Posts Tagged ‘Gerringong’

485. Sunday 10th April 2016. Corrimal, Gymea, a wedding a big walk and Aunt Gwen…

15/04/2016

Lack of Internet facilities while we are travelling has delayed this weeks Post.

Monday 4th April

We woke to a dull overcast morning with just a chill in the air. By chill I mean the temperature was about 22°. After a summer and an autumn with 32°, 22° seems positively chilly.

The rain woke us several times. The rain was heavy. Geoff was amazed to find 100 mils of rain in the gauge overnight. On the news we were informed it was the heaviest rain for several years, achieving a month’s supply of rain overnight.

During the morning, rain fell in little drizzly gasps never really getting to the heavy falls experienced during the night.

We drove to Wollongong via the Princes Highway taking the infamous Bulli Pass from the top of the escarpment.

The pass looking much like it does now.

The pass looking much like it does now.

Bulli Pass was built by loggers in the 19th century in an effort to find an easier way to get their timber to Sydney.

Bulli Pass as it was almost 150 years ago.

Bulli Pass as it was almost 150 years ago.

Horse drawn cargo carriage in readiness to take on the trip down Bulli Pass.

Horse drawn cargo carriage in readiness to take on the trip down Bulli Pass.

The road has been improved by a fence.

The road has been improved by a fence.

The pass is now sealed and cyclone wire safety fencing has been installed.

The pass is now sealed and cyclone wire safety fencing has been installed.

The alternate routes were via the vagaries of ship or Mt Keira or Mt Kembla roads. Both were much longer and steeper. Bulli Pass is noted for car and truck accidents and land slip in prolonged heavy rain. It is still only two narrow lanes hugging the escarpment while the bulk of traffic to and from Wollongong travels via Mt Ousley a long and not so steep two lanes each way. (I recall as a boy when as a family we travelled to the south coast my parents speaking in awe about having to take the Bulli Pass – in those days there were no safety barriers on the edge of the road.) We arrived in Corrimal to spend a few days with Errol, Nicole, Amelia and Hannah. Errol was not well having caught a bug either at work or passed on to him by his daughters Amelia and Hannah. Nicole was not feeling 100% either.

Tuesday 5th April – Happy Birthday to my daughter Melissa.

Woke to a sunny morning. Yay!

Nicole is still in bed…sick. Boo Hoo!

In the afternoon we went to the beach to take Walter the dog for a run and to fly my kite.

Hannah, Errol and Amelia enjoying time on the beach. Oh and Walter the dog is too.

Hannah, Errol and Amelia enjoying time on the beach. Oh and Walter the dog is too.

A couple of Whippets on the loose on Bellambi Beach.

A couple of Whippets on the loose on Bellambi Beach.

FrankieG, Amelia and Hannah on the beach at Bellambi.

FrankieG, Amelia and Hannah on the beach at Bellambi.

Naturally Amelia wanted to fly the kite but the wind was quite strong and it was likely to pull her along the beach.

Errol and Amelia flying a kite.

Errol and Amelia flying a kite.

FrankieG flying kite.

FrankieG flying kite.

Errol concentrating hard on flying the kite in windy conditions.

Errol concentrating hard on flying the kite in windy conditions.

Several kite surfers were in the water, one, when walking past with his board and kite commented that it was about time I graduated to a bigger kite.

Wednesday 6th April

Hmmm. Errol & Nicole still not well, Amelia at school and Donnis wants to stay at the house to be useful.

Sooo. Today I have decided to get out and about to visit Wollongong Harbour (also known as Belmore Basin named in honour of The then NSW Governor, The Earl of Belmore in 1868) and take an historical walk around. Many years ago I worked in Wollongong and often at lunchtime would visit the harbour and daydream about sailing away – who doesn’t? I did end up with a yacht but most of my sailing was done around Mackay and The Whitsunday Islands.

The first item which caught my eye is the last remaining original timber bollard used to tie sail cargo ships to the harbour. If this was the U S of A the bollard would be preserved in glass and given due reverence.

The only remaining timber bollard at the harbour. It has not been treated in any way to preserve the timber.

The only remaining timber bollard at the harbour. It has not been treated in any way to preserve the timber.

Next came the stonework around the harbour, much of it rough dressed and built around existing rock features.

