I’m sitting in Blue Heeler with my coffee watching with horror footage of the 10m tsunami that hit Japan late yesterday after a massive 9.1 earthquake. Images of boats, homes and luxury cruisers floating along like toys in a bath are truly disturbing. I only hope the number of casualties and lives destroyed are not as vast as the Indonesian tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.
After we left Rose Bay anchorage we moored at the lovely and scenic Athol Bay before heading to a mooring at the historic and pleasant Cammeray Marina in Middle Harbour. To our surprise there are three other Hallberg Rassy yachts – an unusual occurence in this part of the world.
We spent the first few days stretching our sea-legs walking around the hills of Cammeray, Neutral Bay and over the bridge into Sydney; a bus trip and lunch at Bondi Beach (hoping to run into Bondi Vet, Dr Chris Brown!); a walk to the Fish Co-op was a treat – so much fresh fish and seafood at very reasonable prices; we also checked out the anchorages looking towards the Pyrmont Bridge. The bikes haven’t made an appearance yet – Sydney doesn’t appear to be very bike friendly and I haven’t seen many bike paths/lanes. I think the very steep hills may play a major part too. Check out our video from the past couple of weeks.
We hired a car to go exploring to some of the places we couldn’t access by boat and to visit some places in NSW that I’ve never been before. With seven days to travel around, we loaded our tent, sleeping bags, camping gear and credit cards, and drove north-west to Wiseman’s Ferry (or as we discovered ‘ferries’), then east along the Hawkesbury River to find a camp for the night. A morning drive across to The Entrance rewarded us with the Saturday Farmer’s Market where we bought some freshly picked apples and stone fruit. Driving west through Penrith onto Katoomba in the Blue Mountains National Park we camped at Blackheath. We spent a couple of cooler days walking up and down, around and along the many paths and trails across the spectacular cliffs of the Blue Mountains.
Packing up our tent and loading our ripper Toyota Corolla we drove east via the Norman Lindsay Gallery and Wentworth Falls then south towards Wollongong and beyond taking the scenic routes where possible. Stopping at the very pretty coastal town of Kiama for the night – a marina we would only consider accessing in calm weather. Still driving south we passed through Ulladulla, Jervis Bay (we anchored here a few weeks ago); Bermagui (we’d moored some weeks ago), Bateman’s Bay (where we couldn’t get into some weeks ago due to insufficient depth), Tathra and the historic wharf; through the lush and hilly Bega Valley onto Cooma; up and over the Great Dividing Range and Snowy Mountains plains. As we crossed Kosciusko National Park we spotted a number of brumbies in the distance before the heavens opened up and dumped buckets of rain. We reached our camp ground aptly named ‘Yachting Point’ at Blowering Reservoir. The rain stopped while we setup camp, had dinner then went to bed, but it returned over night – luckily we have a good weatherproof tent that kept the water out. Back on the road the next day we drove to Tumut, passed Yass and Goulburn then returning to our ‘home’ at Cammeray. Unfortunately the birds decided to make it home while we were gone and we had a bit of cleaning to do!