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The Gap

Home > Sydney > Beaches | National Parks | Nature | Picnic Spots | Walks
by Kaitlin (subscribe)
I'm a Freelance Writer living in Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Stay tuned for my Website ;)
Published May 25th 2011


The Gap' is located in the lovely Municipality of Woollahra, Sydney, NSW between Bondi Junction and Paddington, consisting of the suburbs of Woollahra, Vaucluse, Watsons Bay, Rose Bay, Double Bay, Bellevue Hill, Darling Point, Point Piper, Edgecliff and Paddington. It is an Ocean Cliff resting near South Head.

Ocean Cliffs are renowned for their amazing and breath taking views and 'The Gap' is no exception. 'The Gap' is a short windy drive from the Sydney CBD, but is well worth the trip – many people visit 'The Gap' for lunch, picnics, BBQ's and just to enjoy the view in a romantic location.

The Gap' has a notorious history, having been the site of the famous Dunbar Ship wreck of 1857 in which 63 passengers and 59 crewmembers lost their lives – a sad day for Captain James Green. Though it wasn't Captain Green's fault, the weather was stormy and visibility was poor and after misjudging the entrance to the Bay, lost control of the ship.



Our famous shipwreck Dunbar at 'The Gap' does have a happy ending though, as there was one fortunate survivor, a young man by the name of James Johnson. Mr. James Johnson must have thanked his survival on something greater than him and that he survived to render aid to other lost sailors at sea, as he went on to work at the lighthouse and subsequently rescued a fellow lone survivor from the stream Ship SS Cawarra.

Once at 'The Gap' you can stand and look out over Vauclause and the Tasman Sea to the north and south, watch the ships, yachts, ferries and sailing ships. You wouldn't want to visit everyday, but on a nice sunny afternoon, or brisk early morning you could certainly make a trip a few times a year.

Apart from the lovely view when you arrive, take the time to be a passenger in the car on the drive up the windy hill road, as there are some historical, as well as contemporary architectural buildings that warrant attention.

Are you an artist and love to paint views, then 'The Gap' should be written in your Diary as places to go in order to create art – take your paints and easel, or pencil and paper and do not spare the colour or creativity that can come from one of Sydney's greatest vantage points.

Did you know that 'The Gap' use to have a tram terminal that went to Watson's Bay? Yes, from 1909 to 1960 people could hop on a Tram and travel almost all around Sydney. The Tram route has not become a walking track, but people can still get to 'The Gap' via public transport, such as a Bus or Ferry.

The Gap' also has a park land area that was established in 1887, it features mixed flora and forna, some native and other from far off Queensland's rainforest areas, as well as some Norfolk Pines. Keep your eyes open for some of 'The Gaps' bird life and listen out for their call.

Although funding has been a long running issue surrounding the maintenance of 'The Gap', initially run by the Vaucluse Council until 1948 and now in the hands of the Woollahra Municipality, it has previously enjoyed a scattering of cottages and an interesting Camera Obscura housed in an Octagonal Building –later closed for military security.

Rexie the German Shepherd has been honored with a Plaque at 'The Gap' – Rexie was famous for saving lives of people in danger from falling over the edge of 'The Gap's' treacherous cliff edge, thankfully there is now a secure fence around 'The Gap's' Cliff edge, but wouldn't we all still want Rexie there too? – Safety Safety Safety!

Just to the right of 'The Gap' is the Sydney Harbor National Park and Gap Bluff, which use to be home to the Royal Australian Artillery. To the left of 'The Gap' you can see North Head, Manly and the Northern Suburbs of Sydney.

Now catching a 324 bus from the Sydney CBD takes you through Kings Cross, Edgecliff, and Rose Bay and all the way to the Top of the Hill and 'The Gap' lookout and then travels onto Watson Bay and Doyles famous Fish restaurant.

If you prefer to view 'The Gap' while listening to the tranquil crash of water with a romantic ride on a Ferry, catch the Watson Bay/Rose Bay Ferrie from Warf 3 Ferry Terminal at Circular Quay and sit back and enjoy the ride. Once at the Watson Bay Ferry Terminal a short walk takes you to Military Road and from there you can also catch a 324 bus to 'The Gap', or travel back to the Sydney CBD, through Vaucluse Heights on a 325 bus, or to Bondi Junction for some shopping on a 380 bus.

So, whether you own your own Rexie, are feeling romantic, or just looking for a fun afternoon, remember to keep 'The Gap' as one of your options and suggest it to your friends too.
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Why? A View to Remember
When: All Year Round
Where: Watson Bay, Sydney, Australia
Cost: Ferry Ride - Multipass $20 Full Fare; $10 Concession
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