Category Archives: Sydney Sights and Streets

Nature Out & About Sydney Sights and Streets Wildlife

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk

This walk is a relative newcomer to the Sydney Coastal Walk network, with the 2 sections forming the loop opening in 2017-2018 through collaboration between local Council and NSW National Parks.

Following the coastline is a section approximately 3km in length, featuring views back to Maroubra Beach and Coogee in the distance, before reaching Magic Point and Boora Point. The problem though, the ANZAC Rifle Range sees this section close when the range is in action. Details from NSW National Parks

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Freedivers enter the water from the rocks, and views to Maroubra Beach

Thanks to the more recently opened trail on the western side though, permanent access is available between South Maroubra and Malabar beaches, if missing some of the stunning clifftop views.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
On the return to South Maroubra along the western path.

Today, our highlights included smaller creatures along with some beautiful flowers and stunning cliffs, if you’re there in the right seasons and get lucky, you may spot some migrating whales or resting seals.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Lots of legged reptiles scurrying around. We think this is a Bearded Dragon
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
One of the Banksia variants seen
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Sydney’s well known sandstone presents layered wonders, contrasted with sheer cliffs dropping to vivid blue water

Malabar Headland has had many uses over the years, with military operations included for a large part of its European history. Remnants of fortification from World War II including gun emplacements remain, while others have been demolished over the years.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk

After exploring the exposed trails along the sandstone cliffs, Malabar Beach can form a delightful rest-stop mid walk, or as a destination of its own. All the usual conveniences of a beach are present including public bathrooms and showers, a shaded kids’ playground and grassy knoll. It can be a great place to relax especially is Maroubra is a little busy or has too many waves for you.

Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
Malabar Beach is much smaller than nearby Maroubra, however offers a large sheltered bay
Malabar Headland Coastal Walk
A grassy knoll welcomes visitors. Stand-up paddlers can be seen enjoying the calm water.

WHAT TO KNOW:

Avoid days when the ANZAC Rifle Range is operating as this will limit you to the shorter western track

Access points are South Maroubra Beach carpark, or from either Pioneers Park or Malabar Beach. From South Maroubra you can start along the beach, or follow the large trail next to the large fenceline immediately behind the beach for the Coastal section; or follow the same fence away from the beach to find the stairs at the start of the western section. At the other end, the coastal section meets the end of Fishermans Road, next to the Malabar Boat Ramp and carpark, while the Western section starts at Pioneers Park. Between the 2 trails is some parkland that is an easy walk, and parking adjacent to both trailheads.

Bathrooms are available at either end, as are typical beach and parkland facilities. There is a cafe next to Malabar Beach, while Maroubra Beach has many options, an easy walk from South Maroubra. Continuing past Maroubra can link you with more Coastal Walk options towards Coogee and Bondi.

Nature SCUBA Diving Sydney Sights and Streets

Oak Park Shore Dive

With a holiday coming up for some Northern hemisphere winter fun it was time to get out in the water again before leaving the warmth.

I booked in with team at Abyss once again, having noticed a slightly different shore dive listed for this weekend. Most of their weekly free shore dives are open to all qualified divers (PADI Open Water), but this one was limited to Advanced Divers with an objective to go a little further out on one of their regular dive sites.

I’ve dived Oak Park with them on a few occasions, so recognised their description of the Fish Soup objective would be a good challenge. After picking up some hire gear at the shop, we met around 9am at the site for our briefing prior to gearing up for the dive. I found a buddy for my first dive in Chris and we were told this dive had a very clear objective – to get us all to the Fish Soup part of the dive site. We were given a turnaround mark of 120bar with clear instruction that if any buddy pair got to this pressure we were to signal the instructors but then head back under our own devices. With all of us having dived the site before, we were given a couple of navigation reminders before heading off for the dive.

We entered the site next to the ocean pool which is the norm at this site, and then surface swam about 30m off the back of the pool before starting the dive. With our objective in mind we didn’t mess around once we were under and made a pretty good pace in some mixed visibility. Not the worst, but this site offers better on most occasions. With this pace there wasn’t much time to look around on the way, but a few of us paused briefly to look at a cuttlefish hiding under a ledge.

This photo of the cuttlefish is from our second dive, it was hiding a bit further under the ledge by that time.

 

Oak Park Shore Dive

 

After quite a lot of finning we came over the edge of the ‘bowl’ that is Fish Soup and started looking around. Unfortunately there wasn’t a great deal of life around on the day and with my buddy and I needed to leave after about a minute of looking around. We spun around, signalled to the DM and off we went. The return fin was a nice challenge with quite some ground to cover, testing our navigation skills and our dive fitness. Fortunately both of these passed muster on the day and we surfaced very close to where we commenced our dive, then had a short surface swim back to shore.

 

The dive group met back on the grass of the park and enjoyed a standard Abyss surface interval including tomato soup with tabasco sauce, cold cordial and bread rolls with Peanut Butter or Vegemite. The usual chat about the first dive and plans for the second dive ensued and a couple of divers who needed to leave bid farewell.

