Once Australia’s oldest fishing village, and now one of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs, Watsons Bay is a charming coastal enclave located along the South Head Peninsula, the southern entrance to Sydney Harbour.
Watson’s Bay is home to parks and walking trails with fabulous views of the harbour and historic landmarks, as well as picturesque streets lined with grand period homes, waterfront restaurants and tranquil harbourfront beaches.
If you’re coming from the city, part of the appeal of a trip to Watsons Bay is the scenic ferry ride from Circular Quay, which takes around 20 minutes.
Things to Do in Watsons Bay
An idyllic little beach with views out to the city skyline, this shallow protected harbour cove is ideal for family picnics. A safe swimming beach, the rocky reef on the eastern side lies just a couple of metres beneath the surface and is a popular among snorkellers and SCUBA divers.
South Head Heritage Trail
This short but scenic bushwalk is a must-do, winding its way past incredible viewpoints and a scattering of historic landmarks. A short flight of stairs at the eastern end of Camp Cove beach leads up to an 1870s cobblestone path on top of the headland.
Stroll past Lady Bay Beach (one of a handful of designated nude beaches in Sydney) before reaching the Hornby Lighthouse (built 1858), with its iconic red and white striped tower and dramatic positioning at the edge of a sandstone ledge, which plummets straight down to the crashing Pacific waves below. Nearby are the remnants of 150 year old military fortifications, including a disused canon and gun emplacements.
An ocean cliff on the South Head peninsula, the Gap is one of Sydney’s most stunning lookouts. From the top you’ll be able to gaze out over the deep blue expanse of the Tasman Sea. Between May and October, keep a lookout for humpback whales on their annual east coast migration.
Doyle’s on the Beach
One of Sydney’s most beloved seafood restaurants, Doyle’s has been family operated for over five generations. Famous for its fish and chips (also available for takeaway), the seating area captures picturesque views across the harbour and out to the Sydney skyline.