Home and Away

Palm Beach is the northernmost beach suburb of Sydney.  A mere 2 hour bus ride from the CBD brings you to the location of the Aussie soap opera “Home and Away” known as Summer Bay.


I first came here 16 years ago, pretty much to the day, with my daughter and her partner when we visited Sydney for the first time in order to attend the christening of my first grandchild. It is a breathtaking location.

Barrenjoey beach

On my first visit we took the trail up to Barrenjoey lighthouse which was quite a clamber up the cliff. This time I looked for the road – then very rough and bumpy – now resurfaced.

Before I headed up to the lighthouse I treated myself to lunch at the Boathouse, a restaurant on the edge of Barrenjoey beach on the Pittwater.

The food is expensive and not all that great, but the glass of Sauvignon Blanc and the view more than made up for that and I was celebrating my daughter’s birthday, even though, disappointingly, she wasn’t with me this time.

The boathouse where I ate lunch

Walking along the shoreline was like walking in bath water, it was so warm, in contrast to the windier surf of the Pacific Ocean.


The road wound its way up the rocky outcrop to Barrenjoey lighthouse, with  the views I was looking for. Unfortunately the lighthouse is under renovation so I was unable to go inside, but I felt a sense of achievement having got to the top once again!

The views from the top are well worth the effort it takes to climb up there, even in extreme heat.

Palm Beach from above


and on the way back to the bus stop I was incredibly lucky to see a kookaburra sitting on a pole posing for photographs.


If you enjoy a walk, short or long, then you may enjoy visiting Jo’s Monday Walk where you are in for a treat.


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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

53 thoughts on “Home and Away”

  1. This has been a glorious walk. All those ocean views, the birds and the sand and on and on. Truly magnificent. The pictures made this wonderful, wonderful. I tried to feel the sun on my face and I a.l.m.o.s.t. managed it because my butt is stuck here in the cold. 🙂

    1. Sorry to hear it is so cold already Tess. I am glad that you felt a little of that heat all the way from Australia. I am now in New Zealand so it is much cooler, I am just hoping it stays fine so I can get some good photos here too 🙂

        1. Had a couple of sunny days albeit windy, but the sun here is strong as the hole in the ozone layer is directly overhead so apparently you can get burned even through the cloud cover!

  2. I understand The Boathouse is more or less for tourists nowadays (of which number you are not one, of course !), and has given up the effort to provide quality food.
    Bloody alas, Jude !!!
    Lovely pics, as always.

    1. It probably is for tourists, but it is in such a fantastic location I had to go there. The wine was good 😀 And I do rather like Palm Beach especially the Pittwater side.

  3. Oh my heavens that was unbelievable! I don’t know if it’s the snowbanks here or just the gorgeous photos Jude but my mouth is hanging open. The beach photo with the three wave paths is so beautiful. The views from the top so worth it! Thank you for making the climb. 🙂

    1. He does a bit doesn’t he? He was cracking some kind of nut! I’m not all that happy with my cocky photos though, didn’t get any really good sharp ones.

    1. Cheers Jenny. I shall drool over these once I’m home in the cold! Shame the food wasn’t good as the location is and I don’t mind paying over the odds in such a location if the food is decent, but the fish and chips I had were overcooked and there was more batter than fish. Such a shame.

  4. Your photos are so beautiful, they make me feel homesick. And I haven’t gone anywhere. 😀
    I thought of you today when I turned into my street and spied two galahs sauntering along the nature strip. Probably a couple of old fellas discussing the destruction of their favourite tree on that day so long ago. 😉

    1. Ah, Galahs! Only seen a couple in flight and a statue of a pair in Canberra – wonder if I’ll find any before I leave? Certainly won’t here in NZ though! Thanks for the lovely compliment 🙂

    1. It was an astonishing colour too! I can’t get over the colours of the Pacific Ocean – crystal clear greens, pale turquoises and deep greens and blues. The restaurant reminded me of The Beach Café at Hive Beach, but their fish and chips were much better,

  5. Looks like an interesting place and trust you to find the local flora 🙂 I’m glad you had a Sauvignon Blanc to round it all off!! Great set of pics Jude – I love the lemons in the massive clam shell and thank you, I now know what a kookaburra looks like xxx

  6. Sweetheart, I loved this, from the cheery cockatoo all the way through to that good looking kookaburra. Your shots are wonderful, Jude. I want to come to paradise too! 🙂 Thank you so much!

