Newcastle to Brooklyn (Hawkesbury River)

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August 12th 2019
Published: August 12th 2019
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This morning we had to do some gift shopping before leaving Newcastle. On the last two nights as we have walked along Beaumont Street on our way to dinner we have spotted gifts that would appeal to Kerry who had a birthday last month, but has not received a present yet! One was in the chemist’s front window and the other was in the newsagent’s front window. After securing a park Bernie went to the newsagent and I went to the chemist.

The first person to approach me in the Chemist’s was the pharmacist. I told him I didn’t need anything pharmaceutical; I just wanted to purchase something from the front window. He told me they were short staffed and he could help me. As we approached the front window I joked that he was overqualified to pick an item from the front window and perhaps he should check if they had one in a box out the back. He declared that there was no challenge in that and proceeded to remove items from the window display so that he could retrieve the item I was after right in the front corner.

With my item wrapped in bubble wrap and in a box not quite big enough for it, I met Bernie back at the car. The newsagent had a much easier time taking the item out of his front window display and it is packed much flatter and is not fragile like the one that I purchased. Hopefully we can transport the crockery item back to Melbourne in one piece!

Before we really got started on the sightseeing for the day we stopped in Belmont, on the shore of Lake Macquarie, to stock up on a few grocery items. We have been doing self-catered breakfasts because it is easier, cheaper and quicker than going out for breakfast.

Our next stop was at Swansea where we went in search of the Petrified Forest. Our tourist map indicated that there is a Swansea Head Petrified Forest so we went into the Visitor Information Centre to ask about it. The person on duty provided us with a map so that we could find our way out to the Swansea Head. Well, maybe we needed a geologist with us because the petrified forest was not obvious to us! There were lots of rocks and some interesting sedimentary cliff faces, but we found very little that we could confidently identify as tree turned to rock. Not to worry, I’m sure we have some nice coastal photos anyway.

We continued on to Norah Head to have a look at the lighthouse. As luck would have it we were just in time for the 12.00 noon tour. A volunteer guide took us up to the lantern room and out onto the external viewing platforms whilst explaining the workings (past and present) of the lighthouse which is still in operation today. Although today the lantern wasn’t actually turning because it was undergoing maintenance. Fortunately having a man at work cleaning all the lenses did not stop us from viewing all the areas of the lighthouse that are included in the tour. It was still very windy today, especially out on the external platforms, but the views north to Newcastle and south to Sydney were worth it.

A little further down the coast we stopped at The Entrance which is the entrance to Tuggerah Lake for lunch. After eating we made a stop at Long Jetty, the longest of the jetties jutting out into the lake. From the shore of the lake we drove up to Crackneck Lookout for yet another spectacular coastal view.

After Crackneck Lookout we travelled along the Scenic Highway through Terrigal and Kincumber before heading out to the Captain Cook Lookout at Copacabana. Jutting out from Tudibaring Head, the lookout offers sweeping views up and down the coast. Looking north we could see Norah Head Lighthouse and looking south we could make out the skyscrapers of the Sydney CBD. The lookout is also considered one of the best places in NSW to watch humpback whales as they migrate along the coast, but we didn’t spot any this afternoon.

When Captain Cook charted this section of the coast on the 7th of May 1770 he recorded it as ... ‘some pritty high land which projected out in three bluff points and occasioned it by calling it Cape Three Points’.

We drove back to the Scenic Highway and made our way via Daleys Point and Umina to the Mount Ettalong Lookout where we discovered yet more picturesque views up and down the coast.

At this stage we were only a few kilometres from our destination for today, Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River. But that would be as the crow flies! With no vehicular ferry between Patunga on the northern bank of the Hawkesbury River and Brooklyn on the south bank we actually had to head north on the Woy Woy Road to Karlong before picking up the Pacific Motorway to head south again through Mount White and Mooney Mooney before turning out to Brooklyn.

After checking into the Brooklyn Motel we walked across the street to the pub which is pretty much the only eating option in Brooklyn in the evenings. The food ordering set-up was a bit weird, we had to go past the pub to a kitchen/dining room out the back. The dining room was pretty soulless so we were please to discover that we could order out the back, but have our meals delivered to us in the pub which was much warmer and brighter.

The Bolivia tournament continued after dinner. One game each tonight so I think the tally is remaining fairly level. I’ll have to add it up at some stage so that a winner can be declared at the end of the holiday.

Steps: 12,768 (9.62kms)

Additional photos below
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