08 April 2011

Six Senses Tour - Northern Beaches Australia

Hello. My name is Chantal, I design and carve stamps and linocuts for art prints and stationery.
Today I'd like to take you on a 'Six Senses' tour of Sydney's Northern Beaches.

Sydney is a city that makes me happy all year round. I've had the fortune to live in other fabulous cities such as London and Melbourne but I've settled in Sydney because it is a naturally beautiful place with great weather for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle.  Through all of life's ups and downs, if I can get outside for a walk amongst the trees or sit on a beach, then my head clears and somehow everything gets put into perspective.
The most famous part of Sydney's Northern Beaches is Manly but today I'm going to take you to three beaches further north, Long Reef, Freshwater and Curl Curl.

Here we are standing at the headland of Long Reef Beach.
We're looking north towards Narrabeen, Avalon and a host of other amazing beaches and that's the Tasman Sea to the east. New Zealand is out there somewhere beyond the horizon.
Banksia trees line our pathway and dolphins & whales can be seen from the point, but unfortunately not today.

It's a joy to see one of my favourite birds on the headland.
In addition to a few tweets and twitters out here, you will also hear insects buzzing past (lots of dragonflies), lizards rustling through the leaves and of course the crashing of waves on the reef below.

To pleasure our taste buds let's head south to Freshwater Beach. I've refined our options down to three.
1. We can take it easy and grab a lovely coffee from the Pilu Kiosk.

2. At the other end of the spectrum, we could enjoy a fine dining experience at Pilu Restaurant overlooking the beach from a balcony table - hmmm sounds tempting.

3. Our final option is for you to join me on the picnic rug for a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from the Marlborough region, New Zealand. Gone are my wine repping days when the selection was much broader. Nowadays we can share a bottle of Dashwood around the AUD $12 mark. It's crisp, clean and zesty.

Nothing but fresh and salty sea air!

The current's a little strong today for a swim, but the sand is warm, fine and clean. Just getting your feet wet is still invigorating, actually at the start of April (Autumn in these parts) it's quite nice at 24 C (75.2F).


Now for a place you might only know about if you're a local from the Northern Beaches, in fact a friend only showed it to me late last year. We're off to the saltwater swimming pool at North Curl Curl.

The Northern Beaches are dotted with lots of saltwater pools (aka ocean baths).
I've found them to be particularly good when you have young kids learning to swim.
You can still enjoy going to the beach and being in the saltwater but without the fear of strong currents, blue stingers (stinging jellyfish which occasionally visit on strong north easterly winds) and sharks - joking, they rarely take anyone in Sydney!

This pool is a little different though as it's not easily accessible and is actually a large rock pool with a manmade retaining wall around half of it.

To access the pool you need to take the bush walking track just to the left of the entrance to the North Curl Curl Surf Life Saving Club. You can try getting to the pool at low tide via the beach, but if you're taking kids the path is easier and safer.  It take about ten minutes to walk.... then look there it is!

There are beautiful rock formations around the pool and a path to the side.  If you want to explore you'll have to cross a few large rocks and possibly walk through water if the tide is high - I've only ever been when it's low tide.

It's a gorgeous place and I've never had to share it with more than five people, so shhh don't tell anyone it's a bit of a secret.

On that note I'll say goodbye and hope that you've enjoyed having a look around Sydney's Northern Beaches. You're welcome back anytime, just let me know & I'll down tools and away we'll go!


Wow, how was that?!? Thank you so much Chantal, it's hard for me to decide which part of this adventure was most delightful - the colour of the sea, the sand between my toes, the cold glass of Sav Blanc or the pleasure of swimming in such a beautiful ocean pool.

What about you dear Gifter, was there something that you particularly enjoyed on this tour?  Please be sure to write a note and let Chantal know.
There are many of you who adore stationery and as we gear up for Easter you will be thrilled to know that Chantal makes the most amazing bunny cards with twitching ears which you can find in her Etsy Store.

Or perhaps (like me) you were smitten with the sight of the Willy Wagtail doing his seaside dance. 
Well you're in luck because you can actually purchase your very own  hand carved Wagtail stamp too! 

