Yesterday, I came across an old Time Out Sydney magazine that I must’ve kicked under my bed sometime in December. I don’t even remember reading it, but it was the Summer Issue and it had a list of Sydney’s “best” everything – from beaches to ice cream parlors, to a few secret hikes. I settled on finding the secluded Milk Beach in Vaucluse and Patagonia (an Argentinean icea cream spot in Coogee). It looked like a promising day… a cooler breeze than usual, but still hot under the sun.
I called Daniel and checked to see what he was up to – nothing planned; he was down to tag along for the day so we decided on meeting at the Junction at noon.
He came in from Inner West so it’s not the most convenient meeting point for him, but at least the 386 stop was right above the train station. We grabbed a quick bite to eat then took the 12:26PM bus on its way to Vaucluse. I think we both just made the assumption that because the bus was headed in the right direction, that it was also going to take the right road to where we were headed. We took the wrong bus.
386 goes down New South Head Road and takes it all the way up towards the direction of Watson’s Bay. But what we wanted was to go up Vaucluse Road and get off at the Strickland House. I guess that would’ve been too easy anyway.
Luckily, we got off the bus just before getting too far off track and we took Petrarch Ave from New South Head all the way down to Olola Ave. It was a long walk. We had to cut through a main road, two parks, a stable house, and several stairways before finding Milk Beach.
The parks in Vaucluse are beautiful though. They’re empty and quiet; it’s very peaceful. There were these large trees everywhere that made me think of Hawaii.
And Vaucluse House was pretty impressive. When we found it, we didn’t really know what we were looking at, much less have an idea of whether or not we were trespassing on private property. There were no signs and no staff. The buildings were Spanish Mission style and everything seemed grand – massive doorways, a long stable, a fireplace that I can walk into…
The main house had multiple chimneys that looked like turrets and a wrap-around patio with plenty of seating.
-laughs- so much for making it to the beach in the early afternoon… it started to turn cloudy anyway. And the chances of me ever going to Vaucluse House (by choice) is very unlikely, so it was nice to have just stumbled onto it.
About 10 minutes walk from Vaucluse House (through a series of winding roads and a long stairway), we found the Strickland House. Yay! It’s not as impressive, but the view is pretty awesome.
And, of course, a short walk behind the house is Milk Beach… empty, quiet, and with very granular almost-white sand.
Much like Washaway, it’s not really a “swimmable” beach. Maybe early in the summer, but because boats dock around this little cove, it’s not the cleanest water. But it is one hell of a spot for sunbathing. We didn’t stay because the sun wasn’t cooperating, but we did follow the Hermitage Foreshore Walk. It’s a short 1.6k walk around the Vaucluse shoreline and, on the way, you’ll also find secluded Queen’s Beach. At the end of the walk, we found ourselves on a 325 bus stop and ended up going to Camp Cove anyway =)
Because it was cooler than usual, Camp Cove was desserted. We stayed until it started to rain and then made our way to Taste of Sydney at Centennial Park (we opted out of Patagonia for another day)…