Golden Hour Itineraries – Spring Bermagui
“I need this wild life, this freedom.” Zane Grey.
The golden hour, that precious window at dawn & dusk when colours sweep across the sky, is a magical reminder of the endless dance of the planets. It’s a time to pay attention to the world around you, and ignore the phone.
At this time of year coastal headlands are my favourite place to be for the golden hour because of the very real chance of spotting whales.
The following Bermagui gems were chosen for this blog because they are big enough to find a spot all to yourself to watch the show, but they are super close to great cafes and bars. Sound like it’s too good to be true? Welcome to life on the Sapphire Coast.
This is the first in a series of Golden Hour Itineraries, designed to give you a short, sweet, shore based whale watching experience within walking distance of great eateries and bars.
Like kids who can get rowdy before bed time, humpback and southern right calves like to play up a bit before bed (they do sleep, it’s like meditation) and also when they get close to a headland.
Don’t be put off by wind if there is any, it only makes the whales more playful, and you’ll soon be out of the weather when the golden hour is done.
Dawn at the Blue Pool
This world famous ocean pool faces east, putting the whales directly between you and the dawn. This makes whales easier to spot as their breath is backlit by the rising sun. Get an eagle’s eye view of the sea from the accessible lookout above the pool, or if it’s a calm day climb the stairs to see the dawn reflected in the pool. Directions: Pacific Drive via Lamont Street.
Breakfast on Lamont Street
Lamont Street runs through the heart of Bermagui and is literally dotted with people who love creating food.
Try Honor Bread and Mister Jones for that artisan touch, Gulaga Organics for whale spotting from the deck or stroll along the street until you’re captured by the scent of freshly baked pastries.
Dusk at Dickinson Point
Bask in glorious views of Gulaga Mountain to the north, Bermagui River and wharf to the west, and the Pacific Ocean to the east. You can actually stay in the car to soak up the gloaming vibes here, an advantage on cold or windy days. Directions: Via Dickinson Park, Lamont Street
Sundowners with fish tales
Head to Bermagui Hotel and the chance of more whale spotting from its decks which overlook Horseshoe Bay. The seafood platter here is pretty legendary here, but there’s no bigger legend than that of Zane Grey an American novelist, whose love of writing westerns was eclipsed only by the thrill of chasing marlin off Bermagui. The hotel was built in 1895 and Grey made it famous in 1936 when he broke the world record for the biggest tiger shark (460kg) and caught the first yellow fin tuna ever found on the south coast. The hotel is a 700 metre walk from the Blue Pool, via Montague Street.Bermagui Fishermen’s Wharf is loved for absolute water frontage and casual, quality dining as the lights twinkle on the harbour. Explore the handful of eateries and bars for fabulous seafood, Italian, tapas and Asian eateries and bars.Designed by architect Philip Cox, the two story building features stunning spotted gum columns and was completed in 2009.
It is home to the Bermagui Fishermen’s Coop which ensures the local catch gets to Sydney Fish Market where the buyers bid furiously for the fish from Bermagui. You can grab it straight from Blue Wave Seafood open 7 days a week to 7pm.
For handmade pasta and perfectly matched wines book into Il Passaggio, the creators of Honor Bread (open Wednesday to Sunday). Next door Horse & Camel Wine Bar (named after local icons Camel & Horse Head Rock) which turns out a fabulous pizza and tapas menu (Open Wednesday to Sunday from 3pm).
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