Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nan Tien Temple

While in Shellharbour we went for a drive up to Berkeley to visit the Nan Tien Temple.
It is the largest Buddhist Temple in the Southern Hemisphere. It has been built on a hill and is surrounded with beautiful gardens.
We had a lovely afternoon wandering around and came away feeling very calm and free of stress.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Tapin Tops

Another day of scenic driving, started out from Taree
First stop was Wingham and a walk around the Wingham Brush Nature Reserve.
There is a boardwalk that goes thru the forest looking at the trees and listening to the Grey Headed Flying Foxes.
You can imagine how thrilled Fred was at this stop as he detests Flying Foxes and the fact that they are protected, but on the up side there were heaps of Bush Turkeys scratching around and he loves watching them.

Then in was onward to Tapin Tops National Park. First stop Potoroo Picnic Area and a walk along the edge of the creek with a bit of rock hopping to Potoroo Falls
The waterfall was only a small drop but the pool under the falls would be fabulous to swim in when its hot.
Back to the truck and on to Dingo Tops Picnic and Camping Grounds.
This area used to be a forestry work camp and is really nicely set out and well kept with some really beautiful trees. There are 2 walks here and we chose to do the Red Cedar Walk, it was quite rough and pretty steep in places but had some really nice Fungi. (for those who don't know I am fascinated by Fungi)

After lunch and a well earned coffee it was back on the road and Rowleys Rock lookout but the road was closed and we didn't fancy the long hike in so gave it a miss and headed for the Blue Knob lookout which is a forestry fire tower, the views were stunning.

The roads in the park are all dirt and in places very steep, narrow and some really sharp corners.
We then left the park and made our way to Ellenborough Falls which is the 2nd highest waterfall in Australia. It has a single drop of 200 metres. The walk to the bottom of the falls isn't for the faint hearted, its 641steps to the bottom and then you have to walk back up, but its well worth the effort as the waterfall is stunning and you don't get the full effect from the viewing platform at the top.

We then headed for home. It was a long but very enjoyable day 

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Port Macquarie continued

Today was an excellent day.
Spent the day scenic touring. Took the coastal road down the coast to Lake Cathie. Was quite interested to see Lake Cathie as mum and dad almost retired there instead of on the Tweed, was a lovely little spot but I imagine its a lot bigger now than when the oldies retired.
From there it was onward thru Laurieton to Dunbogan (could live here just because of the name) and Kattang Nature Reserve where we did the walk out to Perpendicular Point Lookout.
The walk its very easy and well marked with a few side detours to lookouts out over the cliffs.
When you get to the point you have fantastic views both north back to Port Macquarie and south to Diamond Head.
Lunch and then it was back in the car and on to Dooragan National Park and the lookout on North Brother Mountain. Its a steep winding drive up but well worth the effort as the views are spectacular.

Back in the car and on to Middle Brother National Park. Once you leave the highway its dirt road thru the forest into the Bird Tree Picnic area and a short walk in to a viewing area to see 2 Coastal Blackbutt trees that are 300 years old. The Birdtree is 69 metres high and has a girth of 11 metres the other tree is called Benaroon and is a tidge smaller.  Both were awe inspiring.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

We have spent a week in Port Macquarie, its a lovely town and well worth visiting. We spent a couple of days exploring the history of the place.
We spent Tuesday in the town centre visited. 
Wesleyan Chapel, the old Courthouse

and while I wandered thru the Museum Fred went for a walk and looked at the water and found people to chat to. 
Stopped for a coffee in the shopping centre before going on to St Thomas’s Church
which was built by convict labor, the church was really lovely and quite unusual in that the pews are all fenced in little areas where the worshipers can’t see each other, it was built this way so that the hierarchy couldn’t see or be seen by the convicts.
They even allowed people to climb up into the belltower where we had a really great view of the whole of Port Macquarie.
I had to fight my inner devil not to pull on the ropes and ring the bell.
I have been really impressed by the enthusiasm and friendliness of all the volunteers everywhere we went.
This morning we explored the Old Town Cemetery
and did the nature walk around Kooloonbung Creek and Nature Reserve. The walk was 5km thru bushland around the creeks.
It was a combination of boardwalks and well formed track.
Then drove out and had a look at Settlement Point then onward to the Old Hibbard Boatyard where enthusiast are restoring old wooden boats
and a bit of nostalgia taking us back to Tumbulgum when we used to cross the river by ferry as we watched a small ferry taking cars across the river.

Today we went to Tacking Point Lighthouse saw a few Whales and a pod of Dolphins.
Next stop was SeaAcres Nature Reserve we didn’t bother doing the Forest boardwalk at $7 per person we figured we have walked thru enough wetland tracks for free and seen similar flora and fauna. 
From there we went to Nobby’s Obelisk which was a really nice walking track to a memorial Obelisk out on Nobby’s Point and great views of the coastline.
On to Macquarie Nature Reserve where we had a look thru Roto House which is a restored homestead of one of Port Macquarie’s early settlers.
The reserve is also home to the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital which you can walk around and look at the facility and any koala’s they have in residence.
Also had a very pleasant picnic lunch here.
Then went to Lilypond Reserve to do another walk this one was a bit disappointing only took 5 minutes as it was a small park, sounded much bigger in the brochure.
From there to Flagstaff Hill and a walk out to the point.