7th of October 1987. I was one of the 36,895 Rugby League fans who Packed into Central Park to watch Wigan take on Manly, the Australian Rugby League champions in the first Rugby League World Cup Challenge. It was a memorable occasion. A hard fought. very aggressive, contest which Wigan won 8 – 2. No tries scored, but decided on penalties (unusual for a game of Rugby League).
The nickname of the Manly club is the “Sea Eagles” as they hail from the a beach-side suburb of northern Sydney of the same name, right on the edge of Sydney Harbour next to the North Head. Manly is is a popular sea-side resort and destination for day trips from the Circular Harbour via the half hourly ferries. A trip out on the ferry was a must during my stay in Sydney to see the town and to experience the views of Sydney from the water.
This was my view from the ferry, coming into Manly Cove
The town is on a narrow strip of land north of the North Head. There a beaches on the Harbour and Ocean sides. the latter being particularly popular for it’s more dramatic waves.
It was only a short walk from the ferry terminal to the Ocean beach
where I stopped for a short while to eat some takeaway fish and chips. I then set out to walk up through the National Park land on the North Head.
The route took me along the rocky shore to Shelly Beach
and then started to climb up the headland
Cutting inland, the path soon started to pass into bushland.
It was hard to believe I was only just over 10 kilometres away from the Central Business District.
Much of the cloud had cleared and the views out to sea were outstanding
The North Head is a strategic location overlooking the entrance to Sydney Harbour, so, not surprisingly, there was a military base and gun emplacements (the remains can still be seen) located here.
The base is abandoned today, but my route took me across its parade ground.
Back into the bush
Soon dramatic views over the harbour, towards the South Head and out to sea were revealed.
The strenuous climb and ht conditions started to take their toll and my blood sugar level had dropped. I was running low on supplies, but, luckily, there’s a cafe close tot he top of the headland so I stopped for a coffee and a cake and had soon recovered.
I took in the views for a while before heading back down towards the town. Ignoring the most direct route, I cut down a road through the bush towards the Harbour side coastline
reaching the peaceful sandy Spring Cove.
I followed the coastline back towards the town
Past some expensive houses and boats moored in the bay
Reaching the town centre I sat and waited for the ferry to arrive to take me back across the water to the city centre.
This is the route I took (from here)