There’s a lot to love about Watsons Bay. It’s got lovely beaches, marvellous views and delicious seafood. Located on the South Head peninsula in Sydney’s east, it’s a delightful day out. Australia’s oldest fishing village is home to waterfront restaurants, great walking trails and a harbourside park perfect for family picnics.
Things to do
Steeped in history, Watsons Bay is rich in indigenous and colonial heritage. Join Kadoo Tours for insights into Aboriginal culture and the bay area. A two hour guided tour through the clifftops of the Gap Bluff walking track will have you marvelling at the vast ocean as you walk by the spot where the full-rigged passenger ship the Dunbar shipwrecked in 1857.
South Head heritage trail takes you past Lady Bay Beach, which permits nude bathing, and then on to the tip of South Head. Here you’ll find the historic red and white striped Hornby Lighthouse, built in 1858 after the Dunbar sank. You can spot whales from South Head between May and November during their annual migration.
Watsons Bay is a calm, protected cove with a small sandy beach which makes it perfect for stand up paddleboarding. Watsons Bay Stand Up Paddling offers lessons as well as guided SUP tours that take you to secluded little bays around the harbour or you can just hire the gear and go off on your own.
Camp Cove is just a short stroll from the ferry wharf but a million miles away from the rest of the world. The soft, sandy beach stretches out in front of multi-million dollar mansions. It’s a calm, secluded haven that is beloved by families and a great spot to go snorkelling or kayaking.
Eat and drink
Watsons Bay is home to the seafood institution Doyles. Doyles on the Beach is fine dining on the water, serving up fresh fish, lobster, prawns and more. Doyles on the Wharf, where the ferry docks, serves takeaway fish ‘n’ chips which can be enjoyed at nearby Robertson Park.
Dunbar House is a historic building and elegant space on Robertson Park serving high tea. The perfectly-positioned Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, right on the water, has the more casual Beach Club which serves a light, fresh menu made to be enjoyed by the harbour.
Getting to Watsons Bay, next to Vaucluse, is easy by public transport. A ferry from Circular Quay across sparkling Sydney Harbour takes less than 20 minutes. Alternatively, hop on a bus in the city at Walsh Bay, Barangaroo, Hyde Park or Kings Cross. There are buses from Bondi Beach as well.