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post-title Take A Day Trip To Watsons Bay

Take A Day Trip To Watsons Bay

Take A Day Trip To Watsons Bay

Take A Day Trip To Watsons Bay
Watsosn Bay Hotel - Watsons Bay

So, Where is Watsons Bay?

GPS Lat, Long -33.8398,151.2817

Estimate time to Location (Drive – Car / Bus)

  • Sydney to Watsons Bay 12k’s / 25min
  • Manly to Watsons Bay 30k’s / 1hr
  • Cronulla to Watsons Bay 38k’s / 1hr
  • Homebush to Watsons Bay 25k’s / 45min
  • Penrith to Watsons Bay 65k’s / 1hr 25min 
  • Gosford to Watsons Bay 87k’s / 1hr 25min
  • Newcastle to Watsons Bay 172 k’s / 3hrs 
  • Wollongong to Watsons Bay 104 k’s / 2hrs 15 mins

The above times can change due to unforeseen conditions, accidents, time of the day like peak hour. Or visit www.googlemaps.com. For those of you that don’t have a vehicle, you could look at Goget, carnextdoor or other rental hire vehicles companies view their websites for more details.


  • Ferry from circular quay to Watsons Bay (don’t forget your opal card) 30 mins by ferry. 
  • Ferries are also available from Manly to Watsons Bay 30 mins by ferry (Check timetables) for ferries. 
  • Water Taxis are available


  • Bus from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay 380 – 72 mins 
  • Bus from Bondi Beach 380 to Watsons Bay 
  • Bus & Train 324 & 325 Edgecliff to Watsons Bay
  •  Re Public transport check timetables www.transportnsw.info

Watsons Bay has something for everyone

Watsons Bay
Watson Bay

Watsons Bay has something for everyone, Park, Playground, Historical walks (Lighthouse x 4, The Gap) and swimming. Watsons Bay is a great place to visit and a lot of it is free.

Watsons Bay sits on the end of the South Head peninsula and takes its name from the sheltered bay on its western side, in Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour). Watsons Bay provides views of the harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The Gap is an ocean cliff on the eastern side with sweeping views to Manly at North Head and the Pacific Ocean.

Watson Bay a Good Place If You Enjoy Eating Out 

There are various dining opportunities to cater for all taste buds and prices.

Dining could be at Doyle’s restaurant on the Wharf which also caters for Take Away offering generous helpings of ocean fresh seafood at very affordable prices or the Watsons Bay Hotel. There are plenty of other places to eat or bring your own food and have a picnic in the surrounding Robertson Park.

Robertson Park – Watsons Bay

Robertson Park - Watsons Bay

During the week you should be able to get parking. On the weekend if you are late you may find it difficult to find parking

Walk to Hornby Lighthouse

Hornby Lighthouse – Watsons Bay
Hornby Lighthouse – Watsons Bay

Hornby Lighthouse – Watsons Bay

Hornby Lighthouse, also known as South Head Lower Light or South Head Signal Station, is an active lighthouse located on the tip of South Head, a headland to the north of the suburb Watsons Bay

Walk to Hornby Lighthouse - Watson Bay
Walk to Hornby Lighthouse – Watson Bay

This walk is almost 3 kilometres the estimated walk time 1hr 15 min easy track it is a Grade 2 walking path, it has few stairs but generally, it is on a sealed path. If you have a pram, wheelchair or walker it may be challenging getting up and down some stairs, although there is not many. https://placestogo.net.au/item/hornby-lighthouse/

This walk starting point is Robertson Park or Watsons Bay Hotel. There are toilets in Robertson Park.  

Robertson Park - Watsons Bay 2018-12-08 13.27.57

Robertson Park is a great park that has a nice child covered playground, toilets and an open park for ball games. There are no BBQ facilities available. If you are bringing your own BBQ please check with Woollahra council.

Commence the walk heading towards the water on Cliff St, follow that all the way till you get to Camp Cove Beach.

Camp Cove Beach
Camp Cove Beach

I recommend that you always take water, or it can be purchased at a nearby kiosk.  

