It’s been a fabled part of secret Sydney for some time, but aside from constantly seeing it in my instagram feed, (mostly tattooed hipsters swimming while everyone else is at work), I’d never found the real deal.
So where to find it? At the mouth of Sydney Harbour sandwiched between the tourist-tastic canopies of Doyles at Watson’s Bay and the alpha female wedding destination of Vaucluse House, Parsley Bay ticks all the swimming destination boxes. Grassy picnic area for hosting a Sunday family barbecue; tick, playground and safe swimming for the nippers; tick, Sydney beautiful people friendly; giant tick.
The one tick you won’t get in this place is dog friendly. This, however, did not stop a defiant Golden Retriever who worked the beach like a canine Robin Hood. He stole bagels and burgers from the bikini beautiful while eliciting pats, high-fives and backslaps like a politician on the campaign trail. Sure dogs can’t read, but I digress.
Parsley Bay is framed by a pretty white 100-year-old pedestrian bridge that kids are urged not to dive off (although I did hear a group of local Vaucluse bad asses saying they were waiting for high tide). It has a shallow bay, that’s popular with the kid and family set, plus a wharf and rocks for the sunbathing beauties.
The robust shark net gets removed from June to September every year to flush the bay. And what’s with the name you ask?
Legend has it the area was named after a local hermit, unfortunately called Parsley, who lived in one of the caves at the foot of the bay. The other theory is that it was abundant with the herb in the 1780s that was used to treat scurvy for the vitamin starved First Fleeters.
This is no longer a common problem for the downtrodden residents of Vaucluse.
High points: A beautiful (relatively) secret beach in Sydney Harbour, just a stone’s throw from the CBD. Sydney, you are ridiculous sometimes.
Low points: Finding a car park, and having to listen to some of the beautiful people chat (Yah, I really think my bikini line needs to be higher)….
Cost: Get outta here. This is a public park.
Attire: Rockabilly tattoos (preferably on a woman’s chest), portable speakers for your spotify and double sized beach towels for cuddling up.
Best for: families, hipsters and law breaking dogs on the run
Overall Score: 8.75