Today was paradise. Not only did I visit one of the most beautiful, tranquil beaches I’d ever visited, but I was also surrounded by a plethora of Aussie hunks. All that was really missing was a bottle of prosecco on ice. If you thought Manly was glorious, check out Palm Beach, New South Wales. Palm Beach, or ‘Palmy’ is on a peninsula with surf on one side, and quiet waters on the other side. It’s an affluent area, and for very good reason with such beautiful surroundings and awesome surf.
Filming Home and Away
Welcome to Palm Beach, aka Summer Bay, if you’re a fan of arguably the best soap to come out of Australia, Home and Away. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me familiarize you. Home and Away is a soap opera. It may not be famous for the finest acting or storylines, but for its incredible setting and good looking characters. In fact, Home and Away has launched the acting careers of so many high profile celebs. Think Heath Ledger, Liam and Chris Hemsworth, Luke Mitchell, Ryan Kwanten, Naomi Watts, Isla Fisher, and Danni Minogue. The list goes on, and I’m sure it will continue to grow.
Although we’d planned to visit Palm Beach simply to gaze at the stunningly beautiful and familiar beach my Mum and I had so often pined at through the TV, we got a little more than we bargained for.
On the 28 mile bus trip north of Sydney from the city centre, Mum and I had wondered whether we’d get a glimpse of any of the characters. We weren’t expecting to see half of the cast! Upon arrival, we were greeted by a number of characters (Marilyn, Casey, Roo, and Irene if you’re a viewer) rehearsing scenes. I for one am extremely jealous of their office.
We were actually quite surprised at how many times the cast have to repeat scenes if they’re not quite right. It got a little repetitive after a while, so we went exploring.
The set of Home and Away, Palm Beach
Palm Beach itself is incredible beautiful. It was quite bizarre seeing somewhere familiar after watching the programme on TV over years throughout my life. I can assure you that in reality it’s far more beautiful! Although it does take a while to reach this area from Sydney’s CBD, the good public transport links make it extremely worth a visit to Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
It’s pretty incredible that the Palm Beach area is still within Sydney when it’s three hours outside of the city. In the UK, you could probably drive through at least three separate cities in that time. It’s apparently the set of the soap, not just for its scenery, but for this very reason. It’s in the hope that they can film discretely, without too many fans or disruption. That is, however, until we turned up, but the actors were lovely and happy to have chats and photographs.
Palm Beach is famous as a particularly wealthy and desirable region and you can see why if you visit. The cast clearly love it too, and why wouldn’t you?
Palm Beach, New South Wales
The lighthouse up on the hill is Barrenjoey. Although we’d have loved to have trekked up the hill to get a great view, we simply didn’t have enough time. If you visit, make sure you do! It’s just a half mile trail, and it offers beautiful panoramic views over Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Broken Bay, and the Central Coast.
Meeting the Home and Away cast
After a little wandering, we met the legendary character, Irene. She’s a lovely lady in real life too!
We checked out some of the show’s props, and met a number of actors from Home and Away.
Exploring the Palm Beach area
It’s a wonderful place to visit, just to relax and take in the action happening around you. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the show, or aren’t a fan, make sure you visit the gorgeous beach. It really is an incredible area that’s so tranquil in comparison to the hubbub of Sydney.
We turned off the beach and discovered the iconic Alf’s bait shop from the show. It belongs to one of the most famous characters of the show. That day, wherever we turned there was some kind of prop or action happening.
If you have time, make sure you visit the stunning Boathouse Palm Beach. It serves up delicious breakfasts from smoked salmon fritters to Aussie classics like avocado and tomato toast. You can expect fresh fish for lunch, as well as fresh salads and oysters. The views are equally as tasty as the food, and it’s perfect for after a long walk on the beach.
We saw a little more filming with different characters (remember the Braxton brothers?), and took in one last view of one of my favourite beaches in the world.
Back to Sydney
A few hours later, and we were back in Sydney. Returning to the apartment, we discovered the beautiful sight of Angel Place. It’s a street full of empty birdcages hanging above the street, not far from Circular Quay. The artwork is by Michael Thomas Hill, and is called ‘Forgotten Songs’. Underneath the birdcages, you can hear the sound of birds that were once in Sydney before it became full of buildings and people. During the night, the sounds of the birds change too. It’s such an awesome piece of art.
I ended the day with my new obsession, white chocolate TimTams. You Aussies are lucky, they’re incredible! If only they were easier to find all over the world.
Have you visited Palm Beach, Sydney? What did you get up to on your visit there? Which are your favourite Australian beaches?