Posts Tagged ‘Lane Cove Tunnel’

484. Sunday 3rd April 2016. On the road again. Port Macquarie, Forster and La Perouse…

04/04/2016

Wednesday 30th March

Hmmm! I got myself tangled up in the plans we had made for this week. In my mind I thought we would leave home on 31st March which I thought was Friday. Not so. Thursday is 31st March and that is the day we travel south.

The i30 was booked in for a 15,000 Klm service. As well as the service the good people at the car yard washed the car and blackened the tyres.

We partially packed i30 before going to bed as we planned to be up early and on our way by no later than 8am.

Thursday 31st March.

Grrr!

As usual the departure time came and went and we were still madly packing the car with last minute stuff. We got away by 8.30 so considering we had been awake since 5.30 we were almost on time. We drove onto the M1 motorway and continued on the Pacific Highway once we crossed into New South Wales. We encountered some rain and for the most part the first half of the journey is on wonderful newly opened highway but dreaded roadworks slowed us somewhere north of Coffs Harbour. Roadworks continued off and on for the rest of our journey slowing our average speed and stretching the time of arrival at Tony and Dawns house at Port Macquarie.

Thank you, Tony & Dawn for your hospitality, dinner and wine. You know you always have somewhere to stay when you are in the Gold Coast area.

1st April – April Fools Day.

We had a relaxed breakfast with T&D then packed i3o followed by coffee and we were on our way by mid -morning. I had fuelled i30 before leaving the Gold Coast. Cost was 99.9 cents per litre. Petrol stations in NSW yesterday were between $1.14.9 to $1.18.9. Some fuel prices in Port Macquarie this morning were even higher, up to $1.22.9 per litre. We still had enough fuel to get to Forster, our next destination but past experience has shown fuel prices are higher on the coastal town which is off the Pacific Highway. After travelling over 500 Klms on the one tank of fuel we pulled off the highway a few Klms to a little town called Kundletown. Fuel here was $1.08.9, the cheapest we have seen in two days.

Arriving in Tuncurry, the sister town to Forster we bought a take away lunch and took it to the northern arm of the breakwater. After lunch Donnis took a swim in the enclosure formed by a break in the umm err breakwater. A net is placed across the gap and is intended to keep nasties out.

This is the swimming enclosure at Tuncurry breakwater wall.

This is the swimming enclosure at Tuncurry breakwater wall.

I wandered around enjoying the late summer sun knowing it is Autumn and a change in the weather will not be far away.

I believe this is a young Wandering Albatross. Can anybody positively identify it for me?

I believe this is a young Wandering Albatross. Can anybody positively identify it for me?

A natural feature at the southern end of Forster Beach is this natural rock pool.

A natural feature at the southern end of Forster Beach is this natural rock pool.

After arriving at Al and Raes house on a hill at Forster, we unpacked and Al and I went to nearby One Mile Beach to fly my stunt kite at the foot of Giant Sandhill. There was plenty of quirky wind to teach Al how to fly. I forgot the camera!

Forster (pronounced Foster) and its twin, Tuncurry are both situated on a spit of land bounded on one side by the Pacific Ocean and on the other by Wallis Lake. The mouth of the Wallamba River splits the two towns. Both are popular holiday destinations and provided the sun is shining, which it does most of the year, the water always seems an impossible shade of Turquoise Blue and the sand whiter than white. Forster and Tuncurry are linked by a long straight bridge with humps at either end to allow larger boats to pass beneath.

The Forster Tuncurry long bridge with humps at each end to allow larger vessels to pass beneath.

The Forster Tuncurry long bridge with humps at each end to allow larger vessels to pass beneath.

To the south there are several more lakes, all picturesque and just waiting to be explored and exploited.

Saturday 2nd April

This morning we drove to Al & Rae’s son Brian and his wife Grid house on Forster Keys a canal type suburb on Wallis Lake. They own a pair of Hobie Mirage Revolution II canoes.

Getting our safety training and launch from Brian and Grid.

Getting our safety training and launch from Brian and Grid.

Getting ready to pedal the Hobie canoe.

Getting ready to pedal the Hobie canoe.

Allan on a Hobie practise pedal.

Allan on a Hobie practise pedal.

Aaaah.Alone at last.

Aaaah.Alone at last.

These canoes are propelled primarily by foot pedals connected to a pair of feathering fins. Many light years ago, in my surfing days, Hobie was known as a quality surfboard maker. Over the years through research and development, Hobie also makes a range of Stand Up Paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, sailcraft – single hull, catamarans and trimarans – all with innovative designs. After an hour of exploring a tiny part of the canals and lake we headed back. Both of us suffer from back problems and we both know our canoe and kayak days are long behind us.

