Calmness of Port Stephens

Trip Start Jul 23, 2008
Trip End Jul 06, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, July 9, 2009

So i made a quick getaway from the busy bustling city of Sydney after i felt i had seen the main bits and was very happy with my time there.  Maybe after Tassie, too much city is too much for me now..hehe.
Aboot 3 1/2 hours north is a huge port, twice the size of Sydney harbour apparently.  The area is called Port Stephens, which includes all the surrounding towns and bay.  There seemed to be a lot to do in this area as well as nothing at all if you choose.  I stayed in a very quaint camp/lodge type thing with different cabins and very friendly and helpful hosts which always makes my stay better.  Its a very quiet time of year there so that was nice.

It was very cold however at night as there is no heating or insulation but i did survive indeed, 4 blankets, 2 jumpers, a hood later.  The lodge had some wildlife going on as well which was great, nothing scary either.  They have a pet kangaroo who couldn't make in the wild (healthlwise) and she has loads of room to run around and seems happy, there is an owl who i never saw,, koalas in the trees, dogs and possums who are just scavengers and must noise on the roof.  As well as the beach only being a 5 min walk away.

So it's obviously not the season to get wet, however, it is perfect for whale watching.  Apparently it's the whale and dolphin capital of Oz.  The humpback whales are now migrating up north not too far from the coast so there are a plehtora to see.  It was a new experience for me and whales i did see, 3 swimming along, coming up for air every 5-7 mins blowing their holes...they are huge. We followed them along for a good while. I was only able to see their tails and backs but still amazing and still could get the idea of how big they are, 50 ft or so.  Their pure size was mesmerizing.  Then on the way back in, we saw a pod of dolphins feasting as it was dinner time (dusk), they came right up to the boat and swam was beautiful.  So can't complain, maybe it is the whale and dolphin capital.

Another main attraction of this area is Stockton Bight, the largest sand dunes in the southern hemisphere, 32km by 1km.  I was hoping to do some 4x4ing and sand sledding but the weather did not allow.  So i at least pedalled my ass (using the hostel bikes) down to the coast to catch a glimpse...and yes they are neverending.  Check!

There we have it...the peeps in this area are defo much friendlier.  But i suppose that is expected in a small town compared to a big city.  So much so that while i was riding back on the bike in the pissing rain, a guy stopped and picked me up and drove me back...i love nice people!   So i had a great stay, even in the rain and the cold.
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