While in lockdown, we all watched quite a bit of television – queue music from Prisoner or Orange is the New Black- if you’re like me and don’t mind watching the occasional soapie – it tends to be a bit of escapism from the everyday. Tourism has a lot to thank tv shows, movies and books, so now we’re out of lockdown, let’s head off on a day trip to Pittwater and Palm Beach home of the show Home & Away.
The Australian series Home and Away has been running for 33 years and has been the spring board into Hollywood for many famous Australian actors such as Heath Ledger, Isla Fisher and Chris Hemsworth. It also features The Guinness Book of Records longest continuing soap star Ray Meagher who plays Alf Stewart – ‘Ya flamin’ Galah’s’.
Home and Away is filmed in Palm Beach in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, but it’s not just the TV series that makes it a great day trip from the city, there are lots of other things to see and do in the nearby surroundings. We caught the bus from Wynyard Station, an hour and a bit ride, to the wharf on Barrenjoey Rd.
We hopped on a FantaSea ferry for the 20 minute or so cruise over to The Basin. The Basin is a recreation area located within the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park popular with day trippers and campers.
It was quite a beautiful scene as we departed Pittwater for The Basin. While the clouds were threatening to give us a shower, the weather turned out quite delightful.
Upon arrival at The Basin in Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, we are greeted by one of the locals, I called him Wally. The cutest most inquisitive Wallaby I think I’ve met. This is no zoo people, they roam free throughout the park.
Next up was Anna, the Goanna. Anna wasn’t as impressed to meet us and just after this picture was taken decided to relieve him/herself… I’ve never seen so much liquid come from a reptiles body. After a wander around, we head back by ferry to Palm beach for lunch.
We had lunch at Club Palm Beach which seems to be a local favourite. The meals here are large, healthy and tasty. I opt of the Vegetarian Nachos while my friend goes for the Felafel Tacos. Of course I get food envy of her felafels but when I spy the Vietnamese Prawn Noodle Salad (not pictured) some ladies sitting near us are eating, I become even more envious and promise to myself I will be back here for lunch soon.
A short walk from Club Palm Beach we head to the Palm Bech Surf Club and then hike up to Barrenjoey Headland. Depending on your level of fitness, the walk can get a little steep in some sections but once at the top the views are spectacular. Barrenjoey Headland was originally named ‘Barrenjuee’ by Governor Phillip in 1788, which is an Indigenous word for small wallaby.
At the top is the Barrenjoey lighthouse. Completed in 1881, the 20 metre sandstone lighthouse is on the NSW State Heritage Register and really worth a wander around. Famous as the headland and lighthouse in Home & Away.
We headed back down to Palm Beach towards the surf club – Home of Summer Bay. Coming across some of the vehicles and props used in the show, we get a little excited!
It kind of feels a little surreal and that we are actually in Summer Bay and yes we do act like a ‘flamin Galahs’
The ‘Summer Bay’ Surf Club is an actual working Surf Life Saving Club for Palm Beach – although the signs say Summer Bay. Upstairs is where the fictional restaurant SALT is located, although there is no restaurant actually there.
Visiting ‘Summer Bay’ was fun, we saw a bit of filming but were kept at a distance by security due to COVID-19.
Pittwater and Palm Beach has something for everyone – the hiker, the nature lover, the beach lover, the animal lover, the food lover and those that want to be ‘closer each day, Home & Away’.
MattySomewhere travelled to Palm Beach and Pittwater independently on public transport.