01 Dec: South Head
Tuesday started off as well as that previously - we even stayed in bed a bit longer since we now knew the ferry we wanted wasn't until 10. We were still downtown early but just bided our time by taking a look around the nearby old Customs House. As we set off the wind was deceptively calm until we passed the Opera House, then we were blasted by the fierce gale that was coming off the Tasman. Despite that, still managed to get some photos of the other side of the harbour than yesterday. Watson's Bay was at least slightly sheltered, and as we wandered around to Macquarie lighthouse on South Head it remained calm, but once we were again exposed the wind seemed determined to blow us back to the city. Despite that it was really nice out there - quite a pleasant walk, a great view of where we'd been the day before, and some stunning views of the waves crashing on the rocks - you could actually see where the waves coming in from the Tasman fought for entry into the harbour. Little wonder they needed a lighthouse - though in typical fashion it wasn't until after a boat had smashed on the rocks with all but one lost that they forked out for it. Ironically, that one survivor was actually the first lighthouse keeper!
We then made our way back into Watson's Bay town and waited for a bus to take us down to Bondi. I must say, it was certainly less than we expected. The weather didn't help, admittedly, as it was closing in again and started drizzling as we wandered past the shops, but despite that it just wasn't really that nice a place, in my opinion. Definitely a good surf beach, judging by the waves coming in, but not much to offer everyone else, really. It was hard to see why such a fuss gets made out of it. Anyway, since the weather was proving temperamental again, we actually made the decision to catch the bus in to Bondi Junction and then the train back to town to change into some clothes more suited to the conditions - not t-shirt and shorts in other words.
We then retraced our steps to the Junction and caught the bus directly from there to Coogee Beach, forgoing the clifftop walk we'd initially planned, as even though it was clearing over again (typically) the wind was still very strong. Coogee Beach was much more impressive to us than Bondi, that's for sure - perhaps less of a surf beach but much nicer for everyone else. After a quick wander around, and some snaps of the waves surging over 'Wedding Cake Island' (a small collection of rocks out in the bay) we then caught the bus from there down further South, past Maroubra Beach (we didn't stop there, but it looked even nicer than the two we'd already seen, and much quieter too) and in to Eastgardens interchange.
From there we took a bus past the airport - and under the runway! - to have a nosey at Botany Bay - effectively Sydney's second harbour, where the main port is. Save for the wind, it was quite nice down there too - a shame we didn't have time at any stage to go down as far as Cronulla and out to Cook's landing spot - another time perhaps. It was getting late though, so we caught another bus from Brighton Le Sands through to Rockdale station, where we could get the train back to the city. Another day where we certainly made use of that Daytripper pass!