Check out our amazing whale watching package right here!
If you are looking for an incredible nature experience, there is nothing more special than spotting majestic whales along the beautiful Sydney Coast and it is no wonder that this unforgettable experience is so sought after by locals and tourists alike.
Thousands of whales migrate annually between May and November each year. The first season is typically from May to August where the humpback whales head north towards warmer waters to mate and give birth, then in summer they return south with their calves to feed in the Antarctic waters.
The best whale watching in Sydney where you are more likely to spot whales from the shore is during winter when as many as 20,000 of them migrate along the New South Wales coastline. Humpback whales are the most likely whales you will spot during the Sydney whale watching season in 2018, however you may be among the lucky to spot orcas and minke whales.
So, put on your winter woolies, grab your binoculars and your camera then head to one of the Top 5 Whale Watching Lookouts in Sydney which are certain to provide you with some of the best whale watching in Sydney and where you can capture some of the action and memories to last a lifetime.
Fairfax lookout, North Head, Manly
There is no better place to experience these beautiful humpbacks frolicking in the water than from the vantage point of the Fairfax walk lookout, an easy and enjoyable 1km loop, located in the Sydney Harbor National park, only a few minutes’ walk from the historical Q Station Hotel, on the site of the former Sydney Quarantine Station. The walking track at the North Head Sanctuary leads to the North Fort and Fairfax lookout which features incredible sea views and a panorama of the harbour and city skyline, also offers plenty of opportunity to spot humpback whales.
Make a day or weekend of it, taking time to explore the incredible history and heritage of the Q Station site taking part in a Ghost or History tour, exploring the site on your own or popping into the Visitor Centre which also functions as a museum offering free admission.
Hornby Lighthouse, South Head, Watsons Bay
This historic red and white striped Hornby Lighthouse is located at South Head near Watson’s Bay and is surrounded by expansive views of the Pacific Ocean. Built in 1858 this great Whale watching spot can be accessed via an easy walking track to the lighthouse via the South Head heritage trail which departs from Camp Cove at Watsons Bay. This 1 km loop will take between 30 minutes to an hour and takes you past the Lady Bay Beach, before reaching he Lighthouse.
Shark Island, Sydney
Located just off the exclusive eastern suburbs of Rose Bay and Vaucluse with panoramic views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, Shark Island also offers an incredible viewing platform for keen whale watchers. Pack a picnic lunch and take advantage of the beautiful grass areas and picnic spots around the island and walk barefoot on the beach as you take in the 360-degree views and watch the whales frolic in the water. The best way to access Shark Island is via public ferry 7 days a week as mooring at the island is not available.
Bondi Beach to Coogee Walk
Bondi Beach is one of the most famous beaches in Australia and a hub of activity all year round and the 6 km Bondi to Coogee walk is a great way to spot whales while taking in the stunning ocean views and sea air. The cliff top coastal walk will take you past beaches, pars, cliffs, bays and rock pools. The beach and parks offer resting spots along the way and great spots to have a bite to eat or a takeaway coffee as you continue on your journey. It takes approximately 2 hours to complete the Bondi to Coogee section of the walk so make sure you wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing for the elements.
Barrenjoey Lighthouse, Palm Beach
Sitting at Sydney’s most northern point, in the Barenjoey Headland at Palm Beach, the Barrenjoey Lighthouse is worth the drive as it offers a great viewing platform for humpback whales and panoramic views of Broken Bay, National Park and the Central Coast.
Built in 1881 from sandstone quarried on the site, the lighthouse is one of the iconic sights on Sydney’s northern beaches and is accessed by an easy 1km walk along the Barrenjoey track and will take approximately 1-hour return trip from the Governor Phillip parking area. The more adventurous can also walk the Smugglers track instead for a more challenging hike to the top. It’s also a great place to bring international visitors as they may recognize the lighthouse from the popular long running television series Home & Away.
Wonderful recognition from our local MP James Griffin MP, Member for Manly on our historic site Q Station Manly and reference to our National Award from Meetings & Events Australia as the recipient of 'Unique Event Venue with Accommodation'.
We look forward to continuing to work closely together, particularly in preparation of the upcoming Invictus Games!
