Cruising NSW: Kiama – Tuross Heads

Trip Start Apr 05, 2011
Trip End Nov 15, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Monday, March 5, 2012

It was hard to get out of the luxurious bed that just engulfed us in sheer comfort at Englefield. As always Paul and Di had been magnificent hosts and brilliant company, however it was time to say goodbye and continue our journey south.

We were keen to skirt Sydney as we just couldn't see the fun in traversing the center of the city with the big white beast in tow.  Our first stop over along the NSW south coast was the picturesque seaside town of Kiama.  We have visited Kiama many a time and always loved it, however having been traveling around Australia and visiting so many delightful towns it is amazing how it still stood out as one of the most stunning coastal towns we have been too.

Set along rugged cliff tops and bays lined with Norfolk Island Pines it has a real old world charm about it.  From the quaint harbor to the array of neat little protected beaches to the rolling green hills that create such a magnificent backdrop to the west, it is simply breathtaking in every direction.

Whilst our time here was tainted by dull, drizzly weather we still managed to do a fantastic walk along the coast from Easts Beach to Kiama Harbour.  A steep set of stairs at the end of Easts Beach led up onto the headlands, here we traversed the cliff which afforded us generous views along the rugged coastline. Then it was down hillsides up more stairs and across the beaches of Kendall and Surf.  Along the way we stopped off at the Little Blowhole which was really performing with tall spurts of water shooting into the air, the spray blowing back to shower us in a fine sea mist.

At the tip of the point where the lighthouse sits tall and proud, the famous Kiama Blowhole was having the day off much to the chagrin of the awaiting tourists.  We continued our walk through town and meandered along the row of delightful terrace shops before making our way back along the coast.  Having walked the best part of 12kms we decided we deserved to go and sit in the spa for half an hour, it was ever so relaxing!

On Day two we took a gorgeous scenic drive up through Berry and Kangaroo Valley stopping in Bowral to visit our dear Aunt Jacqueline.  The drive was delightful as it wound its way over hill and down dale, around mountain sides, all a vivid healthy shade of green.  It had been a good few years since we had last seen Jacqueline and it was so nice to spend some time with her catching up on family news.

From Bowral we headed back over to the coast to Stanwell Park so we could follow the Grand Pacific Drive back down to Kiama.  The drawcard and highlight of this drive being the well engineered Sea Cliff Bridge which juts out into the Pacific Ocean as it snakes its way along the edge of the cliffs.  We enjoyed hugging the coast and visiting the nooks and crannies which we have so often missed in a rush to get south.

Next stop was the Murramarang National Park which stretches between the coastline and the Princes Highway from Kioloa in the north to North Head Beach in the South.  Years ago we used to visit a secluded little bay which housed Pebbly Beach, a little haven where kangaroos grazed the green grass and sunbaked along the casual sandy beach and we were keen to revisit.

A steep and narrow descent into Pebbly Beach excluded us from taking the van in to camp and so we stayed at the Depot Beach Campground nearby.  We had the most picturesque site surrounded by native trees and ferns with a deep gully behind us filled with dense green foliage complimenting the tall spotted gums which were standouts.  There were kangaroos grazing throughout the camping area and the small number of private homes which make up the sleepy hamlet of Depot Beach township.

Across the road the beach itself was delightful, set in a secluded bay with flat rocks stretching out into the ocean at either end.  The water was the most gorgeous aqua green and dolphins delighted us as they made their way across the bay.

Being that it rained all night then chopped and changed from drizzle to rain during the day our activities were unfortunately limited.  It was torture to be in such a magnificent area and be limited by the weather.  We revisited the beautiful Pebbly Beach and as expected were greeted by kangaroos.  We walked around the inlet at North Durras, another sleepy old fashioned seaside holiday destination where the kangaroos just loiter around the streets and pelicans await scraps from a good days fishing.

A dozen or so king parrots and crimson rozellas made our awning their home during the inclement weather, perched atop our chairs, table, doors, van awning arms, anything other than a tree branch, they were a pleasure to have around with their bright colouring such a contrast to the muted tones of the surrounding bush.

