Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Out and about in Perth #7 - Hillarys Marina

We have been packing a few outings into our recent weekends. Most notably, we have actually been to the beach. I know this may not sound very eventful, especially during Australian summer, but there are all sorts of barriers that usually prevent our beach attendance.

Hillarys Marina, late afternoon

For starters, Mr Bite and I share an unhelpful ability to burn within 15 minutes of sun exposure. Sun cream is no guarantee of avoiding this outcome. Going to the beach during the middle of the day is pretty much never going to happen.

Early mornings would help from a sun perspective, but Mr B. is quite committed to sleeping in on the weekends. His optimal rising time comes sometime after 9.45am. The sun is a good few hours ahead of him.

At the other end of the day, I don't always feel like going to the beach by evening. In addition to water, beaches inevitably involve sand. Sand is messy. It gets in the car afterwards, and somehow always tracks into the house. I have to be in the right mood for it!

Even if we navigate my beach hesitations, late afternoon and evening can bring challenges in the choice of beach. Most of our local options become quite rough from mid-afternoon onwards, as the sea breeze rolls in and calm waters turn choppy. Waves are not, in and of themselves, a huge barrier. However, the final challenge in our beach attendance is a preference for keeping our heads dry when we swim. I am aware of how pathetic this sounds! It stems from a shared tendency toward blocked ears and/or ear infections, and a lifetime of learning that such experiences are hastened by regular submersion of ears in water. Rough water requires some willingness to dive under waves, and that is an activity that requires a wet head. 

Hillarys Marina; slides in the ocean and definitely no waves

In all, we are really not beach people and probably shouldn't qualify as Australians at all. And yet - we have gone to the beach twice in the last two weeks. The same tally applies for the whole summer, and indeed the whole of the last year!, but I am still quite impressed with our efforts.

If you are going to go to the beach in Perth, there is one location guaranteed to satisfy even the most hesitant of swimmers. Hillarys Marina, pictured above, is a collection of shops and restaurants jutting out from the coast roughly 20km north of Perth. It is where my jumbo bike ride took me to on New Year's Day. There is a small beach protected by the Marina, understandably very popular with families. There are even some water slides on a pontoon for older children to swim out to. 

Luckily, adults frequent Hillarys too and you can swim far enough out to reach deep water and avoid the crowded shoreline. In fact, if you do so, you can monitor people eating and drinking within the Marina itself, quite a fun experience when you're splashing about below them.

On our first visit (pictures above), we swam at roughly 5pm, when it was still very sunny. On our second, we waited until later, not entering the water until 6.30pm. The photos below were taken after that swim, and show the difference 2 hours can make in terms of lighting.


After our second visit, we picked up Grill'd burgers for dinner, staying true to our order favourites (in my case, the veganised Field of Dreams field mushroom burger). I think if I always followed swimming with Grill'd, I might swim quite regularly. For now, I suspect I have had my water fun for this summer. With our next summer scheduled for the UK, I may have even had it for quite some time!

Are you a beach (or swimming) person? I loved swimming as a child but rarely go these days.

20 comments:

  1. I only have the chance to be a beach person when I'm on vacation! I live in Texas. I've never been to Australia, but would love to go there someday.

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    1. We would have lots of beaches for you :-)

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  2. I dont' even know when the last time I went to the beach was, so I totally get it! I really have to be in the right mood for it.

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  3. I grew up going to the beach and just reading about this makes me want to head to the beach - love a visit to the beach but haven't had any recently - too many other crazy things going on - I have just got sylvia putting her head under water so can't sympathise with your desire to keep your head dry but I do understand the sunburn one - as a child beach = sunburn but even now that I am more careful I often get little patches where I have missed a bit or just not had much exposure (such as my watch mark)

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    1. Our sun is just so fierce, it's hard to ensure full cover even with the best of intentions! As a child I actually had no problem with my head underwater - and I loved swimming - but with age my ears seem to have become more challenged rather than less, and it does't seem worth the hassle.

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  4. We don't often get to a beach - I live in the middle of the desert. When I go, I like snorkeling. If there isn't good snorkeling, I dont' usually head into the water.

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    1. I do love snorkeling - I even get my head wet for it! It's not really that great off our regular beaches though, so I have only done int a handful of times at particularly scenic spots. Living in the middle of the desert would make it hard for you :P

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  5. I love the idea of the beach but relate to your barriers- messy, sun burn, too many people! But as it's only when I'm on holiday that I get to go to the beach it does seem a little special and I try and enjoy it. It certainly looks beautiful though,

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    1. I think holidays make it easier to embrace messiness, so I am glad you can enjoy your rare trips :) I can also believe that your beaches would be very crowded whenever the sun comes out!

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  6. hehe oh I can soooo relate! I'm wouldn't hugely consider myself a beach person for all those reasons you mentioned above too!
    However, now that we're living 10 mins from the beach we do go a lot more - but its usually just sitting on the park side and having a picnic and not frequently swimming!!!

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    1. I like picnics at the beach too! We have a few shaded grass areas adjoining beaches and they are a great spot for dinner in particular...but like you say, not necessarily swimming!

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  7. Love Hillary's , took my daughter there today after a specialist appointment around 2:30. had some Churros then splashed in the beautiful water for a while , didn't want to leave!! Then got a take away Little C's pizza for an easy dinner later! It's great during the week not very many people there!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by April - it's lovely to hear from a fellow Perth blogger! And I imagine Hillarys is wonderful during the week. We nearly switched from Grill'd to Little Caesar's pizza too ;)

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  8. Yes, you won't find scenes like this in the UK! I love the beach but I agree, you have to schedule your timing and for me, that mostly revolves around when it will be easiest to park. I love the look of the marina! xx

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    1. It's a lovely place Charlie! Something for everyone - probably even all of your diverse children :)

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  9. What a beautiful spot! Wish I could be there now.

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    1. It certainly beats being at work ;)

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  10. I'm not really a beach person except when on vacation- I generally agree with you- sand everywhere! This spot looks gorgeous though :)

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    1. It seems a lot of us dislike sand!!

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