Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Where I stayed

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, November 15, 2009

NOVEMBER 12 2009


Mileage 6454kms

Hungry Camp $0; Hat Head CP $22.50 pn
Weather: Fine and sunny 25!

This coast is really beautiful and on this gorgeous sunny day it is hard to believe that huge rainfall early this week caused serious flooding of rivers and creeks in the area; the floods affected most towns and people were still cleaning up.

Coffs Harbour famously grows bananas but we gave up trying to find any local product on our way through and got our supply at the supermarket! We walked around the cute town of Sawtell hoping to find a bakery with delicious delicacies but failed again and made do with a Vegemite sandwich prepared in the van for our coffee stop! Yes we are too picky but lamingtons, scones and fake-cream cakes are not really appealing or tempting!

After a drive around Hat Head and South West Rocks we made our way carefully to Hungry Camp Area in the Hat Head National Park. The 3 km road into the camp had been badly damaged by the heavy rain and Sheila negotiated the gutters and holes at around 10 kms per hour; fortunately the distance was short and finally over a creek crossing and we were "home".

Just 2 other campers there; we were disappointed when we raced up the sand dunes surrounding the camp ground and found more dunes with the beach/ocean far in the distance; we had planned a swim in the ocean before settling in. 

The facilities were limited to pit toliets and fireplaces and that is great because the less facilities, the less campers!

These surprises (no beach) happen when you are exploring new territory so we trekked around the dunes and decided on an early dinner with plans to find a new place tomorrow. Dinner was a delicious chicken, chickpea and spinach stew with Moroccan spices prepared from scratch on our gas cooker served with our newly discovered favourite grain- Quinoa.

The night was clear and starry but later on, clouds covered the stars and light rain awoke us. What if the rain got heavy? Could we get out? Oh well nothing to be done at 2am so went back to sleep. Fortunately the rain remained light and we packed up and departed around 8am under a very dark grey sky.

We headed for the nearby Smoky Cape Lighthouse (built in 1890) which looked a lot like the Byron Bay cape and structure. Apparently Captain Cook gave this cape its name when he noticed smoke from aboriginal fires there, as he sailed by in 1770 –very creative eh? Because of the plentiful supply of fish and bush food there was a large population of aboriginal people in this area but!-  same old story- as white people moved in they were pushed out! The view from here was spectacular and as the dark skies were clearing we decided to do some more touring around this lovely area.

At the Lighthouse, we chatted with Jamie and Sam, a young couple travelling Australia like us with no specific timetable or destination and said “see you on the road” and then saw them three times more in Hat Head. I guess we will run into people again and again that we meet along the way

Eventually the decision was made to move into the Hat Head Caravan Park surrounded by beach and creek, and because channel 9 was showing Tiger Woods golfing in Melbourne; after a reconnaissance of our new surroundings, sheila settled in to enjoy the Australian Masters. We are thrilled with the clarity of the picture on our new TV!

This is another fabulous little coastal town dominated by a beautifully maintained and positioned caravan park, surrounded by national park with just a general store, tiny church and library and Bowling Club/bar.

Hat Head was named because it looks like hat from the sea; it's a green headland and on a perfect beach and strange tidal creek that runs blood red at low tide because of the ti-trees.

This morning we trekked the Korogora Creek track that gave great views over the ocean and headlands; the track was a bit dodgy in sections where the heavy rain had damaged it. At one stage we thought we had lost the track but obviously found it again!!  

Anyway it was a lot tougher trek than we anticipated and we were happy to reach the end of the circuit and get back to the van for a bacon and egg sandwich and coffee.

Sheila is back with Tiger, Kath is reading the newspapers and writing this blog. Reading the news, you feel remote and unconnected to life in the city; good or bad thing? Not sure!!

Fishing is huge here; everyone has a boat to fish at sea or a line .A family of mum, dad and 3 kids under 5 who were all fishing off the bridge over the creek pointed out the bream, whiting, mullet and flathead swimming below to us. We didn't tell them that we had never been fishing! this will change I'm sure! 
Sheila was happy to see 2 mantarays in the same creek, the next morning on her way to meet Kath to view the sunrise; yes it was 5.00am!

Warm sunny days, swimming in the cool creek and gorgeous calm ocean,strolling along the beach, trekking national park tracks and exploring the residential streets kept us in shape.

We keep on asking "Is this real?"-  "yes it really is!!!"
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