No 14: Collaroy Beach – 27 February 2011

Frankly I can’t wait for a southern beach! The last one was Bronte (No 8) which we visited in May 2010. But it was good to get back to a surf beach with Collaroy.

As you can see, it was an overcast day, but warm; a little drizzle which kept the beach quiet but the water was lovely. There is an ocean pool at the southern end of the beach which I enjoyed a few laps in.

Despite somewhat discouraging conditions Mitch managed to catch a wave or two and was happy.

Collaroy Beach is in Warringah Council LGA, the state district of Wakehurst (Brad Hazzard, Liberal) and federal division of Mackeller (Bronwyn Bishop, Liberal)

No 13: Cobblers Beach – 20 February 2011

Cobblers Beach is the, ahem, first nude beach on the list.

It’s a harbour beach located within the Sydney Harbour National Park. It’s right next to the naval base, HMAS Penguin. I was pleased to find bus no 244 from the city delivered us to within a few hundred metres.  Though we found ourselves wondering who among the dwindling passengers were there to get their kit off.

Cobblers is 19 kilometres (12 miles) from home but it felt a million miles from my comfort zone.  I was not looking forward to nuding-up but I’d have felt even more uncomfortable sitting clothed on a beach full of naked people.

For what it’s worth I would say we were on the younger side of the average. There seemed to be a mix of straight and gay beach goers.  I was somewhat surprised by the amount of manicuring these naturists engaged in — not a lot of natural body hair on many of them.  Mitch was surprised by how many wore hats — yeah, good thing your head is covered.

I don’t know when the next nude beach will be; I’m not looking forward to it but I’ll be curious to see how it’s different, if it is, from Cobblers.

Yes, that’s a queue of naked people waiting to purchase coffees and ice creams.

Cobblers is in Mosman LGA, the state district of North Shore (Jillian Skinner, Liberal) and the federal division of Warringah (Tony Abbott, Liberal).

No 12: Clontarf Beach – 5 February 2011

Per Wikipedia the suburb of Clontarf is named after a district in Dublin, Ireland. But far more interestingly this beach, in 1868, was site of Australia’s first attempted political assassination.

Henry James O’Farrell, an alcoholic recently released from a lunatic asylum, shot Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh – second son of Queen Victoria – in the back. The Prince survived, most colonists were embarrassed and outraged (and took it out on the Irish as expected). A hospital was opened to memorialise the drama. Thus: Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

One hundred and forty-three years later there seems to be some drama around dog poo. Clean up after your pets, people.

This beach is actually just across from beach number nine, Chinaman’s, but the patronage seemed quite different. Where there were big groups of Lebanese Muslims at Chinaman’s, Clontarf had attracted a lot of Russians this Saturday — or Russian speakers in any case.

Clontarf is in the Manly LGA, the state district of Manly (Mike Baird, Liberal) and the federal division of Warringah (Tony Abbott, Liberal).