“I need to run an errand in Dee Why”, I said to Mysaucepan.
Being the foodie and adventurous person that she is, she comes up with a plan.
“Great, why don’t we go for a bushwalk along the cliff top and then have breakfast there too?”, she proposes.
Seeing that spring is just a few days away and the weather turning warmer by the day, it seems like a good idea.
“My appointment happens to be at 9.45am on Saturday and it’s the first day of spring too”, I said.
“Well, it’s settled then. Go for your appointment and then we can work up an appetite walking up the cliff and then check out the cafes along The Strand afterwards”, Mysaucepan concludes.
“Provided the weather is good”, I said.
“It will be”, she replies.
Located approximately 18km north of the CBD, Dee Why is a suburb in the heart of the Northern beaches along Sydney’s coastline. Just 5km north of its more famous cousin Manly, Dee Why is a little more low-key but offers the same beach and surf lifestyle. Restaurants and cafes abound along The Strand at the southern end of Dee Why beach.
On this first day of spring in 2012, Sydney puts on its charm with clear blue skies and the sun warming our backs as we begin to stroll along the southern end of Dee Why beach. Perfect outdoor weather to say the least.
Surfers are always in the surf to catch a wave or two but the surf today looks a little meek to me. Still there is a hand full of die-hards sitting on their boards laying in wait.
Most of Sydney’s famous beaches such as Bondi, Clovelly and Maroubra have a salt water pool that is more family-friendly because the surf can get rough at times. These rock pools are always packed with beach-goers in summer especially families with young children.
The water is usually slightly warmer than the surf and it can be fun swimming when the surf brings huge waves into the pool.
Seagulls are nice to look at as long as there’s no food in sight. The moment they see food, they can become pesky little buggers trying to steal a chip or two. But today, we only have a couple of bottled water so they are happy for me to snap a few shots of them enjoying the sun by the rocks.
I am told Sydney is built upon a huge rock. Most of Sydney beaches have pristine white sand and a rocky area where one can trek along, look for little crabs, slugs and sea shells.
I can’t remember my physical geography lessons but I’m sure these unusual rock formation has something to do with the wind, the sun and the water over hundreds of years.
Surprisingly, the beach is not crowded even though it’s a beautiful day and it’s almost 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning. Although the wind is still slightly chilly, the sun is keeping us nice and warm.
We trek towards the cliff located at the southern end of Dee Why beach. It is a fairly steep climb but there are steps and hand rails for a pleasant walk.
If you want to stop for a breather, there are park benches located along the nature strip where you can take in panoramic views of the entire beach that runs 1.2km along the eastern border of the suburb.
We have hardly began our bushwalk and already, the view is magnificent from the top. You can see the rock pool is located just next to the surf.
There are literally hundreds of bush walking trails around Sydney harbour and depending on the season, these trails attract many tourists, bird-watchers and nature lovers.
Lookout points are the rewards of walking a jagged and rocky trail. The essentials for bush walking are comfortable walking shoes, a pair of sunnies to protect your eyes, a hat, sunscreen and bottled water.
And the views on a nice sunny day are often nothing short of spectacular.
We head back towards The Strand after our walk and surprisingly it is still relatively quiet for a weekend.
It is almost lunch time so we head towards the cafe and restaurant strip along The Strand.
There are so many restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from where one can have anything from fish and chips, hamburgers, sushi, seafood, a cocktail or a beer and even Thai food.
After browsing a few menus and blackboard specials along the walkway, we settle into the Sandbar.
Many cafes also offer all day breakfast during weekends and as we look around, we see locals having mostly breakfast or simply sitting out in the sun enjoying a cup of coffee. There are the few who have started on a beer or two at the local bar.
These places become THE place to hang out for locals especially during the height of summer.
Either have a picnic by the park or wander down to your favourite bar or restaurant to meet friends and have a meal.
We settle for breakfast after our morning hike.
I order a poached eggs, bacon and Turkish bread toast. I must say the standard of breakfast in Sydney cafes has generally gone up a few notches.
My poached eggs are cooked to perfection with a soft and runny yolk, while the bacon is gently crisp.
Mysaucepan orders a breakfast bruschetta that comes with goat cheese, prosciutto, pine nuts and rocket leaves on toast and drizzled with honey. Simple yet delicious, especially after a morning walk.
By noon, the crowds begin to stroll in and we see weekend BBQs and picnics by the beach.
So dear readers, which is your favourite beach in your city?
25 The Strand
Dee Why 2099
New South Wales
Tel: + 61 2 9984 8444
Business hours: Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7.30am