Tag: Flynn’s Beach

652. Thursday 29th November to Sunday 2nd December 2018. A walk along the beaches and clifftops followed by a long drive home visiting new locations…

Thursday 29th November

I WILL FINISH THE WEEK WITH A HUGE PHOTO POST.

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Looking towards Flynn’s Beach.
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The Cormorants know a good drying off spot. Nobody can sneak up on them here.

Today a chill wind was blowing and rain threatening all day.

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Rocky Beach was named because it was more rock than beach. Over the last 20 years the sand has built up considerably.

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Tony and I dropped Dawn at a shopping centre where we left his car. We then drove i30 to Flynns Beach.

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A little experiment here at Flynn’s Point. I converted to black and white but retained the grass colour.
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More padlocks in the cliffs above Flynn’s Point. Another experiment as I retained the sky and sea colour and all else is black and white.
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On cliffs above Rocky Beach
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In some places padlocks are a no no and councils and Main Roads workers use bolt cutters to remove them.
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Flagstaff Hill. Through the trees you can see the flagpole in the centre of the photo. Also in the trees is a bridge to take you to the knoll of a hill.
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Rocks at south end of Town Beach.

We left the car and began the coastal walk with much of it along clifftops  via several clifftops and beaches to Town Beach and the Hastings River mouth and long, long rock breakwater wall.

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The Town Beach wall and Breakwater wall are made with huge granite rocks. It has become somewhat fashionable to write family messages, love poems, memorials or whatever you want to write provided it is clean. A few years back the Council declared it would wage war on the perpetrators for defacing public property. The backlash against Council was enough for them to back peddle and leave the Iconic attraction alone.

Along a steep stairway a young Water Dragon was sitting on a step. It was his step and no way was he going to move. We stepped around him and stopped for photos and he continued to pose. He is a lovely Dragon.

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This Water Dragon was not intimidated by people walking up and down the stairs. He just fixed them with and inscrutable stare until they moved on.
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Paper daisies. These flowers -once upon a time in the dark recesses of global changes – were once native only on the nearby islands. With the lowering of the sea level the islands became part of the mainland. So did the flowers.

At town beach the strong cold south westerly wind was blowing the tops off the waves and making for some good surfing conditions at near full tide.

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The strong south westerly offshore wind was enough to hold the waves into a fast tight barrel enjoyed by surfers.
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Double take off. One goes right, one goes left. You can just see the weed lurking under the water.
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There was a lot of weed in the water. Enough to brush against a surfers legs while he was waiting for a wave and giving him a fear of SHARK!

It was cold though as every surfer was wearing a wet suit.

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Tight fast turns even in wet suits were enjoyed. The water temp was about 18 degrees with a chilly south westerly.
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There were some good surfers out there.

At the end of our walk at the Edmund Barton Centre is a statue in honour of Sir Edmund Barton, the first Prime Minister of Australia.

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Sir Edmund Barton, First Prime Minister of Australia.

It is sad to realise that the average citizen could not tell you the name of the first Prime Minister. Yet, and here is the sad part, the average US citizen can tell you the name of the first US President. Ironically the average Aussie could have a reasonably good guess as to the first US President but not the name of our first Prime Minister.

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Wharf at the Edmund Barton Centre Port Macquarie.

Tonight we went out to dinner for a Chinese Smorgasbord then it was back downtown to Edmund Barton Centre where the lighting of the Christmas tree and the street parade and fireworks took place.

A long and weary day.

Friday 30th November

Today started bright and sunny and the constant strong wind of the last 4 days was no longer evident.

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I thought this farmhouse was abandoned because of the condition of the walls and roof. It made a nice foreground bit of interest to the storm developing in the background.

We had a few things to take care of in the morning but after lunch we went on a road trip through Wauchope, the Kindee Valley

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I stepped out of the car to photograph an old farmhouse. A large thunderclap reminded me it was a bit exposed here so I took a photo of the brewing storm and jumped back in the car.
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We came around a corner and saw this scene of hills disappearing into hills with the low cloud and wisps of vapour rising from the trees and rain in the distance.

crossing the old Kindee Bridge,

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The mainly timber bridge over the Hastings River at Kindee. The storm had dumped a frightening amount of rain on the steep winding gravel roads we were driving on before we reached this location.
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Even the bridge supports are timber. Luckily the sun came out long enough for photos before the storm, or another one like the first, came back and threw around some wind rain and lighting.

built in 1936 as it crosses the Hastings River

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Hastings River Kindee.

and re-joined the Oxley Highway driving through Long Flat and back through Wauchope and on to Port Macquarie. As always seems to happen is we ran out of time and the weather was not suitable to explore Long Flat.

