Sunset on the East Coast
Given that everything in Australia is upside down; considering that bathwater swirls down the drain in the wrong direction and seeing that the midday sun burns its hottest when high up in the Northern sky, it should surprise no-one that Sydney – greatest city of the Southern Hemisphere – has indeed some of the best sunsets. Sydney, for the geographically challenged, sits on the East Coast of the Great Southern Island. Bar only for that handful of Kiwis inhabiting our 9th State (too busy chasing sheep anyway), the 5 million dwellers of the Big Smoke are the first to greet the new day as the morning sun rises up above the Pacific. But savvy city-slickers are also the first to enjoy the spectacle of the fiery sun sinking over the ocean’s black waves – an experience usually reserved to Capetonians, Alfacinhas or Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some of my favourite spots to sip a cocktail at 8PM (in December) or a hot chocolate at 5PM (in July) include:
- Cape Banks, surrounded by the Botany Bay/Kamay National Park. Also a great spot for whale watching. And while you’re there, check the dilapidated cemetery of the old Sydney Lepra hospital, and pay your respects at the Aboriginal burial site (of remains repatriated from musea across the world).
- La Perouse, named after the unlucky french navigator who on 28 January 1788 sailed into Botany Bay – two days too late to stop the English from introducing white toast bread, beer yeast, screw-top stubbies and left-hand-side driving to this part of the world. For more info visit the La Perouse Museum.
- North Manly – Best to enjoy on the way back from the Fairfax Walk.
- Little Manly – hidden gem. There’s a public BBQ ands a picnic table. So take some king prawns and a bottle of chilled sauvignon-blanc from the Hunter Valley. Watch out for bandicoots and little penguins!
- Steel Point Cottage – at the western point of Nielsen Park, not far from Shark Beach.
- The Manly to City ferry – you’ll need to time it if you want to see the sun set above the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Some ferry-drivers (!) will even make small detour, or slow the boat down to allow for your prize-winning photo.
- Watson’s Bay. Hard to beat the nearly uninterrupted views from the eastern most end of Sydney Harbour all the way to the Bridge. Comes with the added advantage of two fish n’ chips shops, a beer-garden and an iconic sea-food restaurant.
Where do you prefer to see the sun set?