A freelance writer living and loving in the northern beaches of Sydney...travelling, writing, outdoor activities, gardens, and Pilates are a few of my favourite things. Visit me www.potpourritravels.wordpress.com or www.facebook.com/potpourritravels/
Published May 17th 2016
Hot Holiday Destination
The relaxed lifestyle of the northern beaches of Sydney is enjoyed nowhere more than here at the Sydney Lakeside Holiday Park, part of the NRMA Big 4 chain.
The ambience and serene setting belies the Big 4 rating. The languid charm of this Holiday Park is its drawcard. Narrabeen is halfway between Manly and Palm Beach, and this camp ground is halfway to heaven. A coastal lagoon is on your front door step, and the picturesque golden crescent of sand that is North Narrabeen beach is at your beck and call. The Holiday Park will fill your every need, and what's not in-house, is just a few minutes drive or walk away.
There are grassy sites for tents and vans. Plus, the on-site villas and cabins are roomy 2 bedrooms with a lovely covered private front deck. Self-contained bungalows are perfect for families, providing kitchens, TV, microwave and dining table.
The list is impressive - 2 amenities blocks and laundries; children's playground, games room, conference room, disabled access bathroom, internet access and printer, landscaped gardens, and 2 all-weather pavilions. Throughout school holidays a holiday program is provided in the way of movies, orienteering, a Kindifarm visit, art and craft workshops, and Bingo.
Within the grounds is also the government-funded Coastal Environment Centre. Programs led by highly qualified teachers on the environment, rock platforms, bushland and wetlands areas, local ecosystems and the flora and fauna of the area are available. Interactive exhibits and displays include a fox, pelican, snakes, and lizards.
The sublime natural beauty of the surrounding area is a bonus. The Bicentennial Coastal Walk, a coastal track from Palm Beach, which traverses headlands and follows beaches all the way to Cronulla, can be easily done in sections. Just across the road from the Park is a 100 step staircase which takes you up to Turimetta Headland. You can follow this north to Warriewood and Mona Vale beaches, then catch the L91 bus south to get home if you don't feel like the walk back, or the tides stop you. Or from the base of the steps head south along the picturesque curve of sand all the way to Collaroy Beach. Again if tides and fatigue catches up with you, several buses will bring you north, where the bus stop on Pittwater Road is just 5 minutes walk to the Park entrance.
A safe ocean rock pool and rock platform worthy of several hours, or days, exploring is right at the base of the headland. Amenities block and outdoor shower is provided free. The pool is full length, so you can keep up with your fitness regime, or sit and watch the local swim club run their Saturday competitions.
You'll need at least a couple of weeks to fit everything in. Warriewood Cinema has 7 cinemas, with 2D and 3D experience, and is located just a 5 minute drive or 15 minute walk over Pittwater Road.
North Narrabeen Reserve, at your back door, holds organic markets every Friday from 8am - 2pm, offering fresh home made breads, cakes, cheeses, chutneys, organic coffee and free range meats. It's a real community meeting place, and provides wonderful support to farmers who travel in from outer Sydney.
There's no lack of coffee shops and eateries nearby. The Hit Café is within North Narrabeen Surf Club, and the nearby streets are also lined with options. The Bored Monkey on Pittwater Road is moody and modern if you're in the mood for tapas and music. The Limani Seafood is an 4-star seafood restaurant with sunset views overlooking the lake. P & N's Gelato & Espresso Bar has something for kids and adults - it'll take you at least a week to try all the flavours. Pro-Hire on the lakeside is where you can hire canoes, paddle boats, paddle boards, kayaks.
Fishing in the lake is free and fun. Depending on the rainfall and tides, the lagoon is often open to the ocean, so fishing is popular, peaceful, and if unsuccessful, there's always the Fish and Chip shop at North Narrabeen right next door to the Gelato & Espresso Bar. It's a win-win.
Local Government buses run regularly north and south along Pittwater Road. Spend the day north exploring Barrenjoey Lighthouse at Palm Beach. For a retail hit, jump on and head south to Warringah Mall, one of the largest indoor/outdoor malls in Australia.
But back to the park. You really don't need to go anywhere. Barbeque facilities, nearby supermarket, shady grassed areas, childrens playground, safe swimming and picnic areas, and the local and friendly birdlife of ducks and pelicans makes this Holiday Park one of the best holidays you'll ever have.