TEN UNIQUE DATE IDEAS FOR WINTER
Whether it’s date night, celebration of your anniversary date, asking the BIG question date or that incredibly exciting – and nerve wracking - first date with the person of your dreams, creating the most memorable and unique setting to impress the love of your life (or soon to be if you play your cards right) is key if you are looking to make them feel special.
If you really want to impress, first step is to try and understand what you know about your date, what they like, what their interests are and choose the location and experience you think they will enjoy the most. The best part is, it doesn’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money to have the best experiences.
There is never a bad time to plan an incredibly romantic date with your significant other, and with our Top 10 Date Venues in Sydney, you will have all the inspiration you need to find the perfect places to go on a date in Sydney. So why not tonight?
1. Enjoy a Penfolds Grange Degustation Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour
When only the best will do, capture a romantic moment under a spectacular sunset as you cruise the Sydney Harbour while enjoying a 6-course degustation menu matched with Penfolds platinum selection of private bin and vintage wines. On the Platinum Penfolds Grange Dinner Cruise you can watch the sun set while enjoying great food, great wine, listening to live music and taking in the beautiful scenery - this is an incredible experience and one that will be sure to surprise and delight.
2. Picnic lunch at Wendy’s Secret Garden
Pack a picnic lunch, blanket, pop in some bubbles and head to Wendy’s Secret Garden at Lavender Bay, nestled in the suburbs immediately north of the Harbour Bridge, for a romantic lunch with incredible views of the harbor. Take time to wander through this incredible garden, taking in its magical ambience, established through the love of Wendy Whitely in tribute to her husband, Australian Artist Brett Whitely after he passed away. Finding the garden can be an adventure itself so make sure that you do your homework, find the best route and mark at your picnic spot in advance.
3. Experience Hot Air Ballooning followed by a gourmet champagne breakfast
Take romance to its heights with an unforgettable Hot Air Ballooning experience in the popular Camden region of Sydney, a beautiful spot located only 50 minutes from the Sydney CBD. The Camden Valley offers the most incredible backdrop with a diverse range of views from sparking waters of the Nepean river, the peaks of the Blue Mountains illuminated by the first rays of sunlight, the historic towns of Picton and Camden and the incredible Sydney skyline that can only truly be appreciated from above.
The hot air balloon experience takes approximately an hour with flights over the beautiful and historic Macarthur region. We recommend allowing 3 hours to enjoy the complete experience which includes tea and coffee when you arrive, your incredible flight, followed by a delicious gourmet champagne breakfast.
4. Watch the Sun go down on Quarantine Beach
There is nothing more romantic than watching the sun over the ocean with your partner (or partner to be) better yet it’s a location for every season, bubbles in Summer and a great bottle of Red coupled with an incredible cheese and antipasto and you have dinner and romance sorted. And there is no better spot than our very own Quarantine Beach a secluded hidden gem with gorgeous views out to the harbour and only a short stroll away from the accommodation the historic Q Station hotel. The beach is 200m long, faces northwest into the North Harbour and is in a quiet and sheltered location hemmed in by rocks and national park with silvery sand and clear, calm water.
5. Book a Room with a View
f you really want to impress you can’t go past our Retreat Suite at the Q Station. The Suite offers the perfect romantic getaway, located on the headland within the Sydney Harbour National Park in the renovated former Isolation Precinct, within what was once the Quarantine station, this area has one of the most amazing views of Sydney Harbour.
Take your love interest on a scenic stroll along the Fairfax walk accessing post card views of Sydney Harbour, then it’s only a 5-minute walk from your hotel suite to access the Quarantine beach for that wine and cheese.
6. An old school Drive in date in a Mustang convertible
For a truly unique night out with a difference, step back in time and enjoy a movie and dinner under the stars at the Skyline Drive In, Blacktown from the incredible vantage point of an old school mustang convertible or if you looking for something more modern then hire a mustang from the Hertz adrenaline collection.
This experience is a perfect first date option in Sydney, offering a different take on the standard dinner and a movie date and you can watch any of the latest blockbusters, enjoy a tasty treat from the dinner menu and immerse yourself in the experience.
