An attempt to visit every suburb in Sydney.

It's been a bit of time since I've headed out to the Northern Beaches . Let's change that with a two-for-one post with one defin...

Shenanigans: Fairlight (feat. North Harbour)

It's been a bit of time since I've headed out to the Northern Beaches. Let's change that with a two-for-one post with one definitely real suburb, and one questionable suburb. 


Fairlight is in that southern bit of the Northern Beaches that doesn't face the ocean, but instead faces south towards the city. Looking to check off a relaxed suburb or two rather than a huge day out, I took a leisurely drive in today, parking on this street, 

by these detailed instructions, 

and this broken beer bottle. 

This spot is actually quite close to Fairlight Beach, but instead of that I chose to go for this series of steps inland, 

onto a just-as-steep residential street. 

Like many suburbs across Sydney, this place features those older brick apartments you see everywhere, 

with the special addition of a fancy door. 

Very swish. 

I continued up yet more stairs, 

to reach quite an altitude, 

and even more stairs.

After climbing Mount Fairlight, I was rewarded with some coastal views.

And that wasn't even the summit. 

If you have to train your calves, you may as well do it somewhere like this. 

Naturally, the peak of Mount Fairlight contains apartments with plenty of windows and balconies for enjoying the views. 

It also contains this pleasing pink house with European vibes. 

Plus, in the distance, if you squint you can just make out some sort of medieval castle. 

From here, I continued past 2013's best garden, 

and along the street, 

to reach Fairlight's small commercial centre. 

Features here include the manliest vet since the Bondi Vet,

suitably pretty, if a little run down, facades, 

and this very cool fire station. 

Having conquered Fairlight's mountain and CBD, it was time to head back downhill towards the shore. 

This took me past a funkier-than-expected block of apartments, 

and a couple of very domey houses, 

towards the great view. 

Naturally, the beach is at the bottom of the hill,

in front of this frilly duplex, 

and down this pathway. 


Unsurprisingly, Fairlight Beach is rather pretty. 

Now, we interrupt the coverage of the suburb of Fairlight with another suburb. 

North Harbour

Now, you may have noticed from the title that this blog post is supposed to cover both Fairlight and a suburb called North Harbour. 

Occasionally, people ask me what I define as a suburb. That is a very easy question, because it's not me who determines what is a suburb, but rather a government department known as the NSW Geographical Names Board. For reasons unknown, the good people at the NSW GNB have decided that the water between Fairlight, Manly and Balgowlah Heights - i.e. North Harbour - is also a suburb despite not having any land. Don't believe me? 

This means that in order for me to "visit" North Harbour, I'm going to have to wade out from the beach a little bit. 

Is this sufficient? 

How about now?

North Harbour: Sydney's wettest suburb.

Fairlight (continued)

Returning to Fairlight, 

and rinsing my previous suburb off my feet, 

I said goodbye to Fairlight Beach,

and returned to the street. 

From here, it was a short walk back to the car, 

past this vividly-bricked home, 

the best car sun-shade ever, 

and a pleasingly rounded apartment building. 

For a place that sold on the quiet, these folks sure like to talk about it. 

And that's it for this lovely little suburb. 

Fairlight: One of the rare beachside mountains in Sydney.


  1. You could have taken a swim to genuinely knock the undersea suburb off -- water's still warm! Very nice to learn about the upper echelons of Fairlight and its pleasantly aged shopping centre. The 'castle' in the backgrounds is St Patricks, which has very nice strolls through the grounds (the old seminary/school is now a business school, and the estate was subdivided for housing quite a while ago).

    1. Hey, I've taken the Manly ferry enough times through there to count it :)

  2. We all love these quirks of geography. There is one locally here in Bungendore, where a section of the 900 m escarpment is included in the suburb; this allows more opportunity for me to claim settled snow in Bungendore (despite the town being at 700 m). It happened the other day.

  3. Most enjoyable write-up. I had a look at your account after I had done my own of this interesting but exhausting to explore suburb. (See the public Facebook group Opaling Sydney.) Interesting how we found some of the same buildings photo worthy.