On our last day here we decided to do things a little differently. Instead of hitting the beach first, we walked along the promenade in the direction of Queenscliff after our morning cuppa and brekkie at Four Beans. It was a hot day (33°C) but the wind was strong and so after 30 mins or so of chilly stroll, we found what we were looking for: Manly Lagoon playground aka Queenscliff park.
One of the very rare shots taken by the hub with the EOS-M that I really really like.
He must have more than a hundred shots of him on various swings in Singapore, Japan and now Australia. But I never get tired of taking a swing pic, maybe because its one of his all time favourite activity and he always smiles and chuckle so happily whenever he comes swooshing down.
Three things I noticed about this place that are very much appreciated are:
1) It is a large and fully enclosed playground, accessible only through a waist high gate with child proof lock. Not only is it a good safety measure being located right next to a lagoon, but it also prevents children from roaming onto the nearby roads and deters any suspicious figures from loitering around the area. A fantastic spot for moms who tend to get a little caught up in chatting with other moms who have been similarly holed up too long with their little ones.
2) There is a wide range of activities for kids and the play areas are designed with specific age group in mind. There is a baby corner that is very useful for moms with babes who are still on all fours; a toddler friendly climb structure as well as more challenging area for preschoolers. Unlike many modern and sterile playgrounds these days, there is a sandpit here and it keeps tiny ones sufficiently entertained when they are done with the playground equipments.
3) Last and perhaps most notably, a huge area of this playground as well as the one at Little Manly Point are shaded by pergolas hence allowing access throughout most part of the day. A feature I thought that is particularly suited to our local climate as the year round sweltering heat from the sun means that playground time is largely limited to the early morning or evening.
Mom and I headed out for some pistachio and passion fruit gelato and light shopping at the Corso after kiddo was completely knackered from all the climbing and swinging, and Daddy jumped at the chance of a late afternoon siesta back at the room…
Ta-da! Putting to good use our newly acquired beach umbrella at Manly Cove Beach, the last stop of our 4 days beach hop.
Going to the beach in the late afternoon means that Poh Poh did not have to sit on the towel and look after our belongings while we enjoyed the water and sand. That evening, we played to our heart’s content, knowing that it will be our last time for the trip.
We built and destroyed sandcastles, collected more shells and rocks, chased seagulls, blow bubbles, let the gentle waves crashed into our ankles, watched the ferry come and go, took way too many pictures, admired the beautiful sunset.
Rounding up the stay aptly was dinner at 4pines, the local brewery where we had some surprisingly mouthwatering pub grub and free pint while it was takeout chow mein from the Japanese stall at the wharf for the fussy little one.
The golden sand, scenic views and the crystal water of Sydney’s northern beaches. Manly, we will be back.
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