Back in the car and following the road around a bend, we find another nice area. The tide has gone out and left behind some nice shallow pools for the little ones to have a splash in. For the older ones, there is deeper water, just be careful with the currents, and the surf beach where the waves were rolling in. Nice near white sand, a beautiful sunny day, plenty of street parking, this was a little piece of paradise!
We are only 18kms from Port Macquarie
Next we continue to the town of LAURIETON
This review is the start of a day trip we did from Port Macquarie. I will take you as my "virtual passenger" in my car, showing you the sights that are close by that we can see in one day.
As we depart Port Macquarie along Ocean drive, which is the road to Laurieton, we catch glimpses of beaches and the Tasman sea, and lots of new housing estates. Looks like this area is becoming popular as a place to live, and not just as a sea-side holiday village, where holiday -makers come to enjoy the laid back atmosphere and the pretty surroundings.
We crossed over the bridge at Cathie creek and turned left into Aqua crescent into the off road free car park at the Riverside Park. This is a lovely setting where picnickers are catered for with several free bbqs, picnic benches, plenty of shade trees, a sandy beach with shallow and deep water, and a paved bikeway/walkway. The other side was just as good, probably had more sand.
It looked so inviting on a hot day!
Continue to next REVIEW
We took a day trip to Timbertown Heritage Park at Wauhope approximately an hour by ferry from Port Macquarie. Our 40 seat ferry left the town wharf at 10am and we had an enjoyable cruise on the wide waters of the Hastings River, at times reaching a speed of 12 knots, at other times moving very slowly as we negotiated a shallow channel between sand bars. Along the way we passed the Vehicular Punt which transfers vehicles to the other side of the river, passed the oyster farms, fish farms and the everchanging riverbanks which sometimes had treed banks and often faced straight onto farmland. For half the trip I went outside to the bow and enjoyed the breeze onto my face.
On arrival at Timbertown we spent several hours in the park enjoying the show and the many exhibits. After lunch we returned to our ferry and returned to Port Macquarie, however the Captain decided to give us a bonus and we went looking for dolphins, having found them we spent 20 minutes chasing them and trying to get a good photo (extremely difficult). We were then taken for a tour of the canals and the luxury homes eventually returning to the wharf just before 5pm. An exceptionally good day.
Cost of the day was Au$59 per person including morning tea and lunch.
During our week in Port Macquarie we saw a notice advertising the Spring Show and decided to make the half hour drive to beautiful Camden Haven located along the mouth of the Camden Haven river.
The Orchid Show was held in the Laurieton United Servicemens' Club and you were given membership for the day which enabled you to use the bar and dining room facilities. Onto the orchids and what a display they made in the meeting room, there were flowering plants of all shapes and colours everywhere and the flower quality was as good as you would see anywhere.
We spent an hour at the show and then drove back to Port Macquarie stopping several times to admire the beach and landscape. A most pleasant afternoon.
After these falls you next come upon the Ferny Creek Cascades which lie about 100 metres below the trail and are extremely difficult to get close to and impossible to photograph properly from the track.
After this the trail winds down to a bridge then it's all uphill back to the carpark.
From there I commenced the drive out through Yarras but the road had been heavily eroded in parts and it certainly wasn't a drive for the faint hearted.
All that faded from memory when I reached the Forbes River Road intersection. This gorgeous river offers many photo opportunities for the exploring mind, as shown in the pics.
The first one is of a side stream that flows into the main river then the next three are of the river itself followed by the sign. I should add to pic 5, "If you don't know the way, then ask a local!".
There are flowers around, but you won't be falling over them unless you're on the side of the road. Australia has the world's tallest flowering plants and you can see evidence of that up here on the forest floor where the blooms have come to rest.
Others, like those shown here, you will come across on the side of the road, which is the best place to keep an eye out for them.
Just 800 metres from the carpark you come to King Fern Falls. This delightful creek makes its way through moss laden giants, many of which have fallen, and drops in various sized steps down the fall line of the stream.
