Chris Khalil's Musings

My thoughts on work and life

Category: Sydney Life

Australia Day Weekend (Avalon Beach and North Heads National Park)

We’ve just been celebrating Australia Day weekend, which means a public holiday! So, I went back to Melbourne to catch up with old friends and celebrate my friend Emma’s birthday. It was really great to see my old city, and a place that still resonates with my soul. I love the really laid back feel and effortless cool the place radiates.

Emma took us to an outrageously good pub in Brunswick called the Retreat Hotel. Grungy, funky, vibing and charismatic, it’s a place you (as we did) sit for a good meal in a comfortable environment, drink good beers and then as the evening progresses enjoy the huge beer garden, and then wile away the committing the dance crime of choice.

We also ate at a Cambodian restaurant called Bopha Devi in Yarraville. The food was first class, spicy but delicate with complex favours. Wish they’d open one in Sydney!

After saying my goodbyes I headed back to Sydney. The weather was fantastic, and on the bank holiday Monday a few of the beach crew (Phillipa, Sarah and Maree) got in the old beast and drove North! With windows wound down, the sun shining and music blasting from my little stereo we gleefully headed towards the glorious Northern Beaches. After a bit of deliberation we decided to check out Avalon Beach.

You can view photos of the afternoon here.

This really is a beautiful haven of a beach. Largely uncrowded, it has a relaxed and easygoing air about it. We stayed for the afternoon, read, chatted and swam. It encapsulated all that is great about living in Australia: clean air, exercise, sunshine and lifestyle. As the afternoon became early evening we decided it was time to head home. En route we stopped at North Heads National Park which has the most epic views of Sydney imaginable. Sweeping views of the city and bay vistas arrest you from every angle. If you ever get a chance to visit Sydney, I’d highly recommend checking out both these places.

Kangaroo Valley & Palm Beach

Well, it’s been far, far too long since I last posted anything (4 months actually – damnit).  But I fully intend to get back on the blogging horse and thrash it!

I’m loving the new job and have got into the Sydney groove. So, aside from plenty of big nights out, I’ve also done a fair bit of exploration too.

I won’t go into my customary level of detail, but I’ve had weekends away in the Blue Mountains and more recently Kangaroo Valley and Palm Beach.

Both places were fantastic and I had a fabulous time with my friends savouring the views and the odd sip of vino (or is that bottle). Kangaroo Valley is just lush and green, and we took time to go canoeing through some quite beautiful scenery. We were lucky enough to see a water snake, plenty of lizards, spiders, some weird birdlife and even a wombat!

Palm Beach is part of Sydney’s Northern Beaches and lies just under an hour outside of Sydney. It’s the filming location for ‘Home & Away’. So, does have a few tourists but nothing like Manly or Bondi. It’s a great place to spend a sunday afternoon, sunbathing, reading, swimming and body surfing. We also checked out Whale Beach which was even better by our reckoning. It’s definitely an area we all want to visit again.

Well, more details and maybe even some more UX stuff to come shortly.

Pics here!

Palm Beach

Kangaroo Valley

Sydney to Manly – Beach trip

(See pictures of the journey to Manly)

I finally feel like I’m settling into Sydney life! It’s definitely a much warmer place than Melbourne (in Winter at least). I’ve been really keen to get to the beach for a couple of weeks now, and finally made it yesterday!!

Considering it’s the last week of winter the temperature was an incredible 24C. Strolled around the city for a while before boarding the Manly Ferry.

Sydney CBD
It really is the only way to travel. As you leave the city on the 30 minute journey, you leave stunning views behind you of the Opera House, Harbour Bridge, the botanical garden and the soaring skyscrapers of the city.

Manly itself is a great place, vibrant and with plenty of choice on the bar/restaurant front. We arrived just in time for a few glasses of wine and a seafood lunch on the seafront. Simply delightful. Full with great food and experiencing a mid-afternoon lull, we rested on the sunkissed beach looking out to the twinkling ocean and catching a few rays. The rest of the afternoon was spent walking, playing frisbee and generally failing to believe we all actually lived in such a beautiful place!

As the afternoon ebbed into early evening and we watched the sun descend over the horizon, we set back from Shelly Beach to Manly. As we followed the winding beach path, a strange blue light caught our eye to sea. It was for such a brief amount of time we thought our eyes were playing tricks on us. Then, once more, a wave crashed to the shore aglow with a neon blue light emanating through it. This was all very surreal, but it appeared there was some algae or material washing ashore that was phosphorescing. It really was the most incredible site, as we approached Manly more and more waves swept into shore, glowing an eerie blue in the ink dark night.

It was a magical moment. Sadly I was unable to catch it, as the fates weren’t smiling and both my camera battery ran out and the memory card screwed up!

Anyway, did manage to get some decent pics of Sydney itself

Harbour Bridge and Opera House