 

With everyone agreeing that there wasn’t enough life to warrant the rushed dive to get back to fish soup, we split into smaller groups and setup for our second dive. Heather joined Chris and I and we set off. We decided to do a more relaxed dive and get to ‘the cave’ that’s well known at the site if we had enough air, and then turnaround at this point. We took the same entry and then relaxed into a much slower pace, with both Heather and I looking for life to photograph.

 

We potted along, spotting plenty of life including many nudibranchs on the way out, as well as finding the cuttlefish again.

Oak Park Shore Dive

This small starfish was looking quite lonley

Oak Park Shore Dive

Along the way the classic Blue Groper joined our group

Oak Park Shore Dive

We reached the cave and had a quick look, though my strobe isn’t strong enough to penetrate the darkness for a decent photo of the 4 metre deep cave. Then it was time to start heading back. Some more nudibranchs along the way, and a few fish.

Some fish are hard to spot (this might be an Eastern Red Scorpionfish)

Oak Park Shore Dive

Others put on more of a show (this might be a Sergeant Baker)

Oak Park Shore Dive

And jellyfish come in all shapes and colours. This blue jellyfish was quite cool

Oak Park Shore Dive

A couple more Nudibranchs to finish

Oak Park Shore Dive

This one was TINY!

Oak Park Shore Dive

 

The rest of the gallery can be seen below.

Oak Park Shore Dive

Oak Park Shore Dive

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Oak Park Shore Dive Site

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Nature Sydney Sights and Streets Weather

Sydney Summer Storms

Every summer Sydney is treated to some fantastic demonstrations of nature as summer storms roll through. A weak system rolled through this evening and I managed to capture a little bit of the lightning. Here’s hoping for some more opportunities soon.

More photos HERE

Lightning over Sydney, Australia on the evening of December 20th 2013

Lightning over Sydney, Australia on the evening of December 20th 2013

Out & About Sydney Sights and Streets

Prime Minister Gillard meets in North Strathfield Cafe

Sydney, Australia. 22/MAR/2013
Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits a cafe in North Strathfield for a meeting and draws a crowd of local workers and visitors.

The Prime Minister and John Murphy were meeting with the Inner West Courier. More to come on what was discussed.

https://www.facebook.com/innerwestcourier/posts/10151469297185617

Sydney, Australia. 22/MAR/2013Prime Minister Julia Gillard visits a cafe in North Strathfield for a meeting and draws a crowd of local workers and visitor


Nature SCUBA Diving Sports & Adventure Sydney Sights and Streets

SCUBA – Oak Park, Cronulla

With a day off following ANZAC Day, I took my new underwater camera setup for a dip, with my long-time friend and dive buddy Flic. On the surface it was a stunning mid-20s Autumn day. In the water it was around 19 with vis up to around 10m. All in all, perfect conditions.

We’d only done a short surface swim and came across this large ray. In about 5m of water and about 1.5m wide, and close to 3m to the tail tip!
We'd only done a short surface swim and came across this large ray. In about 5m of water and about 1.5m wide, and close to 3m to the tail tip!

Nudis are a great little creature that are a pleasant site on many Sydney dives. This little guy was wriggling along at quite a pace.
A cool little Nudi wriggling its way along

Another common site for divers was a big Grouper. This one was displaying the usual curiosity and swimming around and underneath us. Whatever I tried, I couldn’t get a good straight-on shot!
Nearly got him!

I eventually got this one just as I’d given up. It highlights what I think is their true grumpy spirit.
The only straight on shot I managed

I’m led to believe that the white things around this ‘Sea Tulip’ are Cuttle-fish eggs. I’d love it if someone could confirm or correct this for me.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Another large ray, only managed a couple of shots as it took off. It was completely hidden in the sand. I saw it but as I manouvered for a shot it got shy and started moving then it was off in an instant.
Another large ray, only managed a couple of shots as it took off. It was completely hidden in the sand. I saw it but as I manouvered for a shot it got shy and started moving then it was off in an instant.

And just one of many shots of the large schools of fish that were with us all morning. A wall of fish!
At times we were completely blanketed by schools of fish

These photos and more can be viewed in the


Air Sydney Sights and Streets

Qantas-Emirates A380 Sydney Flyover

Qantas and Emirates conducted a tandem flyover of Sydney Harbour with 2 Airbus A380s on Easter Sunday, 31 March 2013 to launch their new partnership. Qantas and Emirates flights to Europe will now travel via Dubai with passengers of both airlines receiving reciprocal benefits including frequent flyer and lounge access.

Pilots from both aircraft participated in a series of training including joint flight simulator sessions in preparation for the flight. The two A380s commenced the flight off the Northern Beaches prior to flying over the Sydney Harbour heads and along the harbour to Gladesville bridge area. After completing a turn a return run along the harbour was completed. During the flight, the aircraft were separated by only a few hundred metres and passed over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.

Full Gallery: HERE

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