Walk on the sand (10 mtrs), walk up the stairs then onto a cobblestone path where you will find the cannon. This cannon was built here in 1890 and was part of Sydney fortification. Its aim was to protect a military jetty and boat shed from the threat of an invasion.

The Cobblestone Road Camp Cove - Watsons Bay 11
The Cobblestone Road Camp Cove – Watsons Bay 11

The Cobblestone Road was built during the late 1870s and extends from the jetty in Camp Cove up to Hornby Road above. The road was built to carry supplies and ordnance from Camp Cove to the various military installations on South Head. https://placestogo.net.au/item/camp-cove-beach-watsons-bay/

Follow the old road. On the left, you have majestic views of Sydney Harbour and over the other side to Manly. As the roads starts to bend to the right, you find the amenities (toilet block, which are free). From here you go down approximately 20 stairs and the path narrows. until coming past Lady Bay Beach.

Lady Bay Beach

Lady Bay Beach
Lady Bay Beach or Lady Jane Beach

Lady Bay Beach or Lady Jane is an official nudist beach found on the inside of South Head

You pass the beach then go back up some stairs (approximately 12 ) which leads onto a boardwalk.

Continue until you come to South Head Heritage Trail

South Head Heritage Trail

South Head Heritage Trail
South Head Heritage Trail

Bending to the right, in front of the old Lightkeeper’s cottage (1858) there are 2 cottages. On your left, you can see North Head (Sydney Harbour National Park – Manly) and parts of Manly

Hornby lighthouse - Watsons Bay

Keep following the path until you get to Hornby Lighthouse which is painted Red and white.

Red & White Hornby Lighthouse  Watson Bay
Red & White Hornby Lighthouse Watson Bay

The lighthouse was built in response to two significant losses of life near South Head – firstly in 1857, the ‘Dunbar’ (on it last leg from England), when 121 of the 122 people on board lost their lives, and soon after, the ‘Catherine Adamson’ when 21 lives were lost near North Head  just two months later. https://placestogo.net.au/item/south-head-heritage-trail-watsons-bay/

Then in 1839, the undetected arrival of ships, from the USA, caused great concern. This triggered the building of the fortifications (Artillery/Guns) of Sydney Harbour. These can be found in many locations in the harbour like Bradleys Head, Fort Denison West Head, Middle Head as well as South Head Maroubra and La Perouse

Watsons Bay Cannon - Watsons Bay

Follow the path around the concrete block (fortification) and you can see where the cannon would have been.

Just keep following the path around which will take you back to where the Lady Bay Beach lookout is which is also known as a boardwalk. Continue to retrace your footsteps back to the Robertson Park & Watsons Bay Hotel www.watsonsbayhotel.com.au

After you return to the starting point (Robertson Park) and if you are hot you can always go for a swim or a SUP (stand up paddle board) in front of the Watsons Bay Hotel or you can go into the Watson Bay Bath

Watsons Bay Bath

Watson Bay Bath
Watson Bay Bath

Watsons Bay Bath, which is an enclosed Harbour pool.

Gibson’s Beach Reserve – Watsons Bay

There is also a secluded beach called  Gibson’s Beach Reserve –  just a short stroll away. This reserve is popular for picnics, small social gatherings and beach use in summer.

Watson Bay Stand up Paddle (SUP)

Watsons Bay SUP - Watsons Bay
Watsons Bay SUP – Watsons Bay

Maybe you would like to try SUP, Watson Bay Stand up Paddle (SUP) boarding Bondi Rescue’s Lifeguard Terry McDermott,  has his office there why not try it, great place to start your experience.

Walk to the park – The Gap to Christison Park

The Gap (Lookout)
The Gap (Lookout)

The Gap

Starting from The Gap, follow the cliff-side path towards the south through Gap Park, leading up to Old South Head Road. The track stays on the road’s footpath for a short while until turning into the Coastal Cliff Walk Path (see the big sign) which runs parallel to Old South Head Road. 

Keep following this path and enjoy the views of the ocean on your left. Keep walking and on your right, you walk past the signal Station and Signal Hill Fort (est. 1893) on Signal Hill Reserve.