7. Snorkeling and Lunch at Shelley Beach
For a truly relaxing and unwinding date, pack your flippers and towels and head to Shelley Beach for an incredible snorkeling experience. It’s a popular spot for snorkelers and scuba divers alike and it’s no wonder why, with a maximum depth of 12 metres in a protected reserve it is home to a large variety of marine life which is can be viewed in relatively shallow water. This experience offers a different take on the standard dinner and a movie date and you can watch any of the latest blockbusters, enjoy a tasty treat from the dinner menu and immerse yourself in the experience.
8. Lunch at the Boathouse Shelley Beach
After a morning of snorkeling, sand and sun you can dust off the sand and enjoy an incredible seafood lunch at the boat house restaurant, located in an idyllic spot directly on the beach where you both can sample delights like the Kingfish Carpaccio or a Cold Seafood Platter while continuing to take in the ambience of an incredible location.
9. Kayaking – Rose Bay
While there are plenty of places around the harbour you can kayak, Rose Bay is one of the more beautiful spots, better yet you can hire out the kayaks, paddleboards and even motorboats from rose bay aquatic hire for a memorable day out on the water. If you are up for an adventure paddle out to Shark Island carrying a small picnic or snacks with you and relax taking in the beautiful views before taking the kayak back to Rose Bay. Make sure you arrange your landing fee ($7 per person) via NSW National Parks.
10. Skip dinner and go straight for dessert
Located on George Street Sydney is fun date idea and a great way to get to know someone if it’s in the early stages of dating. Now you could be thinking that it looks like every other ice cream shop, and sure they do serve everything you would expect from sundae’s to waffles however the resemblance stops here. What is so incredibly unique is the decadent upgrades they have made to the classics like chocolate crêpes with hidden chocolate mousse and strawberries, a delicious surprise of a cookie at the bottom of your cookies and cream ice cream, and if you pride yourself on being a food adventurer you can really get creative with the classics mixing them with exotic flavours including black sesame, Japanese green tea, durian, sticky rice, coconut and lychee rose. What’s even better is the serving sizes are perfectly suited for 2 which makes for a fun night out that’s easy on the pocket.
It’s Game on Down Under! In October 2018 Sydney will be host to the 4th Annual Invictus Games Sydney, welcoming over 500 competitors and over 1000 of their family and friends from 18 Nations across the globe, showcasing the healing power of sport and the resilience of the human spirit.
The event is presented by Jaguar Land Rover who have been involved since its inception in London in 2014. The competitors will compete in 11 sports in Sydney during the 2018 Invictus Games dates of 20 – 27 October 2018. The events will be staged across Greater Sydney, including Sydney Olympic Park, on and around the Sydney Harbour, with the Opening Ceremony being held at the Sydney Opera House.
In choosing the venue for 2018, Prince Harry, Founder and Patron of the Invictus Games Foundation, had three key criteria. First, it had to be an iconic city – somewhere known the world over. Second, it needed to be a city with a proud military heritage, which would welcome competitors from all over the world with open arms. And finally, it had to be somewhere where the people are absolutely sports mad and would really get behind the competitors. Prince Harry commented “It was an easy decision really.” You can watch the announcement HERE.
The Invictus Games participating allied nations include; Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the USA.
Nations have started to announce their teams for the games with Denmark, New Zealand and USA among the first to reveal the competitors who will make the trip ‘Down Under’.
ABOUT THE INVICTUS GAMES
Named after Invictus, Latin for “unconquered” or “undefeated”, the Invictus Games is an international adaptive multi-sport event, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing. Founded by Invictus Games Patron Prince Harry, the Games harness the power of sport to inspire and support the rehabilitation and recovery of injured or sick armed services personal and create a wider understanding and respect for those who serve their countries.
The first Invictus Games took place in September 2014 at the Queen Olympic Park in London, United Kingdom with 14 Nations attending and crowds of over 65,000 people packing out the venue. With the exception of 2015, the successful event has been held annually ever since with the number of Nations participating increasing to 18 in 2018. In 2016 the event was hosted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida. In 2017 the games were held at multiple venues in Toronto, Canada and it was at this event that they introduced the first-ever Invictus Games relay.