Part of wall at Wollongong Harbour,

Part of wall at Wollongong Harbour,

Although giving the appearance of sandstone it is definitely not. I cannot find any records on what rock was used. Most of the coastline from around Coledale to the north to Gerringong in the south is volcanic in origin. I believe the rock is from a volcanic source quarry. The nearby escarpment is definitely sandstone and is quite different to the rock in the harbour wall. (I believe it could be basalt latite over sandstone found around Kiama / Minnamurra) Perhaps a knowledgeable reader can pass on the information. Many of the boats in harbour are old fishing trawlers and I do mean old. One with a for sale sign is lucky to still be afloat.

Old and rotting fishing trawler listed for sale.

Old and rotting fishing trawler listed for sale.

Fishing trawler being prepared for going to sea.

Fishing trawler being prepared for going to sea.

I love seeing dinghy's and canoes line up at Wollongong Harbour (Belmore Basin)

I love seeing dinghy’s and canoes line up at Wollongong Harbour (Belmore Basin)

Wollongong is the only harbour I am aware of which has two lighthouses. (Both of which are de-commissioned) One sits on the edge of the harbour wall

Entrance to Wollongong Harbour secondary lighthouse.

Entrance to Wollongong Harbour secondary lighthouse.

while the other was more for ships at sea and sits atop Flagstaff Hill. Just below the Flagstaff Hill lighthouse are the two 68 pound muzzle loading cannons installed in 1879.

Main lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill.

Main lighthouse on Flagstaff Hill.

The lighthouse on the harbour mouth was used as a symbol of safety icon by the Illawarra Mutual Building Society (a safe place to borrow or invest savings)  for many years.

On the western hill above the harbour is a gun emplacement which was called Smith’s Hill Fort, comprising two 36Kg muzzle loading cannons.

Gun emplacement on Smiths Hill.

Gun emplacement on Smiths Hill.

Built in 1891 in response to feared attack from Russia, the guns are still in place but the underground bunkers and magazines are sealed off to the public. Original timber is beginning to rot.

Below the fort are two salt water rock pools. One was known as the men’s bathing pool (the women’s bathing pool was at the base of cliffs below Flagstaff Hill and was accessed by a steep pathway).

The original Men's Pool between North Wollongong Beach and Belmore Basin. The water is replaced at least twice a day by incoming tides and wave action. Excess water is drained via an overflow valve on the seaward side of the pool. The Women's Pool is located approximately 500 metres away at the base of cliffs below Flagstaff Hill. It could only be accessed by entry through a timber dressing shed and timber staircase. Further around the cliffs via steep steps cut into the cliff are the remains of what was known as The Nuns Pool.

The original Men’s Pool between North Wollongong Beach and Belmore Basin. The water is replaced at least twice a day by incoming tides and wave action. Excess water is drained via an overflow valve on the seaward side of the pool. The Women’s Pool is located approximately 500 metres away at the base of cliffs below Flagstaff Hill. It could only be accessed by entry through a timber dressing shed and timber staircase. Further around the cliffs via steep steps cut into the cliff are the remains of what was known as The Nuns Pool.

The other rock pool is in fact two Olympic sized pools side by side. Saltwater is pumped into the pools unless big seas pound over the concrete wall faster than any pump.

The later pools (Continental Pools) have been in use for 90 years. First opened in 1926. These pools  have water continually replenished either by a pump or the action of tide and waves. They also have overflow valves.

The later pools (Continental Pools) have been in use for 90 years. First opened in 1926. These pools have water continually replenished either by a pump or the action of tide and waves. They also have overflow valves.

A cutting through the cliffs once was used as a railway line by Mt Pleasant Coal and Coke Company to bring their product to the harbour for shipping to Sydney. The railway lines have been removed and the path is now a walking and cycling track.

Cutting through the hillside originally created to allow train lines to be laid and coal and coke trains had access to the harbour.

Cutting through the hillside originally created to allow train lines to be laid and coal and coke trains had access to the harbour.

Phew!!! What a day. The temperature was about 32°

Thursday 7th April

Today we drove the 50 or so Klms from Corrimal to Gymea where we will spend the next few days with sister Bev and husband Pete. In the afternoon sister Sandra arrived from Mackay and sister Enid arrived from Brisbane while her husband Ken flew in from the Sunshine coast. We are all attending the wedding of Bev’s eldest son David, an IT guru, to Jacqui.