The gun at the fort was removed in the 1930s and the underlying fort has since been locked up. The site of the current signal station has been used since 1790 to signal incoming ships. The walk is about 1.3 k’s one way and takes about 20 mins with a slight incline.

Macquarie Lighthouse – Vaucluse

Macquarie Lighthouse
Macquarie Lighthouse

As you continue, you’ll walk through the Lighthouse Reserve, past the famous Macquarie Lighthouse. Constructed in 1818 and rebuilt in 1883, the Macquarie Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse in Australia and is open to guided tours (check with National Parks).

Christison Park

Christison Park – Vaucluse
Christison Park – Vaucluse

The path continues south past Christison Park with its wide sports fields and Clarke Reserve. These are excellent picnic spots with toilet and playground facilities. This is where you’ll see the first glimpses of the breathtaking cliffs at Diamond Bay further south.

Walking – Watsons Bay to Nielsen Park

Nielsen Park is a part of Sydney Harbour National Park
Nielsen Park is a part of Sydney Harbour National Park

Nielsen Park is a part of Sydney Harbour National Park at the suburb of Vaucluse in the eastern suburbs of Sydney. It is a popular recreation area and beach, known as Shark Beach.

Shark Beach Nielsen Park
Shark Beach Nielsen Park

Nielsen Park was previously part of the Wentworth Estate, the area which became Nielsen Park was once owned by William Wentworth.

Nielsen Park
Nielsen Park

There is a Kiosk and toilet located at both ends of the beach / park. In the summer months, the swimming area has shark nets installed for safety. If you are into exploring, go for a walk on the eastern side of Nielsen Park called Bottle and Glass Point.

Bottle and Glass Point.

Bottle and Grass Point
Bottle and Grass Point

 Bottle and Glass Point is an ideal picnic spot in Nielsen Park in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Enjoy lovely harbour views and go fishing, snorkelling, diving or swimming.

Bottle and Glass Point is part of the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

If you look closely (on your right), you can see the Front Lighthouse located in someone’s backyard which overlooks the harbour. 

Vaucluse Bay Range Front Light

Vaucluse Bay Front Light
Vaucluse Bay Front Light

Vaucluse Bay Range Front Light is an active lighthouse located on the east side of the entrance to Vaucluse Bay in Vaucluse, New South Wales, Australia. It serves as the front range light (Vaucluse Bay Range Rear Light serving as the rear light) into Vaucluse Bay. The distance between the lights is 945 metres (3,100 ft)

After you finish walking take a short drive to 9 Wentworth Road Vaucluse you will see another working lighthouse in a private residence front yard.

How many people had a working lighthouse in their front yard?

Vaucluse House – Vaucluse

Vaucluse House - Vaucluse
Vaucluse House – Vaucluse

Vaucluse House is one of Sydney’s few 19th-century mansions still surrounded by its original gardens and wooded grounds.

If you still have free time visit Vaucluse House which cost’s $14 entry fee. Vaucluse House is an heritage-listed residence located at 69a Wentworth Road.

When the towering colonial explorer, barrister and politician William Charles Wentworth bought the house in 1827, it was a single-storey cottage in a secluded valley of partly cleared coastal scrub.

William Charles Wentworth was part of the expedition crossing of the Blue Mountains 1813.  The expedition led by Gregory Blaxland, William Lawson and William Charles Wentworth, made the first successful crossing of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales).

Vaucluse House - Vaucluse
Vaucluse House – Vaucluse

Vaucluse House was a colonial farm and country estate and now a tourist attraction, house museum and public park. Completed between 1803 and 1839 in the Gothic Revival style.  

In fits and starts over the next five decades, William and his wife Sarah developed Vaucluse into a large and picturesque estate

The property is owned by the Sydney Living Museums.  There is a Tea house inside which serves both tea and Coffee. (Not open every day) 

There is a little church around the corner in 3 Chapel Road which is where William Wentworth is buried, A little unusual.

Hope you enjoyed our Watsons Bay Day Trip, See you on our next adventure.