Newcastle & Port Stephens
We motor-sailed in light winds from Pittwater to Newcastle on 10th March and were pleasantly surprised at our speed, often doing over 7 knots. The East Australian current runs South at about 2-4 knots and although we stayed very close to the coast we expected some adverse current, however we managed to miss most of the current and had a helpful tide with us most of the way.
Coming in past the headland of Newcastle.
We booked into the marina for a couple of nights and were surprised to see this boat:
Briet, a 34’ Naiad from the Blue Water Rally. I sent an email to Ducco and within an hour he joined us on Enchantress for a drink.
Ducco hadn’t changed a bit in 9-10 years and as Susan said he even was wearing the same shirts – well same style anyway! He was talking of maybe shipping Briet back to Holland and must be a record breaker in how often Briet has been shipped.
It was great to get together and catch up on news and plans.
After 2 nights in the marina we moved to a public dock, which was 40% cheaper than the marina, although it was a bit exposed to wind and swell from passing boats.
The dock was right in the centre of town, so provided plenty of entertainment.
We really enjoyed walking along the waterfront and through the town, with lots of interesting buildings.
An impressive old Customs House.
A colourful Café on the waterfront.
An impressive Rotunda council building.
The huge Gothic revival Cathedral, which was finished in 1902, and consecrated in 1983.
They really enjoyed the their wrought iron on the older houses,
One of the most famous walks in Newcastle is along the coast for about 6km and then up to the Memorial Bridge. We chose to cycle most of the way and then climbed a couple of km to the bridge
The bridge is a memorial to the 1st World War Anzac casualties.
There are lots of evocative features.
The bridge and the coastal walk is a must do if you visit Newcastle.
We stayed 10 days and the headed up the coast 30 miles to Port Stephens. We picked up 1 of the 3 public mooring buoys at Nelsons Bay and Alison & Randall on Tregoning were on the mooring buoy in front. They were however just about to move further in the waterway to get the boat lifted, so we didn’t manage to get together. We stayed about 10 days and explored a number of bays, including Fame Cove and Taylors Beach, but the returned to Nelsons Bay so Susan could do a couple of dives at Broughton Island with the local dive company.
One of the dives is famous for the number & variety of sharks. This one nudged Susan’s snorkel as it passed. The dive guide was impressed with how calm Susan took this. This shark is a Wobbegong.
This is a Nurse shark, which is the most common in the area.
Another Nurse shark.
Once there was a weather window we set off on an overnight passage up to Port Macquarie.