Sydney Coastal Walk


You’ve spent a few days in Sydney and you’re ready for adventure. The Coastal Walk is the best way to stay close to the city center while enjoying a bit of nature and getting some exercise in. If you go about completing the entire walk from Coogee to Bondi it’s about six km and will take you anywhere from two to three hours, but I recommend packing a little beach backpack, starting in the morning and seeing where your day takes you.  Along the way, there are plenty of opportunities for side quests. You can challenge yourself by scrambling over boulders, refresh yourself by taking a swim in various tidal pools and beaches and of course there are plenty of places to stop and eat and drink throughout your journey. 


Like most of our travel posts on Live Seasoned, we like to give you a general idea for your day or adventure, but leave the details up to you. For that reason, I’ll point out a few of my favorite places to take a dip and grab a bite to eat, but otherwise, the world is your oyster. Pack your bag, slather on some sunscreen and have one of the most beautiful walks of your life. The Coastal Walk is not to be missed. I trotted along this path five days in a row never tiring of the scenery. 



Before I ventured to the coast, I was under the impression that it would take up a full day, which it certainly can, but I didn’t realize you could hop on and off the walk, take a bus to one area and then walk or uber to another, the possibilities really are endless. On my final day in Sydney I decided to walk north from Coogee to Bondi and then turn around and walk all the way back. With ample rest and refresh time throughout it was quite an easy walk and the perfect final day on the eastern coast. This walk is suitable for young and old alike, beginners and uber fit altheletes, it’s really perfect for everyone.


What to pack:

  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle 
  • Sunglasses
  • Sneakers (it can be done in sandals)
  • Camera
  • Turkish towel or sarong




Highlights:

Take a dip in the rock enclosed tidal pool near Coogee. After you cool off, scramble over sandstone boulders, sunbathe by the sea and brave the incoming tidal waves. 

Now it’s time to begin the walk, head north to Gordan’s Bay and enjoy the pristine views. 

Take a seat in the shade at Bundock Park for a little rest while you watch the surf lap along a collection of rocks, fondly referred to at Wedding Cake Point, way out in the ocean, don’t worry, you’ll see them. 

After a little refresh, it’s time to head further north towards Clovelly Beach. If the rough Sydney surf intimidates you, the Clovelly ocean pool is the perfect solution. Swim a few laps, drip dry on the sunbathing deck and then pop into Sea Salt cafe for a little snack. 

After a nibble, prepare yourself for Shark’s Point, a massive rock cliff that is sure to take your breath away. Sit and meditate here for a moment before walking on towards Clovelly Bowling and Recreation Club where you should certainly buy a drink to enjoy in the air conditioned event ballroom that overlooks the ocean. 

Once you’ve had a proper break and you’re all cooled down, walk through Waverly Cemetery towards Nelson’s Bay and Bronte Beach. Bronte baths is another nice seaside salt pool for swimming and lounging or you can head to Bronte Road, the street behind and parallel to the beach and park, for a lunch prepared with fresh ingredients. Over the course of the week, I ate at Jenny’s & Bronte Bela and both were yummy.

The next section of the walk, between Bronte and Tamarama is absolutely gorgeous so really take your time on the cliff and cave section and do some exploring.


 Round Mackenzies Point and  enjoy the final stretch to Bondi Beach. Bondi is a surfer’s paradise and you’ll likely see hundreds in the water at any one time. After strolling past the beautifully painted cement wall that separates the grass and sand at Bondi, stop at Lush Cafe to reward yourself with a snack and libations.

You could easily end the night here by watching a movie in the park or grabbing dinner at one of the dozens of restaurants on Campbell Parade, but if you’re up for it, you could also stroll back once you’re feeling refreshed.


If you decide to walk back, which you should because the sun hasn’t set yet, end your night at Coogee Pavilion. It’s an enormous restaurant with multiple bars and a ton of game and play areas for families downstairs and lots more ocean view seating upstairs for a calmer chill, outdoor garden type of vibe.

After dinner and drinks, you’ll probably have to crawl back to the car, but I know it was worth it.

Pack a bag, tie up those trainers and hop on the coastal walk and remember, jumping off the path occasionally makes the experience last longer and fuels you for that next flight of stairs so take my suggestions and nibble, drink, meditate, swim and play along the way. Enjoy!

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Like Haiyaha Hike

We like a good hike, and every once in a while we have the chance to hike slow, take pictures, and share the adventure with you. You can check out some of our previous Colorado hikes here.

