Thursday, 7 April 2016

#75 - Sydney Harbour National Park

The view from the Gap Park - pretty nice
The list of the top 100 things to do in Sydney on TripAdvisor doesn't make much sense at times.  For example, Sydney Harbour National Park is included as one entry, but it actually covers a large area that includes lots of other attractions that are listed separately.  The National Park officially covers the 'islands and foreshores' of Sydney Harbour.  This includes a huge list of places that are well worth seeing.  Here are just a few of the attractions that are officially within Sydney Harbour National Park:
This is just a small number of the great attractions within Sydney Harbour National Park.  There are plenty of islands, beaches and viewpoints that will be feeling pretty hard done by to be left out of that list.  

The traditional 'standing in a bathtub in front of the Harbour Bridge' shot
Entries like this did cause us some problems with our challenge.  Clearly, we can't cover every inch of Sydney Harbour National Park.  Then again, you wouldn't feel the need to cover every inch of the Opera House to say you've been there either, so that doesn't seem a fair measure.  On the other hand, just briefly passing through the area wouldn't feel like you'd properly 'done' the attraction.  In the end, the yardstick we used was to ask ourselves whether we honestly felt like we had 'done' the attraction.  With this one, we felt that was a pretty clear yes.

Some nice clifftop views along the Manly Scenic Walkway
It also makes it kind of hard to review.  Sydney Harbour National Park is quite frankly stunning. There is just so much to see and do, and you could easily spend weeks exploring them all without getting bored.  Its worth seeing in different seasons and different weather as well.  In my opinion, you just can't beat a sunny summer's day, with a clear blue sky.  However, the cooler spring and autumn months have their own appeal, and even a dark and stormy day can be beautiful.  Watch the waves violently crashing off the rocks at North or South Head during stormy weather to see what I mean. When I say stormy, within reason.  Please don't go wandering about cliff tops in gale force winds or violent thunder storms.

The view from North Head towards South Head with the city skyline in the distance
Many of the individual parts of Sydney Harbour National Park are reviewed elsewhere in our top 100 list, so I will probably leave it there for now.  Just to say that the only reason this isn't much higher up the list, is because it is such a vague category.  It is without doubt an absolute highlight of Sydney, and possibly one of the best places you will ever go in your life.

The return view from South Head towards North Head - shame that lighthouse is blocking the view
Seriously, how good is Sydney National Park?  Have a go in the comments of describing its outstanding-ness

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