Sunday, June 16, 2013

STANWELL PARK Bob and Bridge tour

Munson as surf watchdog
My friend Al, who made the Bad Boys of Sydney Park calendar, featuring Munson as Mr January, has moved with dog Bob down to Stanwell Park, a small beachside community between Sydney and Wollongong. It’s only an hour’s drive from the centre of Sydney – most of that taken up with clearing the southwards crawl of suburbia. One of the main attractions, is a full time off-leash area on the beach.

Stanwell Park on the map  Off leash area
Munson hasn’t seen Bob for three years, nor had a swim since he got to Australia. His last swim in surf was during our Spanish road trip last year when he hit the waves at Cadiz. Access to the beach was by way of a path next to a shallow lagoon – the surf was far too rough for a real ocean swim today, but he had no fear about running into the shallows in pursuit of Bob and a large stick.

Munson, Bob & Al
The sand is just as appealing as the water – note face down position, centre right:
Munson's sandy beauty hints
Gustav checks out the local geology   5-P1130624
Stanwell Park lies between a high ridge that cuts off the sun by mid afternoon during the winter months (it’s hard to believe we’re a week away from the shortest day of the year and still out in shorts and tee shirts). Above us lies Stanwell Tops, a favoured spot for hang-gliders, who ride along the ridge before descending to the beach. When we arrived I looked up and saw what I thought was a hang-glider coming down, but then it did a rapid loop-the-loop and I realised it was just a kite. One of the more interesting kites being flown was this multi-coloured galleon:

4-P1130597  galleon kit
Hang glider landing on Stanwell Park beachAfter lunch in the sun at the beach kiosk we returned to the car, just as a real hang-glider was making a landing.Bob, lord of the lagoon
Ten years ago the coast road south of Stanwell Park, long subject to erosion and rock falls since it was built in the 1860s, suffered an embankment slip forcing its closure for several years. In its place, the Sea Cliff Bridge was erected to reconnect Stanwell Park with its southern neighbours, essentially a road section on piers, standing away from the cliffs. Al said it’s become a bit of a tourist attraction, especially as there’s a pedestrian walkway along the ocean side of the bridge.1-P1130653
 Sea Cliff Bridge, looking north to Stanwell Park   Sea Cliff Bridge, looking southBob and Munson on the Sea Cliff Bridge
After parking on the southern approach to the bridge, we walked all of the raised section and back. The path has at least enough room for five wet and woolly malamutes to walk abreast, if such a thing were possible.

I’m not sure I’d drive all the way down here just for its sake – its a nice short walk, but doesn’t take much time to complete. However, while not as dramatic as Norway’s island-spanning Atlantic Highway, it is at least a bit more accessible.

After saying goodbye to Al and Bob, we drove south for a few little while, and then turned back to Sydney ahead of the weekend’s returning traffic.


  1. Looks like a beautiful place to romp in the surf! Sure looks like Munson was having fun!

    Khady Lynn

  2. looks like that dog has one happy life!! all the best on your travels together!