SOUTH TO CROWDY HEAD
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
DIAMOND HEAD CAMP GROUND
CROWDY BAY NATIONAL PARK via Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Ocean Drive
Campground Diamond Head - $10pppn
Weather sunny, blue sky, 26-30 degrees
We are back on the road. Highway 1/ Pacific Highway through Kempsey is disgraceful and dangerous. Did we hear on the radio today that the Transport Minister has announced a brand new Kempsey bypass? It is needed!!
Port Macquarie was our lunch stop on Sunday and the town has a lovely holiday feel to it. We gobbled up local flathead and chips in the newly developed foreshore park and did some grocery shopping! On this glorious blue sky day the Port was a happy place to be!
We followed the Ocean road south listening to the Australian Masters Golf Tournament on the radio; it was strange to follow the commentary stroke by stroke without TV pictures. We still don't know who won three days later. The 5km road into Diamond Head campground was stony and corrugated and so we were relieved to check in with the caretaker and park the van. After that the golf was forgotten!
Wow! This is perfect beachside camping and the crowded campground was testimony to the beauty, convenience and facilities here. Flush toilets, cold showers, fireplaces and car based camping- BYO drinking water.
Linda and Jane, our camp neighbours lived in Bonny Hills only 20 mins away and had come to try out their new caravan and take surfing lessons. They have a painting/decorating business and had retired to Port Mac. in their 40’s from Sydney because they were tired of the hectic pace and later moved to a new house on the ocean at Bonny Hills with the intention of running a small part time business. They soon found themselves in demand in their new town, they haven’t learnt to say "no" and their business increased, until now they are 7 days a week busy!! So they talked about plans to downsize again! And with surfing added to their bushwalking and long distance bike riding skills, life on the road sounds good.
Strangely their friend who had been with them but had to leave camp unexpectedly, was from Dover, the town in Tasmania that we are going to. So we invited her to look us up when she gets back there! Small world!
Crowdy Bay! Guess who named it??? Well you were right if you guessed Captain Cook who saw a crowd of aboriginals on the land (with his binoculars – Sheila says binoculars were not invented then- or eye glass, or whatever) when he sailed by in 1770. He called it Crowded Bay, which in a typically Aussie way was changed to Crowdy Bay later. Apparently descendants of the original inhabitants of the area still live around here today.
The Crowdy Bay NP has long stretches of beaches and dramatic headlands and rocky out crops.
We tackled the 5 km headland track a little late on Monday morning and it was a hot day to tackle the steep incline but the views, different types of forest and pretty wildflowers kept us distracted and oohing and aahing.
It was another clear blue sky day and we really appreciated the beauty and isolation of the park. A wonderful 5km trek!
We plan to get hold of Aussie author Kylie Tennant’s book that she wrote during WW2 about the area and her life in the “wilderness”.
Two 5.15 am vigorous walks along the wide flat beach revealed 2 very different sun rises and counted for our daily aerobic exercise. We lifted weights on Monday morning as the resident kangaroos looked on and lounged about the camp site.PHOTO_ID_R=weights-are-hard-work.jpg]
Sheila unpacked and fired up our new Webber charcoal BBQ and we relished a meal of Italian lamb sausages, Greek style lamb steak and a side of dhal. Cheryl the addition of your chutney was a special touch! Sheila had to keep an eye on a kookaburra perched on the fence waiting for a chance to grab the meat.
No chance! We lingered over a nice bottle of Shiraz under the dark starry sky!
A severe electric storm came in close and was spectacular to watch as it went out to sea but at 10pm most campers were abed so no evening events were spoiled.
This has been another gorgeous camp ground on the NSW coast and another wonderful experience for us. There are so many national parks and well maintained camping spots on this coast that it is hard to choose but so far we have been delighted with our choices.
We have tried to not go too far off the Pacific Highway as we are conscious of our need to make Melbourne for our ferry departure to Tasmania on December 4, but this hasn’t been a problem as our camps have been very accessible.
Time to move on to our next destination!!