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These are photos from a hike that we took a few months ago, and I just happened to find them here in an unpublished post. I was so sure that I wrote about this hike, but a few searches finally convinced me that I’m crazy.

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Winter Photography Tips

Sarah is a professional freelance photographer – she’s always sharing tutorials. Learn how to find flattering natural light for selfies and portraits or catch tips on photographing kids and pets. See what camera Katie shoots with or check out my favorite lenses.

Live Seasoned Spring 16 Photographing Winter Landscapes08Live Seasoned Spring 16 Photographing Winter Landscapes14 We agree, it’s a little bit strange to talk about Winter Photography Tips in mid-April, but did you see all the snow that fell in Boulder this past weekend? It wouldn’t stop! With a house full of food and relatives and the fire on full blast, we enjoyed every second of the snow.  We even made it outside for a hike up the mountainside.  If you’re still enjoying wintery snowscapes, here are a few practice pieces of advice for photographing in the snow. Continue reading

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Travel to Bali Indonesia

Back in 2012 I traveled to nine countries in Asia. I’m starting to share all my adventures under the travel section. Want a cheap and beautiful destination? Head to Laos. Still trying to save up to travel? Here are a few tips! Also, several images from Bali are for sale digitally here.

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Happy Monday! Last week, I shared a Seasoned View of Bali because exactly four years ago that’s where my little feet landed. What a magical week! Before going to Bali, I balked at the idea. I had thought of Bali as one huge resort. That’s just the vibe I got from the few times I heard about it. Well, I was hella wrong. Yes, there’s a couple overcrowded and commercialized areas on the southern tip of Bali, but other than that the island is my definition of paradise.  I only had a week to explore Bali, so I headed straight for the heart of it, Ubud, and what I experienced captivated me. I haven’t stopped thinking about Bali since.  I can’t wait to go back and explore the entire island (especially the northern parts) by motorbike. One day, one day, these are what my daydreams are made of…

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Seasoned View: Vol 17

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find last month’s past months’ here.

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Happy Monday! It’s August. Holy crap. Time to get movin’ on all your summer plans.  This month will surely be my busiest and most fun yet.  I actually have to work on another task so I’ll keep it brief.  You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Seasoned View: Vol. 16

Each month we share our Seasoned View.  Snapshots of nature and daily life taken by the Seasoned sisters. Find last month’s past months’ here.

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Happy Monday! If you live in the States, I hope you had a relaxing holiday weekend and your pups survived the fireworks shows.  Did you happen to catch the Women’s World Cup game yesterday?!  It was amazing! I remember watching the U.S.A. win against China in 1999.  The game was broadcasting right after one of my soccer games and one of the coaches actually brought a bulky T.V. and an antenna so the team could sit and watch the World Cup game.  It was so sunny and the glare off the bubble screen was so bad that we were all practically peeing our pants with anticipation during the shootout.  I have no idea how my team did that day or even that season, but watching the U.S.A. team defeat China, with my teammates by my side, is certainly a memory I’ll never forget.  I’m never one to cheer too loudly or buy team jerseys, but looking back, I do have a lot of memories tied to various sports games.  Do you remember where you were during any specific tournaments or Super Bowl games?  What stands out in your mind about the celebrations?  These little memory exercises are a good reminder that I should gather my friends around more often even if I’m not that invested in one team or another.  Sometimes you need a specific event to tie your memories down so they’re not forgotten.  Do you find this is the case for you as well? Another more obvious way that I record memories is through photography.  Below are some recent nature shots for our July Seasoned View.  If you’re down with a dark and moody desktop, download Katie’s spectacular shot of a summer storm; it’s my favorite of the bunch!  You can upload one or all of these photos to use as your desktop background or as phone and tablet wallpapers.  Simply click on the download link below each photo and save the image.  Enjoy!

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Two Bits

We want to break down these internet barriers and invite you into our lives and we’re hoping you’ll do the same.  You are welcome to share your a bit of your week or day in the comments, or if they’re better represented by a photo, tag us on instagram @liveseasoned

 

Katie here:

Actually Katie isn’t here, I think she’s off being a mom somewhere.  Who knows, maybe she went into labor early?! JUST KIDDING. Don’t get excited mom readers!

Sarah here:

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I had an awesome week space cadets!  I’m feeling a little zapped right now so I’ll let these photos tell most of the story 🙂  Above you can see my haandy work.  Which is your favorite color?  I think mine is fog or celadon.  Starting from the bottom: pollen, celadon, lake, white, clementine, robins’ egg, coral, fog, sand, sea foam and white again.

