570. Sunday 24th September 2017. Long drives, birthday party and Bi-Centennial Park…

Thursday 21st September

Hi Ho it’s on the road we go.

I had set a goal to get away from home, at the latest, by 10am.  Regular readers will know that usually my target times are never achieved. We somehow drag the chain and are late by an hour or so. Today, by some miracle we were on the road by 8.30.

Another miracle occurred when we arrived in Port Macquarie 7.5 hours later.

So we spent a pleasant night with Tony and Dawn, a great dinner and too much dessert.

Friday 22nd September

Away by 9.30 and arrived in Gymea, south of Sydney by 3pm.

Saturday 23rd September

Away by 8am and arrive at Corrimal to start packing and tidying and arranging the remaining furniture and boxes of household items for Errol and Nicole who have moved to Victoria. The removalist was scheduled to arrive at 12 noon. We called him, he said he was caught in traffic and would be here by 1pm.  We were due at a 60th Birthday party for Wayne M at 2.30. By 2.15 the removalist had not arrived and was no longer answering his phone. We arranged for a neighbour to supervise the loading and left for the party. Later we found the removalist did not arrive until sometime after 4pm.

The party was a nice mix of people, friends, family, and past work colleagues. New South Wales and Queensland were in the grip of an unseasonal heat wave with temps in the low 30’s.The party was held in Wayne’s 2 story “Man Cave”. I was able to catch up with old work colleagues from 30 plus years ago. A nice afternoon. Thanks for the invite Wayne.

Sunday 24th September

Back in Gymea we went to Homebush Bay and Sydney Olympic Park for a picnic. The area is a huge park area including the Olympic Stadium (now called ANZ Stadium), Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney Showgrounds and Bi-Centennial Park on the shore of Homebush Bay.

We took a walk around Brickpit Ring an 18.5m high 550m circular raised walkway above the old Sydney Brick quarry. During construction of Sydney Olympic precinct this abandoned site (filled with rain water) was earmarked for a 300 million dollar hotel. Before construction began it was found to be the habitat of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog. The hotel plans were cancelled and the Ring Walk was created above the brick pits. The loss of the hotel saved the habitat of the frogs.

250917 ring walk
This was the old brick pits destined to be the underground carpark for a M$300,000,000 hotel. Then an endangered frog species, the Green and Golden Bell Frog was found in the walls around the water. The hotel development was cancelled.
250917 ring walk1
The completed Ring Walk and the flooded brickpits. The frogs love it.

Next we walked to Homebush Bay to seek out more wrecks not found on our last visit in May this year.

250917 karangi wreck
Remains of the wreck of the SS KARANGI.

It is little realised that the Bay area was deemed contaminated with a range of dioxins, including Agent Orange when Union Carbide used the bay as a dumping ground. Fishing and even swimming is still prohibited. In fact at one stage Sydney Harbour itself was declared unsafe to take and eat fish. The bans stayed in place until around 2000 when just the area around Homebush Bay was declared still unsafe. Still it is a lovely bay with lots of bird and marine life including a healthy mangrove system.

Bi-Centennial Park, like Centennial Park before it, were both built on reclaimed and mostly drained swamp and is a popular place for family picnics and riding bicycles.

250917 boardwalk
Boardwalk through the remaining mangrove swamp.



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