I honestly can’t remember the last time I went to a zoo, and I went back and forth about whether to visit Featherdale or the nearby Taronga Zoo. I’d seen kangaroos, wallabies, and echidnas in the wild in Tasmania, but I’d never seen a platypus or a koala up close. Should I go? Should I not?
In the end I decided that I didn’t want to see animals in captivity, but instead spend the day walking from Taronga Zoo to Balmoral Beach. So on a cloudy day last week (perfect walking weather) I set off to the other side of the harbor. Another walk! Woo Hoo!
This was as close to the zoo as I got.
I’m still not used to this view after six week of living in Sydney. This was the start of my long walk to Balmoral Beach.
Bradleys Head already!
On to Chowder Head!
Who do we have here?
I know that you can’t make out the greenish yellow snake slithering in the leaves here but this guy had my heart jump out of my chest. He was quite big and when I first spotted him more than half of his body was outside of the hole. I only composed myself long enough to take these photos when he started to move backwards into the hole.
Then with just his little head poking out he stared right at me for a while. I swear we locked eyes… goosebumps! goosebumps!
It was a quiet and solitary walk, and after I saw that snake I wished I had some people around me…
Walked up the stairs next to Ripples on Chowder Bay and kept going… to find more creatures- this time, under my feet.
I took a brief pause at George’s Head Lookout.
I thought about having lunch at Burnt Orange but it didn’t feel quite right. I was in my walking clothes and everyone in the dining room were in their “country club” clothes. And their picnic kiosk was closed so I munched on some snacks (I had carrots in my backpack- LW, you knew that I would) and pressed on towards Balmoral Beach.
Down these steps to Balmoral Beach! There was a woman running up and down, I saw her twice when I was on the steps. She was really skinny.
I loved these giant ferns unfurling themselves out.
I’m here! I’m here! Just as I reached Balmoral Beach (right after I saw these surf boards), the sky turned bright blue as if it was just waiting for me to get there.
When I was walking down those stairs I knew that I’d have to climb up a very steep hill eventually… and I did. I could have taken the Mosman shuttle but I missed it by seconds. oh, well.
As always, I was very nice to myself after this looooooong walk. But no, it wasn’t a cheeseburger and no, I didn’t have a beer. That’s just water in that brown bottle.
But I treated myself to a great cup of coffee at The Source Espresso and just one little (OK, not so little) chocolate meringue from La Banette.
I didn’t get to see any koalas or marsupials, but I had my own close encounters with Australian nature and its inhabitants during my walk. Not bad for skipping the zoo outing, right? Thinking about that snake still sends a chill down my spine!
The Penny Royal: Rear shop 2, 563 Military Road, Mosman, NSW
The Source Espresso: 914 Military Road, Mosman, NSW (it’s actually on Raglan Road off of Military Road). 247 bus stop right in front of the cafe.
La Banette: Yummy bakery across the street from The Source. I popped in to get a chocolate meringue while waiting for the 247 bus. 3a/916-920 Military Road, Mosman NSW
Taronga Zoo Ferry: Leaves from Circular Quay wharf 2, every 30 minutes.
Mosman Rider: Free community shuttle bus runs loops around Mosman every 30 minutes, from 8AM to 6PM. There are two routes, north & south. It comes to Balmoral Beach, right by the Bathers’ Pavilion if you want to take it up to Mosman. I walked to Mosman via Mandolong Road.
*M30 bus from Spit Junction near Military Road brought me back to the city, to QVB.