Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 21: Avalon Pool

Pool Number 3. The water was warmer than at Palm Beach and Whale Beach, but much of the bottom was covered with seaweed. Tomorrow: a glimpse underwater.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 20: Avalon Beach

Here's an Avalon factoid: In the 1990s, an episode of US TV show Baywatch was filmed at Avalon.
There was some talk of permanently relocating the show to Avalon, but that got stymied due to protests by locals.

Avalon was named in 1921 by a local developer, Arthur Small, after the mythical resting place of King Arthur.

There is a pool at the southern end, nestled under the cliff. The headland is Bilgola.

Read more here

Monday, 28 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 19: Avalon Headland

Avalon Head seen from the southern end of the Bangalley Head walk. The gap just visible towards the end of the cliff is St Michael's Cave.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 18: Flannel Flower

 Sydney (or Eastern) flannel flowers (Actinotus helianthi) along the track through Bangalley Head. It is a member of the carrot family!

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 17: Bangalley Head

Above: The view north from Bangalley Head. The climb is pretty strenuous, but well worth it for the spectacular views from the highest point on the northern Sydney coast. Barrenjoey Head is clearly visible, as is Palm Beach. The headland in the middle distance is Little Head. The one with the house on top is Careel Head.

Below: The view south towards Avalon. The next headland is Avalon, the beach is Avalon, and then the next headland is Bilgola Head.

This great diagram from the website of Reef Care shows the geological compsition of the various headands of the northern beaches.
Brown: Narrabeen shales and sandstones (cross bedding, variable layers, variable erosion - stepped rock platforms, debris retained, boulder beaches)
Pink: Bald Hill Claystone (regular bedding, thin layers, easily eroded - large rock platforms and free-form boulders)
Yellow: Hawkesbury sandstone (blocky formations, thick layers, erosion resistant - cliff forming, massive rock falls)

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 15: Whale watching?

A father and his young son sit on the rock platform at the southern end of Whale Beach. It's out of season for whale watching, but the boy seemed captivated by the yacht sailing past.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 14: Rock Carving

Carved stone on the rock platform at southern end of Whale Beach.

There is one at Palm Beach as well.; photo (left) by Ann.

I have no idea who did these, but I have read a report that they have been there for decades. Anyone with any information, please post!

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 12: Whale Beach

Pool Number 2 on our trek: Whale Beach, on the morning of 7 January 2013

The origin of the name Whale Beach is unknown, although it is presumed to be associated either with the shape of the northern headland, or a beaching of a whale.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 11: Refuelling

No excellent adventure would be complete with adequate hydration and nourishment. Day Two began (after a bust trip back to the previous day's end-point) with an uphill walk, a downhill walk, and a restorative tea and coffee at Whale Beach.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 10: Palm Beach Bible Garden

The Bible Garden in Mitchell Road, Palm Beach, has spectaccular views  north over Palm Beach. It contains biblical plants. You can read more here. It was established in the 1960s as a "perfect example of the glory of God's creation."

Friday, 18 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 09: The Trek

The initial aim of this trek was to swim in every ocean pool between Palm Beach and Manly. This was pool number one, Palm Beach Ocean Pool. From it is a fabulous view of Barrenjoey Head and the lighthouse.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Monday, 14 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 05: Palm Beach Ocean Pool

After the trek up Barrenjoey Head, a refreshing dip in the ocean pool at Palm Beach for Sally, Nola and Ann. Tomorrow we'll meet one of the other denizens of the pool.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 04: View from Barrenjoey Lighthouse

The sandstone Barrenjoey Head was cut off from the mainland by rising sea levels about 10 000 years ago. The subsequent build up of sand forms the spit (or tombolo) between the Head and the settlement of Palm Beach.

Looking south from the lighthouse, on the left hand side you can see the surfing beach of Palm Beach, on the right, the calmer waters of Pittwater.

The headland at the southern end of Palm Beach is called Little Head, which separates Palm Beach from the next beach, Whale Beach. The larger headland further south is Bangalley Head, where we will venture in a few days.

Palm Beach is where popular TV soapie, Home and Away is filmed.

The southern end of the Palm Beach is marked as Cabbage Tree Boat Harbour on a map of 1832. It was latter named Palm Beach after the nearby cabbage tree palms.

The view to the north takes in Lion Island, the entrance to Broken Bay and the national parks and beaches of the Central Coast

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 03: Inside Barrenjoey Lighhouse

The light(above) looks like a Dalek! And if you don't know what a Dalek is, you had better click on this link.

The signal flags and charts and other necessary paraphenalia are still all in existence.

See yesterday's blog for more information about this lighhouse.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 02: Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Barrenjoey Lighthouse - one of four Sydney lighthouses outside Sydney Harbour. The others are the Hornby lighthouse at South Head (entrance to the harbour),  Macquarie at Vaucluse- Australia's first and thus longest operating lighthouse (see previous blog here) and Cape Bailey, at the entrance to Botany Bay.

This was the third light on the headland, and was completed in 1881. The first report of any light on the headland was in 1855 when a fire was raised in a basket to assist mariners during stormy weather. In 1932 it was converted to automatic operation. It is now under the control of the NSW Parks and Wildlife Service as part of Kuring-gai National Park.

Barrenjoey is made of magnificent sandstone.

Tomorrow a look inside!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Sally and Ann's Excellent Adventure 1 : The Beginning

Come with us on a 5 day, 50 kilometre walk from Barrenjoey Lighthouse to Shelley Beach at Manly. The aim was to swim in every one of the ocean pools along the coast: Palm Beach, Whale Beach, Avalon, Bilgola, Newport, Mona Vale, North Narrabeen, Collaroy, Dee Why, North Curl Curl, South Curl Curl, Freshwater, Queenscliff and Fairy  Bower.

First, a stop at West Head in Kuring-gai Chase National Park, to look out across Pittwater at our starting point: Barrenjoey Lighthouse on Barrenjoey Head (Sunday 6 January, 2013).

Kuring-gai was named after the Aboriginal people of the area, the Guringai, who owned the land from Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) north across Broken Bay.