Friday, 28 August 2009

Curlew Camp Walk

My cousin Jeff, who lives in Brisbane, was in Sydney for the weekend. We met for a walk along the Sydney harbour foreshore on a bright Saturday morning. The walk is a fairly new one, the result of a collaboration between Mosman Council and Taronga Zoo, and skirts Little Sirius Cove, close to where the first fleet anchored in 1776. It passes the site of Curlew Camp where several famous Australian artists, including Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts and Sidney Long, used to come in the late 1800s for sketching opportunities.

A map of our route is downloadable at this site.
We began at South Mosman wharf. The path climbed steeply to the crest of a hill, from which there were good views back across the harbour towards the city.

Circling some expensive real estate, I admired the landscaping around an apartment tower.These are fine specimens of kangaroo paw (Anigozanthus spp.)

A small park allowed us some more good views looking across the harbour towards the southern shore.

Directly below we could see Little Sirius Cove.

Our route led us along a suburban street and down a narrow footpath to the small park and sandy beach we had seen from the ridge. Looking back from the shore we admired the eclectic mix of housing on the hillside. All were designed to take advantage of the views, the older houses with wide verandas, the modern ones with plate-glass windows and expansive decks.

Continuing on our way, we passed through a grove of paperbarks and found ourselves at the Curlew Camp site. One of the artists had obligingly marked the spot by carving the name and the year into a nearby sandstone rock.

More information about the artists and their camp is at Mosman library's blog.

As we approached the Taronga wharf, we passed above Whiting Beach where the pale blue harbour waters met an immaculate strip of white sand. A huge Moreton Bay fig loomed overhead.

At the wharf our daughter picked us up in her car and ferried us back to our starting point. Then we all went further around the harbour to Balmoral Beach and picnicked on the grass with some of the best fish and chips in Sydney. It's a popular spot - others had the same idea.

From the promenade above the beach, we could look towards North Head and the narrow gap that leads from the harbour to the vastness of the Pacific Ocean. The tide was so low that the sign warning of "submerged rocks" and the rocks themselves were high and dry.

As we walked back to the cars, I paused to admire the green roof on a low apartment building across the road from the beach.

It was a pleasant way to spend one of Sydney's sunny winter days. I found a video of the walk, with commentary on Youtube.
It provides more explanation of the artists' camp and adds another perspective to my own impressions.

Although we drove to and from the walk, you could make an even better day of it by taking a ferry from Circular Quay to South Mosman wharf and returning on the Taronga Zoo ferry from the other end. For some unaccountable reason the South Mosman ferry does not run on Saturdays, so we had no choice in the matter.

1 comment:

SJ said...

Great account and photos.I especially liked the one of you and Jeff at the beginning, not just because of you guys, but also the perspective and view over the houses back to the city centre. Very Sydney!