    1. Ah, Jo. I can’t believe I stayed away for so long! I feel so at home here.
      (Although actually at this moment I am in NZ which is a new place for me.) Stunning views from the barn we are renting., Can’t wait to get out there tomorrow with the camera! Guess I am 12 hours ahead of you guys now. So very confusing… and on that note I am off to bed 🙂

        1. Never made it to live there Jo, but it was my dream for years. Visited three times previously and the last time spent 3 months here, but not permanently. I wish!

  7. What a beautiful walk this is Jude. I always found the Pacific to be chilly…sea like bath water is my kind of sea 🙂 Your photos are stunning…those views magnificent. Wish I was there with you enjoying a glass of that nice crisp white… 🙂 xx

    1. Yes the water on the opposite side was very warm, but I have enjoyed paddling along the edge of the Pacific, not gone in though 😉

      One day, Sherri, we SHALL enjoy a glass of crisp, cold white wine together… promise!

  8. Great shots indeed, vibrant colours, and holiday brochure views to die for. The only problem is that I now have that terrible theme tune in my head!
    Just back from a quick walk with Ollie and next door’s dog. (which I am looking after for two days) Freezing rain, soaked through, and ears so cold I can’t feel them.
    Make the most of it, and enjoy NZ. I have always fancied seeing the Art Deco district of a place called Napier. I have no idea if you are near there. Of course there are two islands, and you might not even be on the same one. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier,_New_Zealand
    Regards as always, Pete. x

    1. No freezing ears here thank goodness, but rain is forecast sadly 😦
      I am staying on the north island about 100 km south of Auckland so unfortunately Napier (which I also fancy) and Martinborough (wine region) are too far away for a day trip. Next time…

      Oh, and sorry about the ear-worm 😉

  9. I will be heading out shortly for a long hike and I know it won’t be anywhere near as gorgeous (or warm) as this one! I appreciate that photos never really capture how truly magnificent a view is like this one so I can only imagine what it was like with the sound and smell. *sigh*

    I have to echo Sue Slaght’s comment about the photo with the triple lines of waves hitting the short. I think that will be my “happy image” today as I trek in -10C temperatures.

    1. The wave patterns are fascinating. I can watch them all day. Here in NZ we are staying high above the ocean and I am mesmerised by the waves and the colour of the water. My camera does not capture that colour at all. Hope you kept warm on your hike. I must say I don’t envy you!

    1. I knew what to expect from the top having been there before but with a film camera so I only have a couple of photographs. I just had to get up there again! So glad you enjoyed the walk with me 🙂

  10. Lovely – I visited Palm Beach when I was in Australia 10 years ago, the idea was to tour some of the Home & Away locations but I had my leg in plaster so ended up just sitting on the beach, not much of a hardship in that beautiful location!

    1. That must have been a bit of a trial, but yes, sitting on that beach is not too much of a hardship, although it was rather windy on the ocean-side on this day!

  11. Kookaburras are nice to see, but when they’re laughing outside your window at 5am in the morning, that’s another story. 😉

    2 hours from the CBD, and you’re still in Sydney but another world away. It is a beautiful spot.

    1. I was lucky only to hear kookaburras during the day a couple of times, though there are lots of squawking birds in Dee Why! The whole chain of northern beaches are spectacular and even the southern ones aren’t bad, though I’m not overly fond of Bondi. And the south coast is also amazing. You live in Paradise!

  12. Spectacular photos Jude you have really shown those poor freezing Northerners how beautiful it is down under. We had a whole family of Kookaburras woke us up this morning at 4am, not even dawn, and they seemed to keep cackling for so long.

  13. This looks like it was a lovely walk, Jude, especially with the lunch and the Sauvignon Blanc and the kookaburra! So was it extremely hot on this day? That beach looks fabulous, as do all the flowers. Thanks for sharing this summery walk. 🙂

    1. That was a very hot week in Sydney. Apparently since we have been in NZ there has been a week of very dramatic electrical storms. I am hoping for a lovely warm weekend to finish off my holiday downunder! Before I head back to the cold north :-/

        1. 2 days left sadly and then the long flight home followed by the horrible coach/train/train trip back to the Shires. Hate that part the most, having to lug suitcases on and off transport, and I swear my large case is much heavier going back. I am going to start travelling with very small cases in future!

        2. I guess you must be making that arduous trip back home now, Jude. Have safe travels. Haha, I always say I’m going to pack lighter in the future, and somehow that never happens. I hope you have better self-control than I do! Happy holidays. 🙂

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