Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Barrenjoey Light House and Governor Phillip Park Palm Beach

 Barrenjoey Lighthouse and a view of Pittwater

If you are looking for a fabulous spot to bring overseas visitors, or just a place to have a wonderful family day out in Sydney, Barrenjoey Headland is for you.

Barrenjoey peninsula is a hive of activity and there is something here to please everyone.  Whether it's bush walking, historical tours, great food, a round of golf, scenic flights, boat hire, a kiddy romp in the playground, a dip in the Tasman Sea, or a ferry ride to the Western foreshore, there is more than enough in this lovely precinct to engage the whole family for a day, or even longer.

The track up to the light house (1km) requires a moderate level of fitness.  On the way, you will be rewarded for your efforts with beautiful vistas, as you climb further up the headland.

There are some wonderful rock formations on the track.  You will also see the bush regenerating after the recent bush fires last Summer.

At the top, the views are spectacular and make the trip well worth it. 

Scroll down for everything you need to know, about a great day out in paradise. 

Our guide (Sundays only) and the first light house keepers grave.

The Boat House Cafe and Bar at the base of Barrenjoey Head

Dunes Restaurant and Kiosk

Cranky Fins Holiday Inn

Governor Phillip Park

So here's what you'll need to know:

Location of the Light House: Barrenjoey Headland is at the Northern end of Governor Phillip Park
1193 Barrenjoey Rd Palm Beach.

Distance from Sydney CBD: 45.4km and about 1hour and 10 minutes by car.

Walking to Barrenjoey Headland: The lighthouse can be reached by a 1km walk up to the top of Barrenjoey Headland.  A moderate level of fitness is required to reach the summit.  You will find the beginning of the track to the light house at the Northern end of the beach on the Pittwater side of Palm Beach.  Prams are inappropriate for the track, you would need a baby backpack or similar. 

Parking: Plenty of parking, which is ticketed in Governor Phillip Park.  Cars bearing a Pittwater parking sticker, park for free.

Public Transport: Yes, take the L90 bus from Wynyard, which stops on Barrenjoey Road at the entrance to Governor Phillip Park.  It is about a 400m walk through the park from there.

Seaplane: Sydney Sea Planes flies to The Boat House in Palm Beach, from Rose Bay in Sydney's Eastern Suburbs.

Guided Tours of the lighthouse: Guided tours of the light house are conducted every Sunday and are currently run by the Kalkari Discovery Centre Ph 9472 9300.  You can also view the light house keeper's cottage on Sundays. No internal access to the light house or cottage is available on the other days of the week, but the track is open daily.

Other points of interest: 
Visit the grave of the first light house keeper on the summit. 

Barrenjoey light house is also a great spot for whale watching in season, BYO binoculars. It's also a great spot to view the start of the Sydney to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race, usually begun on 2 January annually.

The Barrenjoey Peninsula is the location of much of the filming of Home and Away.  Head to North Palm Beach Surf Club aka "Summer Bay" Surf Club, for an ice cream.

Mr Beach House's cousin Jervis Sparks, looked after the light house for many years and my parents inlaw have spoken about the odd party up there years ago, that they then stumbled home from, down the hill, in the dark.

Views: Spectacular ocean and Pittwater views, are amazing in all directions.

Toilets: Not at the summit, but there are public toilets adjacent to the parking area in Governor Phillip Park. Note there is also no fresh water available at the summit.

Where to take refreshments before or after your walk:

The Boat House Cafe and Bar (Go here for more info)
Northern end of Governor Phillip Park
1193 Barrenjoey Road Palm Beach
Phone: (61) (2) 9974 3868. No table reservations taken.
Open: Daily 7.30am-4pm
Breakfast: 7.30am-12 noon
Lunch: 12pm-3pm.

1 Beach Road Palm Beach NSW 2108
Phone:(61) (2) 9974 1159. No table reservations necessary, but they are available.
Open: Midday to 12.30pm
Closed: Monday and Tuesday

Dunes Restaurant and Kiosk
Southern End of Governor Phillip Park
Phone:(61) (2) 9974 3332 Reservations are advised for the restaurant.
1193 Barrenjoey Road Palm Beach
Open: Daily from 8.30pm to 10.30pm 

BBQ facilities: Yes there are several free gas BBQ's and picnic tables available at the base of the headland, in Governor Phillips Park.

Childrens' Playground: Yes, there is a good unenclosed one, just near the entrance to Governor Phillip Park (400m), which has recently been renovated and is fabulous for toddlers to tweens.

Boat Hire: Barrenjoey Boat Hire operates out of the same building as the Boat House Cafe.  You can hire kayaks, stand up paddle boards and small fishing boats daily.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.

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  1. Nice one Carolyn. I have a Scottish cousin staying this week and next and I'm am planning a trip to Palm Beach. I couldn't remember how far the walk to the top is, but now you've told me and we must do it. Then maybe lunch at the Boat House... and if the weather stays good, a dip too. Just thinking about it makes me feel happy!!

  2. I love the lighthouse and have walked up there many times. Have they opened the old track yet or do you have to take the stairs? I've always thought it would be wonderful if they operated a cafe in one of the houses or at least let you see inside the old homes. I'm pleased to hear tours are available on Sundays xx

  3. If ever I'm in Sydney, this will be on my list. I like to visit lighthouses when I can. I find them magical! Your photos are stunning. Thanks for taking us along.

  4. Looks like an amazing place to visit! Closer each day....(sorry couldn't resist) -Aroha

  5. I did enjoy your tour! We're not near there at all but I think there maybe some near by for us to visit over a weekend this summer. Thanks for the idea and for sharing. Visiting from Feathered Nest Friday

  6. Such an incredible place isnt it and I really must check out cranky fins x


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