Travel restrictions have seen many of us reset, rewind and rethink the way we live our lives. Here are four ideas that will help you get out and about and stay active during Covid-19 while seeing the Shire with fresh eyes.
The Boatshed @ Woronora
Enjoy the contemplation that springs from solitude as you canoe, kayak, or paddleboat your way around the Woronora River, which is lined with rugged rock formations and groves of gums and character-filled houses edging the river. Listen for the song of the kookaburra as it stitches its song into the day and wait for the wind to wrap around you like a scarf as you wind your way up the river known as the Wonnie. Reward yourself with a brekkie bruschetta or blueberry pancakes at The Boatshed Woronora where you can hire a vessel that will show you another side to the Shire. To comply with Covid-19 restrictions, take-away is available from 8am to 3 pm Tuesday to Sunday. Note: the river is tidal so we recommend planning your trip around a high tide. Want to see more of the wild side of the Shire from the water? Keen kayakers should register with C-Kayak Sydney's Paddler Zone group, which has plans to undertake social paddles from Grays Point to Audley Weir once Covid-19 restrictions ease.
Enjoy a two-day hike from Wattamolla to Bundeena
Life's An Adventure will look after the logistics during its Royal National Park Walk, a fully supported and fully guided trek from Wattamolla to Otford. The walk has been designed for those who want to focus on putting one foot ahead of the next along the two-day 26 km walk and not have to lug a heavy rucksack. The guides can pick you up from the Sydney CBD or meet in Bundeena for the start of the walk, which includes one night's accommodation at Headlands at Austinmer Beach, picnics featuring local produce, a beautiful a la carte evening meal as well as hot and cold breakfasts. There are also snacks provided along the walk, which meanders through the clefts of the cliffs that look out over cobalt blue seas. Highlights include spotting whales along the humpback highway, sighting Indigenous carvings on Jibbon Head and walking through headlands carpeted with wildflowers. The cost of the two-day pack-free walking experience is $749 per person all-inclusive. The tour company has protocols in place to allow for social distancing and transports guests on a spacious 17-seater bus.
Go for a bike ride around Woolooware Bay
Lace up your boots or take your bike for a roll around Woolooware Bay along the 5km-long shared pathway that is purpose-built for cyclists and pedestrians and has plenty of space for social distancing. The name Woolooware is derived from the Aboriginal word, wooloowa, meaning 'muddy track' and those that take the recommended route along the ribbon of track that traces Woolooware Bay will be struck by the area's natural low-lying mud flats and dense stands of mangroves. The land, sea and rivers that flow into the bay are part of Gweagal country, a clan of the indigenous Dharawal nation who are the traditional custodians of the area. As well as being a place of great significance to the Gweagal people, who survived here on lily pilly, figs and yams, the track leads past an historical oyster jetty, the post-World War 2 Nissen Hut and old stone oyster beds that are remnants of the oyster industry that flourished here until the 1990s. The foreshore also provides vital habitat for 30 types of migratory shorebirds so BYO binoculars.
Cronulla Fishing Charters
Sue and Ian Lidbetter have been running fishing charters for two decades in the Sutherland Shire. While the couple were forced to press pause during the pandemic, Cronulla Fishing Charters is now back to being fully operational and is running fishing charters every day of the week, weather permitting. The 11m-long timber fishing boat, Romanda, travels at about eight knots, which makes it ideal for trawling lures. She's also got walk-around decks, which makes it easy to social distance. The aqua-inked boat, which has outdoor seating and carries the latest electronic equipment, leaves at 6am and returns at 1pm seven days a week and usually travels south of Sydney into the waters off Stanwell Tops, which is known for its deep sea fishing. In addition to cruising in the open waters of the Pacific Ocean, you can expect your catch of the day to include snapper, mowong, flathead, pig fish, nannygai or mahi mahi. Passengers onboard the Romanda often spot whales, dolphins and seals while hugging the rugged coastline of Royal National Park. Bookings are essential. The boat has been reduced from its pre-Covid capacity of 10 to a more intimate group of eight.
Carla Grossetti is an award-winning local journalist. Follow her food and travel adventures around the globe at @food.travel.stories on Instagram. To read more of Carla's stories, visit www.carlagrossetti.com
Visit Sutherland Shire would like to acknowledge the Dharawal speaking people who are the Traditional Custodians of the land of Sutherland Shire.
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522 Kingsway (Corner of Jackson Avenue), Miranda
T: 1800 004 321
Old Princes Highway, Engadine
20-38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9710 0333
20 - 26 The Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 9527 3100
1 Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 8536 3600
2 Seabreeze Lane, Bundeena
T: 0419 254 981
Cnr Rawson Avenue & Pitt Street, Loftus
T: 02 9542 3646
1 Tonkin Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9523 2990
Bonnie Vale Picnic Grounds Sea Breeze Lane, Bundeena
T: 0419 254 981
8 Mary Street, Bundeena
T: 0417 883 702