DIARY/PHOTO JOURNAL - Page 19
Week 24 - August 27, 2018 - September 02, 2018
We anticipated this week to be a bit of a week in travel mode as we wanted to drive along the Gold Coast (South Pacific Ocean - along the Coral Sea to the Tasman Sea), with a brief inland jaunt to Dorrigo National Park.
Beautiful beaches were found along the way and we stopped off at Woolgoolga (Woopi) for the night. We even found a raucous bat colony viewable from the road and a few other fun attractions.
Differing views of the coastline coming into Woolgoolga Woolgoolga beaches
Cool life in the tide pools - crustacean-like critter and unusual sea-grass Bat (flying fox) colony
Two of Gerson's favorite things, Bunnings and Giant Prawns
Since we were in the area, we
had to stop off at the Big Banana, a rather large banana (like the Prawn) with
many tourist shops and restaurants nearby. It was a good excuse to take a
break for lunch before driving Cinderoo up rather steep and windy roads to get
to Dorrigo National Park.
Big Banana photo op
Views to Coffs Harbor and the countryside east of Dorrigo National Park
The drive to Dorrigo was
along a road aptly named 'Waterfall Way' and although we did not take side trips
to see the many waterfalls, the drive itself was beautiful. The town of
Dorrigo obviously supported the surrounding farms and ranches and we found it
quaint and charming. We happened upon a 'campground' that was located next
to Dangar Falls and upon arrival, booked two nights as we were in love with the
place. The 'campground' was the 'backyard' of an old
ranch-house-turned-lodge and overseen by Bill, the 89-year old patriarch of the
family that owned the land. Our view was of acres and acres of rolling
hills, forests and the cows that grazed upon them.
Waterfall Way was well-named Our campsite and view (near Dangar Falls)
Gerson enjoying his bonfire view
Having fun with the locals
Dorrigo National Park is a
small park, yet packed with rainforest beauty and has an intimate feel that you
do not usually get with national parks. We visited the information center
and we were off to take in the views from the skywalk (long wooden 'pier'
floating over the valley) and to visit the Crystal Shower Falls.
Unfortunately, the famed walk behind the Crystal Shower Falls was closed (or so
we were told) for unstable rocks; however, we carefully inspected the supposed
dangerous area and determined it safe enough for us to enjoy our
behind-the-scenes look at the waterfall.
Very cool tiled murals at the Dorrigo National Park center Skywalk view did not disappoint
Gerson lost amongst the trees Crystal Shower Falls and I am there somewhere (2nd picture)
Gerson inspecting the waterfall Beautiful place to be
Before we ventured a further up the Waterfall Way, we had a spontaneous lunch on the park-provided bbq situated in the middle of the forest. It was a perfect time to break out the T-bones and salad and enjoy a delicious lunch within the rainforest. Then, it was off to take a bit of a drive to get to the Ebor Falls and walk off our lunch.
Master BBQ'r Gerson
Our drive through Dorrigo National Park
Views along the Waterfall Way Ebor Falls from different viewpoints
We got back to our camp just in time to make a quick walk to our neighboring Dangar Falls and liked it so much, we returned the next morning to enjoy the falls in the sunlight. Nothing like being able to walk from Cinderoo to a beautiful waterfall in a matter of minutes.
Dangar Falls got a bit chilly when the sun went down
Dangar Falls from above and down the river a bit
Dorrigo National Park was a place we would return to, especially to just hang out on the ranch. But alas, we were looking to get to Sydney by the next week so we were off heading south along the coast, once again. And, as we have found before, some of our unplanned stops were the most enjoyable. One of these places was South West Rocks. South West Rocks is a place of jutting rock formations that create many bays that are outstanding for surfing and swimming. It is also bordered by the South West Rocks Creek that creates a dreamlike environment for walkers. And, recognizing Cinderoo's specialness (and compact size), the caravan park assigned us a cozy, 'absolute' oceanfront nook that overlooked Horseshoe Bay (aka: Ladies Bathing Bay).
The name of Ladies Bathing
Bay came about because there was a time wherein the men and women had to 'bathe'
in the ocean at different beaches so this little bay was allocated for the
ladies. Although the larger, southern-neighboring beach called Trial Bay
was for the men, methinks the women got the better of the beaches. And,
seeing as Trial Bay was overlooked by the Trial Bay Gaol (pronounced 'jail')
where many convicts were housed, perhaps there was a subtle message to the men.
Cinderoo's view was superb! Walk along South West Rocks Creek and locals on an SUP
Walk to Back Beach
What a difference a day makes - and a little wind
Trial Bay Gaol
We trundled southward and
stopped in at various beaches to confirm their translucent blue-green waters and
to take in the beauty of a lighthouse or two. You might think the beaches
repetitious; however, the vision of the sun-sparkled ocean and the reflection of
blues and greens that only nature can produce, creates a de-stressing sigh every
time. And, finding a native critter or two is always an exciting plus
during our stops.
A late arrival near Seal Rocks was rewarded with this sunset A few steps from our campground and Voila!
View to Lighthouse Bay View to Treachery Beach
Sugarloaf Lighthouse standing guard over Seal Rocks and Lighthouse Bay Diamond (Carpet) Python
Bennett Beach near Hawkes Nest
Since we had done such a good job on seeing many beaches along the Gold Coast, we decided to reward ourselves with a little inland journey to a small town called Cessnock. Our reward was a visit to the wine country for a local wine and cheese tour. Needless to say, we acquired a few enjoyable souvenirs.
Wine tour companions (from Sydney and thereabouts) A couple of photo ops
Spur-Winged Plover mom chasing me away from her nest
Gerson enjoying his cheese pairings
Another wonderful week and looking forward to next week and all about Sydney!
Home Page Diary Page 18 Diary Page 20 Diary Index