Day 26 - Merimbula to Pretty Beach, Termeil - Journey time 3hrs - 180 kms (inc short stop)
We woke quite early this morning courtesy of the local airfield! It meant we were packed up and on our way in good time though. As we left Merimbula the tide was in which had filled the waterways and we remarked that doing the boardwalk this morning would have been a very different scene. Tom Tom is doing a great job and we’re so chuffed that we got the Oz maps on to it (cheers Tony!). We know that we shouldn’t rely on it 100% and that we’ll need to get some maps but at the moment it’s doing a sterling job.
It’s an interesting journey today along the A1 Princes Highway through Bega, Narooma and Batemans Bay. Narooma and the surrounding area look gorgeous although obviously a holiday area with it’s big houses overlooking the ocean view. The sun is shining and the sky is blue so we pull over to consider our options. We’ve driven pretty much halfway and although the area looks really lovely we both think we should keep going, so we do. We drive through lovely national park
outskirts and plenty of lakes close to the highway. We’re spotting interesting looking mailboxes for some of the out of town homes now, no photos as yet but we’ll try to get some as they are really funny and interesting! We also start to spot strange things for sale, Rabbit Poo $2 for example! They must get a lot of it!! Batemans Bay is quite a bustling holiday spot too and boats line the waterways as we pass through. It’s been raining for a little while now so our thoughts are with the glorious looking Narooma and whether our decision to press on was a wise one.
When the time comes to turn off the highway onto the Bawley Point Road I’m starting to question it even more! We’re into the Murramarang National Park now and the touristy look as vanished! We reach Merry Beach Van Site which has some kangaroos lolling about in it’s grounds but we’re looking for the campsite at Pretty Beach so we find the right road and keep going. The road gets a bit tighter and I check the book again too make sure it doesn’t say ‘not suitable for caravans’ but it doesn’t. When
we drive in we find a tree lined ‘campsite’ with 2 other vehicles here but otherwise it’s deserted. We’ve not been to a national parks site before so don’t really know the drill. The office is closed but there’s friendly sign that says to just park on a free pitch and pay the $10 per person per night plus the $7 park fee when we next see a ranger! Fair do’s! The pitches have power so we pick our spot and set up camp. There is kangaroo poo everywhere you look!!
We set straight off to explore and boy oh boy have we hit upon a beauty! A very short walk (2 minutes) takes us through kangaroo and wallabies galore and onto a secluded beach surrounded by the national park land. We’re straight back to the caravan to grab takeaway lunch and cameras! We walk back onto Pretty Beach and around the corner over the rocks. The ocean is in a fierce and intimidating mood today! We’re the only humans on the beach there are plenty of kangaroos and wallabies though! The weather isn’t glorious but it’s warm enough and only slightly splattering us with rain! We get really distracted
by the rock pools which have formed, they’re full of life! The tide is coming back and starting to lap over the pools, they must be ever changing. We find crabs, fish and cockles galore with lots of other creatures and sea life!
We eat our lunch surrounded by inquisitive kangaroos, we don’t feed them and they don’t pester us, simples! We catch up with Dennis the camp ranger and pay him our dues, he tells us about a couple of walks that we might like to do whilst we’re here, that’s tomorrow taken care of!
There’s a couple of things that we’d like to get to enable us to ‘free’ camp so we take a trip to Batemans Bay. It’s raining quite heavily now but the drive is easy enough. We find their Bunnings and get a replacement bulb for our outside light then head next door to a camping shop to checkout their rechargeable battery lanterns - that’s an absolute must in our eyes if free camping is going to work for us - a light!! That’s all we really need but also spot that they’ve got solar showers for sale so we do a deal and get
a few dollars knocked off if we buy the two things. Done and we leave the shop happy that we’ve got what we came for. I almost buy some half price crocs (shoes) but resist as they don’t quite have the right size, darn! With the rain still coming down we leave Batemans Bay but the estuary does look lovely so we might come back tomorrow evening maybe if we have time.
On the way back we go and check out Pebbly Beach, another secluded camp spot just further along in the Murramarang National Park. We turn off the highway at Lynne Creek (!) and head along the bitumen until it turns to a dirt track and heads quite steeply downward. Again we find kangaroos and wallabies down at the beach but the ocean is too rough for us to really want to go and walk further. We wander around the grounds for a while looking up at the tall trees and listening to the crashing of the waves.
On the way back to camp we buy up some beer as rations are running low! We thought we might use the public BBQ just across from the campsite tonight but
when we get back the natural light has gone and our rechargeable light needs charging before we can use it! Undeterred we wander across by torch light and find that there is a timer light which we manage to override! We cook our dinner with only the sound of the ocean, a possum and an audience of kangaroos and wallabies for company. We can’t possibly tell you what we cooked! A wallaby gets curious and probably hungry, some comes pretty close to investigate but you’ll just have to take our word for that as there are no photos, bright flashes clearly not good for wallabies eyes!
We head back to do the washing up using the outside camp sinks which are serviced by the captured rain water which is lovely and warm! The rain comes down once we’re back inside the caravan and the wind’s picked up quite a lot but it’s not cold and there’s plenty of wildlife outside. We really want to go for a walk but decide that can be tomorrow night’s adventure!
For info, Pretty Beach is Camps 5 ref NSW 610, page 141.
From us and the wildlife, good night!
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