Too often I think we Sydneysiders tend to take our beloved Harbour for granted.
Overseas tourists travel thousands of kilometres to see our sunny shores and yet too few of us take the time to really stop, stare and smile at our picture perfect city.
The best way to appreciate Sydney's spectacular waterfront is by hopping on a ferry. We made a day trip to Watsons Bay on what turned out to be a glorious summer's day, basking our happy faces in the warmth of the sun and relishing the wind in our hair as we ploughed through the rollicking waves.
A Sydney ferry and the Sydney Harbour Bridge
It's only a brief journey to Watson's Bay--about 17 minutes including a stop at the naval base, Garden Island. On that way it's mandatory to wave at the Opera House as you fly on past, try to spot a giraffe as you go past Taronga Zoo, and then indulge in some window shopping for your next property purchase. On the waterfront or high on the hill? Decisions, decisions!
Watsons Bay ferry wharf
And to work up our appetites, we got off the ferry and walked straight up the hill to the notorious Gap. The cliff face is steep and awe-inspiring.
The Gap, Watsons Bay
Continue along the scenic pathway past the South Head signal station, close toward Macquarie Lighthouse (Australia's first lighthouse, established 1818) and then make a slow meader down through suburban streets and past Heritage-listed churches and schoolhouses on Old South Head Road.
Watsons Bay lookout
By the time you arrive back at Watsons Bay wharf, you've more than earnt your reward of fish and chips from Doyles.
You can of course eat a la carte at nearby Doyles on the Beach, but if you don't want to pay $36.40 for a fancy version of Doyles Fish and Chips, then simply order at the takeaway counter of Doyles on the Wharf and pay less than half price ($11.80 for two pieces of fish with chips).
Grilled sea perch with chips and salad $15.90
Geet has the grilled sea perch, moist and buttery, served with chips and salad.
Battered flathead and chips with salad $16.90
I eschew any thoughts of health and go straight for the battered flathead and chips. Four golden fried fillets stand majestically on a mountain of crispy chips. The salad is a generous mix of tomatoes, capsicum, carrot, cucumber and mixed leaves but I'm not a big fan of the salad dressings, one of which tastes as though it came straight from a bottle, the other with an odd sweet Chinese flavour which I discover later is actually "Doyles own chilli plum sauce".
Our meals don't take long to cook -- even with the significant lunchtime queue. Onceyou collect your meals from the counter, head down the back to the tables set up inside or on the covered verandah. Grab a glass of wine from the bar and then sit back, relax and enjoy the view.
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Doyles on the Wharf
Fisherman's Wharf (Watsons Bay ferry wharf)
Marine Parade, Watsons Bay, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9337 6214
This has been included as an Intrepid Eat on Grab Your Fork's Top 10 Sydney Eats for Tourists. Read the entire list here.
Lunch 7 days 11am - 5pm (closes later in the summer months)
Wharf bistro/takeaway menu
Fully licensed (alcohol only available for dine-in customers)
Closed on Christmas Day
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12/11/2008 11:14:00 p.m.