Posts Tagged ‘Potato Point’

303. Sunday 10th March 2010. Dalmeny, Central Tilba, Bermagui, Potato Point, Coledale, Boxing Kangaroos and mud wallowing Emu’s…

10/03/2013

Monday 4th March

Woke to an overcast sky gradually being burned off by the sun. The surf has been reduced overnight but the sea has taken on a new clean and glassy appearance. It is so nice to be back in shorts and T-shirt again. Some of the day was spent sitting around with the rest of our group, chin wagging. About midday Donnis and I went to Narooma for a bit of essential shopping.

Narooma Bridge over Wagonga Inlet and Forsters Bay in the distance.

Narooma Bridge over Wagonga Inlet and Forsters Bay in the distance.

In the afternoon we waded across the inlet to the beach and walked and ran along the beach splashing in the shallow waves of the shorebreak.

Sand Whiting are up to 15cm in length.

Sand Whiting are up to 15cm in length.

040313 kelp

Dune grass.

Dune grass.

My goodness what an invigorating tonic of wind in the hair, toes in the sand and water lapping around ankles then knees, fighting against the pull of the wash of the wave returning to the ocean. All this while the sun was keeping us comfortably warm. We have waited so long for this to happen.

Woo Hoo!

One of our group, Marian, has a spinning wheel and while sitting around, uses it to spin Merino Wool into woolen yarn. I had just taken photographs of her

Marion spinning woolen yarn.

Marion spinning woolen yarn.

when I heard a big airplane flying low above our campsite.

Catalina Airplane.

Catalina Airplane.

The plane was a lumbering PBY Catalina built somewhere around WWII. The plane has been lovingly restored by HARS from Albion Park Rail about 300 Klms to the north. See details below.

http://hars.org.au/category/museum/aircraftnews/under-restoration/restoration-updates/pby-catalina-a24-362/

Tuesday 5th March

Our group of ten decided on a day trip. Our group includes Ron & Eileen from Paynesville in Victoria in a converted Hino bus. Ken & Kym from Bomaderry NSW towing a caravan, Geoff and Margaret also from  Bomaderry towing a caravan and Martin and Marian from the Bilpin NSW apple growing area and a huge Allegro motorhome made in the USofA. The final couple need no introduction Ta Da, Frank & Donnis from wherever we are at the moment in our motorhome, WWWGO (Where Will We GO). We first drove to Narooma and the breakwater area to view Australia Rock which is basically a hole in the rock and vaguely looks like Australia. I have written about this before, including photographs in blog posts 267 and Page 045 so I will not repeat them here. I showed our group around the area and we were fortunate to find four male Australian Fur Seals sunning themselves on the rocks. We then drove to Central Tilba, see post 267, so I will not repeat it again today.

Kym left husband Kenny at this husband minding centre.

Kym left husband Kenny at this husband minding centre.

Kenny and Martin at the hubby miding centre.

Kenny and Martin at the hubby miding centre.

Fence at Central Tilba.

Fence at Central Tilba.

Old red telephone box which were once common throughout towns and suburbs of Australia.

Old red telephone box which were once common throughout towns and suburbs of Australia.

We split up and wandered around town according to our tastes and inclinations and by midday re-joined forces at the Dromaderry Hotel but after seeing their meal prices decided to drive another 20 Klms to Bermagui on the coast and have Fish n Chips at the marina park.

Sculpture artwork on the beach at Bermagui. Not the little sculptured bird at the top of the mine prongs.

Sculpture artwork on the beach at Bermagui. Note the little sculptured bird at the top of the mine prongs.

Each night we have had a fire and sit around in our warm clothes and talk about…anything. Although the days have been delightful the north easterly wind becomes cool at night hence the need for warm clothes.

Wednesday 6th March

Another day of beach walks or sitting around and enjoying the sunshine. In then afternoon Donnis and I visited friends Judy & Ilya.

Thursday 7th March.

Boo Hoo! Our last day at Dalmeny Campground.

Sign at Dalmeny Campground.

Sign at Dalmeny Campground.

On the subject of Dalmeny Campground I want to make some comments.

First the negatives.

No level sites.

No concrete pads.

No drain points for grey water.

Now the positives.

NO CABINS!

NO SWIMMING POOL.

NO JUMPING PILLOW.