The Invictus Games provides an opportunity for long-term impact on the defence community by supporting programs and services across various sectors to encourage greater collaboration and co-operation amongst veteran and serving community.
MAKE YOUR MARK
At the closing ceremony of Invictus Games Toronto 2017, Prince Harry challenged us all to do something to effect change in our lives or make a difference in our communities. Prince Harry said; “Let the examples of service and resilience you have seen, inspire you to take action to improve something – big or small – in your life, for your family, or in your community.”
In answer to this call to action the Sydney 2018 launched a “Make Your Mark Down Under’ campaign. Make Your Mark is an opportunity for everyone to get involved in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018, no matter where you are. You can show your support for our wounded warriors through sharing your moment with the Games community via #MakeYourMarkDownUnder and including #IG2018.
WHERE TO STAY
If you are looking at where to stay in Sydney, for easy access to some of the best vantage points to the Invictus Games 2018 and only a short ferry ride across to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour, then the historic Q Station, a hidden gem located at North Head on the shores of Sydney Harbour in Manly, Australia is an incredible option. Surrounded by native Australian bush lands with stunning views over the Sydney Harbour and access to easy nature walks, Whale watching, Australian Wildlife, historic tours and some of Australia’s best beaches, you can feel removed from the hustle and bustle during the Invictus Games, yet close enough to all the action. Find availability now.
Bringing the family? We’ve helped you out with a jam packed 72 Hour Itinerary guaranteed to keep the entire family engaged, returning home more knowledgeable about the Australian History and Heritage.
INVICTUS GAMES INFORMATION
If you would like to volunteer at the Invictus Games in Sydney 2018 you can contact the 2018 Organising Committee, more information can be found by visiting http://www.invictusgames2018.org/join-us/volunteers/.
For more information about Sydney and getting around during the games you can find more information by visiting http://www.invictusgames2018.org/.
Tickets: tickets for the Invictus Games Sydney will go on sale soon and you are invited to Join the Journey and subscribe to the newsletter to keep up to date and to receive priority access to tickets before they are available to the general public.
For the latest information on the Invictus Games Foundation you can follow them on Twitter and Facebook or sign up to the newsletter to keep up to date.
NATIONAL AWARD WINNERS!
Q Station has been heralded as one of Sydney’s most unique business event venues, was recognised at the Meeting & Events Australia National Awards in Adelaide by winning in the category of ‘Unique Event Venue with Accommodation’.
Director of Sales & Marketing Natalie Dillon (pictured) is passionate about developing creative events on the versatile and heritage site. “The Q Station team work tirelessly to preserve our historic site on the edge of Sydney Harbour, connecting our guests to the past whilst showcasing new and innovative ways to deliver business events,” says Natalie, “Its natural beauty, food & beverage offering, team building activities, as well as its location, make it an ideal destination for business events.”
Q Station hosts over 300 events per year including conferences, product launches, training days, senior leader retreats, birthday parties and weddings. All 65 heritage buildings have been creatively transformed into hotel accommodation, function spaces, restaurants, a café and museum. Q Station is the perfect place for any group to experience privacy and comfort in a unique and inspiring setting.
Meetings & Events Australia is a national, independent not for profit organisation dedicated to servicing the needs of the meetings and events industry and promoting professionalism and excellence in all aspects of meetings and event management. It also promotes the value and effectiveness of meetings and events as an important high-yield sector of business travel and tourism. Q Station is thrilled to be recognised by Meetings & Events Australia.
MOTHER'S DAY - A GUIDE TO THE PERFECT DAY OUT
Mother’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show the most special lady in your life how much you appreciate and care about her. Whether it be the Mother of your children, your own Mum, Mother in law (or all 3!), forget the flowers and chocolate this year, instead give her the experience of the most perfect day out around our gorgeous Q Station destination.
The recipe to a perfect day out is all the planning, and to show how much we care, we have created a guide to the most perfect Mother’s Day out for you to take credit for!