Four fifths siblings. From left, Enid, FrankieG, Bev and Sandra. The painting on the wall are of Flamenco Dancers. This was mum's favourite paintings and now hangs on the wall at Bev's house.

Four fifths siblings. From left, Enid, FrankieG, Bev and Sandra. The painting on the wall are of Flamenco Dancers. This was mum’s favourite paintings and now hangs on the wall at Bev’s house.

Friday 8th April

With much manouvering for bathrooms and last minute wardrobe decisions we somehow managed to get seven of us away on time. Pete had hired a small bus for us to collect the youngest son Mitchell (an Air Traffic Control officer at Melbourne Airport) and his girlfriend Sam to arrive at Belgenney Farm at Camden for the wedding.

The youngest of three brothers, Mitchel with his long time girlfriend, Sam

The youngest of three brothers, Mitchel with his long time girlfriend, Sam

The farm is an historical estate, listed on the National Heritage Register, and is now owned by the NSW State Government. The land, of 5,000 acres was granted to John & Elizabeth MacArthur by Lord Camden in 1805. John MacArthur brought the first Merino Sheep to Australia and with specific breeding created a wool of superior quality and quantity. That stock spawned a world renowned  industry demanding this superior wool. The Australian climate also proved conducive to growing lamb for meat. Many of the original buildings, built by convict labour, are still in place today, some being used as originally intended. For example, the stables.

Eldest brother David with his bride, Jacqui.

Eldest brother David with his bride, Jacqui.

Flowergirl April.

Flowergirl April.

David with his groomsmen.

David with his groomsmen.

The four bridesmaids, three sisters on the left and best friend of Jacqui on the right.

The four bridesmaids, three sisters on the left and best friend of Jacqui on the right.

Proud Dad Pete, with brothers Mitch, Groom David and middle brother Chris and just as proud Mum, Bev.

Proud Dad Pete, with brothers Mitch, Groom David and middle brother Chris and just as proud Mum, Bev.

Bride Jacqui with her sister bridesmaids.

Bride Jacqui with her sister bridesmaids.

The wedding went well with about 80 guests and the reception was held within the old Grainery building. The historic buildings provided a great backdrop for wedding photos. Considering the wedding started at 4pm, with a wonderful buffet style meal, dancing and drinks. The last guests left at 11pm. Pete drove us all home and it was well past midnight when our tired heads hit the pillows.

 

Saturday 9th April

For a change of pace today we all walked to the nearby railway station and caught a train to Cronulla Beach then a ferry to Bundeena. Cronulla Ferries operate a small fleet of specialist vessels. The MV “CURRANULLA”operates an hourly return trip 365 days per year.

The delightful old timber ferry which took us from Cronulla to Bundeena.

The delightful old timber ferry which took us from Cronulla to Bundeena.

The delightful old timber ferry has been in constant use since 1939. Tickets are only issued on board and only one way tickets are available. The deckhand is also the ticket issuer. The leather conductor’s pouch he wears around his neck has also been in use since 1939.

On arrival we trudged to Jibbons Beach and followed the beach and track above the cliffs to arrive at Jibbon Point about 3.2 Klms return. We stopped to look at the Aboriginal Rock Carvings (reported in Post 405 January 2015) Today’s walk was every bit as taxing as the walk last year. This time there were seven of us to share the walk. This area of National Park is wild and the sandstone cliffs are open to the winds and waves. Looking around with nothing but steep cliffs, ocean to the horizon and thick bush it is hard to image there is a town less than a Klm away and a city of near five million people just across the bay.

Once we were back to Gymea and after a hot shower we just about had enough energy to enjoy dinner at a Thai Restaurant. Donnis was so tired she ordered soup. When it arrived the rest of us wished we had done so as well. Huuh! Too tired to eat? We were.

Sunday 10th April

Today we visited our 93 year old Aunt Gwen in the small flat she has lived in for the last 27 years.

Included from left to right sister Enid and husband Ken, sister Sandra, sister Bev sitting on husband Pete's knee, Aunt Gwen and FrankieG.

Included from left to right sister Enid and husband Ken, sister Sandra, sister Bev sitting on husband Pete’s knee, Aunt Gwen and FrankieG.

After lunch we drove Ken to the airport then headed back to Bev and Pete’s house for a relaxing afternoon.

