By Carla Grossetti
It takes more than water and sand and the opportunity to have an ice cream to create the kind of place that people return to for generations. Como is that kind of place. Located on the banks of the Georges River, the area is today revered by everyone from keen kayakers to outdoor enthusiasts and generations of families who flock to the Como Pleasure Grounds to picnic by the shores. Here are five cool things to do in Como that will uncover the area's charms.
Explore @ Como Heritage and Environment Trail
The Como Heritage and Environment Trail had its official opening in September, giving residents of the Sutherland Shire another great reason to visit the suburb located on the southern banks of the Georges River. The trail is a 4.2km circuit through the local streets and bushland that blankets Como and the reimagined trail highlights eight interpretative stories that relate to the area's history. Learn about the history of the Como Pleasure Grounds, the rail bridge and station and Scylla Bay Oval. You can also explore indigenous stories relating to the local Dharawal tribe, who have long-held connections with Country around the Georges and Woronora Rivers. Take a virtual tour of the track before you go.
Dine on the deck @ Blackfish Café
Sydneysiders who live in the Sutherland Shire can feel smug about avoiding the gridlock of city traffic while enjoying water views at the Blackfish Cafe. After enjoying the wealth of things to do in the area – from hiring a runabout to climbing to the top of the gnarly knoll – you can take up a sun-splashed spot on the deck at Blackfish Café in Como and feel like you're in an episode of Escape from the City. Crispy soft-shelled crab and a pot of mussels never tasted better than while enjoying sweeping views of the St Georges waterway, which snakes around Como. Part of the draw and the charm of the café is the fact you can sit and look on in awe at the ubiquitous boating types who pootle from Green Point to Bottle and Glass Head and back again.
Enjoy a family day @ Como Marina
Como is home to some 2.2 ha of parkland, a third of which includes natural areas such as bushland, riverside walks, tidal baths and the aforementioned swimming pool. After walking around the meandering path near Como Pleasure Grounds, hire a runabout from Como Marina and cast a line in around the Georges River, which is about 100km long. Finish your adventure with lunch at Como Waterfront Cafe or the Thai Rim Nam restaurant. Don't forget to download the Georges River Map before you go.
Enjoy a brew with a view @ The Como Hotel
The Como Hotel is located in the heart of the Como community. As well as attracting people from all over Sydney to visit the precinct, the hotel has become a vibrant new hospitality venue, which is a popular drawcard in the Southern suburbs. The historic Heritage hotel was originally built for the German workers involved in the construction of the railway. Despite surviving two world wars, the hotel established in 1878 suffered major damage during a fire in November 1996. The hotel has since been rebuilt and, with its wonderful views and shady verandahs, remains one of the Shire's grand old dames. Make a beeline for the bistro and order great pub grub such as grilled lamb salad or a sirloin steak with salad and seasoned fries.
Picnic @ Como Pleasure Grounds
Como Pleasure Grounds were established in 1895. The popular park has a playground, picnic tables, BBQs and a bike track as well as a walking path that spaghettis around the boulder-strewn bushland. Note: Sutherland Shire Council is investing in local infrastructure with the Shire Gateway Path due for completion at the end of November. While the popular pedestrian path over the old Como Railway Bridge is closed weekdays while the work is being carried out, the shared pathway is open on weekends as an active transport corridor for people to walk and cycle. (Cyclists will have to dismount while the works are being carried out.) Pack a swimsuit as there are tidal baths and a free seasonal swimming complex open during the warmer months.
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522 Kingsway (Corner of Jackson Avenue), Miranda
T: 1800 004 321
Gerrale Street, Cronulla
Old Princes Highway, Engadine
20-38 Gerrale Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9710 0333
1 Kingsway, Cronulla
T: 02 8536 3600
6 Boronia Street, Cronulla
T: 02 9523 4908
2 Seabreeze Lane, Bundeena
T: 0419 254 981
13 Bundeena Drive 13 Bundeena Drive Bundeena 2230, Bundeena
T: 02 9544 1333
104 President Avenue, Caringbah
T: 02 9710 0333
Corner Rawson Avenue and Pitt Street Adjacent to Loftus Railway Station, Loftus
T: 02 9542 3646