Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Travelling south

I love the NSW South Coast. It's less busy than its northern cousin; could be because it's a bit cooler in general and quite bitter in winter. Most people aspire to travelling north from Sydney. If you travel far enough north, you hit Queensland. This is supposed to be a bonus. Wow! Queensland is glitzy - think white clothes and gold sandals, girls - and it's the place where school leavers go to party after twelve years of teachers and books. Queensland is shopping malls and nightclubs. It's hot and humid. It also has some extremely beautiful natural wonders and exquisite beaches, but it's the south coast that tugs at my heart.

Here's a snapshot of my holiday there last month... maybe you can see why I love it. Bear in mind the temperatures here were warm; in Sydney (and Queensland) the beaches you see in these photos would be crowded. Sadly in saving these pics in Photoshop they have lost a bit of their vibrant colour as I used the 'save for web and devices' option. Just turn the brightness on your monitor to full.

Here is the Sea Cliff Bridge at Coalport, north of Wollongong. We stopped here for some birdwatching, watching raptors soar high above us. Look far into the distance for the southernmost suburbs of Sydney, and wave them goodbye.

What's a seaside trip without a lighthouse? This lovely specimen is at Kiama. Below it on the cliffs is a blowhole. The tide wasn't very high so it wasn't blowing too much. T'other half suggested that it was turned down because it was midweek and outside tourist season :-).

And here's our piece of paradise, our cottage where we spent our honeymoon three years ago:

This place is my secret. I've been coming to this house for ten years. I shared it firstly with a special friend from the UK. True love in the romantic sense never eventuated, but he is still one of my closest and most loved friends. It felt funny when I brought my husband here for our honeymoon... I was so used to visiting with Pete! Anyway, the interior is simple and limewashed, with seaside touches that aren't quaint or trite. It simply feels like home. There are no signs telling you where to put your rubbish etc, the fridge is stocked with generous breakfast goodies, and you can smell the sea from the balcony.

And here is the beach in question, in sunshine and sunset. We swam at all hours of the day depending on what else we were doing. Two days we swam at sunset, cooling off after a warm day's sightseeing.

The local river spills out into the sea... here is the view from a couple of hundred metres in the other direction:

The beaches here are pristine. Locals take pride in their environment, and arrange working bees to clean the beaches. But who would want to litter these lovely natural spaces? There are plenty of litter bins about, and we never saw anything on the beaches that wasn't washed up by the tide (which we removed and binned) or was of the sea itself.
Couldn't help clowning around...
Below , the rocks of Tuross Head. Around the point there is a perfectly good swimming beach, but these pics below remind me of the wildness of the south coast, the hazards for the unwary boatman. I've been here on windy days where the spray hits the top of the cliff and the headlands are shrouded in mist.
Even better is Bingi National Park:
On the little narrow road leading out to Bingi, we saw something most townies never get to see - a mob of wild kangaroos. This photo is just a fraction of them. We estimated there were well over 100 of them! They were grazing in the paddocks beside the road, and at first we thought there were only a dozen. But then we saw movement in the long grass as more and more of them brought their heads up to look at our car. A big male, clearly a leader, came closest and saw for a good ten minutes staring us down. Something spooked them eventually and they were off, bounding gracefully in several directions. Around ten of them jumped across the road in front of us, one after the other. My friends from Scotland got brilliant pics of that. It was a superb moment, seeing these lovely animals in their own environment.

And from the golden sands to the peculiarity that is Guerilla Bay - it reminds me of a Greek island. Very rocky, shingles, whitish sand.

And here's Guerilla Bay at the busiest I've ever seen it:

Magic, eh? It's my dream to live down there one day... away from the hustle and bustle, shopping at the local farmers' markets, walking on the beach all year round, riding my bike on the quiet roads down to the beach...


  1. mob of kangaroos!!!!
    how wonderful : )

    I am envious of your beach photos and miss living closer to the ocean. It is my dream to settle down on the beach as well - though on the North Atlantic coast. Looks like you had a beautiful holiday.

  2. Hi Velouria, we had a superb time. My grandparents used to live on Sydney's northern beaches, and my school holidays would be spent at their house. You walked out the back gate onto Narrabeen beach - blissful miles of golden sand in both directions. I've always loved the sound of the sea and the silken feel of it.

    The kangaroos were just astounding. We'd taken our friends to a wildlife park with tame kangaroos you can pat, and they enjoyed that, but seeing them as they should be, especially in full graceful flight, was breathtaking.