Sydney is full of surprising hidden wonders and Parsley Bay is one of the rare gems within Sydney Harbour. The reserve's prominent feature is the century old cable suspension footbridge set amongst 14 acres of natural harbour reserve. It is a great spot for swimming, fishing, bird watching, reptile spotting and picnicking.
The walking track to the footbridge is located to the right of the seawall by the beach. Up the steps you will be greeted by a lovely trickling waterfalls from the natural water course from the escarpment above.
At the end of the clearing is the timber pedestrian footbridge, bright white and dramatic in all its glory suspended over 'Parsley Glen'. I marvel at the bridge's engineering architecture built in 1912, consisting of two high towers and thick steel suspension cable supporting the flat timber walking deck. After a century, it still serves its purpose providing pedestrian access between the two shores.
Standing on the bridge, be mesmerized by grandeur of the residences along the Parsley Bay foreshores, immaculately presented with water views extending out into the Port Jackson. Looking below, watch children snorkel and swim, couples enjoying a romantic dip, fisherman trying to get a lucky catch on the wharf, small groups scattered on the green lawn enjoying their picnic, children playing in the playground and people sipping on coffee at the café.
The walking track continues up more steps towards The Crescent, at the top you will find bench to relax and take in the stunning views over Parsley Bay. The infamous local resident, the Eastern Water Dragon can be seen sunning themselves on the boulders over the fenced path. A rather large sized water dragon swiftly crossed the path in front on me, giving me fright. They can grow up to 80cm in length and 20cm round.
Pets are permitted at The Crescent Reserve but not within Parsley reserve to protect the water dragons. Their predators include the kookaburra, currawongs and domestic cats and dogs.
The track then takes you down the steps to the seawall promenade by the wharf, then meanders around the bay along the sandstone caves and rock overhangs and more trickling cascade of water down the cliff face, under the bridge then back to the beach.
On the eastern end of the reserve towards Hopetoun Avenue (pass the car park, creek and toilet facilities) are more nature tracks which lead up to a lookout. We didn't get the chance to explore this section but I'm sure it would be as scenic as the first track.
There are many sculptures around the reserve which depicts the flora, fauna and marine life that is native and special to the ecosystem within Parsley Reserve. They also mark the centenary of Woollahra Council's care of the reserve since 1907, when the State Government acquired the land and dedicated it as a public reserve.