. 

Looking north and east. And the Navy set off in four ships - off for some exercises?

HMAS Adelaide III - an amphibious assault ship



This was the destination we had in mind - a 15 metre rock pool at Green Point, between Watsons Bay and Camp Cove - looking towards the city



Obligatory selfies. My waterproof camera has packed it in, so phone pics only...meaning nothing in the water. But, yes, we fully immersed and the water was lovely. 


Disappointed to see broken glass in the water in various places; we wore our thongs (flip-flops for some readers)





Our diligent research always includes "facilities". These were clean, plenty of paper, only one wash basin with cold water and no soap. No hook behind the door to hang your towel and bag. 

The reserve at Green (Laing) Point, looking northeast

This tells us that Captain Arthur Phillip and the First Fleet arrived at Camp Cove on 21 Jan 1788. The first ship had arrived in Botany Bay on 18 Jan, with the rest of the fleet joining them between 19&20 Jan. Conditions weren't very suitable for a settlement at Botany Bay, so Phillip and some others sailed north in 3 small ships to check out the coast further north. They came into Port Jackson and stopped off Camp Cove, found fresh water in a spring and spent the night here. 

After spending the night here, Phillip and co sailed down to what they called Sydney Cove, and to manly Cove, then back to Botany Bay. They arrived back at Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788, raised the British flag, and the rest is history. Here I am, and here are far fewer of the Indigenous inhabitants. 


The area around Camp Cove had been a popular fishing place for local Cadigal people. It was important t them as it was sheltered and there was fresh water. 


This road, alongside the naval station HMAS Watson leads on the loop trail around South Head. It was built in the 1870s.  It was built to carry supplies and ordnance from Camp Cove to various military installations on South Head.
HMAS Watson was a naval radar station established in WW2, in 1945 became a radar training school. Now it is an advanced anti-submarine, naval and warfare training centre. 



Someone enjoying a solitary dip





There are gun emplacements all around the headland. During WW2 there was a boom net placed right across the harbour from Georges Head in the north to Camp Cove in the south. It was meant to deter foreign ships. One Japanese midget sub got entangled in it. The submariner killed himself rather than be captured.

The cannon was placed here prior to 1890. It was designed to protect a military jetty and boatshed from the threat of invasion.

View to Camp Cove from the cannon

Beautiful harbour views all along the walk

The steps down to Lady Bay Beach, a "clothes optional" beach, declared as such by Premier Neville Wran in 1976.  You can wear swimsuits if you like, but most users don't. 

The mind boggles as to what group activities may be approved (or not approved)! Nude weddings and the like I suppose. 

Lady Bay (aka Lady Jane) Beach


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The Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage. Completed around 1860. The first keeper was a man named James Johnston, who was the sole survivor of a sailing ship called the Dunbar, which was wrecked off in heavy seas in 1857. 121 lives were lost. 

Looking north towards Manly

Hornby Lighthouse. Opened in 1858, originally powered by a kerosene lantern. It was built in response to the wreck of the Dunbar (see above), and the Catherine Adamson, near North Head two months later. It was automated in 1933 and now is powered by a 12 volt quartz halogen lamp. 

North Head from South Head




Gun emplacements like this have been built up and down the coast and around the shores of Sydney Harbour. The first was built in 1788 as a signalling station to announce the arrival of a ship.

In 1839, the undetected arrival of ships from the USA caused concern which triggered the building of fortifications at Bradleys Head, Fort Denison and here. France was an enemy, and then the Russians, These were built in 1853 and guns installed in 1872. In 1944 they were disarmed.





Camp Cove developed as a village containing fishermen's, pilots' and signallers' cottages. Some were Portuguese and American (including an African-American) who arrived by ship and decided to stay. Unauthorised boat arrivals!!!

Despite there being some very large modern houses (like those right along the beach, many of the cottages from the 1850s and on are preserved. And very, very expensive! We decided when our boats come in, we could stand living at Camp Cove! 



Looking towards Watsons Bay, Doyle's restaurant, the pub, the jetty and netted baths. Watsons Bay was called Kutti by the Cadigal people. 

Here's some info about the Heritage Trail which we followed. 

Dictionary of Sydney entry on Camp Cove, including early contact history.

Dictionary of Sydney entry on South Head




1 comment:

Amanda Kane said...

That was great. Lovely pics and really interesting. Thanks!