The Kindee Road is mostly gravel and winds up and down and around the hill country. We stopped a few times for photo opportunities especially when we saw an amazing storm building ahead of us. Soon that storm was dropping big fat raindrops and the sides of the road were soon filled with muddy brown running water winding down to Kindee Creek.

All in all a very nice Friday afternoon drive.

We still have not heard from the computer technician so rang them just before 5pm. They have not yet put the laptop on the test bench to look for the problem. Grrr! I know it is not my problem but this is poor service compared to what I am used to. They have had the laptop since Wednesday and promised results within 2 days.

Saturday 1st December

I was away from Port Macquarie around 9.30am. It was a lovely sunny day with a slight breeze. Later the slight breeze got a bit stronger. Coming from the north and bringing salty humidity. Of course this was not known to me as I was driving in air conditioned comfort. Once I stopped and stepped out of the car the gritty north easterly started slapping me around. The heat was tolerable but the humidity was uncomfortable.

My first stop was Shark Creek Bridge which was built around 1936 to replace an earlier bridge.

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Concrete bridge at Shark Creek. Not used since 1987.

In all the years I have travelled this section of highway I have promised myself to one day stop and have a look. Today was one day. The bridge was on the main highway and its design was set as a high arch bridge to allow cut sugar cane to be sent by barge to a mill further up the Clarence River. It replaced the earlier low level bridge which did not allow for barges to pass beneath. By the late seventies cane was no longer being shipped to the mill by barge and the bridge had outlived its usefulness. It was replaced by a new bridge in 1987. Ironically there will be a new highway which will bypass the drive along the Clarence River and is due to be completed by 2020.

Back on the road once more I saw a turnoff to two locations. One is Maclean, also on the Clarence and through which the highway once passed. An old bridge also spans the Clarence here.

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Bridge at McLean. Interestingly it is a two way bridge for only part of it. At each end it reverts to single lane allowing cars already on the bridge to give way to each other and other traffic in the middle.

The other location was Brooms Head on the coast.

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Looking North, Brooms Head.
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Brooms Head sheltered lagoon.

I have never been to Brooms Head so thought, “Why Not”. It is something like 27 Klms off the highway. It features a caravan park along a stretch of coast

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Part of the very popular campground, on the beach at Brooms Head.

with a lagoon formed by rocks and a reef along with a surf beach.

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Waves breaking over rocks into sheltered lagoon at Brooms Head.

At one end  is a headland with great views across the rocks and a beach in each to the north and south.

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Headland view at Brooms Head.

Once I stepped out of the air conditioned car the gritty salty humidity felt oppressive. Still, Donnis called me from frozen Canada and I was able to show her a video of the beach cliffs and rocks.

I still had time up my sleeve as I did not have to be home by a certain time and Queensland is an hour behind NSW.

After another 90 minutes I saw another coastal town I have never visited. Evans Head is just outside The Broadwater National Park.

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Main Beach at Evans Head.

This is another pretty out of the way beach town very popular with fishermen and campers. It sits at the mouth of the Evans River.

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Breakwater wall at Evans Head.

Both beaches produced a couple of Hmmm moments about a possible holiday there in the future. That said, South West Rocks a long way further south and which I visited on Monday feels more attractive and has more facilities.

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Rocky lagoon style swimming area at Evans Head.

Another two hours of driving, mostly at 110 Kph and I was home by 6.15pm. By the time I ate a light dinner, weariness caught up with me and I was struggling to stay awake after 8.30 pm.

Sunday 2nd December

Woke to a cool morning which was nice but it did not last long. The heatwave kicked in around mid- morning and the day just got grittier. Queensland is currently suffering over 100 bushfires and although not unprecedented was nonetheless not a usual situation. A fire was raging out of control on North Stradbroke Island and the air was thick with the smell of burning as well as a smokey haze hanging over the entire area. By mid afternoon the heat and humidity meant, stay indoors and turn on the air conditioning. Which I did. Once again by 8.30pm I was struggling to stay awake even though my bedroom was still not cooled by the AC I managed to fall asleep.

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498. Sunday 26th June 2016. A funeral, a look around Port Macquarie and a visit to Murwillumbah…

Monday 20th June.

Despite the overcast, rain and blustering, cold westerly wind I drove from Port Macquarie to Newcastle Crematorium at Beresfield. I had allowed three hours for the journey and even stopping for fuel and a coffee break I was still 90 minutes early.

