Monday 30th January 2017
It’s always right before leaving a place that you discover a multitude of things you’ve not done in a certain city or town yet, and Sydney was to be no different. Therefore, the day before we flew to Melbourne, with our bags still un-packed and taxis to the airport not booked, we headed off to Palm Beach, home of Australia’s favourite ‘Home & Away‘, to climb the route to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse. It’s safe to say for this view, it was well worth it.
Palm Beach is located 41 kilometres, or an hour and a half drive via bus, from Sydney’s CBD, on the Northern Coast. It sits at the end of a long peninsula, with surf on one side and Pittwater on the other and fans of Australia’s television series “Home and Away’ will recognise it as the mythical village of ‘Summer Bay’ – we even managed to spot a bit of filming happening in one of the beach clubs!
The Barrenjoey Lighthouse sits at the Barrenjoey head of Palm Beach, Sydney’s most northern point. Access is from the beach or via the beaches rear car park. There are two routes up, The Trail (15 minutes, 800m and Grade 2) and Smugglers Track (10 minutes, 400m, Grade 3 and including steps). I saw the word ‘steps’ and with the weather touching over 30 degrees, decided on behalf of everyone involved that the Trail route would be more pleasant. Little did I know that The Trail would not be a slow incline and would in fact be a fairly tough, uphill walk (for those as unfit as me) and by half way up I needed a sit down. We came back down via the Smuggles Track and in comparison, even with the steps, this probably would have been an easier route.
After finally making it to the top, Ben and I stopped for some homemade sandwiches and to take in the view; it was something to behold.
My Tips for Visiting Palm Beach & the Barrenjoey Lighthouse
- Visit on a Sunday as this is the only day the actual Lighthouse is open if you want to have a look around inside. Tours are $5 per adult and $2 for children. The climb does include steps though so may not be suitable for small children. In addition, public transport costs are capped at $2.50 on a Sunday and so the whole day is made cheaper. We paid around $5 to travel return to Palm Beach on a Monday.
- Bring your binoculars if visiting during Whale season (May – November), as whales are often spotted from the top of the lookout.
- To get to Palm Beach from the city, catch the L88 or L90 bus from Town Hall, Wynyard or Central Station. The travel time is a little over an hour.
- Dogs are not allowed on the beach or up to the lighthouse.
- Take your own lunch, snacks and drinking water. There was a small cluster of cafes along the beach, but other than that nowhere to fill up water bottles or purchase food.
- It’s worth mentioning there are no bathroom facilities up at the lookout.
That’s all for now, I’ll stop rambling and let the pictures and that view speak for itself.