1. Cruise from Sydney Harbour
Leave the car at home and enjoy a 15-minute ferry ride from Sydney Harbour. The Eco Hopper departs from 9:45am on a Sunday long enough to freshen you up as you breathe in the fresh air and take in the gorgeous views of Sydney. The ferry will drop you right off out our door step just like our passengers of the past would have and it is an enjoyable and relaxing way to experience the beauty of Sydney Harbour.
2. Explore a little history together
You have arrived at Q Station Wharf and our Visitor Centre is the perfect location to immerse yourself in the history and heritage of the old Quarantine Station. This Visitor Centre is located on the wharf adjacent to Quarantine Beach, within what was the luggage storage facility of Sydney’s former Quarantine Station (which also functions as a museum with significant features being preserved). The centre offers free admission and is an ideal spot to see memorabilia from the past and to pick up a map for a little exploring during the day.
Once you have explored the museum you can either head out on an adventure on your own or you can treat mum to a Wharf Wanderer Tour which you can book online in advance or on the day at the Visitor Centre. The Wharf Wander Tour is the perfect tour to understand the arrival and daily operation of residents at the Quarantine Station. The tour runs for 45 minutes where you will explore the heritage buildings and discover the stories of migrants through the 19th and 20th centuries. We recommend that you arrive 15 minutes for before the start of the tour and make certain you are still wearing comfy walking shoes!
3. Enjoy a leisurely Mother’s Day Lunch or High Tea
Spoil Mum with a leisurely Sunday Long Lunch with fresh modern Australian cuisine at the Boilerhouse Restaurant & Bar. Housed in the original boiler house building from the days of the Sydney’s former Quarantine Station and refurbished into a uniquely styled restaurant, you can show mum how much you appreciate her with a three-course meal and glass of sparkling wine while overlooking one of the most magnificent views of Sydney for only $55.00 per person.
If you a looking for something a little lighter then join us for High Tea in the beautiful Governor Bourke Ballroom and enjoy High Tea with a glass of sparkling on arrival, continuous tea and coffee, along with a range of delicious savoury and sweet treats ... $65.00 per adults & $35.00 per child (plus children under 5 years are free).
Bookings are essential for both popular events.
4. Take Scenic Walk
A scenic, easy and enjoyable walk is the perfect idea to walk off such an incredible lunch. The Fairfax walk takes approximately 30 minutes to an hour and the 1 kilometre loop ideal for all fitness levels. The path is paved, well maintained and it is wheelchair accessible.
The walk has exceptional views and the track starts at the end of the North Head Scenic Drive and then loops around the top of North Head. The circuit has three lookout points offering postcard views over the ocean or the Harbour to the CBD one of which would be certain to make a picturesque location for a Mother’s Day portrait to remember the occasion. It’s an exceptional walk for keen wildlife watchers and you can even spot sea life in the ocean so be sure to pack your binoculars!
5. Dip your toes in the water at Quarantine Beach
If time allows you can’t miss a visit to Quarantine Beach. The beach is 200m long, faces northwest into the North Harbour and is in a quiet and sheltered location hemmed in by rocks and national park with silvery sand and clear, calm water. Relax on the beach, build sandcastles or throw a frisbee with the kids and dip your toes in the water and enjoy some quality relaxing time with the family.
After such a perfect day out it’s now time to wind down and enjoy a coffee at our Visitor Centre Café as you await your ferry ride home and begin thinking about how you are going to top this experience next year!
If you are wanting to make the most of your visit to Q Station, why not stay overnight for a weekend getaway Mum will always remember. Quote ‘Mother’s Day’ when making a reservation and receive discounted rates on accommodation for the month of May.
Q Station is proud to announce our support of Soap Aid and their 'Hotel to Hands' program. These guys are an amazing charity based around collecting discarded soap from hotel rooms which are then sanitised and sent to targeted communities around the world ... and those facing major hygiene challenges. We are so happy to be part of this amazing initiative at Q Station.
“Half of the 9,000 children that are estimated to die from diseases such as diarrhoea and pneumonia everyday in our poorest countries could be saved by the routine use of handwashing with soap.”
Professor Martyn Jeggo, Director of Health Programs, Soap Aid
Soap Aid works directly with local community impact partners to ensure the ongoing supply of soap and vital hygiene education. They educate communities on the use of handwashing with soap to help eradicate the spread of infectious diseases. It also dramatically reduces the soap from landfill - essentially redirecting millions of bars of discarded soap from disastrous landfills..
