This morning I asked my 3 year old son how he would like to spend the day; "Um, I want to go bush walking, swimming, scooter riding, play at the park and go on an adventure!". Righto, a National Park it is then!
Naturally, the first one that came to mind is one of Sydney's true hidden secrets; Neilson Park in Vaucluse (Eastern Suburbs).
It's a wonderful location for everyone especially families thanks to its perfectly positioned location close to South Head so the waters always nice and fresh. Even better for a scary cat like me is the safety provided by the large shark nets surrounding the beach.
Neilson park is in the Sydney Harbour national Park and offers three wonderful picnic areas spectacular harbour views & glimpses of the bridge, a cafe that sells ice creams, coffees and snacks plus a more formal restaurant with table serve and scrumptious menus. There are multiple toilets blocks so you're never far away and various walking tracks both through the park itself and around the headlands.
There is just so much history here. You really get a sense of the Sydney of yesteryear especially as you enter the historic (c1932) changing rooms that instantaneously transform you back to a time of innocence and pantaloons.
Morton Big figs are dotted around the park. They are enormous and offer much needed shade on those warmer days like today. We saw many birthday parties and family picnic all around us and no one was on top of each other, invading their space. The area is large enough for everyone.
I'm not one for the beach at all. I am a country girl at heart who has a strong dislike for sand wedged in my body parts but I will say that I do enjoy coming here. Neilson Park just offers this all round sense of safety, be it from the sharks in the water to the community around you. It's a place for happiness and family time not glam bodies showing off or loud music to gain attention. It's just plain, good old fashioned safe fun.
It's one of those great locations where you can literally dump your stuff and settle in for the day, all year round.
Take New South Head Road away from the city
Turn left into Vaucluse Road and then left into Greycliffe Avenue
It’s a short walk down the path to Nielsen Park from the road.