It's been a long time since I've been to Cronulla, so I thought it was time to take another look at this southern beach suburb of Sydney and check out what it offers.
Cruisin' down The Kingsway, the water appears in the distance and so I head to the beach for my first stop. It turns out that I'm at North Cronulla Beach. There's not much parking here but I'm lucky and I find a spot. There's a lot of people soaking up the great outdoors on this last day of autumn. Children are playing in the playground of the foreshore Dunningham Park, surrounded by pine trees, as parents watch on. The beach is pristine with surfers in wetsuits hugging the waves and swimmers embracing the water as lifeguards look on.
After some time here, I'm on the move again, cruisin' south past the popular Northies Hotel and a sprinkle of restaurants and cafes that include the well-known Hog's Breath Cafe, Milky Lane and Blackwood Pantry. I arrive at Cronulla Park, bordering South Cronulla Beach. It seems to be less populous here and not much to see, so I head around to the train station and town centre where I'm expecting to see some street art as a result of last year's Walk the Walls festival, aimed at beautifying the rail corridors and laneways. I find plenty of art catching my eye, adding to the vibe of this beach suburb.
I find a space in the Croydon Street Car Park, which backs onto Cronulla Street and the mall/plaza. To my surprise, I'm seeing this is one special car park. I've never walked up and down a car park before to peruse art. This is a first, with some gorgeous works on the walls, depicting images ranging from birds to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. What a delight these are to this lover of art.
I then head into the mall full of shops and eateries that serve up everything from sushi to ribs. Ice creameries abound too in this summer lovin' suburb. It's now lunchtime and so I grab some takeaway and find a seat in the sunshine. In the plaza I notice a busker not too far away, an elderly gentleman calling himself The Lager Phone Man. I finish eating and head closer to him to see the unusual instrument that he is playing, a wooden stick with beer bottle caps stacked around it. With a striking stick, this lager phone produces some interesting sounds. Also known as a music shaker and a rhythm stick, I was advised they've been around since the 1950s in country areas of Australia.
Strolling further down the mall, I see some art from an artist I immediately recognise, Mulga. Real name, Joel Moore, he runs brand Mulga and his designs are very distinctive. He gets around. I've seen his work in Liverpool on a wall as part of a street art festival and, in Rhodes, his unique style can be found on a ping pong table at Peg Paterson Park. More of his art, including that on T-shirts, can be seen at his pop-up store on The Kingsway at nearby Miranda.
Across from Mulga's artwork is Rip Curl, the place for all your beach and surf needs. It also sells snow gear, which I wasn't aware of. Nearby, next to the library, is the Cronulla Central arcade and inside is the Cronulla Surf Museum. It's here you can learn about the history of surfing in this suburb from the 1960s to present day.
This is about all I had time for on my short visit but there's plenty more to do, as follows:-
Frolic at the rock pools and picnic at Shelly Park or Oak Park
Play some golf at the local course
Walk the Cronulla Esplanade Trail
Catch the ferry to Bundeena
Cruise the Royal National Park and the Hacking River
All in all, I had a nice day out that exceeded my expectations.
This was forwarded to me by a friend and it was interesting reading. One thing that puzzles me is you mention Cronulla Park bordering South Cronulla Beach. We have Cronulla Park bordering Cronulla Beach and South Cronulla covers areas such as Shelley Beach and Oak Park through to Bass and Flinders Point. I am sure this is just a mistype as we do not have a South Cronulla Beach. Cronulla Station is not South Cronulla the same as Cronulla Park and Cronulla Beach come within the area of Cronulla.