Exploring by car
Sunday 29th November 2015
It was nice to get out and about in a car again, especially as they drive on the correct side of the road here. On Saturday we drove to Pittwater, just north of Sydney, and drove around the inlets, checking out the mooring/anchoring situation and shoreside facilities. This is where we plan to stop on the way down to Sydney. There are lots of boats here and we are told there are facilities for boats, though it appeared a little cut-off to us. It does look like a very pleasant place to stop – we shall just have to ensure we are well stocked up before we leave here.
We drove into Newport to find somewhere for lunch, and ended up with our old favourite – fish and chips on the beach – before setting off on the long drive back. The motorway cut through hillsides in a way we don’t see back home. Only the actual road area is cut out, so in places even the central reservation is solid rock. Probably a good incentive to drive carefully, as it would be very unforgiving if you bounced off it!
High rock sides line the motorway.
Today we drove to Lake Macquarrie. We don’t plan to stop here on the way south, but thought we might on the way north. It had also been suggested as a place to leave the boat when we travel inland. The entrance to the lake is very shallow and has a sand bar, making it a tricky entrance only possible at the top of the tide for us. We drove up to Swansea Heads where Marine Rescue have their radio base, and looked out over the entrance. With an onshore breeze and at the top of the tide, it looked quite benign. However, after chatting to the very helpful volunteers ‘manning’ the station (two of the three were ladies!) it became clear that it is not an entrance to be taken lightly. Although there are leading marks to guide you in, at one point this channel shallows to 1.7 metres, even at high tide, and a spring tide would be necessary to ensure enough height of tide to get us in. That would mean that once in, we would have to stay a month till the next spring tide to get out again. We think we will probably give it a miss.
The Marine Rescue radio station has magnificent views over the entrance and offshore.
Business over, we drove around the lake to Morisset on the western shore, where we had read that there was a nice picnic spot in a conservation area with lots of kangaroos. We have been in Australia for almost a month now and have yet to see one. We found the place and chose a spot beside the lake to eat our picnic lunch. It was very pleasant and we enjoyed our lunch, but guess how many kangaroos we saw...yep, none. Apparently, we later discovered, they are best seen at dawn and dusk. Oh well, plenty of time yet.
A lovely picnic spot, but not a kangaroo in sight. Lake Macquarrie from the picnic spot on the western shore.