As people arrived it was clear the small chapel was not going to hold all the mourners. Apart from family, relatives and friends, Bobby had a wide circle of people who respected him. After the chapel was filled it was standing room only – outside in the cold. Bobby’s daughter Libby, ably assisted by her brother Grant, gave a moving eulogy. Bobby was a member of the National Rifle Association of Australia and at one stage was coach of the junior team which toured overseas. Mourners from the club and other business customers from Coonabarabran joined family and friend s to pay their respects.

Libby commented that sometimes her father was a Grumpy Old Man but we loved him. Judging by the tears, the 12 grandchildren also loved him.

Goodbye Bobby.

After refreshments at Beresfield Bowling Club I drove back to Port Macquarie arriving well after dark. Within minutes I laid down and fell asleep for a couple of hours. It was a long day, including 6 hours of driving and an emotional event.

Tuesday 21st June.

I decided to stay another day so I could be refreshed for the drive back to the Gold Coast. I drove around looking at some of the many beaches around Port Macquarie.

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Town Beach

Town Beach is adjacent to the breakwater and marina wall. This wall is different to most I have seen elsewhere, almost every stone face is painted with a memorial or endless love sonnet or even just a memento of a visit.

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These are the painted rocks along the breakwater walkway.
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This man is painting his own message on one of the breakwater rocks.

There is a great deal of beach erosion, a legacy of the violent storm experienced all along the Eastern Seaboard of Australia a few weeks ago.

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Beach erosion along Town Beach from recent storms

It was here I watched the cargo ship, “ISLAND TRADER” enter the narrow seawall opening into the Hastings River and marina and canal residential community. The ship carries supplies to and from Lord Howe Island almost 600 Klms offshore. LHI is part of NSW and therefore part of Australia. Port Macquarie is the closest NSW port to LHI.

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Island Trader returning from Lord Howe Island.

Shelley Beach has a memorial to Harry Thompson who arrived with his family in a caravan in 1960.

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Shelley Beach
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Harry Thompson is silent sentinel over his Shelley Beach. Note the cleared understory of the beachside vegetation.
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Picnic shelter carved to represent the interior of Harry Thompsons caravan where he and his wife and son lived for 40 years.

Perhaps the best explanation of the story is from this Flikr Page.

 “In 1960 Harry and Jean Thompson moved from Warren in western NSW after winning the lottery and buying a caravan. Being from the bush, with no experience of the beach Harry got bogged in the sand at Shelly Beach at Port Macquarie on the NSW mid North Coast.

The Thompsons decided there and then that they had found their spiritual home and thereafter made their caravan their permanent home at beautiful Shelly Beach,

The Thompsons were long time unofficial caretakers of this idyllic Port Macquarie beach and in the process became legendary as they successfully garnered the support of Port Macquarie residents in their effort to resist many vigorous attempts by the local Port Macquarie – Hasting Shire Council to evict them from their self proclaimed beach side home.

Harry Thompson, died on 31st January 2000 at age 83 and the community began fund raising for a memorial, now evident at the northern end of Shelly Beach in the form of a wooden sculpture of Harry and interestingly, his caravan. The area has become known as ‘Harry’s Corner’ and a walking trail with 254 steps, all laboriously built by Harry, leads to a nearby lookout now known as ‘Harry’s Lookout’

Such was the fondness with which Harry was held he was elected citizen of the year in 1983 and in 1999 was proclaimed ‘Mayor of Shelly Beach’

 

In 2009 an unbelievable mindless act of vandalism saw the sculpture of Harry decapitated. Fortunately local builder and friend of Harry, Ted Sala, came to the rescue and repairs were made and Harry once again stands a silent sentinel watching over his beloved Shelly Beach.”

 

I also visited secluded Miners Beach now an unofficial nudist beach, and given the weather today very few people were seen, all dressed of course.

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Miners Beach. Note the Banksia.
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Little Miners Beach.

Most of the beaches on the south side of Port Macquarie are at the base of steep cliffs much dressed in native vegetation including the wonderful Banksia’s.

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Much of the cliffside around the Port Macquarie beaches have all native vegetation. Currently Hastings Council are removing non native species. These beautiful banksia frame the scenery.

A walk has been established from Town Beach all the way through the beaches as far as the Tacking Point Lighthouse.

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Tacking Point Lighthouse.

Nobby’s Beach is on this walk but does have a one way access road as well.

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Nobby’s Beach

At Flynns Beach

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Flynns Beach notice to weed brought in by recent storms.

