Sydney: Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach

By Cubie - January 12, 2020

Palm beach is at the Northern Beaches of Sydney and the about 41 km north of Sydney CBD. It is probably most famous as the filming location for Australian soap opera Home and Away. Most people probably visit Palm Beach for beach holidays but the main attraction for me was the promise of Barrenjoey Lighthouse tour.

Getting to Palm Beach
I was up in Sydney for work and exploring places that I have not been. Palm Beach came up as one of the possible option as a day trip. It really isn't that far away but I have never been even though I lived in Sydney for a couple of years. Well, time to remedy that. I took went on a Sunday morning by a bus. It took about 1.5 hours by bus, getting off at the junction that would take some walk up to the car park or start of lighthouse trail.

Barrenjoey Lighthouse Trail
There is a signed walking track to get to the lighthouse. The start of the walk after this sign was through a sandy beach which left some sands in my sneakers.

At the end of the sandy beach stroll brings me to the start of the trail. Right to the Smugglers Track and straight on to the Access Trail. I chose to go up via the Access Trail but down through the Smugglers Track.

Access Trail, 800m, 15 mins, grade 2
It is a small trail with some steps along the way. I blamed the warm weather and jeans that I was wearing due to my lack of wardrobe choices in my luggage.

Smugglers Track, 400m, 10 min, grade 3, steps
As I went down via the Smugglers Track, the "start" of the track from the lighthouse is just next to it. There is a little sign showing which way to go.

See... steps

Barrenjoey Lighthouse
I'm not going to lie, this was the main reason for my trip to Palm Spring. Not the beach.

There is a guided tour to the inside and up of the lighthouse every Sunday between 11am and 3pm, at the cost of $5 per adult and $2 for each child. Hence why I went on a Sunday even though most of the time I avoid going out on a Sunday due to pre Monday blues.

The lighthouse doesn't look too tall to me and it is standing at 29.75 metres high. The character of the light is group flashes, 4 in 20 seconds. We were told that it is now considered as both functioning and non functioning because in current era with GPS etc, a lighthouse in this area is not necessary. On the other hand, as it is an iconic lighthouse, a familiar lighthouse in the dark would give some assurance.

We were first given some introduction to this lighthouse from 1879 at a room connecting to the lighthouse. There were some old photos on displayed in the room. After that we were brought to the lighthouse.

At the ground floor, there were memorabilia of the lighthouse. The international code of signals reminded me of the animation From Up the Poppy Hill.

Then it was going up to the tower!

One of the question that our guide asked was, "One stripe of the panel was black, why do you think that is?"

We didn't get the answer correct. It was to block the light from the lamp from shining to the residential area following complains from the Palm Spring residents.

The view from the lighthouse was amazing too!

For some reason, it appears that the current trend to take photo is to sit or stand at the edge of some hanging stone

After that, you could enjoy the beach or other things on offer which I don't have much to offer as I didn't partake in any of those. However, I did find this shop in front of a bus stop to get back to Sydney CBD sells cool home stuff. It had a bakery where I picked up an almond croissant as a filler.

Side note: Need mojo to be back at work... 

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