After a few days in the smoke-filled Blue Mountains, we headed to the coast to find some fresh air and explore the area around Sydney. We rented an apartment through Airbnb for six days that was just a couple of blocks from Freshwater Beach.
After big hiking days, our first full day in Freshwater was a relaxing beach day. We also went to the grocery store, now that we had a kitchen, and stocked it for the week. The apartment also had a washer, so we did some laundry (a drying rack was provided for the front yard). The apartment had two bedrooms and a really cute front yard with a gate. The only flaw was a lack of air conditioning. We propped the back door open for circulation and found out that there was a friendly cat that would visit.
Following a relaxing beach day, we took the next day to explore Sydney, via a scenic route. We drove to Manly and then took the ferry into Sydney. We saw the main tourist sites and walked around the Rocks area. The ferry was a great idea because you can’t beat the view of coming in to see the the opera house and Harbour Bridge from the water.
Manly looked like a fun town so the next day, New Year’s Eve, we decided to walk there this time in the evening to find a place for dinner. It was busy but we found a place and then made our way to Manly Cove for the fireworks. We had some young Aussie boys who exuded their love of country by yelling for ScoMo (Prime Minister Scott Morrison) and singing the Australian national anthem.
We decided one more walk to Manly was in order and we ventured down the rocks next to Freshwater beach to find The Wormhole, a carved tunnel that connects Freswater to Manly. We then rented kayaks at the Manly Kayak Centre and went to Store Beach, a beautiful area that is only accessible by water. The kayaking was fairly easy and it was fun to look at the views on our trip. Afterwards, we worked up a big hunger and ended up at BenBry Burgers and devoured our dinner. After a little souvenir shopping, we headed back to our apartment.
Freshwater served as a great home base to explore other places, and the town itself was walkable from our apartment. We wandered around the town, grabbed some wine and snacks and headed to the beach one more time before we moved on.