One of the best things about spending time at Oakvale is that on the neighbouring property lives two boys, both around the same age as our little guy.
Alfie spends every daylight hour with them and it’s all old-fashioned fun which means being outdoors and doing things like riding dirt bikes, playing with the hose, collecting firewood, building bonfires, jumping on the trampoline and running into barbed wire fences and ripping the skin off your face.
It’s always sad for Alfie when he has to say goodbye to his outdoorsy mates but this time we were in luck because on the same day we were leaving the farm, they were heading to Sydney to spend a few days on their yacht. They invited us to meet them at Reef Beach and spend a day with them on the water.
Along with Arabella, we met up with them on a glorious day of 32C (90F) where there wasn’t a breath of wind or even a cloud in the sky.
Reef Beach has a colourful history in that for over 17 years it was a nude-bathing beach. Labor premier, Neville Wran declared the beach that’s opposite Manly Cove, a nudist beach back in the 70’s. While the ‘naturalists’ all enjoyed this, the vast majority who did want to enjoy the very picturesque beach with their clothes on, couldn’t. It seemed selfish that such a pristine and pretty spot could only be enjoyed by so very few and so with a change of government, in 1993 the beach once again became a place those who think it’s normal to wear clothes, could enjoy.
The water at Reef Beach is very clean and the beach is pristine and surrounded by bushland. There are many rocky platforms which is where the nudists used to like to recline. It’s a small beach and parking’s a problem so you’ll never find Reef Beach crowded. I think it’s one of the most special beaches in Sydney.
We arrived at around 11am and there were only a few people at the beach. I hadn’t had an ocean swim so far this season but the water was so inviting I put on my flippers and swam to the shore. The water wasn’t as warm as I would have liked but it was certainly invigorating and once I was out of the water the outdoor air temperature quickly warmed me.
If I wasn’t in the water I was reclining on one of the boat’s day beds with a glass of chardonnay or mineral water in my hand. It was incredibly peaceful and relaxing and although only Spring, it was a perfect summer’s day.
In terms of food, I didn’t make anything but rather went to the shops and bought bar-be-cue chickens with bread rolls and coleslaw. This was a perfectly adequate lunch to enjoy in the fresh outdoors and just when the food ran out the ice cream man arrived in his boat and pulled up alongside. He sells Magnums, Cornettos and Gaytimes for a fortune but who can resist!
We took the three boys for a hoon around the waterways and when we came back, had one final swim and it was time to head back to our mooring. There were no injuries and we only lost one pair of $40.00 flippers. I’d call the day a success.
If you’d like to visit Reef Beach, it’s at Dobroyd Point. If you’re not arriving by water, from Forty Baskets Beach you trek through the bush for about 15-minutes until you arrive at the beach. Once there, the facilities are basic but the views and the setting are worth it.
Reef Beach: Dobroyd Point, Sydney
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