We leave Shellharbour along the tourist drive into the surrounding hills, picnic near a waterfall and that night we sleep between the birds on a camping in Morton NP.
Being back on the road feels well, however we have to make a couple of changes on our trip. The days are extremely short by now, since we are in the ‘dark weeks’ here down under. Sunset is around 4:45 pm and sunrise around 7:30 am… The first of june winter starts here, so the nights are very cold, ranging between minus 2 and 5 degrees. So our warm sleeping bags are a welcome alternative!
Since we had good dinner by Stan and Suzanne we want to keep this along the road also. When you travel a lot, food is something you spend little attention at, but there come some shortages of vitamins and others peeping along. So from now on, Ilse has decided to be a great travel cook and she prepares luxurious dinners every night… Njam njam…
Next morning we leave the park, to head to our first destination, Bungonia NP.
Upon arrival in the park we know we are in NSW! The most expensive park entrances and camping fees all over the country! Often with a lack of facilities like hot showers. But hey, it is wintertime… So low season and sneaking in and out proves a valuable alternative. For our own easiness, we buy a park pass which includes most parks in NSW, except the parks around Sydney and the Mt Koscioszko NP.
The Bungonia park is not our favourite spot. We can do a couple of walkings in the eucalypt forests, but the highlight of the park, a deep gorge stays hidden due to a lack of good signalisation… Luckily we spot an owl on the road. So this makes it good… And here we have a campground with hot showers. Jippie, a daily warm up when we leave our tent!
Sunny weather, a good campground and nice company make this a nice stop.
We leave the park, take a wrong direction – hmm signalling in NSW is another point – and arrive with a nearly empty tank at the fuel station… After a friendly goat farmer gave us some 4 litres of petrol to make it till that station.
So we fuel up, drive to the Booderee NP, while we stop along the road for a lookout with a marvellous waterfall. It looks like the water is coming out of the rocks, from some underground river.
That Booderee NP is a great spot, just a pity that it is already one of the exceptions in our park pass. There is a beautiful coastal scene, with a vivid surfing climate. We drive mostly from viewpoint to viewpoint along the road. This time no long walks for us… On the first evening we enjoy the sight of some white bellied sea eagles soaring high above the sea. Once we are lucky and see one diving and catching a fish.
On the campground we have company of some wallabies and a possum senses our delicious meals, so he decides to join and tries to get some leftovers. After all food is scarce in winter, and so are other campers…
Before we leave the Booderee NP, we head one day to Kiama, to put Ilse on the train to Sydney for another dentist visit… Normally the last one. I stay behind in Kiama, to do some other works.
From Booderee – which we leave early after we discovered a camping note around our tent – we head to Murramarang Park. Along the way we visit a small market, buy a set of fresh vegetables and a necklace for Ilse. The artist who sells them, makes beautiful things with paper (www.kiahdesign.etsy.com). We enjoy her work and even along the road it feels nicer to have some small jewels around.
We arrive in the park just before some showers fall out. Luckily we could put out our tent in the dry weather. That afternoon and the next day we merely do nothing, since the weather is cloudy and wet. Only the campground is a disappointment! we have to pay a 40$ fee for two days and there aren’t even hot showers! A shame! Nonetheless the wildlife in the park is amazing. The two evenings we cook in the company of some possums, if we don’t look out they gnaw at our food bags and come looking in the cooking pots. The food is not only delicious for us…
The morning we leave, a parrot gives us company, so we give it a try and put some seeds in our hands… And yeah, before we know, we are living trees… Some 15 colourful parrots and lorikeets pick the seeds out our hands, while two kookaburras observe the scene. We can take some wonderful pictures of these colourful birds!
But the best part is at the beach… We lie between a mob of 20 resting kangaroos, playing their all-day rituals. Sleeping, scratching, hopping, feeding the little ones, feeding themselves,…
We stay there for an hour, taking lots of pictures and enjoying the relaxed attitude of these animals. All the time they don’t even bother we’re lying between them! A wonderful experience.
The picture gallery of these birds and the kangaroos are for the next blog…