All these shots are of the falls, the ones taken at the base are from an area that is a bit tricky to get to and involves scrambling down a rocky scree slope covered with all sorts of dead and alive vegetation. Not for the faint hearted or frail of foot!
Since the walks at Brushy were too long for the amount of time I had, I headed down the road to Plateau Beech. This is a bush camp area with toilets and a covered area with bench seating where you can eat. It also has a wonderful rainforest walk.
It was just before midday when I embarked and head off along the track to the first waterfall.
As you can see, ferns figure prominently once you get on the trail though the most common trees are Antarctic Beech (sometimes called Negrohead Beech), Coachwood, Prickly Ash, Sassafras and Corkwood.
The backlighting that occurs through shafts of light penetrating the forest canopy makes the place look surreal but can be extremely difficult to recapture in photographs, as you may note in pictures two and three.
Werrikimbe National Park lies about an hour inland from Port Macquarie. If you don't like dirt roads, don't go. There's a lot of them.
Initially you can either go in through Beechwood or turn off near Yarras on the Oxley Highway, the latter offers more tar but the dirt in from there is often worse, as was the case on my last trip in though I did a loop, coming in through Beechwood and out through Yarras.
It was a near perfect spring day and I had the whole place to myself. Since I'd thoughtfully (not) left my map at home, I was winging it somewhat though I had been there before some years ago.
I knew Plateau Beech offered an excellent walk but I thought I'd try somewhere else first. I followed a sign to Banda Banda. Mistake. After about 2kms the road intersected without any indication as to what track led where. I chose the left option. Mistake number 2. You really couldn't call it a road.
After all, when there's moss where you'd normally expect tyre tracks, leaf laden branches start flicking you in the face through your driver's side window and the vegetation between the tracks is higher than your sump, you can fairly assume that this is a road less travelled.
I chickened out and returned to the Brushy Mountain area.
The first picture shows me back on a more-main road, the second at the picnic area and the third is of an echidna that was on the road before I came along.
There is also a blacksmith, a leather-worker and other craftspeople, a railway station, a steam train, a steam sawmill, shops, a pub and barbecue facilities. This is a really very good pioneer town set on 87 acres.
Not far from Wauchope is the Wilson's River Primitive Reserve, which is one of the best forests in the region. There are three good bush walks through the park varying in length and taking in some of the most spectacular ancient forest scenery in the area.
We had a ride in the historic steam train and jostled along the streets of yesteryear in the wonderfully restored Cobb & Co. coach.
We saw, heard, touched, smelled, and tasted - experienced and learned of the thrills and trails that forged the hearts and spirits of all Australians. We tasted the flavours of mouth-watering, fresh country fare as we relaxed in the authentic bakery and traditional tearoom.
Besides all this the town features a working dairy farm, the Big Bull that is open to the public. The farm features an animal nursery, restaurant, hands-on milking displays, rides for the kids and of course a 14m high replica "Big Bull".
The major attraction near Wauchope is the Timbertown Pioneer Village, which has literally dozens of houses recreating an old timber town of the 1880s. The early settlers and timber getters made Wauchope their home in this period. The town thrived for many years as a timber town and a recreation of Wauchope in the early days is now a historical theme park.
We had quite a good time in Timbertown and tasted the excitement of Australian life as it was 100 years ago. We met memorable characters in the school when we had to take a class the old fashion style.
Port Macquarie is located 17 metres above sea level at the mouth of the Hastings River. With over 40,000 residents, it's the largest town on the NSW coast between Newcastle and Tweed Heads. It is a rapidly expanding centre and tourism is obviously central spill in the local economy.
In historic terms, Port Macquarie is the most significant town between Newcastle and the Queensland border. Prior to European settlement, the area is thought to have been occupied by the Kattang Aborigines. Captain Cook sailed past this section of the coast in 1770, as did Matthew Flinders in 1802. However John Oxley followed the river during an overland trek in 1818. He named the site Port Macquarie after the governor of NSW, Lachlan Macquarie, who initiated the expedition.