 

302. Sunday 3rd March 2013. Norah Head to Gymea Bay to Corrimal and then Dalmeny…

05/03/2013

Monday 25th February

We left Noraville and drove to North Rocks, an outer suburb of Sydney. We had WWWGO booked in to I&D Industries to find the leak in the roof hatch. Despite mid- morning traffic we had a dream run and the trip only took 90 minutes. We unhitched TERIOS and went for coffee and lunch at a nearby shopping mall while the guys checked out WWWGO for the leak. When we returned they showed us a photo of the leak entry point. It was hard to find and explains why I never found it. A tiny piece of a twig had fallen into the sealant when they were sealing the hatch last year. The twig rotted and the hole became a wick point for any moisture. They sealed the hole and we were ready to go. The drive to Bev and Pete’s house at Gymea Bay only took another hour so we parked in their driveway and I had a sleep until Bev arrived home. I was amazed at how smooth both legs of our journey were. Considering we were driving through densely populated parts of the Sydney suburbs in the middle of the day, we had an easy trip.

After dinner we replaced a clothes hoist in the yard. The old Hills Hoist was damaged by a falling tree branch in a heavy storm a few weeks ago. We also determined the cause of a sticking sliding door.

Tuesday 26th February

We woke to sunny skies which were not destined to last. Although it did not rain it was one of those typically hot overcast Sydney days with a north easterly wind blowing which felt full of grit and humidity. This morning Optus  arrived to replace Bev’s faulty modem and she and I climbed onto the roof to check the TV antenna as all the Channel 10 stations have disappeared. We determined that in another storm on the weekend the antenna was swivvled on its access and now points in the wrong direction. An antenna man arrived in a short while and agreed with our findings and corrected the antenna direction. The CO-PILOT and I drove to a Camec store at Caringbah and found the items we wanted (a Wineguard antenna crank handle for WWWGO and some new BioPak  Sanitiser Sachets for our on-board toilet)and at a reasonable cost. It was then on to Cronulla Beach where Donnis wanted to look for work shoes.

Cronulla Beach Post Office.

Cronulla Beach Post Office.

Fine example of Art Deco architecture at Cronulla Beach.

Fine example of Art Deco architecture at Cronulla Beach.

260213 lorikeets

These palms have been planted along the centre of the mall. Two or three pairs of Lorikeets have made their nests where branches have been sawn away.

I parked near the beach, noting there was a 4 hour limit and we walked to the mall. 90 minutes later we were back at TERIOS and found an envelope under the wiper blade. It was a $99 fine for…wait for it…parking nose in and not tail in in the parking space. YIKES!!! What would it have cost if we had parked more than 4 hours?

P.S. Donnis did not buy any shoes.

Gymea Bay   (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gymea_Bay,_New_South_Wales)  is a leafy suburb in the Sutherland Shire usually referred to as The Shire, much as the Hobbits refer to The Shire in the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings books. Many locals still think it is the centre of the known universe and many have not ventured far from the area. Even driving all the way to the bay itself the suburb is well endowed with trees and bushland patches. Should a bushfire in the National Park ever get out of contract, this idyllic setting could be a fire disaster.

Wednesday 27th February

We left Gymea Bay about 10am and joined the Princess Highway on our way to Wollongong. On this occasion we decided to skip travelling via the usual long steep Mt.Ousley Road on which we need to be in 3rd or 4th gear and braking to maintain the required 80Kph down the steep road and instead travel through Helensburgh, Stanwell Park and the small coastal communities such as Coalcliff,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalcliff,_New_South_Wales Clifton, Scarborough and Wombarra. Although the road is steep with some tight corners it is only a short road with spectacular views across the ocean as the road hugs the cliff line and the spectacular Sea Cliff Bridge.   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sea_Cliff_Bridge

270213 bridge 270213 donnis

Prior to 2005 when the bridge was opened, the original road was often closed and vehicles damaged as heavy rains weakened the land above and large chunks of cliff would fall and or slide onto the road. Sometimes sections of the road would collapse into the sea below. In fact after a particularly bad landslide in 2003 the road was closed permanently until the Sea Cliff Bridge was built.

The reasons for the closure of the old road and the building of this bridge are explained here.

The reasons for the closure of the old road and the building of the Sea Cliff Bridge are explained here.

The building of the bridge was a feat in engineering design and construction and has an aesthetic appeal.

The building of the  Sea Cliff Bridge was a feat in engineering design and construction and has an aesthetic appeal.