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Catahoula_Cash and I went on a hike every day this week!  We even went some place totally new. We hiked along the Haw River and Cash even took his first dip of the season.  I was a little bit worried that he would try to jump into the river, which is high right now, but he’s a smart pup.  Instead he rolled around in a stream and hopped into a pond!

eggs-1I also found a family-owned dairy farm on the way home from the pottery studio.  I bought a dozen eggs for $3.  Major breakfast plans this weekend!

 

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Colorado Hike: Flatirons 1 & 2

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About a month ago, Katie, Jeff (our brother) and I hiked the Flatirons 1 & 2 trail.  I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time since it was one of the most scenic hikes in Boulder, Co, so here goes!

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The hike starts at the Chautauqua Park trailhead.  Parking in the lot can be pretty tricky, especially on the weekends, but you can find additional parking on Baseline Road.  That being said, the trail is extremely crowded.  You won’t have the views to yourself, but hey, at least there is no chance of getting lost! After you find a parking spot, continue to the Chautauqua Park trailhead where the trail takes you through a lovely green meadow.  (Note that if you’re hiking right after a rainstorm, it will be pretty muddy since the trail is basically a path for runoff water. ) The Chautauqua trail connects with the Flatirons 1&2 trail and the signage is very clear as is the flow of people flocking to the Flatirons 😉

Over the course of this relatively short hike (about 2.5 miles) you will climb 1,400 feet in elevation.  Flatiron 1 is approximately 7,100 ft high, which makes for stunning views.  As you hike up the trail, there are plenty of outcroppings that are perfect for taking a break and enjoying the vistas.  The Flatiron trail is mainly switchbacks through thick forests of ponderosa pine that cut around enormous boulders.  Along the way, there are also several rock climbing access points.  Speaking of climbing, there is a very short section of the trail (about 15 feet) where you have to climb up a boulder.  There are footholds and handholds worn into the rock making it easy for adults, but I wouldn’t recommend taking children on this hike.  I would also turn back immediately if it starts to rain because the rocks will become slippery making a large portion of this trail fairly dangerous.

Once you finally wind up, up and up, the views are spectacular.  There are clear views of Boulder as well as amazing views of Flatiron 3, which is sure to have rock climbers scrambling up it.  The top of the trail is a perfect spot to stop and have a snack or a picnic, but remember to hike all your waste out with you, even banana peels!  The top if the trail is like an adult jungle gym.  You’ll see folks in all different nooks and crannies.  It goes without saying that you should be careful when you’re climbing from boulder to boulder, don’t knock into any rocks that may fall and injure someone at a lower elevation.  After you’ve climbed your heart out and took a bajillion pictures, it’s time to make your way down the ridge.  Be mindful of other hikers who are still making their way up and if they look like they need encouraging remind them that they’re almost there!

Geology Rocks! I say that far too often, but I just can’t resist.  Here’s a quick rundown of some geological properties of the flatirons.  I’m going to give some definitions in case you slept through your geology lab class.

  • A flatiron is a steeply sloping triangular landform created by the differential erosion of a steeply dipping, erosion resistant layer of rock overlying softer strata. Differential erosion is erosion that occurs at varying rates, caused by the differences in the hardness and resistance of surface materials so softer and weaker rocks erode rapidly, while harder rocks remain to form ridges, mountains, or ding, ding, ding, flatirons!  Strata is simply sedimentary rock. Sedimentary rocks are those formed by the deposition of material either on the earth’s surface or in water.   And wouldn’t you know it, the flatirons of Boulder coined this term, flatiron, in general geology.
  • Now you may be wondering how the flatirons first got their name, which then coined the geography term. Well, there are two theories: the rock faces close resemblance to old fashioned clothing irons or their resemblance to the Flatiron building in NYC, which was completed in 1902. (It’s a pretty sweet building, but personally I think it’s more likely they were named after the clothes iron, an object which many more folks were familiar with during the early 1900s)
  • The flatirons are made up of conglomerate sandstone of the Fountain Formation. Conglomerate sandstone basically means there are little clasts (bits of rock particles) mixed into the sandstone (rock comprised mainly of sand-sized minerals or rock grains). I don’t want to wind way down into a geological rabbit hole (for your benefit), but the Fountain Formation is a Pennsylvanian (the subsystem, not the state) bedrock unit found in Colorado and Utah that consists mostly of conglomerate sandstone or arkose.
  • The flatirons are estimated to be 290-296 million years old and they were tilted to their current orientation (the steep dip I referenced earlier) about 35-80 million years ago during the Laramide orogeny. The Laramide orogeny was a period of mountain building in western North America, which created the Rocky Mountains along with many other formations. I won’t go into right now, but it’s definitely interesting; if you like geology and want to learn more, read this.

