This was another day of adventure I couldn’t wait to happen. Some of the places I planned to go were far from each other, and the only place that’s within-city-center-(ish) was Taronga Zoo. So again, I woke up early in the morning, and even earlier than the day before. I woke up at 3:30 AM!
Barrenjoey lighthouse was the first place and destination I wanted to see that day, and the reason I went there very early is to catch the sunrise. By public transport (bus) it takes about two and a half hours from city center or 2 hours by car. It’s located further north, close to Palm Beach. The sun supposed to rise at 6:30 am and I rushed my way to get there. From city center, I had to go to Town Hall Station, and hop on Bus #188, and transferred to bus #199 to Palm Beach.
Soon as I hopped off the bus, I went to the palm beach. It was so serene and chill, the sand was very soft and nobody was on the beach. I had the beach all to myself literally, well, I shared it with seagulls obviously. The lighthouse was seen on top of the hill from the beach. I really enjoyed the view at the beach as the sun rose slowly from the horizon, combined with low-rised fog just above the water, and with the background of the hills wherein lay the Lighthouse. It was just like a beautiful dream, except it was real. I was supposed to hike to the lighthouse, but I felt like I was where I supposed to be. So I spent about an hour on the beach, which probably too long for my plan. Who cares? I was in heaven.
After I felt enough (it’s never enough, really), I started the hike up to the lighthouse. There were two marked route, the so called “Barrenjoey track” where the track is paved with steady ascending, and the “smugglers track” where the hike more steep with rough stony path. I Chose the latter for ascending, and chose Barrenjoey track as my exit track. The hike started from Palm beach Golf Road, passing station beach, and by the end of the station beach, there was this sign that direct visitors to either Barrenjoey track, and or Smugglers track.
I enjoyed smuggler track better actually, since it’s a better route for “workout” – if you know what I mean. I stopped several time along track admiring the view as I gained some elevation. And such a beautiful view it was at one point, where I stood right in the middle of the long beach, with one waters on my right and one waters on my left. It was another perfect day indeed. Perfect weather – Check! Good hike – Check! Perfect sandy beach – Check! Perfect scenery – Check! I just couldn’t be happier
Tips: There are several beach in that area; they are Palm Beach, Barrenjoey Beach, and Station beach. Palm beach faces east so it’s great for sunrise, and I bet Barrenjoey beach and Station beach is great for sunset. Both Barrenjoey beach and station beach are on the same side. Palm beach is much cleaner than Station beach and it’s a perfect spot to relax. Use the smuggler’s track to get to the lighthouse, and use the Barrenjoey track on the way down.
After some good hikes in the palm beach, I immediately went to Taronga Zoo. On a plot twist, I somehow managed to hop on a wrong bus and ended up in Manly beach. From there, I had to find another bus to get to the zoo and I got transferred twice. By the time I arrived in the zoo, it was already around 12 pm in the afternoon and I was starving. The first spot I checked in Taronga zoo is its restaurant, obviously. I had couple of cakes and hot chocolate before started exploring the zoo.
I love animals, and being at the zoo gives me so much joy. Not in the way that I’m happy to see the animals were caged kind of way, but I just love seeing animals whether they are on their natural habitat or in the zoo.
Taronga Zoo is one of those cool zoos, and I love the various animal it has. My top three favourite animal from the zoo are Penguin (of course), seals, and meerkat. The penguins that are on display are Little Penguin (Eudyptula minor) or also called blue penguin because of its blue plumage. It’s a native to Australia and New Zealand, and the height is only about 30 cm. Aren’t they are the cutest?!
The other thing that I love from the zoo, that It has a lookout point towards Sydney Opera House, though it become more visible from Taronga Zoo Wharf.
Tips: Spend 2-3 hours in the zoo, and go back to the city by Ferry. Buy the ticket online to avoid queue, and watch the hours for the special show like the seal show.
La Perouse Point
I was supposed to go to Cremorne Point, but since I got lost on my way to Taronga Zoo, I didn’t have enough time to go to Cremorne then to La Perouse Point. So, I went straightly to La Perouse point instead.
If Barrenjoey Lighthouse is up further north from city center, La Perouse is the opposite. La Perouse is a suburb in South eastern Sydney and it takes 1,5 hours to reach the lookout point by bus from the city center. La Perouse was named after the French navigator Jean-François de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse (1741–88), who landed on the northern shore of Botany Bay west of Bare Island on 26 January 1788 (source: wikipedia).
What’s interesting about La Perouse is that it’s the location of the Bare island fort in Botany Bay. Bare Island is connected by footbridge to the main island of La Perouse. Bare island contains former fortification facilities and former veteran’s home and museum. It was featured in Mission Impossible-2.
Beside the Bare Island, the area also has La Perouse Museum and Macquarie Museum. I didn’t go inside the museum, so I can’t tell whether it’s worth visiting. I arrived at La Perouse around 5 pm, while the sunset was around 7:30 pm. So, I wander around the area for about two hours, and stayed there after the sunset around 1 hour since the bus didn’t come until about 8 pm.
The visit to La Perouse point (including Bare Island) was one of highlighted moments in Sydney. Well, the whole day was. But, the moment in La Perouse was when I saw the perfect sunset and sunset color ever (that’s what I thought, before I catch sunset in Sydney Botanical Garden on Day-5). Equally crazy color, but the sun was crazy big and round in La Perouse Point
Tips: La Perouse Point is best for Sunset. Spend some time in Bare Island just before sunset, then go to the west side of the area for epic sunset. You may want to check La Perouse Museum and Macquarie watchtower