Tuesday, 13 August 2013

The Getaway........

I have some time off work, and last week Kim & I decided to head north with Barney for some well earned R&R.  We had found dog friendly accommodation in Port Macquarie and decided that it was the ideal place to spend a few days having a look around.  We had been to Port Macquarie a number of times before but it was always for an overnight stop or simply passing through on one of our journeys.

There is so much to do and see in that neck of the woods!  Some beautiful beaches (and many of them dog friendly off leash areas which made Barney very happy!), a very picturesque hinterland, with lots of places to visit and things to see.

We went for a few short road day trips to check out the lay of the land and see what the area had to offer. Some of the greenest fields I have ever seen are on the Lorne Road and over to Comboyne.  Part of that road is not sealed although our front wheel drive Nissan SUV handled it very well.  I believe that this stretch of the coast and hinterland has more National Parks than anywhere I have ever visited!  Unfortunately, because we had Barney with us for our trips, we could not get out and take advantage of some of the short walks through rainforest to various waterfalls and lookouts that were off the beaten track.  

One of our trips took us south to Lake Cathie, and down to Laurieton.  Whilst at Lake Cathie we were chatting to a local who pointed us in the direction of the Dooragan National Park.  We went down for a look and found a wonderful lookout that took in the small town of Laurieton, Queens Lake and the Camden Haven Inlet that feeds a few of the lakes in the area.  

My fav place was Tacking Point Lighthouse.  Just a small automated lighthouse now, it was built in 1879 after at least 20 ships were wrecked on the rocky coastline in this area.  From the lighthouse, there is a boardwalk down to a viewing platform that looks north up to the lighthouse and south over Lighthouse Beach all the way down to Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills.  We originally went to the lighthouse one afternoon but a weather change hit whilst we were there and so we abandoned our sightseeing. Happy to say that the weather cleared up overnight and we revisited 2 days later and the sunset provided some brilliant light for a photo safari.

On our return trip we decided to ditch the highway and head home via the Oxley Highway and Thunderbolts Way.  A bit of a circuitous route, it was well worth the couple of extra hours travel just to see the sights.  Thunderbolts Way is a very up and down road, winding through the hills of the Hunter Valley from Walcha down to Gloucester, through Stroud and back onto the Pacific Highway.  In parts the country is typically dry but it does green up as you climb up to the mountain pass and down into the Hunter Valley. Well worth travelling this route over a few days, especially in the Gloucester region because there is so much to see and do.

Anyway, we arrived home safely to reality after our time away and, to a list of things for me to do around the house; always something needs doing!

Be happy people!


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