I watched boogie board riders in shallow water in front of the cliff face.

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It was cold on the beach today but these wetsuit clad boogie board riders were enjoying themselves.
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This rider needs to be careful he does not bite off his tongue.
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These riders were following the break of the waves…towards the rock!

At the end of my journey was Tacking Point Lighthouse. The  lighthouse was built high on a rocky headland in 1879 and is listed on the National Trust Heritage Register. The light house was built due to the large number of shipwrecks in the area. There were twenty shipwrecks between 1823 and 1878. The lighthouse was only 8 metres tall due to the height of the headland itself. It is similar in construction height to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse which also sits on a high headland at Seal Rocks South of Forster.

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Lighthouse Beach looking south.

Late in the day I went to Lake Cathie (Locals pronounce it Lake Cat Eye which is probably a derivation of the original, Lake Cat Hie. It depends on which local you speak to and how long they have been a local). Calling it Lake Cathie alerts locals that you are an uninformed visitor.

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The calm reflective beauty of Lake Cathie where is runs into the ocean.
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Lake Cathies looking towards the bridge.

Wednesday 22nd June.

Another long day of driving home. Although there were lots of stop/slow roadworks I still managed the trip in 7.5 hours. Once home I fell asleep and woke in time for a light dinner and watch round 2 of the 3 round State of Origin series. Queensland won round one and only needed to win on their home ground to win the series for 2016. Despite strong defence by NSW and some good tries to both sides, Queensland won 26 to 16 and making them series winners ten years of the last eleven. The third round in NSW in three weeks was a sellout before tonight and the game will be just as tough despite it being a “dead rubber”.

Saturday 25th June

Astute and regular readers will recall I broke my wrist in an ummm, bicycle accident on 2nd August 2015. I required wrist surgery to install a T piece stainless steel plate. For 10 months I have been doing regular physiotherapy and taking strong nerve pain medication. I was on 300 Mg of Lyrica twice a day (the maximum advised does is 600Mg per day) and another pain medication, 10 Mg of Endep at bedtime. Although the medical profession say the medication is not addictive it is not something which you can just stop taking as there will be withdrawal symptons. One of the many side effects is weight gain. In my case about 10 Kg. I am pleased to report that I have stopped physiotherapy and now using the hand in regular daytime functional uses rather than the regime of particular exercises to regain use of the hand. What I am most pleased about is I started a slow withdrawal of the medication and I have not had any medication for two days. No constant pain and I am sleeping.

YeeHar!!!

However, although the last two nights sleep have been a little troubled and have woken a few times during the night.

Silly repetitive dreams.

Hmmm!!!

I mention these two drugs in case readers ever find themselves on Lyrica or Endep and need to know the slow process of coming off the drug.

Sunday 26th June

Yesterday evening and again this morning it was quite cold with overnight temps down around 10 degrees. Yeah Yeah I know. It only begins to get cold at minus 10. Remember we live on the Gold Coast and spent the last 30 years living in the tropics. Anything less than 23 degrees is cold!

Now for something totally different.

I drove to Murwillumbah about 70 Klms from home. The town is just over the border in NSW and is situated on the mid reaches of the Tweed River

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Tweed River looking east.
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Delightful timber cabin cruiser on the Tweed River.
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Another lovely old boat on the Tweed.

in what is surprisingly called the Tweed Valley. Once upon a time the original Pacific highway ran through here, following the Tweed River into Tweed Heads and on into Coolangatta Queensland. The town is not large in terms of size or population but it does have an impressive art gallery called, Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

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Tweed Regional Gallery and Margaret Olley Art Centre.

Apart from the impressive paintings and sculptures it also includes a re-production of Margaret Olley’s home in Paddington, Sydney. The rooms have been re-created using photos and includes all the bric a brac, furniture, clothes, magazines, books, painting materials, weird statuatry  and assorted junk which was in the house at the time of her death. It also includes the stove top, oven and the kitchen sink. The windows also include the original tissue thin ragged curtains on the original house. The gallery sits on a hill overlooking the lush pastures of the Tweed

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Tweed River and valley.

while in the distance is the looming presence of Mt Warning (named by Captain Cook when he sailed along the coast in 1770) and other peaks which were formed by a massive volcano twenty million years ago. The other peaks are also

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Mt Warning
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Mt Warning and Tweed Valley.

the remains of the volcanic caldera. There is much to see in the Tweed Valley and surrounding peaks, National Parks and caldera farmlands.

 

I will save a return visit for when Donnis is home.