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Published: March 18th 2009
From Castle Hill we drove up the Sydney-Newcastle freeway and took the exit to Cooranbong. We had BBQ sausages for lunch in Avondale and then drove into Watagans National Park. We camped at the free Gap Creek camp ground which was already starting to fill up with the weekend crowd. We made the mistake of chancing the weather and not erecting our awning, and sure enough, we copped a shower that night and a heavy thunderstorm the next day. It was a nice and shady camp site with fire places and a flash bush toilet, although our re-acquaintance with our enemy number one (leeches) caused a bit of angst from time to time. We walked to Gap Creek falls on Friday but there was just a trickle coming over the falls and only a small pool at the bottom.
On Saturday Annelies and Thomas made a couple of friends, Jaimie-Lee and Alec. Their Granddad invited them all to try their hand at 'abseiling' down a small boulder. Later we walked to some nearby cliffs to watch the real thing in action as the Newcastle University Mountaineering Club was holding their open day. We spent some time watching the rock climbers
but an approaching thunderstorm forced us to head back to camp.
On Sunday we left Gap Creek and drove back up the freeway and then Pacific Highway to Myall Lakes National Park on the coast. On the way in we stopped at 'The Grandis', the tallest recorded tree in NSW. The tree is a Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus grandis), stands 86m high (or 76m depending on what you read) and 2.7m in diameter and is estimated to be about 400 years old. We had lunch there and were visited by a very 'friendly' (i.e. persistent) monitor lizard who wouldn't take 'no' for an answer when trying to scavenge some of our lunch. We drove to the coast and Seal Rocks and camped in the National Park at Yagon, a large grassy and shady camp ground nestled behind the dunes and just a short walk from the beach. After setting up camp we went for a swim and surf. We stayed for three nights and although we're sure the camp ground must be packed on weekends and school holidays, we only had to share it with one or two others during our Sunday night to Wednesday stay.
On Monday we
walked to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse and went for a swim at the sheltered Number One Beach. On Tuesday we walked out to Treachery Head, drove briefly on the soft and squeaky sand of Lighthouse Beach and then went for another swim at Number One Beach.
At the camp site we had to be on the continual lookout for very brazen Laughing Kookaburras who were usually perched nearby waiting for an opportunity to swoop down and snatch food from our pans and plates as we ate, even when it meant flying under our awning. We also had to beware of Brush Turkeys and stray dogs (Dingo crosses) roaming the camp ground in search of food.
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