Shire Shuttle Bus can take you to the many hidden gems of Sydney and outer regions that bigger buses cannot get to. We can’t divulge all our secrets, but here are some of the places that you may not be aware of but should still consider visiting on your trip to Sydney and beyond.
- MacCallum Pool Cremorne – Harbourside swimming pool which dates to the 1920s in Cremorne Point. It is a saltwater pool connected to the harbour and offers spectacular views. It is operated by North Sydney Council and is opened for limited hours due to regular cleaning. It is a perfect spot for swimming during the summer when the main beaches and pools are overcrowded.
- Lavender Bay Secret Garden – A secret garden located in Lavender Bay, North Sydney, behind Luna Park and adjacent to the now unused railway branch from Waverton. It iss currently maintained by local resident Wendy Whitely. Entry is free however one must consult with North Sydney Council before booking the gardens for events. The garden features a variety of native and introduced plants and modern sculptures.
- Bradleys Head – Bradleys Head is a headland on the north side of the harbour, at Mosman. The headland is part of the Sydney Harbour National Park and is adjacent to Taronga Zoo, along Athol Road. The headland features a walkway to Mosman’s Clifton Gardens and Balmoral. Bradleys Head is also home to some historical sites, including a small lighthouse dating to 1915, the mast of the now sunken HMAS Sydney and a former fortification site which was built from 1840 to 1934 that features canons and a network of tunnels.
- Milk Beach, Vaucluse – Milk Beach is a small isolated beach located within Sydney Harbour in the affluent suburb of Vaucluse in the city’s east. Milk Beach is located next to the Heritage listed Strickland House and is only accessible by car and private boat; bigger buses would find it very hard getting there. Milk Beach is a great place for swimming, snorkelling or just to bring the family.
- Shelly Beach Manly – Shelly Beach at Manly is located adjacent to North Head and is within walking distance from the main Manly Beach. The beach is down Bower street, a narrow road not accessible to large buses. During the early 20th century the beach was a popular location for boat owners and there is some evidence of pre-colonial Aboriginal inhabitancy, a shell midden located at the nearby car park.
- Picton historic sites, including Tunnels, viaduct, historic inns – The town of Picton in the Wollondilly Shire, south of Campbelltown, is a lesser known location with many historic sites. The village features a historic viaduct built in the 19th century, former train tunnels abandoned since 1914 that are rumoured to be haunted, the historic St Marks Anglican Church and its accompanying historic cemetery. The George IV Hotel located adjacent to Stonequarry Creek is also a great place to have a meal and dates to the 1840s. Also located in Picton are more modern attractions, such as the Picton Botanical Gardens and an outdoor go kart track located outside of the village.
- St Albans – The remote and historic village of St Albans is located on the McDonald River, which diverts from the greater Hawkesbury River, and is 90 minutes north from central Sydney. The village, named after the town of St Albans in England, was first settled in 1837 and was originally named Village of McDonald, with the name changing to St Albans in 1841. The remote town with a population of just 300 features many historic sites, including the Settlers Arms Inn, built in 1836, the Price Morris Cottage (1837), the Burial Ground (1826), and the Anglican Church (1897). The town also features some camping facilities along the McDonald River and is a must visit for anyone interested in remote getaways.
- Ghost town of Joadja, Southern Highlands – Joadja is a former mining town located west of Berrima in the Southern Highlands. The village was abandoned in 1914 due to the industrialisation of shale mining and has remained a ghost town since. While some land within the town has been sold off, there are remains of the village abandoned over 100 years ago that are recognisable, including houses, a graveyard, and mining sites.
- Historic village of Exeter, Southern Highlands (accessible, but not well known) – The village of Exeter south of Moss Vale is a lesser known gem of the Southern Highlands. The village is modelled on the English town of Exeter and features many English and Welsh-style homes dating back to the 19th century. The town is also home to the uniquely built St Aidans Church, built in 1895 and made from stone.The Exeter General Store is the main commercial building in the small village. It serves as a café and eatery, general store, and post office. The St Maur’s Winery is also located in Exeter, where a wide variety of wines are produced and sold. It is one of many wineries in the Southern Highlands region. Exeter has been referred to as “something out of an Agatha Christie novel”