NSW Coast - Coffs Harbour to South West Rocks

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August 9th 2019
Published: August 9th 2019
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Bernie was back at Beaurepaires just after 8.00am this morning to have the repaired tyre re-fitted. He thought that if he was there they would be sure to do the Golf’s tyre ‘first thing’. Good to their word the tyre was already repaired when he arrived so the dinky space-saver tyre was taken off and the repaired tyre was re-fitted ready for a big day of sightseeing.

Our first stop was at the BIG Banana - not to visit any of the theme-park amusements, just to photograph ourselves at another big thing! With our BIG Banana shots secured we found our way to Tourist Route 18 to make our way down the coast on the roads less travelled rather than motoring down the Pacific Highway.

Our first stop was at Boambee Head. The view from the head was very picturesque with the Boambee Creek flowing out to the sea. Next we travelled through Sawtell which is another lovely coastal town and so much quieter than Coffs. Note to selves: if staying in this area again choose to stay in Sawtell rather than Coffs Harbour.

The tourist route meandered in over the Pacific Highway to Bonville and then back under the highway as we continued down to North Beach, Uranga and Hungry Head. It was a lovely drive with the road bordered by eucalypts, acacias in bloom and the occasional bright red firewheel tree.

From Hungry Head we made our way onto the Pacific Highway to fast-track down to South West Rocks which had been highly recommended by the woman at the Visitor Information Centre at Muswellbrook. She had told us that she has no interest in going to Bali because South West Rocks is her perfect beach destination.

South West Rocks is definitely another very pretty coastal town on this section of the NSW coast. We had some lunch in town and then drove a circuit along the McLeay River before heading out to the Arakoon State Conservation Area to have a look at the Trial Bay Gaol Ruin. When we arrived we were surprised at how intact the ‘ruin’ is. With the external walls still standing it still looks quite formidable from the outside. The gaol was built to house criminals who were put to work building a breakwater to protect Trial Bay. After working on it for 10 years it was still incomplete. With improvements made to ships in the same decade the breakwater was no longer considered necessary and the work was abandoned. The criminals were transferred to other prisons and the Trial Bay Gaol was decommissioned.

Our next stop was at the Smoky Cape Lighthouse. Captain Cook observed a bushfire burning on the cape on the 13th of May 1770 and so he named it Smoky Cape. Today there was a bushfire burning a little further down the coast so perhaps the air quality today was rather like it was for Captain Cook in 1770?? We were lucky with some wildlife sightings at the cape with kangaroos (possibly wallabies?) on land and a few water spouts offshore indicating that there were some whales about.

On our trip back to Coffs we detoured onto Tourist Drive 14 to head out to Stuarts Point. After a short drive along the coast we headed back to the Pacific Highway via Scotts Head Road. Hmmn, the lady in the information centre in South West Rocks told us this section of coast isn’t very interesting and it seems she was right. I fell asleep and Bernie didn’t see a single spot he considered photo worthy!

We arrived back in Coffs Harbour just after 4.30pm so we didn’t try to fit the Botanic Gardens in. The gates are locked at 5.00pm so we thought we would have to sprint around the gardens if we were to try having a look around before closing time.

We made our way instead to the historic jetty in Coffs Harbour and managed to take a couple of photos before the sun set. We then took the customary walk to the end of the jetty. We had some more luck with the wildlife with a dolphin swimming under and around the jetty quite close to the beach. We wondered if the dolphin was toying with the tourists? As it swam under the jetty all the tourists rushed to the other side of the jetty only to return to the side they were first on when the dolphin swam back that way!

Dinner at the pub tonight. It was a bit further to walk, but the meal was an improvement on last night’s at the bowls club.

The boys had an extremely narrow win tonight, just 20 points in it!

Steps: 12,727 (9.72kms)

Additional photos below
Photos: 14, Displayed: 14


10th August 2019

Hi Tracey & Bernie, I love driving the East Coast. One holiday (BR -- before retirement), I took 6 days to drive to Brisbane (inland route), then 8 days back down the coast stopping at every beach I found - I'm sure I missed my calling as a 'Beach Bum !! Like you I stopped at Coffs BUT, unlike you, I took a room at the pier pub for just $20 !!! It was a basic bedroom with share bathroom, BUT I just LOVE staying in old pubs. Besides there were only 2 of us there. I was very happy. Does the hotel still take guests? See how many OLD barns/sheds you can find while meandering 'off the beaten track'; the more dilapidated the better. Cheers
10th August 2019

Old Sheds
There are lots of old sheds about, but often they are a bit difficult to photograph with either no place to safely stop or too far inside paddocks to photograph well from the road. I am too chicken to trespass into farmer’s paddocks in case they seem me and chase me out on their quad bike?! If I ever finish photobooking our holidays I might set myself a photobook ‘project’ like old and dilapidated sheds of Victoria. 💜T

Tot: 2.442s; Tpl: 0.072s; cc: 12; qc: 27; dbt: 0.0303s; 2; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb