Archive for August, 2012

269. Sunday 26th August 2012. Culcairn? Culcairn? Whaddayadoin back in Culcairn???

26/08/2012

Monday 20th August

I am falling into bad habits again. That is, I am waking at 6am. Damn! Just when I thought I was able to sleep in until 7am or later, the ole body clock reverts to a workday mode.

Sigh!

The sun was shining by the time we were ready to leave so drove less than 30 Klms to Mossy Point where we set up camp at the end of the boat ramp car park.

This was our view out of the dining table window of the river at Mossy Point.

The injured Pelican was still there and a volunteer was arranging a cage to carry the animal to a vet. The cage will not be available until tomorrow. Later after the volunteer left fishermen cleaned their fish and fed the carcasses to the injured Pelican and his mates.

Pelican mates waiting for a handout. The injured Pelican had pride of place beside the fishermen.

Later still the tide dropped, there were no more fishermen and all the Pelicans left.

We explored, as usual. By chance we found Burrewarra Point at Guerilla Bay a few Klms from our camp.

Looking north across the rugged coastline from Burrewarra Point.

This steep, rugged and wild part of the coastline is covered in casuarinas and the appropriately named, gnarled, Old Man Banksia.   www.waratahsoftware.com.au/wp_flora_banksia_oldman.html

We found Burrewarra Point Lightstation built in 1974.    See   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burrewarra_Point_Light

Burrewarra Point Lightstation.

Nearby was a trig point, the top of which has been destroyed by vandalism.

Burrewarra Point Trig Point. Damaged at the top by vandals.

The cliffs along the point are mostly hidden by shrubbery but on edging closer we found sheer drops to the ocean rocks below. It was pretty breathtaking stuff.

It was refreshing and more than a little intimidating to walk to the edge of a sheer cliff and look to the rocks and ocean below. The refreshing part was to not find warning signs and fences along every metre of clifftop. Common sense about standing close to cliff edges must prevail. Not signs.

There is a loop walk of 1.5 Klm through the reserve of mostly moderate  grade but in places the walk is almost overgrown so can be a bit of a challenge to find  the correct path. We met a couple of locals armed with binoculars in the hope of seeing whales on their migration south. We wished them luck as it is a little early in the season and sitting on top of the cliffs with a cold stiff breeze blowing would only take a few minutes before they would be chilled to the bone.

Later we found the remains of a Royal Australian Air Force No 17 Radar Station Bunker used during WW11.

World War II Royal Australian Air Force No 17 Radar Bunker.

Grafitti covered interior of the No 17 radar Bunker.

 

See   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._17_Radar_Station_RAAF

On our return to WWWGO we stopped at Barling Beach before settling in for the night.

Tuesday 21st August

We bit the bullet and left the coast today.

Sob, Sob.

After driving through Batemans Bay,we headed north and over the bridge on the Clyde River then turned west onto the Kings Highway. A few Klms later we were crossing the Clyde River again at historic Nerrigen where we stopped for 15 minutes. The CO-PILOThad found a tick in her hair (I found a tick burrowed into my shoulder on the weekend also) and although it had started to pump poison into her system it had not yet anchored itself. It came out head and all. The town looked interesting but we wanted to get beyond the coastal fringe so climbed the mountain range to historic Braidwood where we stopped and had a pie for lunch.

Commercial Banking Company of Sydney premises and attached managers residence. Built in 1888 as a result of the gold mining boom in the area.

Lots of old houses and business and worth a longer look around.

The original Granite Store built in 1870.

There are many old houses and churches all with an interesting history attached.

St.Bedes Roman Catholic Church.

One church has gargoyles over the main entrance.

St. Andrews Anglican Church built from local granite in 1890. Note the gargoyles on the outer walls.

Gargoyles in buildings although looking grotesque have different uses and meanings. See   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gargoyle

One of many gargoyles on St Andrews church.

Interior of St.Andrews church.

The Royal Mail Hotel. Because it was built after 1900 it is not included in the Historical Walk or other local historical publications.

The Nest, built in 1870 after the goldrush lovingly restored by descendants of the original owners.

Ruins on the outskirts of town. Regretably no historical information was available to me.

But…There are no camp grounds in town and the showgrounds were closed for winter so we pressed on to historic Bungendore which does not have a caravan park either. Therefore we drove to EPIC (Exhibition Park In Canberra) where we stayed at the end of April this year. Aahhh! Canberra Capital of Australia, surrounded by the State of New South Wales. The temperature is expected to get down to 1° or less overnight so we need power to run the heater or AC. We might stay here another night so will look at what is happening in Canberra and decide tomorrow.

Hmmm!

Both Houses of Parliament are sitting this week and lots of sparks are flying so a visit could be interesting.

A visit to complete our War Memorial tour started earlier this year but interrupted by running out of day.

The National Gallery has new exhibits this month.

A visit to the Royal Mint

and the list goes on.

Tuesday 22nd August

We started off by going to the Royal Australian Mint.

Staircase at The Mint. Each step riser has a mix of coin blanks or real 5 cents coins. At the top the riser is all blanks. Each succeeding riser has more coins and less blanks until the lowest riser is made up of all coins.

For those not familiar with the mint they make coins not only for Australia but New Zealand, New Guinea and all the Pacific Island nations and places such as Pakistan and Sri Lanka and a host of other nations. They also mint Australian military medals and other commemorative medals. The parking lot has signs stating a maximum of 2 hours. We stayed 90 minutes. Without going on and on about the mint and the robots

TITAN the robot lifting 800Kg barrels of $2 coins and tipping them into a hopper to be counted.

Coin hopper

 

processing coins from blanks to finished product, I suggest if you ever get the opportunity to visit, do so. There is a number of knowledgeable staff walking around and answer questions and give mini tours. Or you can arrange a full scale tour. We came away feeling that we had learned something and had an enjoyable visit.

After lunch we visited the Australian War Memorial and Museum. We learned that the memorial is one of only two in the world which are a memorial, a museum and a teaching facility all in one. Although the diorama displays are lifelike we found the interactive displays compelling and emotional. In particular the light, sounds, interviews and movie clips of the mini submarine attack on Sydney in 1942 on a curved Imax screen made it all so real and as if you were there and personally involved. Another exhibit was part of a deck of a destroyer with gun turret. The deck vibrates and a low thrumming sound exactly as it would feel and sound if you were really on the deck of a ship in motion. Late in the day when it was closing we stayed to watch the closing ceremony and listen to the lone piper play a haunting tune.

Lone Piper at the War Memorial.

Again we ran out of time so will have to find another day to return to our National Capital and visit the memorial once more.  The staff and volunteers at the memorial are friendly and always helpful, polite and after speaking with some of them, we know they love their work. We both enjoyed our day and the visit to the memorial with the lone piper closing the centre making for a satisfying and emotional day.

Thursday 23rd August

A bout of lightning, thunder and rain woke us at 3am but we managed to get back to sleep. We woke at 7am, the sun is shining, the birds were chirping and there was fog around us. Almost the same as when we last left here on 28th April!

It was not long before the clouds rolled in and rain began, hesitantly at first but becoming steadily more persistent as we packed up. We rolled on to Yass, stopping for lunch but with rain still falling we kept on looking for somewhere drier to camp. The best we could find is a waterlogged third rate park in Gundagai on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. I cannot see how such a place with such poor facilities can charge top dollar of $28 per night. No different I suppose to all the other caravan parks we encountered from Batemans Bay to Canberra to Yass and beyond. Normally we would try to freedom camp but with strong winds, heavy rain and darkness falling those we did find were not suitable.

Friday 24th August

We had a quick look around Gundagai and found an old photo collection on display at the local Mitre 10 hardware store. For a private collection it is well worth a look. Most of the photos were taken by a local doctor and chronicles life in the town in the late 1800’s. With the rain and wind and cold we did not feel inclined to do any more sightseeing so drove to Junee in the hope the rain might lift and we could explore and or stay in a new location. Along the way our wiper blades started to pull out of their holders. In fact the metal retaining clips had disappeared. The metal arms were scraping on the windscreen. Even stopping and pulling the blade back through did not help. Within minutes the blades were sliding out so I spent long periods driving in the rain and not using the wipers. Junee is another old historical town and worth a look. We ate lunch at Laurie Daley Park (Laurie was a Rugby League legend about 10 years ago playing for his Canberra team, New South Wales State of Origin team and the Australian team). The rain which had eased while we ate, returned along with a cold wind and each drop of rain on the exposed face or hands felt like needles of ice. It was simply too cold and wet to explore further and of the two campgrounds in town, the cheapest was $29 for the night. We bought a steak for dinner and started out to Albury and our destination for the night, Culcairn where we stayed for three months at the beginning of the year. I vowed to stop at Albury and get replacement wiper blades and the sun started to make an appearance as we approached the city. By the time I had the new blades installed the sun was brilliant in a clear blue sky and it was hot with no breeze. On the road to Culcairn it rained again in a couple of places so we could test out the new wiper blades.

We have decided to stay three nights in Culcairn as the rate is $15 per night, the cheapest we have found anywhere. We have some other minor repair and maintenance items to take care of so having a level stable base with power and concrete pad will be helpful.

Saturday 25th August

It was a cold day without the wind. Overcast but no rain. I repaired a couple of little items but for the most part we lazed around all day. We walked uptown…twice. There is nothing else to report.

Sunday 26th August

We drove to Albury to do a little warm clothes shopping along with a few grocery items. We called into the Beechworth Bakery to collect a loaf of sourdough bread. The CO-PILOT had collected enough stamps on a loyalty card to earn a free loaf. We had not been in the bakery since April. The lady remembered us and asked where we had been!

Howzat!

It was nice to be remembered.

It was nice also to be back in familiar territory but it sure is cold.

 

 

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268. Sunday 19th August 2012. Lots of exploring in Eurobodalla Shire…

19/08/2012

Monday 13th August.

Another fine sunny warm day (if you were able find a place out of the shade and away from the chilling breeze).

Small cinema at Narooma quirkily named the Kinema. Despite its small size it screens latest 3D movies.

We spent time with Judy N driving around some of the sights of Narooma we had not yet visited.

Boatsheds at Forsters Bay Narooma.

Some readers will make the astute observation we spend a morbid amount of time visiting cemeteries. Somehow we seem to end up in such places as they are interesting, are an historical source and some downright eccentric headstones can be found. Today we were at the Narooma cemetery as it was a vantage point to see Glasshouse Rock on the coast.

Narooma Cemetery.

Along the way we passed through the cemetery and I was taken with the sight of a very old and very rotted leather jacket draped over a cross.

Leather jacket draped cross at Narooma Cemetery.

There was no story so it was a case of using the imagination.

Glasshouse Rock at Narooma.

Pole sitting Pelican at Narooma Harbour.

Today is our last day in Dalmeny so we had dinner with Judy and Ilya and had a late night playing Yahtzee. Thanks for your hospitality and friendship which has endured over 40 years.

Powerboat surfing the swell at Narooma Bar entrance to the inlet.

Tuesday 14th August

Travel Day. We say goodbye to Dalmeny and travel a huge 10 Klms to Bodella Park Rest Area where we park WWWGO and drive in TERIOS the 60 Klms to Batemans Bay for a few items particularly water filters four our on tap filter and our drinking water bottles. Another item was a Butane Gas Cartridge Ceramic Heater. Now that we do not have the benefit of 240 volts we do not have any other form of heating on board – apart from using the oven to bake meals. That said, once in bed and under the cover of the doona it does not take long to warm up and sleep toasty warm all night. We have been to Batemans Bay in 2009 and at that time the town felt dusty, dirty, untidy and overrun with aimless youth looking for something to destroy or annoy and of course hoons. I am pleased to say that on our most recent visit that impression has been confirmed. If anything the town is worse. The public facilities we visited were all badly vandalised, covered in graffiti and closed at night due to the vandalism. We spent only as long as needed in Batemans Bay and it is still not on our list to visit.  It was a cold night in the rest area and the new heater was put to good use along with using the oven to bake dinner.

Bodalla Primary School decorated their fence with humerous manikins.

No TV signal so we watched a recorded movie.

Wednesday 15th August

Another big travel day of around 35 Klms to Potato Point where we are parked beside Potato Point Creek and a stones throw from the ocean. We walked around Potato Point Beach and as the day wore on the clouds rolled in but temps were surprisingly mild. We walked to Jemisons Beach

Outlook above Jemisons Beach.

and talked with a retired dairy farmer and played with his dog. He decided to do some fishing, his first try for four years since he retired. Within two minutes of casting he pulled in a two person meal size Salmon.

Interesting dune grass on Jemisons Beach.

Again there is no TV signal so we watched a recorded movie.

Thursday 16th August

The day started warm and sunny so I walked to the end of the beach

Pebbles on Potato Point washed, shaped and smoothed by the sea.

and up onto the headland then back to pick up TERIOS and explore a bit more. There is a lovely area on the headland overlooking the coast both north and south. To the north is the substantial town of Tuross Head.

TERIOS ON headland with Tuross Heads in the distance.

The area is flat and would be a wonderful camp site for us except the road is narrow and badly potholed. No trouble for TERIOS but WWWGO would bottom out and scrape its sides against the bushes. Sigh!

We have been watching the Australian version of Amazing Race and I might be prejudiced saying this but I think it is a better version. Same format as the USA version but the people seem more real and easier to relate to. Without TV signal we have been following the series on our laptop the morning after the show went to air.

In the afternoon we drove to Bodalla, once famous for cheese-making, is now in decline although struggling to re-invent itself and pull in the tourist dollar. Most shops are closed for the winter but we did buy a family size steak and kidney pie for dinner from the wood fired bakery. We drove on to Tuross Head

Sunset over Tuross Lake.

and were impressed by the size of the town. Although we found several spots where we could camp for the night, none are as good as Potato Point.

Cabins on Tuross Lakes.

We arrived home at dusk and noted the Eastern Grey Kangaroo had brought his harem with him to graze around WWWGO.

Some Eastern Grey Kangaroos feasting around WWWGO.

We had steak n kidney pie for dinner and watched a recorded movie from the comfort of our bed and under then warmth of the doona.

Friday 17th August.

The day started sunny and no breeze but the breeze did arrive, turning into a stiff cold wind from the north east. We walked PP Beach and our faces were wind chapped by the time we returned still rugged up in hooded quilted jackets.

Another view of the old jetty pylons at Potato Point.

After lunch we drove into the Jemisons Point section of the Eurobodalla National Park (the entrance is only 500 metres from where we are camped. After parking TERIOS on the cliff edge we walked down a track to a, as far as we know, unnamed beach.

Unnamed beach with Dalmeny in the distance.

A small lake, Lake Tarouga, empties and fills at the northern end of this beach which runs all the way to Dalmeny Beach to the south.

Lake Tarouga still silted at the outflow. Nature will open the entrance to the sea from time to time.

There are some wonderful spots to camp but alas the track in is only suitable for TERIOS. It was a thrill walking on the beach (despite the cold wind) on a relatively difficult to reach location.

Waiting between waves on the rocks at Jemisons Point.

Knowing that few people would venture here at any time of year although another lake, Lake Brou, empties into the sea a few Klms along the beach gave the location a special feel.

The longer we stay at Potato Point the harder it is to make the decision to leave. But, leave we must. We take up house sitting at Mt. Beauty in the Victorian Alps Ski Fields on 28th August.

Saturday 18th August

The best snow falls in 12 years. That was the news on the radio this morning. It was overcast, with drizzling rain. Then the wind began, straight from the snowfields. Our water was almost empty, batteries were low and with the overcast unlikely to be re-charged on solar input. Pack up took little time and we travelled the huge distance of 25 Klms to Tuross Lake Caravan Park. We now have power, water, showers, toilets and washing and drying facilities while the wet cool and windy weather prevails. We are camped beside the lake, open to the winds but hey, what the heck, we have a heater on board. (aahhh the luxury of a heater in this cool weather)

No worries.

Our washing and drying is up to date so we will stay here two nights before tackling the Kings Highway to Braidwood.

Sunday 19thAugust.

Our campsite at Tuross Lake Campground.

Guess who was wide awake at 6am? Outside it was only dim half- light. By 7am the sun was beginning to lighten the sky and revealed the lake, lightly ruffled by a breeze and with a clear sky as backdrop. An hour later the lake was like a mirror reflecting the clear blue sky.

Mirror like Tuross Lake in the morning.

It was almost like a spring day in the middle of winter. We drove to Batemans Bay for a final grocery shop before we head west tomorrow. Or maybe we might just spend another day in the area. If we have another spring type day we might just stay. Aahhh! Decisions, decisions.

As is usual for us we did not do the shopping then drive back. We explored. Today it was the turn of Mossy Point.

A host of jetties at Mossy Point.

What an interesting and delightful spot on the Tomago River. I cannot find any reason why the town exists. Apart of course for the fishing, the surfing, the swimming, canoeing, boating, swimming and all the summer holiday things people like to do.

Anchor Sign on Mossy Point.

Historical Anchor.

If you have a weak stomach, skip past the next photo before you read on.

On a jetty beside the local boat ramp a young pelican stood on the railing. Unusually he did not move when people came close to him. Looking closely I noticed a fish hook stuck in his leg then I noticed two deep gashes in its chest.

Injured juvenile Pelican.

These birds have very sharp hooked beaks and very very pointed claws. No way could I assist the animal so placed a call and left a message for the local WIRES (NSW Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc). We can only hope it receives some sort of help from the local carers.

On our way back to Tuross Lake we followed the Moruya River and noticed this old shipwreck, encrusted with oysters in the mud in a backwater of the river.

267. Sunday 12th August 2012. A week exploring Eurobodalla Shire and Bega Valley Shire…

12/08/2012

Monday 6th August.

Be prepared for many photos in the post this week.

I woke to warm sunshine, unadulterated by clouds, streaming in through the kitchen window at 7am.

I took a walk to the beach while the CO-PILOT slept on. It was 9° when I was eating cereal and cold milk for breakfast. My walk first took me along the break-wall and the river entrance where I could see the township of Moruya in the distance. An interesting fact is the granite used for the break-wall was quarried locally.

The Moruya Breakwall is built from the same granite as the Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylons and the Martin Place Cenotaph. All were quarried locally.

This is the same granite used in the four Sydney Harbour Bridge Pylons.  Around 250 stonemasons moved to Moruya to cut, dress and number the blocks before loading aboard three specifically built ships to carry the stone to Sydney. Incidentally the huge granite centre block of the Sydney Martin Place Cenotaph is also from the Moruya quarry. It weighs 20 tonne, has been polished to a high gloss and workers at Moruya were fearful the weight would be too great for the ship and would cause it to sink. Thankfully that never happened.

Walking back the other way were the rocks and steep cliff faces. I hoped to be able to walk to the deep cliff crevice where we saw the seals yesterday. I was unable to reach that place as another deep cleft in the cliffs halted progress. This cleft ended in a cave carved by the action of the waves.

Wave worn cave.

There were no seals around the rocks this morning. Perhaps I was too early. Despite that I sat on the rocks and enjoyed the sound of the waves washing in and out of the cave while small honeyeaters and robins and wrens chirped in the shrubbery in the cliffs above. The sunshine, the sea, the sounds of nature are the reasons we took on this journey which started two years ago. Just to be able to sit on this rocky headland and enjoy by absorption is therapeutic. If I can enjoy this calm once a week it will be enough. Of course every day would be so much better. A lone surfer was in the water when I arrived at the river mouth. Later, after breakfast I did the walk again with the CO-PILOT.

After visiting Moruya for groceries we were once again on the Princes Highway heading south but not for long as we reached the little town of Bodalla, famous for its dairy produce, particularly cheese and turned off to the coastal village of Potato Point.

Hmmm! I seem to find trig points in our travels.

A local visited us and gave a potted history of the name. Once there was a jetty in place to take on dairy produce and deliver other goods for the village of Bodalla. The location was only known by its aboriginal name. During a big storm, a ship carrying a cargo of vegetables, mostly potatoes was trying to make the relative calm of the jetty.

Remains of Potato Point jetty. Holes carved into the rocks also attest to where other timbers were once installed.

The ship was wrecked and miraculously all on board survived (that piece if news is incredible as the rocks around the area are like thousands of huge knife blades) the cargo washed into the sea and for days afterwards potatoes were recovered from the rocks.

Some rusting remains of heavy machinery from the days when the jetty was still in use.

Henceforth the area was called Potato Point. I do not know if that is the full truth but the local man insists it is. We walked around those rocks and I must comment how difficult that was with the knife like rocks ready to snap an ankle or cause a fall on to the sharp edges. I heard a fisherman cursing at something in the water. A family of five seals were swimming around his bait. I watched as they swam close to the rocks and caught a fish, slapping it against the water only a few metres from my position on the rocks.

One of the cheeky seals chasing fish the fisherman was trying to catch. Score= Seals 1 Fisherman nil.

Later on our walk back to our campsite in the gathering dusk, we disturbed an Eastern Grey Kangaroo. Once more I was too slow with the camera. The big Eastern Grey stood well over two metres and probably weighed as much as me but he looked to be all muscle. He looked down on us for a few moments before going about his business.

Camped beside Potato Point Creek.

We are camped beside a delightful watercourse with the sound of the surf nearby

View of Potato Point Creek from outside our kitchen and bedroom window.

Judging by the afternoon coolness we expect a cold night.

Tuesday 7th August

The Eastern Grey Kangaroo we saw last night.

It turned out to be the coldest August night in New South Wales in 12 years. For example Tumut recorded a low of -6° and when I ventured out from under the warmth of the doona at 7am discovered the temp inside WWWGO was only 5°.

Bridge over the creek and access to National Park and campground in the next bay.

Clear water and Bull Kelp at Potato Point.

A walk along the beach in the brisk morning air showed the waves lapping the beach were leaving a red line on the sand. I noticed some movement and on a closer inspection found the red spots were in fact tiny creatures with a similar look as a prawn. In fact there were prawns of various sizes mixed among the red as well as a clear jelly like creature like a torpedo shaped fish. The seagulls liked whatever was in the mix as they walked along the beach pecking away in a feast stretching along the entire beach. Local fishermen thought the red creatures and prawn mix may be krill and the reason why so many salmon are along the coast feeding.

Krill perhaps? Still waiting on positive ID reply from NSW Fisheries.

Later in the morning we found a dolphin shaped jelly creature which had a firm dorsal fin and what seemed to be another fin on the belly, a snout, eyes and what appeared to be a mouth. It was also alive so I returned it to the ocean. Local pro fishermen had no idea what it was.

Dolphin shaped jelly. Also waiting on NSW Fisheries to identify it.

Potato Point from north end of beach.

We drove another 30 klms to Dalmeny on the outskirts of Narooma and set up camp in the caravan park overlooking the ocean.

View of Dalmeny Beach from our kitchen window.

As the nights have been particularly cold and bad weather predicted for Thursday we felt being in a van park with 240 volts would be to our advantage.

Footbridge to Dalmeny Beach.

We dined with Ilya and Judy N at their home. They were neighbours when I lived in Kanahooka many years ago. It was wonderful catching up with them again. (Last time was in 2009 on our way to Tasmania)

Wednesday 8th August

Dalmeny morning.

Along with Judy we visited the Narooma Marine Rescue Headquarters in Narooma.

Narooma marine Rescue Headquarters.

This is a composite view of Narooma waterway as seen from the Marine Resue Headquarters. Double click to see the full size detail.

Ilya does a radio watch on Wednesday each week.

Judy, Ilya and FrankieG at Narooma Marine Rescue.

After his shift at midday we had chilli squid at Taylors Seafood on the river waterfront.

Taylors Seafood

Thursday 9th August.

We woke to a relatively warm morning so I set off along Dalmeny Beach to a set of rocks as my target. I had been told there were a number of Diamond Back Pythons usually sunning early in the morning. Not this morning. I spoke with other people walking the beach and they either confirmed a sighting or they had heard the same story. I did see dolphins surfing and nearby two family groups of seals lazing around on the surface of the ocean just beyond the breakers.

The wind picked up in the afternoon, rocking WWWGO in our exposed position on the hill. The wind continued into the night.

WWWGO in Dalmeny Campgrounds.

Friday 10th August

Footbridge across Lake Mummuga Inlet at Dalmeny.

More wind and the swells are picking up. The wind feels like it is coming directly off the snow. We spent the day looking around the main streets of Narooma and the break-wall at the river entrance.

TERIOS at the break-wall entrance to Wagoonga Inlet Narooma.

We had to wear our quilted coats, beanies and gloves and fight to stay upright in the wind.

Australia Rock at Narooma break-wall.

Saturday 11th August

After another unsuccessful walk to the end of the beach to find the Pythons we decided to drive to Central Tilba.

Overlooking Central Tilba from water tower lookout.

Old style post and rail fence at Central Tilba.

This is a Heritage listed town and most of the buildings were erected somewhere around 1870.

Central Tilba Dromedary Hotel.

The area was once a thriving dairying and timber cutting area which fell into decline some years ago. The locals re-invented the town and it is now a busy little boutique town.

Cart outside shop.

The local cheese factory, ABC Cheese, (the cheese is actually made in Melbourne) has a shop outlet. Another eatery also sells local produce.

Cheese Shop and Boutique eatery.

We were keen to find another Ploughmans Lunch to rival the one fondly remembered when we were in Tasmania. The shop did not even know what a Ploughmans Lunch was but once we explained, an antipasta plate was offered. For the price we received a huge platter with three cheeses of our choice (a brie, a blue vein and a crumbly matured, chilli and pepper cheddar called Firecracker) salami, loads of crackers, olives, dolimades, beetroot dip and hommus dip. It was too much to eat in one sitting. They even gave us a plastic tub to take the leftovers with us. Walking around town was a little like stepping back in time with the shop fronts clearly from another century. We also walked the steep hill behind the town to the “lookout” at the water tank. We were dressed appropriately as the wind was still fierce enough to blow us off our feet and was cold into the bargain.

These toilets at Central Tilba probably deserve a place in the Most Scenic Public Toilets in Australia.

These lower public toilets behind the above public toilets probably also deserve a place in the Most Scenic Public Toilets in Australia.

On our way back to WWWGO we stopped at Mystery Bay to see the big waves crashing over the rocky shoreline.

A pair of White Bellied Sea Eagles flew over us at Mystery Bay.

Afternoon view of Narooma. Note the salt mist from the huge waves.

12th August

In the days we have been camped at Dalmeny we have gone to sleep with and woken to the sound of the surf. The last two days have seen huge seas and although the sound is much louder it has not affected our sleep. No two days are the same.

It was another long and enjoyable day. I took many photos and I have difficulty culling them to just a few each day.

About 80 Klms along the Princes Highway is the town of Bega.

Post and Rail fence outside Bega Cheese factory.

We visited the Bega cheese factory and had a Ploughmans lunch. I was disappointed as much of the lunch menu was pre packed and placed in a refrigerated cabinet. (The lunch was not in the same league as the Ploughmans lunch we had at Pyengana Dairy Company in Tasmania) We then drove on to Tathra where we found the historical Tathra Wharf.

Tasthra historical wharf.

Built in 1860 it played a large part in bringing goods to the area as well as being a passenger terminal and export for cattle, pigs, bacon, dairy products and timber.

This staircase was the original cattle race to load cattle aboard the ships.

The wharf has a trendy café with stunning views across the bay.

Wharf Cafe.

Looking across the bay from inside the wharf cafe.

With the large swells crashing nearby rocks and pumping into Tathra Beach it was a good background to a great cup of coffee.

Interesting photo study.

A sign outside announced today was a Stitch and Bitch Sunday so craft people who knit, sew, crochet etc, get together, have lunch and coffee and umm err, knit, sew, crochet etc. Included in the group were a couple of men, one happily knitting and the other just as happily crocheting.

Man crocheting.

Now there is a sight you do not see every day. The photo opportunities were endless and included about 20 people fishing from the wharf. Fishing for shark is prohibited!

No shark fishing allowed from this wharf.

Another contender for the Most Scenic Public Toilet in Australia.

Although it was getting late in the afternoon we drove on to Gillards Beach in the Mimosa Rocks National Park. The wind was stong and cold and the surf was whipped into frenzy of froth so we did not linger or even stay for photos in the failing light. The tourist drive roughly follows the coastline and lakes and includes photogenic one lane bridges all the way to Bermagui. As the light was failing we did not stop for photos. A pity really but that leaves an excuse to visit again.

Now that we have spent some time along the south coast I am now pleased to say that this section of coastline along with rivers, lakes, estuaries, bays, cliffs and scenic drives is every bit as good as those experienced on the north coast. Surfing spots are great as well. The wineries and cheese makers and other local produce and boutique towns has an appeal which is hard to describe. If you get a chance, visit the south coast of New South Wales.

We were home at WWWGO by 5.30 and could still see the huge swells and breakers rolling into the beach.

It is just after 10pm and I can hear the surf rolling and crashing on rocks and beach no more than 200 metres away.

266. Sunday 5th August 2012. South Coast of New South Wales wanderings have begun…

06/08/2012

Monday 30th July

A quiet day at Bomaderry. We did a grocery shop and visited a fresh meat market. All meat, chicken and seafood along with a huge variety of sauces, herbs, spices, marinades and preserves are presented under the one roof. Once a purchase is made it is paid for at a check-out counter. The person who serves you the product wears gloves and never touches money or your credit/debit card. All purchases are handled by the check-out person. We bought 1.5Kg of Green Banana Prawns at $9.99 a Kg. We also bought some seaweed pickled in garlic and chilli. Tonight we had chilli garlic prawns cooked in individual pannikins on a gas burner on the table. Geoff prepared the garlic, chilli and salad. We peeled the prawns leaving the tail on. Once the pannikins were hot we poured in olive oil, garlic, the chilli and returned the pannikin to the heat and added a handful of prawns. Within two minutes we had a steaming aromatic and tasty prawn feast. Once the prawns were eaten the olive oil juices and garlic and chilli was soaked up with thickly torn sourdough bread. The pannikins were returned to the heat for another and another serving. It was a wonderful social meal. Thanks for the suggestion and preparation Geoff. It’s a pity I did not take photographs. I was too busy eating!

Tuesday 31st July

What is the story with the Teddy Bears? On the weekend as we were driving the highway south of Nowra I spotted a large Teddy Bear sitting on top of a roadside cutting. Hmmm! I thought. He ( I am giving this bear a sexual orientation by calling it a “he”) looked too comfortable just sitting there. Too comfortable to have been thrown and landed in that position. I thought no more of it until later on Sunday when we were at Currarong. There were two Teddy Bears strategically positioned on a power pole. They were too strategically posed to have landed there in a couple of moments of whimsy. Somebody had to make a valiant effort to find a large ladder to climb the pole and place the bears in just exactly the pose most likely to attract more than a casual glance.

Teddy Bears in playful pose.

Hmmm! Come to think of it, the first bear was placed high up on a cutting in a prominent position. Today while Geoff and I drove to Nowra to visit Bunnings Hardware via circuitous back roads to avoid road-works along the highway I spied another bear in a position almost guaranteed to be noticed. Somebody in the Shoalhaven has a fondness for Teddy Bears and a penchant for mystery. I would like to know more. The bears then reminded me of my childhood when I sometimes found the word ETERNITY written in a copperplate hand in chalk on footpath corners. The man responsible for this one word was Arthur Stace who became famous as the ETERNITY man.  See   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arthur_Stace

Was a new Arthur Stace in the Shoalhaven and posing Teddy Bears with a message?

I will be looking for more Teddy Bears as I travel around the area.

Wednesday 1st August

Geoff and Margaret drove us to Belmore Falls today.

Donnis Margaret and Geoff at Belmore Falls looking towards Kangaroo Valley.

The falls are above Kangaroo Valley and included within the huge Morton National Park. The falls are a double cascade and a large cave has formed at the base of the first falls.

Double cascade at Belmore Falls.

The cave is filled with ferns which thrive on the moisture laden air.

Fern encrusted cave beneath the falls.

The mountains here are a part of the Great Dividing Range which stretches from around Cairns in north Queensland and down into Victoria. The sheer sandstone cliffs are a feature of the valleys and peaks formed by the range. Looking across the valley at the sheer sandstone cliffs is reminiscent of looking across the valley at nearby Fitzroy Falls. The falls are formed by the Barrengarry Creek which cascades near 700m to the valley floor where it meanders through the valley until it joins the Kangaroo River.

On our return trip along narrow country roads we stopped at Myra Vale to inspect the historic Wesleyan Methodist Church built from local sandstone in 1874.

The Wesleyan Methodist Church at Myra Vale.

The cemetery across the road has headstones from at least 1874 and many of them were made from the same sandstone as the church and all covered by red lichen.

Sandstone headstone encrusted with red lichen at the Myra vale cemetry.

Anybody interested in buying an historical church for a mere $750,000?

Returning to Kangaroo Valley we turned off to Bendeela a free campsite owned and maintained by Sydney Water. The park is on the banks of the Kangaroo River which rises in Budderoo National Park and joins the Shoalhaven River travelling a mere 51 klms.

Mountains viewed across the Kangaroo River at Bendeela.

The Kangaroo River must be one of the shortest rivers in Australia. On arrival at Bendeela we were greeted by Kookaburras, Kangaroos and a creature which seems to be becoming a habit in our adventures this week, the Wombat.

One of several Wombats grazing around the campsite at Bendeela.

For some reason they are difficult to photograph in sharp clarity. Perhaps it is just me. The free camp is huge and can easily accommodate thousands of tourists.

One of several football field sized campsites at Bendeela.

We had a wonderful afternoon and we thank Geoff and Margaret for their hospitality and tours.

Thursday 2nd August

Today we drove from the Shoalhaven district and returned to the Illawarra district to spend a final night with Errol before we resume the highway and travel south. Nicole and the children are visiting family in Melbourne so Errol is home alone and working on the house.

Friday 3rd August

We spent today working with Errol to get a few jobs done around the house before Nicole and the children return from Melbourne on Sunday. We drove to Bomaderry after dark.

Saturday 4th August

After a cold night we started to pack WWWGO and left the home of Geoff and Margaret at 1pm but stopped the Fish/Chicken/Meat Market at Nowra to have a late lunch of fish n chips. We also bought some Atlantic Salmon and two dozen Sydney Rock Oysters. We travelled south along the Princes Highway calling in at Lake Conjola to meet with a couple who are looking for house sitters in October. It was getting late in the afternoon when we started to look for Rest Area’s for a place to stay the night. We finally stopped at a place called Mogo, a once thriving gold mining town, about 10Klms south of Batemans Bay. There was a parking area and toilets off the highway so we had an entrée of a dozen Sydney Rock Oysters each followed by red salmon and a salad. Not a bad meal for being on the side of the road after an afternoon of travel.

Rest area, off the Princes Highway at Mogo on the New South Wales south coast.

It was a cold night so after watching a movie from the comfort of our bed and a warm doona it was lights out at 11pm.

Sunday 5th August

It must have been the cold night. We both slept in until 9am and the temp inside WWWGO was 6°! After a stroll around Mogo a town similar to Berry or Berrima in that it was in decline and has sort of re-invented itself as a trendy place of eateries, hobby shops, antiques and wine and cheese outlets and artistic shops. We drove on to Moruya Heads and had lunch in WWWGO overlooking the sea.

WWWGO and TERIOS on the headland at umm err Moruya Heads.

From our vantage point high on the cliffs we watched two men swimming in the sea near a reef. Further out we saw several pods of dolphins cruise past. The men were leaving the water when they saw another pod swimming to where they had been. The men swam out again trying to join the dolphins. Without success. As we walked further around to Toragay Point headland an Echidna waddled out of the bush, crossed the road and disappeared in the bush before I could get the camera ready.

Remnants of an early settlers cemetry at Toragay Point.

Donnis at the edge of a sheer drop to the water below.

Sheer drop to water at Toragay Point. This is amazing. There are no warning signs or fences along these cliffs. Methinks too many natural attractions are treated as a man made hazard and should be fenced or signed to protect people too stupid to protect themselves. How much brainpower do you need to tell you to stay away from the edge of a cliff? End of rant.

 

From another vantage point on the cliffs we watched several seals “resting” in the water below.

Enlarge the photo to see the seals. The seals rest after eating. The sort of float on their backs and leave their flippers hanging in the air.

We walked to Shelly Beach and it was so warm and inviting in the sunlight we ran barefoot along the sand and into the water. Oops. The water was too cold for that sort of activity but the feel of sand between our toes in the warm sunlight was a welcome end to a relaxing day.

Looking down on Shelly Beach.

Moruya Heads breakwall entrance to Moruya River.

We have seen dolphins, seals, an echidna and some new birds, the New Holland Honeyeater and an Osprey. It is wonderful to have days like today which make up for several days of no adventure at all.

I usually manage to find a trig point in our travels.

Tonight we are parked at Shelly Beach and listening to the sounds of the waves to lull us to sleep. Being on the coast it will not be so cold tonight.

We camped in the carpark beyond this sign.