We are now experiencing some lovely sunny days which are conducive to exploring the outdoors. It is a welcome change to the week of cold, wet weather we had a week prior. In the southern hemisphere, it is the last month of winter and I am very much looking forward to warmer weather! In conversations with friends, we have all agreed that it would be very desirable if we could chase warmer weather around the globe in order to miss the winter season altogether! Although as with life, you need to experience the cold and the hot weather to appreciate the other – the good with the bad.
As a result of a lovely warm, sunny winter’s day we wanted to get outside but were indecisive as to where to go – to explore and enjoy the sunshine. We initially decided we’d drive down to the south coast but then along the way, my husband decided we could visit Bare island. The name sounded familiar but I could not place it until we arrived and looked around, things looked immediately looked familiar. I asked my husband if we’d been there before and he replied that we had, but a very long time ago. We then remembered that we had been there at least 17 years ago! My daughter had also been there about 5 years ago on a day trip with vacation care and she slowly remembered her visit too.
Bare island is at La Perouse in the Botany Bay National Park. It is a popular place for locals and visitors alike – especially when the weather is warm and sunny! We brought food so decided to sit down to a picnic lunch overlooking the water – we could see the North and South headlands directly in front, Congwong beach closer to the left and Bare island to the right. It was lovely to be near water and take in such stunning views as we ate our lunch. As we ate, we discussed where we would go to explore first – the beach or the island.
We decided to first explore the beach that we could see from our vantage point, then go over to the island afterwards. We packed up our things and set off on the walk down to the beach – it is called Congwong beach. It was lovely to be near a beach since it feels like so long since summer when we were last at a beach. My daughter couldn’t get down to the beach fast enough, we decided to climb and explore the rocks and found that if we continued over the rocks that they wound around to another smaller, secluded beach. My husband stopped us from continuing further as he observed it seemed to be a nudist beach! I did a bit of research and apparently, it is not an officially recognised nude beach but council is aware of the occasional reports of nudist activity on the beach. So we stayed exploring the rocks, took some lovely photos looking out to the sea before heading back to the beach (not the nudist beach!) where we took off our shoes to feel the sand between our toes, dipping them into the water. It was cool but not cold, the water temperature is reported to be 20 degrees Celsius which was refreshingly pleasant.
After we had explored the beach, we decided to go and check out the turret tower we could see when we were eating our lunch. When we got closer, we read the sign posted on the tower stating that it is a Barrack Tower or Watch Tower. In the time of Governor Macquarie, it was the centre for a small group of soldiers who kept watch for smugglers and also directed stray vessels. There is also the La Perouse Museum which provides more information on the area but we didn’t have the time to visit on this particular occasion – it leaves us an opportunity for another visit!
After the Barrack Tower, we made our way to Bare island. Along the way to the island, we saw someone flying a kite that was in the shape of a bird – it was perfect weather for kite flying and saw a few more when we headed back up. When we crossed the bridge to the island, there was a group of people waiting at the gate for a tour of the island. There are organised tours to visit the island fortification – tickets can be purchased at the museum and run at three different times of the day. My daughter went on an organised tour when she visited 5 years ago. We decided we would walk down to the rocks around the fortification and explore there.
Exploring the rocks around the island did not disappoint, we found that they were such large structures resembling immense waves carved out of the rock. The sheer size of them were amazing and left us in awe at the beauty as well as the size. We also explored some rock-pools, finding small crabs and sea snails. It was lovely to visit a place that we had forgotten – it was like visiting for the first time! Being near the water is such a lovely feeling, I feel at peace and most serene when I am near the water and have often expressed that I must have been a fish in a former life! It is always lovely to explore and marvel at the wonder of nature and we are very grateful that we have an abundance of natural beauty to explore – it is very easy to Laugh, Love, Live when surrounded by such natural beauty.
We decided to walk around to the other side of the headland of La Perouse to explore. My daughter was complaining about her sore feet until she saw the small beach then promptly exclaimed that she wanted to go down and explore! The beach (Frenchman’s Bay) on this side is much calmer as it is inside the bay rather than opening out to the ocean through the North and South heads. The sun glistened off the water creating a magical sparkle, again we took off our shoes to enjoy the sand between our toes and water splashing over them, washing away our woes.
I hope you have enjoyed exploring this little spot as much as we did – maybe it will inspire you to visit somewhere you have not been for a while, to rediscover it’s beauty and charm. Or you may decide to visit somewhere new. Go out and explore the world, whether that be at your doorstep or further beyond – adventures are yours for the taking! Enjoy!