The eastern Sydney suburb of Watson’s Bay is more than just a charming fishing town—it’s also home to one of the most stunning views found anywhere in all of Sydney. At the cliff top viewpoint known as the “The Gap,” walkers are treated to a 360° panorama of Sydney’s Harbor and coastline. For all of its natural beauty, however, The Gap has a somewhat morbid history that is occasionally more famous than its view. In 1857, the Dunbar sailing ship was aiming for the Sydney Harbor entrance, but misjudged the entry point and was shipwrecked on the rocks.
All of the 122 passengers aboard perished in the grisly wreck, except for one sailor who would end up tending a lighthouse along Australia’s coast. The Gap is also infamously known for its high number of suicides, with hundreds of Australians having leapt from the cliff to the icy waters below.
Thankfully, this famous Southern Head promontory is working to reduce the number of deaths, and most people who visit The Gap today have come for the hiking and views. Take a walk on the cliff front trails and inhale the smell of the ocean, all while listening to the powerful surf crash thunderously on the rocks below. Nearby, the South Head Heritage Trail runs to the entrance of magnificent Sydney Harbor, and Manly Beach and the Sydney skyline are all visible from the cliff top overlook. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head back into Watson’s Bay for some authentic fish and chips, and listen to seagulls as they squawk in the streets of this luxurious fishing town suburb.
Though Watson’s Bay is accessible by road, taking the ferry from Circular Quay is the most enjoyable way to visit. It’s a 10-minute stroll from the ferry terminal to The Gap, and there is no admission fee to walk the trails or relax in the adjoining park.