“This place, with its shifting, salted air, tangled fabric, voluptuous topography, winding muscular flora and glorious chiaroscuro light, seemed to me the most thrilling, most picturesque, most romantic city on earth.” – Elizabeth Farrelly
One of our favourite spots for a swim is the intimidatingly named Shark Beach at Nielsen Park – thankfully, there’s a shark net that encircles the beach, in theory keeping predators at bay. According to researchers, a shark encounter in Sydney Harbour is extremely rare with Great White Sharks, Tiger Sharks and Bull Sharks being the most common species. Oh so that’s okay then. And the latter ranging, on average, between 2 and 3.2 metres. So, just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… the pic attached is of a 3-metre Bull Shark caught, tagged and, gulp, released sometime last year. Needless to say I don’t swim out that far, preferring to keep my feet within tippy-toes of the sand bed, whilst other more adventurous souls swim not just up to the net, hang on to the net but also swim outside of the net. Actually, we know quite a few people who regularly swim in the ocean, far from the shore line and far from care I would have thought. That’s something you’ll never find me doing.
Nielsen Park on a lazy, crazy, hazy day in Summer can get totally packed with large family groups speaking a multitude of languages, establishing sprawling camps from dawn – complete with sizzling BBQs, heaving tables and plastic chairs and large shady awnings for the oldies; gossipy battle-axe grannies with exploding eskies perch on the sea wall; nattering old sea-dogs in ancient weathered budgie smugglers, rinse their testicles in the greeny brine; and ‘slip-slop-slapped’ families dig in for the day. One thing we noticed this morning was the use of over-sized four-wheeled carts stuffed to overflowing with the day’s needs. There must have been a run on at Aldi… I mean, not only do they arrive in what’s colloquially known as a ‘Toorak Tractors’, but to go to the beach apparently you need to take the kitchen sink and the entire fridge! Heavens.