Trip Start Nov 06, 2009
Trip End May 28, 2011

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Where I stayed
Currawong Beach Cottages

Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unions NSW very kindly arranged for Chris and I to stay at Currawong Beach Cottages this weekend.

Currawong is a beautiful place about an hour and a half's bus ride out of Sydney, on the edge of the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park (where Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was filmed), near Palm Beach (famous for also doubling as Home & Away's 'Summer Bay').

The Labor Council of NSW acquired the 23 hectares of beach and bushland back in 1949 in celebration of the establishment of the 40 hour week, in order to provide budget beach holidays for union members and their families.

The site has 9 cottages, an original homestead called Midholme, a conference centre, a mini golf course, tennis/basketball court, and a freshwater creek running through it. It's only accessible by water and there are no shops at all - factors which only add to its appeal - so you have to get there by boat and take all your supplies with you.

So we packed the essentials and enough food and wine for two days and caught the bus to Palm Beach straight after work on Friday evening. From there we caught a water taxi over to Currawong where we were greeted by Russell Worthington, who runs the place with his wife Wendy. They're both absolutely lovely people and made us feel very welcome.

Russell showed us to our cottage, named 'Blue Tongue' (after the lizard - all the cottages are  named after a local animal which was right on the beach, told us a bit about what there was to see and do, and advised us to keep the bid lids securely fastened to avoid the local fauna attacking them - mainly brush turkeys, possums and wallabies. He also pointed out a rather pregnant one of the latter grazing on a bush a few yards away as we chatted. 

The cottages were built in the fifties and are quite basic, with no TV, radio or phone (nevermind wifi!), and an outside loo, but they're very cosy, and have everything we needed for a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.

We passed the time reading/ running/ walking/ golfing/ kayaking by day, and reading/Scrabbling (until Chris got bored of losing)/ eating and wine-drinking by night.

The area is stunning. We breakfasted whilst admiring the view out across the water to Palm Beach, watching a beautiful pair of friendly rosellas (Aussie equivalent of British sparrows) prune each other on the balcony, reading the weekend papers (delivered by the first ferry of the day), and getting lots of reading done (finished The Sound of No Hands Clapping by Toby Young and started The Pilot's Wife by Anite Shreve).

We took a long run/walk along a bush trail around the local area, along Currawong beach, Makarel Beach and Resolution Beach, and through the national park. Along the way we spotted a kookaburra and a brush turkey (bit like our turkeys but a bit dafter-looking) and visit an aboriginal rock shelter and midden (a site with aboriginal tool, food and charcoal remains) and a couple of aboriginal engraving sites. The engravings were pretty cool - ancient (possibly 2000 years old) pictures of men and fish and kangaroos carved into the rocks by the Guringai people who lived in the area.

Chris tried to teach me how to play golf on the six hole course. Unfortunately the clubs must have been faulty as the ball just wouldn't go in the direction we hit it. Chris was only very marginally less rubbish than me. Pointless 'sport' anyway.

Kayaking on the other hand is a far more worthwhile activity. We kayaked along the coast to The Basin (another charming little beach next to Currawong Beach) and back - without capsizing, whoop whoop! Chris did decide to jump off the wharf for a full dip afterwards, but didn't stay in very long (not even he is derranged enough to swim in waters that cold!)

We had such a great time in Currawong and didn't want to leave - if only we could wake up to the sight of rosellas, wallabies and clear blue water every morning!

Thank you very very much Unions NSW!
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Michael on

Fabulous! But you deserve it after your hard work for the Union!

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