Although I live within a few kilometres of Milsons Point, we like to bring the car and park on Olympic Drive which is technically in Kirribilli. This is immediately under the Harbour Bridge, near the Jeffrey Street Ferry Wharf, and if you're early enough you might be able to score one of the 7 hour parking meters. If you don't get a space here, Alfred Street, near the North Sydney Olympic Pool, is the next option. This is technically in Milson's Point.
The important thing is not geography. It's the location. The view directly across to Circular Quay is one I never tire of, especially when a majestic cruise ship is moored at the Quay, the first port of call for most cruise ships berthing in Sydney. Other ships will be seen at the relatively new White Bay Overseas Cruise Terminal which opened in 2013 and can accommodate two ships at any one time.
View to Circular Quay from Milsons Point
Apart from the views and open spaces, there are some fairly good eateries within walking distance, no matter which direction you choose.
Take your time at the foreshore. Stand under the Sydney Harbour Bridge, observing passing pleasure craft, ferries and work boats. Look up at the traffic and trains passing overhead and observe the various natural, sculptural and architectural features of this area.
Australian Angel Sculpture in Bradfield Park
The massive rusty sculpture needs some examination. Called the Australian Angel, it was part of a Swiss Exhibition of works by the Luginbühl family. The exhibition was the Swiss cultural contribution to the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Nearby, and incorporated within the railing of the foreshore is the original bow of the HMAS Sydney.
Start exploring here, and follow the path westwards as you head under the Harbour Bridge, passing the Milsons Point Ferry Wharf and Ripples Cafe/Restaurant nestled alongside the North Sydney Olympic Swimming Pool. It's quite a treat to munch on toast and marmalade or scrambled eggs as energetic swimmers do their laps on the other side of the glass wall.
Milsons Point Ferry Wharf
Immediately next door is the Deck Restaurant and Luna Park. Nothing was happening at 8.00 am, but by the time we returned around 9.00 it was swarming with children who appeared to be on school outings and a girls dance group fun day out. You could tell from the tutus and painted faces that the girls were in for a treat as mothers, many with strollers and a second or third child, dutifully delivered their little princesses through the smiling mouth of Mr Luna Park himself.
Luna Park, Milsons Point, Sydney
Entry to Luna Park is free if you want to walk through. You just need to pay for the rides.
We stayed on the outside boardwalk, following the Lavender Bay shoreline, chatting with fisherman, greeting joggers and walkers, and stopping along the way to watch a group of Chinese Seniors continuing their age-old tradition of outdoor morning Tai Chi, accompanied by distinctive Chinese music.
Tai Chi on the boardwalk
No matter in which direction you look, there's plenty to take in. The boardwalk to Lavender Bay is both a sightseeing and history experience which I am sure has been photographed and written about by many a keen historian, and more recently, blogger and Facebook user, as well as a few Weekend Notes Writers - see related stories below. And, why not. It's worth telling the world that this is a special part of Sydney.
While taking in the artworks and history, don't forget to glance across the bay where you will see boats of all shapes and sizes. This is a busy little bay, home to many smaller boats bobbing around on their moorings, and transited by party boats picking up and dropping off revellers.
Small Sculpture, Lavender Bay in the Background
Walk for a little further to the end of the bay and you will find a small beach, a few historical markers and the remains of a slipway which once belonged to an important boat building company, Neptune Engineering.
The Historical Site & Slipway remains of Neptune Engineering
Here you are very close to Wendy Whiteley's Secret Garden. Her name is almost as well known as that of her late husband, famous Australian artist Brett Whiteley, winner of a multitude of accolades and awards, including two Archibalds, the Sulman and Wynne prizes.
Quibaree Park, bordering Wendy's Secret Garden, and View across Lavender Bay
Where you head from here is somewhat contingent on how much time you have and how you got here to start with as there is a lot more to explore.
You could climb the steps to Lavender Street and continue to either McMahons Point or to North Sydney Station. Or, return in an easterly direction along Lavender Street towards Milsons Point Station.
Lavender Bay Wharf
If you're hankering for a bit more of a waterfront experience, turn around and follow the boardwalk back as far as the first, rather unimpressive back entrance to Luna Park and climb the massive flight of stairs to Cliff Street. You will get a great view over the back of the Park. From Cliff Street, there are more picturesque views across the Harbour. This will bring you alongside the entrance to another lovely restaurant, Aqua Dining. Sitting in here, you feel like you could almost touch the Harbour Bridge. If you're not quite dressed for an upmarket meal, or it's not lunch time yet, stroll past and maybe stop in for a quick look at the North Sydney Olympic Pool.
This area identifies the entrance at the Lavendar Bay end of Luna Park
If you've packed a picnic or just want to sit, you can laze for hours on the grass in Bradfield Park. North Sydney Council's website has a great deal of information which you may wish to look up about this area and the future development plans.
There are many ways to arrive, and many ways to leave. Whether you bring a car, take a bus, train or ferry, you don't necessarily need to leave the same way you arrived. So, consider making a day of it, and maybe continuing on by ferry to maybe Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, Balmain, or even Parramatta.