An easy drive to Seal Rocks on a very windy day, the wind a South Easterly blowing straight into Seal Rock cove a spectacular sight with waves crashing up against the rocks at either end of the cove and rolling breakers tearing up the beach, the conditions such that surfers had a day off. The caravan park is situated directly opposite the beach on a sloping hill with views directly overlooking the beach, the disadvantage we were fully exposed to the wind.
After setting up the van we set off for a walk along the beach, another wonderful area however this time the beach was a little over a kilometre long enclosed by cliffs at both ends giving this place feeling of seclusion. Seal Rocks is a favourite area for surfers and fishermen although much of this area is now marine park breeding ground for many species of fish as well as sharks, also since being made a marine park Seals have once again been seen in the area, seals were wiped out by sealers many years ago. On the Wednesday we decided to take a drive around the area and discovered that there is more to this place than meets the eye. Driving south we came across a little oasis a café come general store overlooking another cove with again surfers standing together on the cliff top trying to decide whether to test the water the day still very rough. Further along the road we came to a parking spot with a walkway to a lighthouse, this was an interesting walk even if a little steep at points, along the walk we came across an area were the water had eroded the cliff face making two channels around a large piece of cliff face one quite narrow crevice the other about 10 metres wide the water from both meeting at high tide, with a large sea running the effect of the waves carving their way through the cliff face was spectacular.
The walk to the light house was not for the faint hearted a rather steep climb but well worthwhile. The light house is still operating and in excellent condition with a light house keepers’ cottage and worker accommodation now available for rent, a wedding was to be celebrated there later that day. Once at the light house you can see out towards seal rocks and southward to Sugarloaf point, in 1895 the Catterthun caught in a south westerly gale was pushed to close into shore the captain tried to head back out to sea and when almost clear they hit outer seal rock holing the ship. The ship sank with the loss of 31 lives including the captain, there were 26 survivors.
On board the Catterthun was a cargo of 9000 gold sovereigns a Kings fortune, although the Catterthun was on the bottom at a depth of 60 metres a significant depth for divers in those days, this salvage was worth every effort to recover, the divers were successful and recovered the lot, some very happy people.
This tragedy occurred well after the construction of the light house which was constructed in 1875. A visit here is a must. Time for a coffee and some nosh, not much on offer at the general store mainly the trusty pie, pasty or sausage roll. The coffee however served out of a caravan out front was very enjoyable. We also drove through the national park called into one of our son Drew’s favourite surf beaches again very rough with rather sad faced surfers watching the breaks and making wise decisions. Seal Rocks is a great place to visit when the sea is more friendly a great place to surf, swim, fish or just laze around with a good book. The caravan park outside of holiday period at $43.00 per night was in the higher level but the area was well kept and amenities modern and clean.
Thursday 22nd & Friday 23rd September.
Today we chose to go to Tea Gardens as we have not been there for some time, we were recommended to stay at the bowling club apparently the joining fee at the bowling is $5.50. and with membership camping in the club car park is free with a maximum stay of two nights. We were also told the meals were great and not expensive. As such we gave this a try. Tea Gardens is situated on the Myall River leading into the Myall lakes a huge part of this area is national park. Tea Gardens is on the opposite side of Nelsons Bay on Port Stevens and from Tea Gardens a ferry runs to Nelsons Bay daily a great trip out of the Myall River across Port Stevens arriving at the mariner at Nelsons Bay, highly recommended. The Tea Garden village right on the river is a relaxing place with several restaurants, cafes and a Hotel, with gift shops to keep the ladies happy. The golf course at Tea Gardens is in great condition long but not daunting it was nice to hit off grass again, the greens had just been prepared for the summers season after a Pro-Am comp and were very slow they took a little while to get use to. The staff were friendly and although we only wanted to play nine holes the pro told us to play more if we wished, so we added on an extra two holes.
On the Friday we decided to drive into the national park along a spit, which borders the ocean and the Myall River leading to the Myall lakes, this an approximate 20km drive.
We called in to check out a number of the camping grounds and they were all different all well set out with long drop toilets and very tidy. Most of the camp grounds were on the river or lake with a few on the Ocean behind sand dunes which gave protection from the wind. The Ocean side mainly for fishermen, the lake more for boating activities. This was our second time at Tea Gardens and we have enjoyed both visits.
Our next stop Morisset and again we will stay at the show grounds our reason to be here is to support our Grandson Zac sailing in the NSW Youth Regatta to be held on Lake Macquarie in early October.