When you check out, your used soap won’t go in the bin, but will be sanitised and given to children and adults around the world. Thanks for helping us save the environment and help those in need!
SCHOOL HOLIDAY IDEAS (72 HOUR ITINERARY)
School Holidays are nearly upon us ... yes, already! And if you are like many parents you may be thinking of ways to keep the kids occupied (and happy) during the kids two week hiatus.
Many families are so busy, and it isn’t always possible to take long breaks away together as a family, so if you can get getaway for a few days and spend some quality experiential time together that would be a bonus, right?
So, if you are looking for a family holiday filled with a historical difference, Q Station, located at North Head on the shores of Sydney Harbour, is the ideal base for your holiday. Hidden amongst native Australian bush land with stunning views overlooking the Sydney Harbour you are a short ferry ride away from all the action in the heart of the city, yet far enough away to get away from it all.
To take the stress out of the school holidays we have created a 3-day itinerary for you and the kids to explore Northern Beaches ‘backyard’ and learn a lot about our history and culture along the way.
7:00am: Enjoy a hearty breakfast
Enjoy a hearty early morning breakfast at the Views Restaurant at Q Station overlooking the picturesque views of the Sydney Harbour and get set for a jam-packed day!
You are staying within the Sydney Harbour National Park so there’s no need to take the car you can set off straight from the hotel and explore and the Q Station has a downloadable map to get you on track.
8:30am: Fairfax Walk
The Fairfax walk is an easy and enjoyable 1 kilometre loop ideal for children and as the path is paved, is wheelchair accessible. The walk offers incredible views and the track starts at the end of the North Head Scenic Drive and then loops around the top of North Head. The circuit has three lookout points offering postcard views over the ocean or the harbour to the CBD. It’s an exceptional walk for keen whale watchers during the June-July and August-October migration seasons so bring your binoculars!
10:00am: Explore Q Station Visitor Centre
When you return from your walk head to the Q Station Visitor Centre where you can immerse yourself into the history and heritage of the Q Station. The Visitor Centre is located on the wharf adjacent to Quarantine Beach, within what was the luggage storage facility of Sydney’s former Quarantine Station which also functions as a museum with significant features being preserved. The centre offers free admission so pick up a takeaway coffee at the Visitor Centre Café and explore the museum yourself until the Wharf Wander Tour begins.
11:00am: Wharf Wander Tour
The Wharf Wander Tour is the perfect tour to understand the arrival and daily operation of residents at the Quarantine Station. The tour runs for 45 minutes where you will explore the heritage buildings and discover the stories of migrants through the 19th and 20th centuries. We recommend that you arrive 15 minutes for before the start of the tour and make certain you are still wearing comfy walking shoes!
If you are here on a weekend you may want to take part in the longer running 2-hour Quarantine Station Story Tour where you will really find out what it was like to be quarantined!
Book a tour online or in person at the Visitor Information Centre.
12:00pm: Enjoy a Light Lunch
Enjoy a light lunch at the Visitor Centre Café and spend more time immersing yourself in the history and heritage.
1:30pm: Spend the afternoon at the beach
After a busy and informative morning, head back to your room and change for some family time at Quarantine Beach located a 5-10-minute walk depending on where your accommodation is located. The beach is 200m long, faces northwest into the North Harbour and is in a quiet and sheltered location hemmed in by rocks and national park with silvery sand and clear, calm water. Relax on the beach, build sandcastles or throw a frisbee with the kids and dip your toes in the water and enjoy some quality relaxing time with the family.
5:00pm: Early Dinner at the Engine Room Bar
Enjoy an early relaxed dinner at the Engine Room Bar which overlooks the beautiful Quarantine Beach. The tasty pizza or burger menu will be sure to warm your belly before getting the chills on a ghost tour!
6.30pm: Get prepared to be Scared!
Reputed to be one of Australia’s most haunted sites, ghost tours have operated here since the early 1990’s. Bring the whole family together to take part in the Ghost Trackers Ghost Tour for a spooky night of ghost stories and ghost hunting! Running for 2.5hours the tour is recommended for children 8 years and over and adults alike.
