Sydney to Forster

Journey                 # 7

Time:                      October 2012

A view of the rear verandah at 'our' unit 21 at Pacific Palms resort

Friday 26th October 2012, saw us again invited by our good friends, Mark and Wendy, to join them at the Pacific Palms resort near Forster, for a weeks holiday. We had a late start, as it only takes 4 hours driving to get to the destination.
We arrived at the resort and checked in to our apartment, then unloaded the car. After checking out the numerous beaches, we decided on dinner at the local Recreation Club. It was pleasant to sit in the dining room looking out at the lake and the meal was good value as well.

They will put up with anything if there is food at the end of it.

Mark and I decided to go fishing on most days, but we didn't have a lot of luck. This morning we tried 7 mile beach and found pippies in the sand to use for bait. The fish didn't realise we had arrived though and were absent. Actually the water was a little cold and very clear. The wind was also quite strong but we had a good time. Back to the resort for lunch and then we all went for a walk to the beach and drove into Forster to buy some groceries. The Tuncurry markets were on as well, so the girls just had to go. Spent a couple of hours there and headed back.
I cooked the evening bbq meal and all was good. We found that any sign of food, brought the kookaburras, butcherbirds, scrub turkeys and noisy miners out in force. The kookas were very cheeky and totally unafraid, letting Mark pat their chests and taking food gently out of his hand. Same story with the butcher birds and magpies.

Fishing the clear waters of Shelley Beach. No fish, but a beautiful location.

Sunday was another market day at Pacific Palms, so we had a look at them as well. Bought a plant that Beryl wanted for some time now. $8 was a lot better than the $30 they are charging down in Sydney. Also bought some delicious local honey, gathered from bees feeding on coastal bush. Strong flavour.
Mark and I walked out to Shelley Beach to fish off the headland and quickly found we were overdressed for the area. Turns out that the beach is a nudist beach. Old, fat, wrinkly folks strutting around naked, certainly didn't appeal to us. I cracked a couple of jokes, but the brown and pink mob didn't appreciate them much. Left there before we were speared with a sand peg. No fish to be found at that location either.
We dined at the restaurant at Mobies Resort, Boomerang Beach, that evening and had $10 pizzas. Good value and more than enough to take home for the next days lunch.

Seven mile beach in the Booti Booti National Park.

Monday and Tuesday were spent relaxing and going to the beach. Beryl and I did a bit of walking most afternoons and saw lots of birdlife. The wind didn't really abate much for the entire week.

The Hawkes Head lookout gives 360 degree views of the area. Steep climb to get there.

Wednesday we went to the mall for coffee, then out to the Cape Hawke lookout. A steep 450m walk up the mountain and then a climb up the three story viewing tower. Great views of the surrounding countryside and ocean. Saw a few pods of whales heading south. Mark and I saw whales every day when we were fishing, which is terrific considering that in the 1960's I spent years surfing and never saw one.

Bottle nose dolphins were playing in the waves at the Forster/Tuncurry breakwall.

Thursday we all had a breakfast, put on by the resort, of eggs, bacon, sausages, beans and juice, then went for a drive to Forster and walked across the bridge to Tuncurry and back. Mark and I went to check out the breakwall, planning to cast in a line later that afternoon. The water was very clear and glassy with little to no wind. Had coffee at a cafe and then returned home, where Mark and I loaded the car and returned to the breakwall. Naturally, the wind began howling and big swells pored through the entrance, competing with the rushing ebb tide and creating steep waves. The dolphins were having fun surfing down the face, though. The yacht entering the lakes, didn't.
I caught a nice blackfish and got dusted by a bigger fish, most likely a black drummer, before it became to uncomfortable to remain there. Went back to the marina and tried there for a while, to no avail. Did see several hundred people march across the bridge, in aid of breast cancer. Impressive turnout for such a small town. I released my blackfish and we went back for another bbq dinner.

Cars parked out the front of the unit, in readiness for the trip home.

Friday was a leisurely pack up, then we drove into Forster where the girls checked out a craft fair and the boys went and filled the tanks of the cars. Had more coffee in the mall, then lunch in a cafe beside the river. The salt and pepper squid was delicious.
Drove to a place on the way to Taree, where the girls had done a workshop in making glass beads, a couple of days before, and picked up their creations. Drove off towards Sydney and later on stopped at Heatherbrae Pie shop for coffee and a lovely vanilla slice. Bid farewell to Mark and Wendy and drove south to Beryl's sisters home at Long Jetty, for a short visit.
They love their roundabouts there, as we travelled 13 to get in and 13 to return to the highway. Traffic was horrendous to boot.
Had a reasonable good run home, apart from the usual chaos at the end of the expressway and along Pennant Hills road until we hit the freeway.
It was a really comfortable sleep that night, having bought a fantastic mattress a week before we left. Looking forward to the next trip already.



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