Australia

The Gap – South Head, Sydney

Christmas Holiday, 2017

The Gap is a beautiful ocean cliff on the South Head peninsular located in eastern Sydney in New South Wales. Facing the incredibly vast Tasman Sea, the cliff is a very popular visitor destination.

IMG_8607Prior to European settlement, The Gap was inhabited by the Birrabirragal aboriginal clan who were part of the coastal Darug people. Once the area had been colonialised after the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, this area became a makeshift signalling station – to give the British warning of any approaching ships.

Its stunning structure of sandstone cements it as part of the Sydney basin and the cliff has been proven to have been laid during the Triassic period! A fun fact is that the total maximum thickness of the rock formations in Sydney ranged of 5,000 metres.

Unfortunately The Gap is a very well known place for people dying by suicide, and the area is also a very famous murder-suicide site after the death of Caroline Byrne in 1995.

IMG_8611

Although tainted with sadness, a wonderful man by the name of Don Ritchie (1964-1912), a former WWII Naval veteran and a retired insurance agent, started his role in preventing suicides in the area. With over 164 saves, Don would approach those who looked as though they were contemplating the jump and would engage them in conversation, asking if there was anyway he could help them and offering them a cup of tea. He was known as the Angel of The Gap and the name could not be more fitting for such a wonderful man.

The Gap is free to visit and can be accessed by public transport – there is a bit of a walk up some steps to get to the lookout, if you continue up the stairs you can also get to the lookout over Sydney heads. We went on a pretty hot day but once that beautiful Tasman breeze hits you – well worth it!

Little C had been practicing with her polaroid camera and a lovely German tourist offered to take our photo as a family and it has to be one of my favourite pictures of the entire trip!

x C x

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