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Bush walk to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

Itís just damn typical that the minute the school holidays start we all get sick. It started with Miss L and slowly toppled us all over one by one, like dominoes. So by the time we got to the end of the first week of the school holidays, cabin fever had well and truly set it. We all desperately needed some fresh air.

Sunday was one of the most beautiful Sydney winter days, so I decided we should go for a bush walk to the see the Barrenjoey Lighthouse in Palm Beach. The kids were so excited to be outside, their usual moans that accompany the word Ďwalkí were non-existent. Hooray! In fact they were so excited they ran off ahead us across the sand like little eager beavers to get to the start of the walk.

Usually there are two paths to choose from to get you to the top of the Barrenjoey Headland. One is a gentle meander around the edge of the cliff. It takes a little longer but itís a much easier option, especially for younger children. The other is pretty much a climb straight to the top with lots of steps and itís pretty steep too. Today the easier option was Ďunder constructioní for some reason and blocked off, so we had no choice but to the tackle the climb. I was a little worried about Ms L, who is only three, but Mr D was happy to carry her over any tricky bits.

The kids all found a big stick each (to look like proper climbers of course) and off we went. The track is really well laid out and easy to follow and the views are breathtakingly beautiful. We stopped half way and sat on a huge big rock for a quick rest. We also needed to strip off as weíd started to build up quite a sweat (well, I had anyway). The kids were doing amazingly well and having heaps of fun. We took in the view, had a quick drink and watched a seaplane fly right over the top of us and then land on Pittwater below us. Amazing.

When we got to the top I was absolutely blown away by the view. It was such a clear day that we could just make out the Sydney Tower in the Sydney CBD. We also saw a few whales breaching the distance as they travelled on their annual northern migration.

The lighthouse itself was open for tours, so we paid a small donation and climbed to the top. The kids counted every single step and there were exactly 55 in total. We were certainly getting a good workout thatís for sure. It was fascinating learning all about the history of the lighthouse and the kids even had a go at operating one of the old light signals. I think I could have been a lighthouse keeper in a previous life Ė imagine waking up to those views every single day? Although I must admit I did get a little bit of vertigo at the top and was quite happy to have all of our feet on solid ground again.

The climb back down the cliff was much easier than going up and only took us about 20 minutes. It was pretty steep though and Mr D had to use my scarf to strap Miss L to his back.

Once we reached the beach we headed straight the Boat House restaurant for a well-earned milkshake and a spot of lunch. We had so much fun and being only an hourís drive from the city, itís an easy family day out.

Robyn de Beer is a Sydney stay-at-home mum of three kids, aged 2, 5 and 8. When she is not tackling home work or doing the school run she share honest and amusing stories about motherhood, Thermomixing, photography, and everything in-between on her parenting and lifestyle blog Mrs D Plus 3

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