Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Forster - Tuncurry

We stayed at the Great Lakes Caravan & Holiday Park in Forster - Tuncurry which is on the banks of a sheltered bay of lake Wallis. This park which is popular for people wanting to kayak or use their boats on lake Wallis. Forster is a large coastal town in the Mid North coast of NSW. We walked the ocean headland trail and saw a pod of dolphins swimming below and distant whales leaping in the ocean.

Tuncurry Rock pool

View of Lake Wallis from Great Lakes Caravan & Holiday Park

Pelicans and ducks in Lake Wallis at our caravan park
Tuncurry Rock pool - a popular family swimming spot

Bridge linking Forster - Tuncurry


Umina NSW

We stayed at the NRMA Ocean Beach Holiday Park at Umina Beach. this was right on the beach at Umina with surrounding national parks and the Hawkesbury river nearby. The park had a large heated resort pool with waterfall and waterslide. Umina and surrounds had a lot of bushfire smoke covering the area due to the NSW bushfires at this time.

Umina Beach and Brisbane Waters National Park

Lion Island fromUmina beach - Broken bay NSW

Ducks enjoying the caravan park at Umina

Flannel wildflowers in Brisbane Waters National Park

Wildflowers in Brisbane Waters National Park

Hawkesbury River from Warrah Lookout with bushfire smoke

Hawkesbury River from Warrah Lookout

Grass tree - Brisbane Waters National Park

Monday, 28 October 2013

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie 
Port Macquarie was founded as a penal colony in 1821. It is on the Hastings River and is said to have the most liveable climate in Australia and so is popular with retirees. We had pleasant weather here too. We enjoyed walking along the break wall path and along the town beach to historic Flagstaff Hill. This is where boats were signalled when the River was closed or if they needed a 12 man crew to row boats in over the shallow entrance into Port.
We stayed at a lovely quiet, spacious Park set amongst the bush called Light House Beach. It was sheltered from sea winds but we could still here the waves. It was a 10 min drive into town. (They have koalas there at times.) It had a lovely pool and no children swimming when we were there.  It was 2 mins walk to light house beach where we saw camel rides. When the camels growled we decided we would pass on the camel ride. We walked a short walk up to Tacking Point look out and Light House. It was a calm morning and we spotted 2 whales here. You can't go inside the light house but it is a great view.
We enjoyed the rain forest board walk at Sea Acres, in a now rare rainforest area that was set aside many years ago. An interesting local volunteer lady gave us a guided tour. Unfortunately we didn't have time to visit the koala Hospital this trip. The 14 room museum in the CBD was very interesting and had a number of costumes on display. It has several heritage listed convict built buildings, such as St Thomas' Church, which is the oldest Church still in use in Australia.
Tacking Point Look out

Tacking Point Light House

Sea Acres Rainforest Board walk

Chain saw carved owl on Rainforest walk.

Port Macquarie Warf

 Break wall walk

View of Oxley Beach from Flagstaff Hill
View of Breakwater and entry to  Port  from Allman's Hill

Large Museum was Convict built  in circa 1836

Convicts were the reason Port was settled

Soldiers supervised convicts

Early settler!
St Thomas Church in Port Macquarie - oldest church still in use in Australia

Willow Pattern on early toilet  - 1824

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Coffs Harbour

We enjoyed the Park Beach Caravan Park in Coffs Harbour, located close to the beach but protected from sea winds. It has a nice pool with lots of kids features. Coffs Harbour has incredible views of the Pacific Ocean from the headlands and lookouts. We enjoyed riding our bikes along a bike path  from our Caravan Park to Mutton Bird Island. It is connected to the mainland by a breakwater. Mutton Birds migrate all the way from the Philippines to nest here. We saw a whale and dolphins from here on a calm morning. We enjoyed the creek walk at the Botanical Gardens which follows Coffs Creek. The gardens has plants from all over the world. The new Forest Sky Pier, at Sealy Lookout, has great views of the dense rainforest and Eucalypt forest and also some banana and avocado plantations. We also did a short walk along another 4wd track to see views to the south. Our van had  a small leak in the skylight which we were thankfully able to get fixed at a specialised repair workshop in Coffs Harbour before the next heavy rain. 
View of Marina  and breakwater from Mutton Bird Island

View of Marina and historic Jetty

Forest Sky Pier at Sealy Lookout, Bruxner Park

 On the Forest Sky Pier, 5km from CBD of Coffs Harbour

Enjoying the ocean view from Mutton Bird Island

Japanese Gardens at Coffs Harbour  Botanical Gardens

Yamba NSW Nth Coast

We stayed by the large Clarence River, in the small town of Yamba, at the Blue Dolphin Holiday Resort. It was a spacious park with 2 lovely resort pools. One had waterslide and one was heated. It had lots of play equipment for kids. It hired kayaks which would be nice on a calm day. We had a cool day and walked along the breakwater at the town beach and saw some interesting rock formations. At nearby Iluka township,we rode our bikes through the rainforest and along the Clarence River.  We enjoyed Byron Bay coffee and lunch at "The Boatshed" café  right on the river, watching the boats go by.
View of Clarence river from our caravan park

View of Yamba from the town beach.

Little Yamba lighthouse

large rockwall beside Clarence River at Yamba

Path in the rainforest at World Heritage Iluka reserve

Rainforest at Iluka Reserve

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Byron Bay

We enjoyed staying at the well located Clarkes Beach Holiday park as we could walk from the park up to  the Light house on Cape Byron and take in the magnificent views of Byron Bay. It also had a  covered camp kitchen with lovely views of the sea.There is limited parking, so it is easier to walk to the Lighthouse than drive. We had great Byron Bay coffee (Organic blend) at a café next door and are now looking to see if we can buy some beans ourselves. We had a very interesting tour of the Light house, which is still in operation, and walked back along the coastal walking trail, which had great views. The round trip, with coffee at the Light House, took us about 4 hours. We saw a whale calf near the Light House and several pods of dolphins near the beach. In the town we saw New Age shops, a Buddhist group marching and Hare Krishna group singing in the Park. We visited a Christian Church that reaches out to the Community. 
View of Byron Bay from Light house

Clarke's Beach, near our van park

Tallow Beach from the Light House

walk up to the light house from Clarkes Beach

Cape Byron Light house

Cape Byron Light house

clear waters for whale watching and dolphins at Cape Byron
Most easterly point of Australia

View from Cape Byron Light house

Views of Byron Bay

Coastal walk on  Cape Byron

View of Byron Bay and mountains

Palm Valley walk is oldest Aboriginal settlement in Byron