09:00am: Snorkeling at Shelly Beach
After a leisurely breakfast at the Views Restaurant, pack your bag with swimmers and a towel, lace up the walking shoes and head to the tour desk to hire a snorkel and flippers for a walk out to the gorgeous Shelley Beach for the morning – approximately a 35-40 minute trail walk from the hotel (if your feet are a little tired from yesterday it’s only a short drive from the hotel).
Popular with Scuba Divers and Snorkelers alike, Shelley Beach is a protected marine reserve which lies adjacent to North Head. With a maximum depth of 12 metres it is home to a large variety of marine life which can be viewed in the relatively shallow water.
1:00pm: Enjoy Lunch at The Boat House Restaurant (Shelly Beach)
Set right on the beach The Boat House Shelly Beach is an idyllic spot to enjoy an incredible seafood lunch after all that snorkeling. If you are a lover of seafood delish menu selections like the Kingfish Carpaccio, Cold Seafood Platter or a simple light lunch of a bucket of tiger prawns and sourdough washed down will an icy cold bear or glass of wine are exquisite.
3:00pm: Kayak and Paddle Board Action
Time to head back to the Q Station Tour Desk and hand over the snorkel and flippers and hire out some single or double kayaks and paddle boards. Head back down to Quarantine Beach and the calm and serene water and paddle out and around to Collins Beach and back and time for another swim in the ocean before heading back to the room for a rest before dinner.
6:00pm: Dinner at the Boilerhouse
Enjoy fresh modern Australian cuisine at the Boilerhouse Restaurant & Bar. Housed in the original boiler house building from the days of the Sydney's former Quarantine Station and refurbished into a uniquely styled restaurant, the Boilerhouse have an incredible atmosphere of natural surroundings and overlooks one of the most magnificent views of Sydney.
8:00pm: Adults Only – Extreme Ghost Tour
Leave the kids with a babysitter and have a quick drink in Engine Room Bar for courage before heading back to the Visitor Centre to take part in the Extreme Ghost Tour. Not for the faint hearted (or for people under the age of 18 years) this tour offers a personal immersion into the spiritual energy of the Quarantine Station site and takes a unique path through stories of the darker side of the quarantine as told by psychics and mediums.
9:00am: Experience Sailing with the family
After a leisurely breakfast at the Views Restaurant, take a 10-15 minute drive to the Manly Yacht Club and meet with the team from Manly Sailing who will take you and the family on a 3 hour sailing experience on the Sydney Harbour. Their professional skippers will literally show you the ropes, so you can help sail the yacht around the harbour – or you can just sit back, relax and take in the view. For more information and bookings its best to contact the team from Manly Sailing directly.
1:00pm: Lunch at Bella Vista (North Head Sanctuary)
Dry off and head back down the walking track to North Head Sanctuary for a leisurely (and well deserved!) lunch at Bella Vista Café, located inside the Heritage Listed North Fort Building at North Head Sanctuary. Bella Vista overlooks incredible views of the Darling Harbour and brings together the delicious flavours of homemade traditional and modern Italian cuisine.
3:00pm: North Head Sanctuary
It’s time to walk off that yummy Italian lunch and take the 1.5 – 2-hour Sanctuary Loop which passes by former School of Artillery buildings. You will experience diverse birdlife, flowering plants and as you explore you will encounter diverse wildlife and flora, military remains and incredible views of the city and harbor.
6:00pm: Dinner at the Engine Room Bar
After a jam packed 3 days we think you can be certain of a relaxed and quiet dinner with the kids at the Engine Room Bar followed by an early bedtime where the groans of ‘I’m bored’ will be replaced by ‘I’m tired’ and the good news is you won’t have to hear it for long before they crash out leaving mum and dad time to enjoy what’s left of the last night and think about the incredible time away you have all had.
If you’ve got more time there is still so much more to experience without needing to roam too far from the hotel and this brochure gives you even more insight on the tracks and tours. They are even more things to see and experience around Manly and the heart of Sydney too so if you don’t have time this trip we are fairly certain you will be back to explore and stay with us again at the Q Station.