Whilst we would have loved some fine weather to go snorkeling, put the kayaks in, take in some walks and sit around a nice camp fire each evening we accepted that we were lucky to be in such a naturally beautiful place and settled for the sound of the rain upon our roof and watching the mist roll in and out of the rainforest behind us.

When our friends, Jim and Christine suggested we meet them at their holiday in Tuross Heads we were delighted.  We enjoyed the scenery as we travelled down the coast and whilst it was still overcast we tended to get more of a drizzle than heavy rain.  At Tuross Heads we found yet another gem of a spot.  Set out on a point surrounded by ocean, it is also home to an inlet and lake so there are very few, if any houses in the township which do not have a water view.

The holiday house had the most amazing views sitting high above the river inlet looking over the sea to Potato Point, the outlook fringed with Norfolk Island Pines.  It was so nice to catch up with Jim and Chris, we felt so comfortable sitting around the fire with a glass of red wine, chatting away and to our delight they had brought their dogs along for the weekend so we could get a dog fix as well.

Jim and Christine were celebrating a ten year anniversary and were kind enough to share the celebration with us at a fabulous little restaurant on the water.  It was a great place to sit, reminisce and sip on Moet (yes, Moet, we like Jim and Chris’s celebrations!) as the sun faded

Taking the dogs for a walk the following morning we were delighted when we encountered not only one but two echidnas.  The first was crossing a wide open paddock posing happily for photographs whilst the second was taking a morning stroll along the footpath!  Tuross was a delightful place to walk around, sleepy and laidback there is a view in every direction.

Jim kindly drove us down to Central Tilba, a charmingly quaint town set in the slopes of Gulaga.  A former gold mining town, the main street is laced with gorgeous old weatherboard cottages now housing quaint retail gift shops which easily take care of an afternoon wondering in and out admiring their wares.  The main street is bookended by cheese shops, where the temptation of tasting is irresistible.   

Having had a lovely time, we bid farewell, leaving the big white beast at Tuross Heads and drove unencumbered to Canberra for an overnight visit with my dear sister Louise.  The drive along the Kings Highway was stunning, the long elegant trunks of the spotted gums contrasting with the dark dense foliage of the forest.  As we turned through the switchbacks up the steep side of Mount Clyde we were ever so glad the van was not behind us!

We made a quick detour to drop by our friends, the Elsoms and our timing was perfect for Lisa had been baking, it would have been rude not to indulge in a tasting!  Having not seen sons, Harrison and Cooper for almost five years it goes without saying that they had really grown.   Again it was lovely to catch up with good friends which we just never get to spend enough time with.

We arrived at Louise’s just in time to go next door for the inaugural street 'Red Faces’ competition.  It was an entertaining evening with all the acts being worthy of a professional gig.  From counting cards, toilet humour, poetry, instrumentals and dance it was a laugh.  We enjoyed meeting Louise’s partner Oscar and of course spending time with our nephews and niece, we just never seem to have enough time with them.

Leaving Canberra it was a bright a sunny day, the sky a brilliant blue and we were pleased to find that as we headed back across the mountain that the coast too had been blessed with a glorious day.  We spent another night at Tuross Heads and marveled in the view from the house seen under a blue sky, the water colour was magnificent shades of blue and green, it will be a shame to leave.

Highlights of Kiama to Tuross Heads:

-          Kiama coastal walk

-          Catching up with Aunty Jacqueline

-          Depot Beach Campground – despite the constant rain!

-          Tuross Heads – location and catching up with Jim and Chris

-          Seeing two echidnas in one walk!

-          Catching up with Dick, Lisa, Harrison and Connor

-          Meeting Oscar and of course as always spending time with Louise, James, Zachary and Hannah
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Jim and Chris on

It was good to catch up. Another good article. Pity about the big Wet. Keep on liven the Dream.

JD and CA

Val S. on

Just noted that the great trip started on April 5, 2011, then a lot of green dots and then the word 'ongoing' ... lots of stories, pictures and friends along the way... how good can life get... yes, just keep the dream alive and safe travels!

Linda Morgan (Shephard) on

Very well written Lyndal. I love that coastline. my brother in law has a holiday home in Tourros Heads - i have cought a few flathead there - great for fishing. i particularly loved Tilba and went whale watching at Narooma which is close by - now that was awesome!!

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