Australia Sydney Travel

Through His Eyes: Sydney’s Eastern Beaches

I have seen them throughout the years. Idyllic. Crowded. Teeming with life. I have come of age along their shores; their song echoing memories of distant summers with stories etched in sand. I have connected with their jagged rocks and pristine blues. A source of inspiration for my writing, Sydney’s eastern beaches, I have claimed them to be mine.

Until he visited from another state.

It wasn’t the hurried photo shoots in the rain of beaches that dot the landscape from Watson’s Bay to Maroubra. Or the seas that turned angry with foam or the wind lashing across our faces that wild October day. I showed him my part of the world only to see it reflected in his eyes.

I drove him along the coast stopping at every beach and iconic landmark. I watched him photograph the seascape while I secretly photographed him capturing the sights.

Bali Memorial Sculpture at Coogee Beach

The sharp cliffs of the Gap were no longer a geographical formation he studied on a map. Tamarama, with its treacherous surf was dubbed an intimate stretch of sand. Coogee’s Wedding Cake Island turned into a quaint spot. Even the much-hyped Bondi Beach coloured with excitement when he identified it from a television show. My familiar summer playground suddenly wore a shade of new.

When we parted ways at the train station, his camera laden with photographs, his Sydney visit punctuated with local flavour, little he knew at the time that we had exchanged memories.

~ ~ ~

This post has been entered into the Grantourismo Homeaway Holiday-Rentals travel blogging competition for October on the theme of Local Travel.


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About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.


    • Thanks for the compliment, Jools. This photo with the threatening sky conveys the terrible weather we had that day. As for Mr Enigmatic, although he gave me permission to use his photo and I’ve invited him to comment, he’s being a little shy. Good luck is always appreciated!

  • That’s so lovely. And romantic! More posts about the Eastern Australian coastline please! I want to see it too! And good luck in the competition!

    • Thanks Nicole! The beach often inspires me with words. And you’ll be seeing a lot more of the beaches in a summer series coming up soon!

  • The first comment stole my thunder with the word ‘poetic’. Great piece of writing. More of the same, please!

    • Thanks Chris! I rarely get the chance to use this style of writing on Gourmantic but I’ll give it serious thought 🙂

  • I must thank you again for showing me around, Ms Gourmantic. At the time, I didn’t realise you were sneaking in photos of me, but thank you for sending them through to me as well 😉 Pity the weather was crazy, but I still managed to get a pile of good shots 🙂

    • You’re welcome ‘Him’ and thanks for the comment 🙂 I hope you come back some time soon so I can show you around my parts of Sydney in warm sunny weather!

  • Corinne,
    Just like everyone now, I’m intrigued by the mysterious he… will we learn the identity and story some day?

    I’m loving your posts about Sydney. I’m going at Xmas, and getting so many great ideas for you!

    • I’m chuckling at the nature of the comments so far… I didn’t think his identity is that important! 🙂

      Thank you for the compliment. You’ll love it here around Xmas!

    • Thanks TG, that’s exactly the experience and memories I got out of it. We see our city under the same shades and often take some things for granted then someone comes from afar and shows it to us differently.

  • Corinne, I love this – seeing something familiar through a different set of eyes – you capture the sentiment beautifully. Lovely post!

    • Thanks Jif, I appreciate the compliment 🙂 It’s a wonderful gift that visitors to our shores can give us.

  • This is one of the most emotive pieces I’ve ever read online. I knew from the opening paragraph that it would be a passionate read, and it continued throughout.

    What I especially liked, was the anonymity of the male character, and the way your own emotions were reflected by the weather — as though at one with the very environment you cherish.

    • Ant, I am very humbled by your comment. These are very kind words, and they mean a lot. Thank you.

      His anonymity is key to the piece since it is about how I felt about my environment on the day of his visit. Not that I mean any disrespect to him. He’s reading the comments and agrees with the sentiments of the post. The weather was out of control. So much for sunny Sydney skies.

  • Sometimes its funny how visiting friends look at all the things familiar, possibly even boring to you, with such enthusiasm. Makes you stop and think, “hmmm… you’re right… it is pretty nice actually!”. 🙂

    • That’s exactly how I felt about Bondi Beach on the day. Made me appreciate it a lot more than I do 🙂

  • Beautiful, Corinne, just beautiful. 🙂 How I love those dark, stormy clouds and brooding waves crashing to the shore while you and your friend are safe on shore. You are unseen but you are there nonetheless. Lovely. 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 For me, this is the one photo that symbolised the day and the sentiments of this post. The weather was terrible and this was a brief moment of calm before the skies opened again.

  • Hi Corinne – I was sure I left a comment on this post, but it’s not here… must have been the dodgy internet we had in Kenya. Final judges decisions coming in now, so we’re tallying the results now and making an announcement very soon. Best of luck! (This post made me homesick.)