Not far below the original roadway and just above the high tide mark are the remnants of the original coal mine at Clifton.

These days Coalcliff is little more than a collection of about thirty houses, some of which are perched precariously on the cliff top. All commercial buildings have gone. There are no shops. All that remains is the School of Arts.

These days Clifton is little more than a collection of about thirty houses, some of which are perched precariously on the cliff top. All commercial buildings have gone. There are no shops. All that remains is the School of Arts.

Enlarge the photo to see the brief history of how Coalcliff was discovered and named.

Enlarge the photo to see the brief history of how Coalcliff was discovered and named.

An interesting aside to the above story is that the First Fleet arrived at Sydney Cove in 1788 and by 1796 it was still only a fledgling and struggling settlement. Imagine then, a ship runs aground on 90 Mile Beach and crew members trek north overland towards Sydney Cove. There are no towns or communities between the grounding and the nearest aid. After travelling for nearly 700Klms they found coal still have to find their way another 100 Klms to Sydney. The journey took around 12 months. They must have been a self -sufficient bunch! As a result of the coal being found the rich coal seams of the Illawarra were also discovered opening the district to coal mining which goes on to this day along many places in the Illawarra area.

Remnants of the access road to the old original Clifton Mine. The mine entrance is still there beneath the old roadway.

Remnants of the access road to the old original Clifton Mine. The mine entrance is still there beneath the old roadway.

We camped for the night at Errol and Nicoles at Corrimal. Heavy rain was predicted overnight.

Thursday 28th February

The predicted bad weather did not eventuate overnight but the time we were ready to hit the road at midday heavy rain and strong wind made driving a bit of a challenge but we continued along the Princes Highway as far as Gerringong where we took the coastal route through Gerroa and Coolangatta as far as Nowra and re-joined the highway there. Around Gerroa and Coolangatta we saw the destruction from the violent storms which ripped through the area on Saturday night. The same storm which rocked WWWGO while at Norah Head. We arrived at one of our favourite freedom campsites, Potato Point, late in the afternoon and set up camp beside the tidal creek. A walk along the beach in the strong and quite cold wind was invigorating. The daytime temperature had dropped 10 degrees since yesterday.

Friday 1st March

Tidal estuary from Mumumaga Lake at Dalmeny. Storm clouds in the distance.

Tidal estuary from Mumumaga Lake at Dalmeny. Storm clouds in the distance.

We drove another 18 Klms and arrived at Dalmeny Campground.

( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmeny,_New_South_Wales     ) The grounds are still quite boggy from all the recent rains but if weather predictions hold true the rain and wind should start to ease tomorrow. We caught up with long- time friends Judy & Ilya, while late in the afternoon other members of our group began to arrive. Although the wind was very blustery and cold it was quite snug inside WWWGO and we only needed a sheet on the bed.

Saturday 2nd March

Gradually the sun made more frequent appearances although the strong wind continued all day. Donnis and I took a beach walk to the next beach. Aaah it was wonderful breathing the salt laden air. More of our group arrived during the day and contributed wishes that the weather will start to clear overnight.

In the evening we attended  a 60th birthday party for friend Judy N. Among  the 62 guests were her 4 sons and the catering was carried out by husband Ilya.  It was a theme dress up party and we were asked to come as sixties style hippies. Ilya made the comment that I came as a 2013 style hippie.

Peace brother.

Family group.with Ilya and Jude in the centre.

Family group.with Ilya and Jude in the centre.

We had a very nice night and I enjoyed catching up with her family. Jude’s sister Gloria’s husband John is a professional musician and he set up a disco on his laptop and kept the night bopping along with music, games and music trivia competitions.

Light rain started at bedtime.

Sigh!

Sunday 3rd March

The morning started with the sun pushing the cloud across the sky and giving us a wonderful day with just a light southerly breeze.

030313 weed

Huge amounts of Kelp have been torn off the sea bed in the storms of the last three weeks and have been deposited on the beach in thick layers.

Stand up paddle surfers.

Stand up paddle surfers.

In many places along the coast people have died on  the sea or the shore. Many families erect or install memorial plaques.

In many places along the coast people have died on the sea or the shore. Many families erect or install memorial plaques.

Early morning at Dalmeny Beach.

Early morning at Dalmeny Beach.

After a couple of walks along the beach we linked up with our group and vegged out by sitting around and chewing the fat.