Whale beach was recommended to us, it was apparently much quieter than Bondi but a similar size and style, so we decided to check it out. It was a good hours drive away, a pretty boring drive at that. But as we got closer the scenery became more impressive. We started to drive along narrow and winding roads, surrounded by massive houses set in the hill sides.
Eventually we got to the beach and straight away we were in awe. The sea was an amazing blue colour, the sky a different shade of clear blue and the sand clean and bright, and to top it all off there were hardly any people. We got out of the car in excitement, and practically ran to the beach. We had a whole section of the beach to ourselves. Everyone else on the beach looked like tiny little ants, we were that far away from them.
As with Bondi, this beach had two flags up to mark out the area that we were allowed to swim in. We went in and it was a little chilly to start with, but then once we started drowning we soon warmed up. The waves were pretty rough, and so much fun. You’d come up from a wave and not have any idea where you are, and immediately look around a) for the flags to check you’re still in a rescuable perimeter, and b) to see if your people are still alive or washed up on the shore. Pretty much most of the time Aisling had washed up onto the shore and ended up just watching Erin and I drown instead. She had the right idea.
As one wave came towards Erin and I, we saw this tiny head poking out through the wave, a human was coming towards us engulfed in wave and we couldn’t do anything about it other than scream and try to dive out of the way. We both came up from under the giant wave and were cracking up, we were bruised and battered from hitting the seabed as we attempted to get out of the way of the human wave coming towards us.
After that point it all went down hill. I kicked Erin in the back a few times, she elbowed me in the face a few times and eventually we washed up on the shore and decided we were done. We were knackered, literally out of breath and achey all over. It takes every muscle in the body to not drown in those waves. I felt like I’d done a hardcore work out.
However, that didn’t stop us then doing some Pilates and gymnastics on the pristine beach. The sand was not enjoyable, it gets into every single part of your body and wow its uncomfortable. Plus, my bag still has whale beach sand in it – nearly 2 months later! But that didn’t stop me from proceeding to dig a hole. Theres something really satisfying about digging a huge hole. Mine wasn’t quite as impressive as Joeys on that friends episode, but I tried! And we managed to bury Erin in it!
After digging my hole and admiring the fact I could fit into it we decided to head back. This is where a successful day trip turns into a classic Erin and Siobhain day trip. We got a bloody parking ticket! We’ve rarely had to pay for parking since being in Australia, and so we didn’t even check when we got to the Whale Beach car park. We just assumed it was free! Note to self: do not assume parking is free. Also we were super excited to get onto the beach, we didn’t even once think about parking charges.
The funny thing is, we didn’t notice we had a parking ticket until it started to rain and Erin switched on the windscreen wipers. We saw a weird with thing arching the windscreen with the wipers and were confused as to what it could be. So I opened the passenger window and reach out to grab it. That is the moment we realised we have a $90 parking fine. A cheap beach day got very expensive very quickly. Plus the time stamp on the ticket was minutes after we had arrived – I bet a ticket person waited and watched us get out of the car like excitable children and run to the beach without a single care in the world -including the thought of paying for parking. So learn from our mistakes and check if parking is free or not – I’m sure most normal people do this. But obviously in true Erin and Siobhain style, we did not. Failing to be backpackers yet again.
Id recommend visiting Whale beach if you’re in Sydney – best if you have a car as it is about an hours drive away and I’m not sure if theres public transport – Id imagine there could be! But if you drive, I’d recommend paying for your parking! Its probably cheaper than the $90 parking fine. Also just don’t assume parking is always free. We definitely learnt our lesson and now always check before getting out of the car!
As we got home we realised we had brought half of Whale Beach back with us – another note to self: bring a change of clothes and be more prepared! I’ll be doing a post in the next few days about different things I take with me to the beach, and on hikes etc! Its useful stuff to know.