Saturday, 1 June 2013

Many Heads and many tails at Port Macquarie

Crowdy Head lighthouse

We quite like a morning viewpoint overlooking the sea, todays was Crowdy Head (Capt Cook looked at it and saw lots of aborigines looking at them and said how ‘Crowdy’ it looked), very pretty, but still no whales. So off towards Crowdy Bay National Park, where first I screeched us to a halt as there were kangaroos eating grass, two hopped off, but the one ‘on shift’ gave us a fair go. 
We arrived at Kylies Camp campsite where we drove round and round in circles, amusing the locals, before coming upon a big bull kangaroo, who ignored us. 

Kylies Hut
Off to Kylies Camp (she lived there exploring Indian Head and writing a book) before setting off to walk to Diamond Head (Brian: Cook logged it as Indian Head as, looking through his spy-glass he saw the black stick figures of aborigines, but it was later named Diamond Head due to the quartz that shines from the rock outcrops)

The coast from Kylies Lookout
We came out of the bush to another spectacular view before I decided I was wearing all the wrong clothes for being out in the sunshine at midday on a headland! Mum and I retreated back to the van to drive round to Diamond Head leaving B to walk. 

Rock arch at Diamond Head
Having stopped to look at two huge black birds (black macaws it turns out) we only just got there before him. Many kangaroo and a lace monitor lizard later after lunch we set off on another koala hunt  

The lace monitor lizard

There's a leech lurking in that marsh Pauline....
All we needed now to make her happy was a koala.  Fairly fruitless but a Park Ranger told us where to go, so off we went.  Did we see any - no.  Nothing for it but the Koala Hospital.  When we got there I noticed blood on my trousers.  After a few minutes of the talk J sidled up and said "There's a leech over there.  I think that caused your bleeding".  Oh look, said the guide - he's had a good feed.

...and there it is, after his fill!
Having his lactose free milk feed
We set off on the tour hearing all the stories of the inmates, though concentrating was hard as the koala were so cute, everyone wanted to cuddle one! Didn’t get one in the van, but it’s a good start!

This morning dawned clear but with the forecast  getting worse we set off whale watching. Humpback (and baleen) whales migrate north up the coast to give birth in the warmer waters before taking their young back to the Antarctic when they are a little older. We were very lucky, the first whale we saw, breached 3 or 4 times, bursting out of the water seemingly just because it could. We then cruised alongside this and another whale for about an hour, we were then joined by some bottlenose dolphins, just as much fun, but so much bigger than the Hectors dolphins we were used to in NZ, 
before they got bored of us and went to play with the whales which was wonderful, watching them leaping out of the water followed by the whales. What a fab day, there were only 10 of us on the boat, such a different experience from whale watching in Kaikoura!

All ashore for a look around the ‘Big Band Festival’ some really good school brass bands and some stalls before a trip to Aldi, yes Aldi for shopping! Wine in Aldi is the cheapest thing we’ve found in Oz so far! $2.49 (£1.75) is palatable, $3.49 (£2.50) is very nice and $4.99 (£3.75) well worth drinking! All Oz wines bottled for Aldi! Mum and I have cooked up a storm – pork and rumbledethumps (thanks Helen) tonight and stew for tomorrow, with some of the $1.99 huge mixed pack of veg Mum found. Brian: I did apple crumble and custard!

1 comment:

  1. Who would have thought Rumbledethumps would travel so well :-) xx