It’s easy when you arrive in Sydney to whiz down to the well-known beaches; Manly, Coogee and Bondi but there’s so many more incredible beaches just a short drive out of the city that will literally blow your mind. They’re so picturesque, quiet and idyllic. The waves roll in ever so gently and crash against the bright white sand.
I recently decided to venture out to the Northern Beaches – basically anything North of Manly – when I stumbled across Long Reef Beach. It was mainly the name that attracted me to it because I automatically pictured an aquarium or something similar to the Great Barrier Reef. As we drove through quaint towns, I realised why most Sydney-siders decide set up home away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Bearing in mind it’s winter here now with temperatures hitting a maximum of 15-17 degrees (pretty fricking cold considering we were enjoying high 30s just three months back), there wasn’t a soul on the beach, apart from two crazy surfers who dived into the icy waves, when we arrived.
We did, however, have some company on the beach as a beautiful Australian pelican – who we have named Pete just for alliteration purposes – joined us and gave us some stunning shots.
He seemed to thoroughly enjoy his mini photoshoot as he waddled towards us, twisted his head in time to the clicks of my device and gave us a couple of sweet poses.
He then wandered down into the water – he let us get pretty close actually – but was clearly not expecting the chilly water to crash against his dainty webbed feet as he sort of ran back out onto the sand and shook his wings off.
Pete stayed with us for about half an hour, before he lunged forward and took off (something we caught on camera) for a swift flight over the sea, around a few trees and back around our heads.
But aside from being mesmerised by a stunning bird native to the great Down Under, the way these beaches are laid out are very different from what I’m used to in Brighton.
With a piece of rubbish washing up with every wave, seaweed wrapping around my ankles and murky water slamming against the heavily weathered pebbles 24 hours a day in Sussex, you can understand why most foreigners – ie. us Brits – head straight to the beach when they touch down in Australia.
We sat at Long Reef – about a 40 minute drive from the city – for a while as we let the gentle but freezing breeze blow against our faces, while we watched the seagulls (which are half the size of British ones FYI) peck at the sand.
I tried to capture the peaceful, relaxing, beach on camera as best I could (I’m no pro photographer yet) but I hope you enjoy the snaps (below) and it gives you some kind of encouragement to venture out of the city if you ever get the opportunity to come here because there’s so much more out there, desperate to be seen!