Local Wanderlust Travels- Scotland Island
We're bringing back our Local Wanderlust series but with actual travels as we explore Australia, and indulge our wanderlust right here within her beautiful and bountiful shores.
The past year has really deepened our love and appreciation for Australia, reminding us how we live in not only a beautiful country, but a lucky one. We have heightened resolve to explore more within her borders, starting with a recently discovered (to us) Island that was easily accessible for a mid week getaway.
Welcome to Scotland Island, A mere 32km from Sydney’s CBD, yet a world away the moment we alighted onto her calm shores. It’s a small Island, without shops, cafes or restaurants but an abundance of serenity. A very manageable 40 min hike takes you around the Island, and whilst it may not be an exactly flat track, there is lush bushland and thriving gardens to admire throughout, constant glimpses towards or right by the water’s edge and your progress is accompanied and announced, by the many friendly, excited and curious local dogs in residence at most of the beautiful properties dotted around the island.
Not surprisingly, many a holiday home here became a great place to hideaway during 2020’s lockdown, and a lot of people have simply stayed- it is not hard to see why. There is an almost intentionally slower pace to life, and on our one trip off the Island on the Church Point Ferry, relaxed locals chatted casually about who knows who could do what, with leftover wood- it was a lovely reminder of simpler life, albeit one where there is full wifi access, and most properties seem to have at access to their own jettys and small motorboat.
Speaking of Church Point, this little spot in the Northern Beaches has really become a little favourite weekend hideaway. It’s an easy drive to find both the upscale Pasadena where you can enjoy some delicious food with a view, both inside the stylish decor or on their gorgeous outdoor seating area where there is live music on the weekends, or, spend the night in one of their 14 rooms.
Most rewardingly, there is the perfect little slither of a beach that is just the right size for a few hours to read and rest, and dip into some amazingly clear waters. Small, yes and the parking there can be a little exorbitant but it is also unlikely be crowded. The Waterfront Cafe & General Store, is gorgeously adorned (and delicious!) cafe that is also very prettily perched right on the wharf, where you can also top up on a few essentials like deli items, organic produce, milk and bread.
Back to our little slice of paradise though. We spent three nights at a very happily situated and well maintained, airbnb and despite having only one full day of sunshine, it was the perfect, much needed change of scene and pace. Our place had direct access to the water, with kayaks and paddle boards and various floaties as well as a natural fire pit and a small BBQ- really, what else do you need. Our family furkid surely had the most fun constantly dipping in and out of the water chasing after small fish, and galloping along the shore as more properties have a very relaxed open fence policy in terms of where one property ends and another begins. We had our laughs trying our luck kayaking around the island- great for admiring the Island’s best properties, and an achievable distance, though there are waves from the water traffic and winds to navigate. The best thing though, was just slowing down to read, and having many a cuppa over hours of chats and board games, to the most magical of natural soundtracks.
That was my personal highlight, and what lingers in my mind upon leaving the Island- the soothing sound of those gentle waves, and that idyllic and serene view. Birds chirping to the almost trance like rhythm of waves that continued all day and night, which we could hear from anywhere in the house. I sat out on our jetty every morning and evening, and even when the rain set in, the porch offered the best of both worlds. It was only 3 nights, but we felt transported to our own little corner of the world- a great way to kick off a year leaning into truly, indulging our local wanderlust.
For more about Scotland Island, click here (https://www.scotlandisland.org.au/).
*Full disclosure, I was clearly too immersed in the sights, sounds and vibes here to have taken proper photos, so for the best visuals and sense of our Scotland Island stay, check our our Instagram reels here.