The afternoon was devoted to resting.

In the evening Brian and Grid arrived for a barbecue and a promise of a breakfast treat tomorrow.

Sunday 3rd April

Brian collected us at 7am and soon we were driving along a sandy bush track to Tuncurry Beach.

Catamaran in early morning sunlight seaward of Tuncurry Beach

Catamaran in early morning sunlight seaward of Tuncurry Beach

Forster seen from Tuncurry Beach.

Forster seen from Tuncurry Beach.

After driving onto the beach a table and chairs were set up, a barbecue fired up and we were soon eating bacon and egg on breadrolls.

Brian cooking up bacon and egg rolls while Donnis waits for breakfast.

Brian cooking up bacon and egg rolls while Donnis waits for breakfast.

Just pull up anywhere on Tuncurry Beach put out tables and chairs and start cooking breakfast.

Just pull up anywhere on Tuncurry Beach put out tables and chairs and start cooking breakfast.

Brothers Frank and Allan.

Brothers Frank and Allan.

Rae and the Gillings, Brian, Frank and Allan hamming it up.

Rae and the Gillings, Brian, Frank and Allan hamming it up.

Back at Al & Raes we packed, had coffee and were on our way by mid- morning.

Thank you Al & Rae and Brian& Grid for your hospitality over the last two days. It was a great visit with you and we look forward to seeing you soon.

We continued on the Pacific Highway through to Sydney and joined the M2 into the Lane Cove Tunnel and the tunnel under the Harbour and Sydney Harbour Bridge. On arrival at La Perouse we took a little detour before arriving at Geoff and Margarets house. We took the road to what must be one of Australia’s premier golf courses, the NSW Golf Club.

Fairways and Greens at NSW Golf Club.

Fairways and Greens at NSW Golf Club.

On one side the course proper skirts the spectacular sandstone cliffs overlooking the ocean. The other side overlooks, LaPerouse, Congwong Bay, Bear Island, Kurnell, Botany Bay, Mascot Airport and the container ship terminal at Port Botany.

From the Golf Club can be seen La Perouse, Congwong Bay, Bear Island,Kurnell, container ship and beyond.

From the Golf Club can be seen La Perouse, Congwong Bay, Bear Island,Kurnell, container ship and beyond.

I have an affection nicely quarried sandstone blocks on many early houses, banks and Government buildings around Sydney. As well there are many many samples of quarried sandstone retaining walls around the suburb. This old club has used unquarried sandstone rocks for a retaining wall in the carpark. The wall appears to have been in place probably as long as the club. Although the wall has a haphazard appearance I still enjoy the use of rock in this wall.

Lovely old sandstone retaining wall at exclusive NSW Golf Club. Normally I like to see dressed sandstone in walls but this wall, probably 50 or more years old is eye catching.

Lovely old sandstone retaining wall at exclusive NSW Golf Club. Normally I like to see dressed sandstone in walls but this wall, probably 50 or more years old is eye catching.

Beside the gold course is a protected piece of land controlled by NSW Parks and Wildlife called the Botany Bay National Park. Inside the park is a cemetery with lots of old graves dating back more than 100 years.

National Park sign.

National Park sign.

Site of the cemetery within Botany Bay National Park

Site of the cemetery within Botany Bay National Park

Lack of maintenance shows in all the headstones.

Lack of maintenance shows in all the headstones.

A nice pair of side by side graves being slowly absorbed by the encroaching bush.

A nice pair of side by side graves being slowly absorbed by the encroaching bush.

The walk continues to and along the sandstone cliffs with breathtaking views across Little Bay, Long Bay and beyond.

Cliff views looking north to Little Bay, Long Bay and Henry's Head.

Cliff views looking north to Little Bay, Long Bay and Henry’s Head.

It is an easy walk and can be traversed all the way to Maroubra Beach at least 10 Klms to the north. The full walk from Bear Island off LaPerouse is now on our “to do” list for sometime in the future.

We finally arrived at Geoff and Margarets in time for happy hour followed by a walk to Frenchmans Bay

Frenchmans Bay at La Perouse.

Frenchmans Bay at La Perouse.

to watch the sunset and the gathering heavy rain clouds approaching from the south.

Fisherman Silhouted by setting sun beyond the Port Botany Fuel storage.

Fisherman Silhouted by setting sun beyond the Port Botany Fuel storage.

030416 ship

Sunset over Port Botany.

Sunset over Port Botany.

These girls are totally uncoordinated trying to paddle to friends waiting on a yacht in Frenchmans Bay.