I love that my Gifters are such a clever and creative bunch!
Now remember to share the love either here or at Chantal's place, I know that you will be inspired.
Next week we will be reveling in a land of colour and water.  Doesn't that sound delightful?


  1. Love this tour. I lived in Sydney for 5 years and miss the beaches there. I so love the secret rock pool - how wonderful. I can just seem myself relaxing in there - I would be there today - if only!!! I love the cards - too gorgeous and what a wonderful talent you have Chantel. No wonder Felicity is captivated by you if you have a bird stamp - I can just imagine her heart fluttering when she discovered it! N x

  2. I love your idea of this touring post Felicity!
    That ocean pool looks awesome...it might start getting some more visitors :)
    We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful city as Sydney...I love it! Thank you for sharing about your neck of the woods & your beautiful artwork Chantal :))

  3. Thanks Felicity for inviting me to participate in the your Six Senses Tours. It was a pleasure to set out to the beaches in great weather to take pictures (and have a glass of wine with a friend at the beach)! It was also fun to picture my home through the eyes of a visitor - made be stop and appreciate once again how lucky I am to live here :)

  4. Hey Felicity and Chantal, I have thoroughly enjoyed this Six Senses Tour of Sydneys beaches.

    I love where I live for all sorts of reasons, but I have to say living by the beach would be my second choice.

    Thanks for sharing your part of the world Chantal and I promise I won't tell anyone about your 'secret'.

    Claire :)

  5. I know your neck of the woods quite well, Chantal. At least I thought I did... now we'll be heading around to check out that gorgeous rock pool - isn't it lovely!

    And, seriously, Felicity knows that there is no way I can pass up my very own willy wagtail stamp so guess where I am heading to next!? x

  6. Oh my goodness, I so want to come back to Australia and swim in that pool - it is a little bit of heaven! And I love the wagtail stamp too, you are starting a trend here, we are all going to end up with one! xx

  7. oh i loved this!!!

    and i am right now debating with myself on whether or not i should apply for this fanatastic job opportunity i saw advertised in Sydney.

  8. Great post Chantal - and thanks for sharing Felicity. I am Sydney born and bread and wish i spent more time up in chantal's neck of the woods. Will def be checking out some of her suggestions next time we are up there - that pool looks amazing!

  9. I loved this post! I grew up on Sydney's northern beaches & know them well. As a 4 year old I learned to swim in Collaroy Rock Pool, but hardly ever went to North Curly!
    Thanks for the tour down memory lane.

  10. we have family here so whenever we get to the east coast we spend time in your little pocket

    I agree - it is a divine part of the world

    Thanks for sharing it with us all

    Gill xo

  11. Oh the salt water pool is my favourite. What a treat. Charmaine

  12. Oh loving those tours Felicity!
    Thank you Chantal, loving those blue skies!!and the rock pool!!Wow ;)
    Can't wait for another trip to Sydney now :)
    Sandrine x

  13. I have to say I think Freshwater beach is the MOST beautiful beach in the world! Great tour Chantal - thanks! I grew up close to the Northern Beaches and spent my childhood there so it was so nice to be able to walk through it all again today! xx

  14. What a feast for the senses, Chantal - thanks so much! We attended a wedding reception at Pilu which was just divine. And I love the way Harbord the suburb changed its name to Freshwater to match the beach's name - a much more pleasant name for a suburb! Ooh, and I'm off to look in your Etsy shop now ☺. J x

  15. I can smell the ocean and feel the sea breeze! Very evocative of the NSW coast :) Thanks Chantal!

  16. chantal and Felicity thank you for the tour. I have just returned home to West Oz after spending time in NSW. Loved the tour Chantal and I will definitely be visiting your little beautiful part of the world on our next visit. My fav was the secret rock pool. They are foriegn to us in the west and a visit is definitely on the agenda. Cheers C

  17. I adore Chantal's work so it was wonderful to get a glimpse at her beautiful part of the world and see a bit more of what inspires here. Lovely stuff!

    ps. Chantal - I've been wanting to eat at Pilu for ever, and you live just a short walk away *sigh*!


Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.
Each new comment is a gift - unexpected and lovely.
Although I'd love to reply to each and every one, this isn't always possible, but know that I read and appreciate them all.

Felicity x