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Bantry Bay

When I first googled recommendations on where to anchor around Sydney Harbour, I was surprised at how little information there was (and is). One location that does get a mention is Bantry Bay in Middle Harbour, so last weekend we decided to give it a go. So glad we did!

It’s a little tricky to get there as you do have to pass through Spit Bridge that only opens a few times of day however once you pass through, you enter a beautiful picturesque harbour with calm waters, dotted beaches, and an inspiring collection of waterfront properties set in lush green surrounding hills. 

We soon found Bantry Bay, and it’s truly a beautiful spot to anchor. There were about 10 other boats there for the night, and after a little kayak around the bay, we soon felt part of a little community as we gave out the customary ‘paddle by’ wave or had a ‘paddle by’ chat with our neighbours for the night.

Before any white men, particular these two privileged sailors who arrived 30 years ago felt a baseless claim

It was a chat with two older sailors that was most interesting as after mentioning how impressed I was with the place and that it was my first time there, they quickly began to complain about how more and more visitors were coming, unlike years ago when they had the place to themselves. I was advised not to tell people about their place of paradise. I get it, but come on! Should Sydney’s best spots a secret? 

There are also some abandoned naval supply buildings in ruins, that could be put to great use if restored. That was my thought when I saw them however these old salty dogs also suggested that if anyone put in a development application for the area, that I should quickly help to object. The thought then went through my head about how these lands were once more beautiful than they are now. Before it was a naval supply base. Before any white men, particular these two privileged sailors who arrived 30 years ago felt a baseless claim. When it was cared for by the Gayamaygal people, the traditional owners. 

This area could certainly be developed into a Gayamaygal cultural centre. Where their culture and art could be shared and enjoyed by all. Where we can all get a better understanding on who the Gayamaygal people were, and how they have been impacted by white settlement. It’s actually a disgrace that Sydney doesn’t have places dedicated to educate Australians and visitors about our traditional owners. Having worked in Sydney tourism for over 10 years, I’ve had 1000’s ask me where they can learn more about our Aboriginal past. We need to do more. 

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