Grafton Bridge To Bridge Ski Classic
We are Water Skiiers, and envy the big wide calm waters of the Clarence river. Only wish we had something like this near where I live.
October, and the River is a very busy place, as this is when the BRIDGE TO BRIDGE SKI RACE is held.
150 of the worlds fastest Water Ski Race Boats on the water, reaching speeds in excess of 120 miles per hour, this is a sight to see!They have 108 kilometres of skiing to do over the course which is considered to be the toughest race on both man and machine due to the long and wide expanses of the Clarence River.
The current record at 36 minutes and 52 seconds, is held by a Victorian crew "Hellbent."
We also checked out the Seelands Ski Resort where you can stay, a nice area.
There is also a Bridge to Bridge Sailing Classic held every November, a lot more sedate!
The real reason I went to the river was to shoot the sunset. It didn't happen and didn't look like happening so I packed up and drove further along the road to Glen Innes.
Suddenly the cloud formations looked promising again so I unloaded my camera and went off into a field. It didn't happen again so I returned to the car and stopped just to take a couple of shots looking south.
When I'd finished I turned around and suddenly it all happened. Off back through the barbed wire fence (not easy when you're in a hurry!) and over to the dead trees. Bingo, I got lucky. Then again, as has been said many times, sometimes you make your own luck.
I hope you enjoy.
I've had some experiences here, none better than the last two. On the Tuesday the weather was filthy and I had my work clothes on. I got through the knee deep water at low tide with only having to take my shoes off but when I finally got to the other side it started to rain and I ended up wet all over, despite sheltering beneath the sparse tree cover.
The next day I arrived shortly before midday. This time it was high tide. In between taking photos and frustrating attempts to broach Station Creek it took me about half an hour before, naked from the waist down, I made it over (or through) the flowing water. I had left my shoes behind this day, ultimately not a good decision, but convenient for the crossing. It left room to stash my trousers in the backpack.
When I returned I had a thought as to how good it would be if a vehicle came to this lonely part of the world. This before I stripped, naked to the waist again. Just as I was stacking my gear in the bag, along came a 4WD. How embarrassing. Since I desperately wanted a picture of someone crossing I grabbed my camera and turned the top half of my body to get a shot or two. (see pics 2-5)
That worked fine until Bob the concreter, on his way for an afternoon's fishing, stalled just 5 metres before getting clear of the water. I then had to redress, went down for a chat before Bob decided to go and get help from the 4WD at Pebbly Beach.
This allowed me to strip again and make the crossing back to Station Creek Beach.
There are signs warning people about the varying depths and you are advised to ford at low tide.
This lovely town is known for its beautiful Jacanada trees which are in full bloom in October. The town is located on the Clarence River which houses cute villages like Lawernce, Brusgrove, Copmamhurst and Jackadery. Make sure you visit Susan Island, which has the largest fruit bat colony in the Australia. River cruises and houseboat hire are available on the river.
For more details about this town visit www.nnsw.com.au/grafton . Don't forget to eat at the Grafton Hotel situated on the banks of the mighty Clarence River.
It's only an hour away from home
"The Jacaranda capital of Australia"
Grafton is only an hour or so North of Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway and it is famous for its avenues of beautiful Jacarandah trees. I have always loved the Jacarandah and even planted one in my garden 20 odd years ago. The new owners must like it because it is still growing steadily and is one of the larger trees in the street. How beautiful.
While researching this beautiful place I discovered some information that I hadn't been aware of.
- The floral festival (for Jacarandas) is the oldest in Australia having first started in 1943. The festival is held during October and November every year.
- In a neighbouring Susan Island rain forest there lives the largest flying fox colony in the southern hemisphere.
- WINSTON CHURCHILL has links to Grafton in a most unusual way. Just upstream of the Clarence River on the Southern side of the bridge you will find the rusty remains of an old ferry........must get a photo. It, (the ferry called the SS Induna) had an early life in Africa and to quote the Great Australian Gazeteer of 2003, ".........earlier life in Africa weekly steamer that
played a part in the escape of a young war correspondent - in 1899 Winston Chrchill escaped
from a prison in Pretoria and rode the Induna to safety in Durban ......"
So GRAFTON is not just a pretty face.....er sorry.... place.
More information on this interesting and old township may be found by copying this link.............