What to expect:

  • Lots of hikers on the weekend.
  • Dogs both on and off leash.
  • Plenty of wildflowers, various vegetation and trees and beautiful views.
  • Two hours (or more) of hiking.
  • A couple tough climbs over boulders, but mainly a moderately steep and well maintained trail.

 

Before of after your hike, be sure to stop by the historic ranger cottage near the parking lot – you can’t miss it.  It has a wealth of information, free maps and dozens of stuffed birds and mammals.  I really enjoyed the station because I gained a better sense of what animals were sharing the forest with me.  It’s especially cool to see the animals you have very little chance of seeing in the wild like mountain lions, coyotes, and bobcats.  If you want a little snack, continue past the ranger station for about a block and you’ll see a little refreshment cottage with homemade hard ice cream and just about everything else.

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After the hike and the ice cream you should probably treat yourself to an afternoon snooze! Happy hiking!

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Phenology: Observing Mother Nature’s Cycles

Hey there! If you’re following our Instagram feed, then you know that at the time this is being posted, half of the Seasoned gang drove south to get a taste of the spring weather that’s just around the corner. You know how I know? Because we’re bottling it up and bring it home with us. So enjoy today’s post about the changing seasons, and get ready, because any moment now the daffodils will start blooming and the humming birds will start hummin.

Today we are excited (in the dorkiest of ways) to talk about phenology. Phenology is the study or observation of the annual biological cycles of plants and animals (not to be confused with phrenology, which is the study of your lumpy, bumpy head). These cycles are made up of reoccurring events that are driven by seasonal variations in temperature and precipitation. For example, every spring we expect the cherry blossoms to open, every fall the hummingbirds migrate south, and every winter we plan our summer vacations, but the exact timing of each event varies slightly from one year to the next. Observing, recording, and sharing the exact timing of these events creates a valuable database that can be used to look for patterns in these cycles, and variations that may tell us something about how the natural world is changing.

Rothrock State Forrest early spring, before the Mountain Laurel blooms

Rothrock State Forrest early spring, before the Mountain Laurel blooms

There are historical records of cherry trees blossoming in Japan and grape harvests in France going back centuries. Current phenological records have provided valuable data that trees and flowers are budding out earlier each spring and keeping their leaves longer each fall.

Rothrock State Forrest, same path as above with the Mountain Laurel in full bloom.

Rothrock State Forrest, same path as above with the Mountain Laurel in full bloom.

We love phenology because it is the simplest type of science. The only tools required are your eyes and ears, a pencil, and paper (today paper and pencil aren’t even necessary if you have a smartphone and the Nature’s Notebook app). It is a true citizen science in that anyone can do it, from the littlest of littles to the biggest of big kids. It provides an excuse to get outside. AND ~ anyone practicing phenology knows that you create an intimate bond with nature, one that requires you to slow down for a moment but in turn provides a bit of peace and a gentle reminder of how much we rely upon these cycles.

“From the beginnings of history, people have searched for order  and meaning in these events, but only a few have discovered that keeping records enhances the pleasure of the search, and also thechance of finding order and meaning. These few are called 
phenologists.” – Aldo Leopold (1947)

There has been a resurgence in the public’s interest in phenology recently. It seems to be fueled by a curiosity and concern about our changing climate. Gardeners and naturalists have begun to notice slight changes in their backyards and on their favorite hiking trails, and collectively have provided enough data to show that indeed the growing season is longer. The change has been significant enough that the USDA updated their plant hardiness zones!

There are a few regional phenology networks, but we are most familiar with the USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN). Anyone can join and log data with the network. When you sign up, you choose the plants and animals you want to observe; pick something you are comfortable identifying and that you observe on a regular basis. I log observations for mountain laurel and teaberries along one of my favorite hiking trails and lilac and echinacea in my backyard.

By hiking the same trail all four seasons and year after year, I know every twist and turn of the path. I know when the mountain laurel is about to bloom, where the greenest moss is for photographing, and where the forest floor will be flush with teaberries for snacking. The trail has become my backyard, and being out there gives me such a sense of peace and reassurance that any cityscape can’t. I’m so happy to give back by helping to observe and track the forest’s changes.

What about you? Are you a careful observer of the phenological changes around you? Do you participate in the USA-NPN?

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