Posts Tagged ‘Tuncurry’

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.

301. Sunday 24th February 2013. Guyra to Forster to Norah Head and big storms with strong winds…

24/02/2013

Monday 18th February

Hugh & Shabari arrived home today. Their plane landed at midday, the same time as my brother Allan, his wife Rae and Grandson Josh arrived in Armidale to meet us for lunch. Josh was arriving for his second year at University of New England while Al and Rae were helping to bring his furniture and clothes to get him settled in.

Tuesday 19th February

We were packed and ready to leave by 10am. After saying our goodbyes to Hugh, Shabari and Toto the dog we hit the New England highway and drove towards Newcastle but turned left at the Hexham Bridge to join the Pacific Highway north to Forster. The drive took 10 hours…including me having an hour long snooze at Willow Tree where we had lunch.

The local hotel at Willow Tree has these wonderful accommodation cottages.

The local hotel at Willow Tree has these wonderful accommodation cottages.

Fence around cottages at Willow Tree.

Fence around cottages at Willow Tree.

Traffic became bumper to bumper from Musswelbrook all the way to Maitland but we arrived at Al & Rae’s home in time for dinner, showered and fell into bed totally exhausted.

Wednesday 20th February

Ahhh! It is so nice to be on the coast enjoying Summer sunshine and dressed in shorts and T-shirt … as I expect to be dressed in the summer. During our drive yesterday I said I would rather like to walk barefoot on a sandy beach, allowing waves to swirl around our legs, all the while the wind blowing in our faces.

Bennetts Head Lookout at Forster.

Bennetts Head Lookout at Forster.

Rockpool at Forster Beach

Rockpool at Forster Beach

 

I got that and more. A tropical low centered off the Queensland coast near Brisbane was whipping the seas into a frenzy and sending strong winds and heavy rain south along the coast. Today we enjoyed the sunshine, knowing the weather will change…for the worse… in 24 hours or so.

Fishing boat crossing the bar at the entrance to Forster rockwalls.

Fishing boat crossing the bar at the entrance to Forster rockwalls.

Donnis on rockwall braving the breaking waves.

Donnis on rockwall braving the breaking waves.

As always Al & Rae are good hosts and good company.

Thursday 21st February

The day started with Al, Rae and I taking a stroll around a few blocks near One Mile Beach. Later in the morning Al, Donnis and I walked over the Forster/Tuncurry Bridge to the Tuncurry side and then walked the length of the breakwater…and back again.

Forster - Tuncurry Bridge

Forster – Tuncurry Bridge

Composite photo of the Forster - Tuncurry Bridge. Note the arches on each end to allow boats to navigate in the channels beneath.

Composite photo of the Forster – Tuncurry Bridge. Note the arches on each end to allow boats to navigate in the channels beneath.

Although the sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds it was still a delightful day despite the strong wind and sea salt haze coating everything.

Waves breaking over rockwall at Forster

Waves breaking over rockwall at Forster

Waves beaking inside Forster harbour walls.

Waves beaking inside Forster harbour walls.

Fishing boat safely tied up at its berth at Forster.

Fishing boat safely tied up at its berth at Forster.

In the afternoon Donnis and I walked to the top of Cape Hawke (named by Captain James Cook in 1770) and the observation tower.

Booti Booti National Park and the beginning of the steep climb to the top of Cape Hawke.

Booti Booti National Park and the beginning of the steep climb to the top of Cape Hawke.

Of course the 880m return trip was steep going up and murder on knees and hips coming down.

If dinner and bed was on offer at the top of the tower I would have gladly stayed the night.

One Mile Beach and sand dunes at Forster as seen from the lookout atop Cape Hawke.

One Mile Beach and sand dunes at Forster as seen from the lookout atop Cape Hawke.

We then drove to Booti Booti National Park and parked at the extreme southern end of Seven Mile Beach and walked on the beach in strong winds, big confused seas and thick salt haze.

View of The Ruins on Seven Mile Beach

View of The Ruins on Seven Mile Beach

large stump found on Seven Mile Beach at a location known as The Ruins.

large stump found on Seven Mile Beach at a location known as The Ruins.

Friday 22nd February

After saying our goodbyes to Al and Rae we took off from Forster in strong winds and heavy driving rain. Al and I got soaked hitching TERIOS to WWWGO. We could see the rain coming and predicted it would arrive in five minutes. It arrived in three minutes!

Three hours down the road we arrived at Toukley and set up camp at Norah Head Holiday Park. The wind and rain increased during the afternoon and evening. The worst of the weather is still yet to arrive during the night or early morning. The strong wind and scuds of rain continued during the night. I know, I woke several times.

Saturday 23rd February

I woke to the incessant strong wind. Still dressed in shorts and T-shirt I walked the National Parks pathway to Soldiers Beach.

Pathway to beach is bounded by Banksia's which form a canopy.

Pathway to beach is bounded by Banksia’s which form a canopy.

Banksia flower. Pathway to the beach is bounded by Banksia.

Banksia flower. Pathway to the beach is bounded by Banksia.

Old Banksia flowers.

Old Banksia flowers.

Almost empty carpark on the day of the big storm.

Almost empty carpark on the day of the big storm.

About twenty vehicles were in the car-park with the occupants doing the same as me. They were watching the huge swells crashing on the rocks and pounding the beach. A thick salt haze obliterated the view of the lighthouse at Norah Head.

In the morning we visited several houses and viewed another two after lunch. Although both places presented well we both came away with the feeling they are not for us.

In the afternoon we took a drive to The Entrance on the other side of Tuggerah Lake. It was about this time the rain decided to increase in volume and continued to bucket down well into the night. It was still raining when we went to bed. The winds became stronger early in the night as WWWGO was being rocked. We both commented how it almost felt like being on our yacht ASTARIA (now sold) and being buffeted by wind, swell and tide.

About 10pm I went to the ablutions block for a shower. Both hand dryers have not worked since we arrived yesterday. While enjoying a hot shower and listening to the sounds of heavy rain and strong winds, I heard a hand dryer turn on. Huhh! I had not heard anybody come into the block, no opening or closing doors, no footsteps yet the dryer turned on. Hmmm! A few moments later it turned on again. As I left the block I put my hands under both dryers…neither turned on!

Sunday 24th February

We woke to a light wind, no rain and a hint of sunshine through the cloud cover.

We spent the morning drying out raincoats and clothes which got wet during yesterday’s heavy rain. After lunch we walked to Soldiers Beach and watched the boardriders and boogie boarders reveling in the heavy conditions.

Anboard rider.other Boogie

Anboard rider.other Boogie

Boogie board rider on wave formed by storm swell.

Boogie board rider on wave formed by storm swell.

FrankieG at Soldiers Point.

FrankieG at Soldiers Point.

carpark the day after the big storm.

carpark the day after the big storm.

We then drove around looking at more real estate to the point of becoming disillusioned.

A house we viewed today is nade from sandstone.

A house we viewed today is nade from sandstone.

Late in the afternoon another storm rolled in from the north. This one included thunder and lightning with a spattering of rain.

Fingers crossed the weather is better when we leave Norah Head tomorrow.