NO PLAYGROUND.

(In other words we are not paying for facilities we do not need or want)

Overlooks the ocean and inlet to Mumunga lake.

Shopping centre across the street.

In the off season the nightly rate is $23 and $20 for pensioners. Pay for 6 nights and the seventh night is free.

Did I mention the views?

Only 8 Klm to Narooma along the scenic coastal road.

Showers all have a glass hinged door.

We are lullabied to sleep each night by the sound of the surf.
Today I went for a long walk along the clifftop path and later drove to Narooma.

Chair on clifftops at Dalmeny.

Chair on clifftops at Dalmeny.

Closeup of sign on chair.

Closeup of sign on chair.

View from the chair.

View from the chair.

On the way back I stopped at a small beach with a lookout on the cliffs. Just as I arrived I saw a pod of large dolphins herding salmon and leaping out of the water and surfing the waves. It was such an exciting event and I had left the camera at WWWGO. The sun was hot and just delightful calm balmy weather stayed with us all day. It sure beats the cold days I complained about all the time I was at Guyra.

Another Dalmeny clifftop view.

Another Dalmeny clifftop view.

In the afternoon Donnis and I walked across the street and splashed around in the surf until we were exhausted.

In the evening, as a group, we had a courtesy bus collect the ten of us and take us to the nearby sports club where we had dinner and bought tickets in the raffles. Judy and Ilya joined us for the evening.  Four of the 6 couples won a meat tray. Our meat tray was four porterhouse steaks.

It was a lovely day and a fitting end to our delight stay here at Dalmeny. Ken and Kym have decided to stay another day and have booked to come back for another week after Easter. Already there is talk of doing this again next year.

Friday 8th March

Today, Ron and Eileen, Geoff and Margaret and We, drove the incredibly long distance of 22 Klms from Dalmeny to our favourite freedom campsite at Potato Point. (Martin and Marian left for their home at Bilpin while Kenny and Kym decided to stay longer) The sun was shining,a gentle nor’ easter was blowing and a nice swell was rolling into the beach. We all set up camp beside the creek where we heard the surf rolling into the beach 200 metres away.  We took walks along the beach,

Donnis & Eileen on Potato Point Beach.

Donnis & Eileen on Potato Point Beach.

Geoff and Ron fished, Geoff reeled in a good sized flathead which Margaret enjoyed for dinner and we all had happy hour under the stars and watched the local kangaroo population arrive for dinner on the green. We sat up late talking and drinking port.

Geoff fishing at PPB.

Geoff fishing at PPB.

Ron fishing at PPB.

Ron fishing at PPB.

Catching beach worms for bait on Potato Point Beach.

Catching beach worms for bait on Potato Point Beach.

A happy finish to a delightful day.

Saturday 9th March

Sunrise at PPB.

Sunrise at PPB.

Early morning view from PPB towards Tuross Head.

Early morning view from PPB towards Tuross Head.

Ron and Eileen left this morning on their way home to Paynesville in Victoria.

Blue Heron in creek beside PPB campsite.

Blue Heron in creek beside PPB campsite.

The remaining four of us walked the beach again then unhooked TERIOS and drove to a nearby headland and viewed an Eco camp ground. On our way back we disturbed a father Emu and chick in a mud wallow.

Father Emu with chick after we disturbed them in their mud wallow.

Father Emu with chick after we disturbed them in their mud wallow.

We then drove to a National Park via 4WD track on the other side of Potato Point to visit Lake Tarourga. In the afternoon we just relaxed and enjoyed our lovely warm day.

PPB Campsite.

PPB Campsite.

Margaret with Pippa the Poodle.

Margaret with Pippa the Poodle.

Lots of Kangaroos visit the camp site morning and evening.

Early morning boxing Kangaroos at our PPB campsite.

Early morning boxing Kangaroos at our PPB campsite.

Sunday 10th March.

Umm Err Hmmm!

Since I woke this morning it thought it was MONDAY!!!

We left delightful Potato Point and drove north to Coledale, a suburb of Wollongong. We are camped beside the ocean and had dinner with Errol, Nicole and grandchildren Amelia and Hannah. Nicole brought a spaghetti bolognaise sauce she prepared earlier. It was while eating I realised today is Sunday.

Tonight we have another night being lullabied by the waves.

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.

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.