13 Jan Love where you live, work and play
Introducing The 2100 Project
It’s no secret that I love the northern beaches. From being born at Manly Hospital, and now raising my kids in the same suburb where I grew up, it’s safe to say I’ve not strayed far. And my attitude basically is “why would I?” With world-renowned beautiful beaches, close proximity to Australia’s most international city and a thriving community, there’s a lot to love.
And because I love this part of Sydney, I wanted to celebrate it more in 2020. So, I’m launching The 2100 Project.
So, what is The 2100 Project?
Basically, this is going to be my love letter to this part of Sydney. I’ll be writing about local gems, both some gorgeous hidden pockets of nature and celebrating the businesses that are thriving here.
I love not having to commute to the CBD and being able to work locally, so I’ll be putting the spotlight on some of the clever and creative businesses that are based north of the (Spit) bridge.
First cab off the rank – Manly Dam
The first place I’m putting the spotlight on is Manly Dam War Memorial Park, nestled in between Allambie Heights, Manly Vale, North Balgowlah and Seaforth. Now, to be honest, when I originally conceived this project, I was planning to just write about businesses. But an Instagram post about the project from Manly Dam triggered so many comments about people keen to learn more about this oasis of calm hidden away made me decide that I’ll also be writing about beautiful places on the northern beaches.
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This is one of my happy places, Manly Dam. It's a little oasis of calm, smack bang in the middle of suburban Sydney. Now, because there are enough copywriters blogging on how to write better, grammar tips, customer avatars, buyer psychology and all the rest, I thought I'd do something different in 2020. My blogging focus this year will be celebrating local gems on the Northern Beaches. I'm calling it The 2100 Project, as the 2100 postcode includes Brookvale, the commercial hotspot of this part of Sydney as well as the suburb where I live. But I'll no doubt include businesses that are in surrounding postcodes too. Watch this space for more and if you know a local business you'd like me to profile, drop me a line. #sydneycopywriter #lovewhereyoulive #the2100project
The dam itself is a beautiful expanse of water, perfect for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding. There’s a boat ramp with a designated area for boats and is popular with water skiers.
Surrounding the water are several picnic areas. Visitors can book tables and barbeques, but there’s also plenty of spaces that can’t be booked and I’ve never not been able to get a spot (but I’m not telling you where some of my favourite less popular pockets are!). Both covered and uncovered tables are available to be booked via Northern Beaches Council.
Manly Dam is also popular with mountain bike riders. There is a designated mountain bike track that’s accessible from multiple points around the park. Popular access points include behind Manly Vale Public School and behind the Allambie Heights tennis courts.
Walking the ‘hood
But my very favourite way to enjoy the Manly Dam area is bushwalking. I’ve spent over 30 years walking the trails, starting with my mum as a young child and enduring her terrible sense of direction. Bushwalks as a kid frequently involved getting lost in Manly Dam and I attribute this to why I now have such an extensive knowledge of the various paths and where they go within the park.
Popular walks include the Circuit Track, which as the name suggests does a loop of the Dam, some short walks starting from the main picnic area at Manly Vale, and from the top of Allambie Heights, the Curl Curl Track and Eva’s Track. There are access points to the walks from the picnic areas on the Manly Vale side of the park, as well as various points around Allambie Heights and North Balgowlah.
Two of my favourite tracks that are less trodden are the Curl Curl Track and Eva’s Track at the top of Allambie Heights. Both of these trails are accessible from the fire break that goes between Allambie Road (just near Mortain Avenue) and Wakehurst Parkway, but unfortunately the signage is less than clear. In the case of both trails, the trailhead is behind the water pipe that runs along this firebreak.
At the Wakehurst Parkway end of the firebreak there is a set of stairs that goes over the pipe and the Curl Curl Track can be accessed here.
About halfway between both roads is the entry to Eva’s Track. This is a bit harder to spot – keep an eye out for a cairn of rocks that has been placed on one of the concrete footings for the water pipe. You can go under the pipe here and the trailhead for Eva’s Track is on the other side. I have written to Northern Beaches Council in the past suggesting that they improve the walking trail signage at this end of the park and hope that this will be rectified at some point in the future! In the meantime, hopefully this map might be somewhat useful.
Also popular within Manly Dam is the waterfall. My friend Shelley, a fellow local resident, has asked me to write about how to get to the waterfall as she had heard of it, but didn’t know where it was within the park. The great news is that the waterfall is not hard to find! If you are doing the Circuit Track you will go past the waterfall, but it’s also accessible on shorter walks. One of the easiest ways to find the waterfall is to access the shared walking/mountain bike path at the top of Allambie Heights – either from Martin Luther Place or next to Allambie Heights tennis courts on Roosevelt Avenue. Follow the mountain bike path and look for a path that will be on your left for the Circuit Track (it’s just opposite where the Curl Curl Track meets the mountain bike path). Remember, this path is shared with cyclists, so keep an eye out, especially at crests and corners! When you find the waterfall, there’s some lovely big rocks to sit on and enjoy a break before retracing your steps back to where you started.
Here’s to celebrating more of the northern beaches
Well, that was fun. I’m looking forward to writing about more places on the northern beaches in 2020. I’ve got a running list of some of my favourite places and businesses, but I’d love to hear your suggestions too. Got a rockstar local business that more people need to know about? Or want to share the secrets of a pristine pocket of natural perfection? Drop me a line or leave a comment.