These girls are totally uncoordinated trying to paddle to friends waiting on a yacht in Frenchmans Bay.

As always Geoff and Margaret looked after us. Thank you.

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291. Sunday 30th December 2012. Long drive into Christmas…

30/12/2012

Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve.

Christmas Eve sunrise looking over New England ranges.

Christmas Eve sunrise looking over New England ranges.

We were on the road by 7am facing a journey of 596 klms and according to Google Maps would take 7 hours and 18 minutes. I chose the route which would take us through Armidale, Tamworth, Scone, Muswellbrook and Maitland to pick up the M1 Freeway to Wahroonga then pick up the M2 Tollway which includes a tunnel under the Lane Cove River and the tunnel under Sydney Harbour. Most of this avoided traffic until we reached Brighton Le Sands where we came to a standstill. The next two klms took twenty minutes. After stopping to change drivers twice, three fuel stops and morning coffee and lunch stops we eventually arrived at Bev n Pete’s house at Gymea 9 hours and 18 minutes after starting.

Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day.

After breakfast with Bev n Pete, we drove the 60 or so Klms to Corrimal via the steep, winding and breathtaking views of Bulli Pass. We spent Christmas Day with Errol

Errol

Errol

and Nicole

Nicole.

Nicole.

and the two children Amelia

Amelia Christmas Day.

Amelia Christmas Day.

and Hannah. Nicoles mother, Merilyn, flew from Melbourne as did Nicole’s brother Scott and his wife Monica.

Hannah and Monica.

Hannah and Monica.

Nicoles other brother Greg flew from the Gold Coast. The day was mostly cold wet and windy but we enjoyed Christmas lunch of Turkey and Ham with trimmings. Dinner was Prawns and salad. Donnis and I drove back to Sydney for the night.

Errol and Frank

Errol and Frank

Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day.

After breakfast we once more drove to Corrimal via Bulli Pass. At least the sun was out today but only on a casual basis. We drove to Austinmer Beach for coffee and a stroll around the north and south headlands.    http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/south-coast/wollongong-and-surrounds/thirroul/attractions/austinmer-beach

Frank at Northern Austinmer headland

Frank at Northern Austinmer headland

More Austinmer south coastline

More Austinmer south coastline

Austinmer south Coastline

Austinmer south Coastline

Donnis braved the chill breeze to swim the two rock pools.

After dinner we all drove to Woonona to look at a street where all the houses were lit with Christmas lights.

Amelia in lights.

Amelia in lights.

Nicole, Amelia, Merilyn, Donnis

Nicole, Amelia, Merilyn, Donnis

Nicole, Errol, Monica, Scott, Frank, Merilyn, Greg and Amelia

Nicole, Errol, Monica, Scott, Frank, Merilyn, Greg and Amelia

After saying our farewells to the family we drove back to Gymea.

Thursday 27th December.

We had a big day with Bev n Pete who organised a walking tour of “The Rocks”, part of the original settlement of Australia by Europeans. The day was so big and with lots of photographs I have decided to break this post into two parts. The first being the normal weekly post followed by a post about our walking tour of The Rocks. The Rocks post will be presented within a day or two…once I have edited the photos down to an acceptable twenty or so.

In the evening another sister, Enid, arrived from the Sunshine Coast. Bev n Petes three sons David, Christopher and Mitch with his girlfriend Sam all arrived about the same time. It was a loud and lively dinner table for a post Christmas get together.

Friday 28th December.

After a leisurely breakfast and saying our good-byes to family we left Gymea and headed north. There was more traffic today with a good portion  of it heading out of town…in the same direction  as us. The traffic flowed well and we once again took the Sydney Harbour Tunnel then the Lane Cove River Tunnel and joined the M2 until the Beecroft Road off ramp. Traffic was still flowing well until we hit the Pennant Hills Road where traffic was bumper to bumper, creeping and crawling for the next seven Klms until we reached the M1 Freeway. At the Beresfield off ramp (near Newcastle) we turned left onto the New England Highway and enjoyed a reasonable run home. The traffic heading further north joined a traffic grid lock which spread for 35 Klms! We are sure glad we decided not to take the alternate route!  We stopped for dinner at a Thai Restaurant at Armidale. The trip today, including meal and fuel stops took 10 hours and 18 minutes.

Saturday 29th December

After all the travel of the previous 5 days I thought we might have a quiet day at home. However we did drive to Armidale for a top up of groceries.

Sunday 30th December

Today was officially a rest day. We are still tired from the driving this week and Donnis is suffering from hay fever. I cut the grass for a couple of hours and I suppose the grass dust did not help her condition.

The report on The Rocks should appear in a day or two.