Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Gillards Beach and Bendalong

From our campsite looking out to Gillards Beach.
For many different reasons, crossing over the border into New South Wales was very much like turning over the page on what you know is the last chapter of a good book: there was a definite finality to it. All the loose ends were coming together, dates and times for staying with friends were being locked in place and we spoke of having weeks, not months left of this trip.

Gillards Beach.

And once we drove into Eden and traced already trodden steps up that beautiful New South Wales south coast, those feelings of homesickness gave way to something even more terrifying: Christmas loomed ominously and I had not done one thing to prepare for it.  But I got over that pretty quick, there would be plenty of time to indulge in a gorge-fest of materialism in the next two weeks.
Wallaby and joey at our campsite.
Anyway, we drove to Mimosa Rocks National Park, bang in the middle of Merimbula and Bermagui, to an enchanting spot called Gillards Beach. Having become something of a connoisseur of National Park campgrounds, I can confidently say that this particular one is probably in the top five of most awesome spots we’d ever been. Grassy sites and big firepits  sit on the top of treed dunes overlooking the blue Pacific Ocean and golden sands. Wallabies graze around the sites, echidnas search for ants and birds like lorikeets and blue wrens flit about the bush.
Mossy Mimosa Rocks.

The weather played along, even providing a few of those awesome cathartic afternoon thunderstorms which reveal a fresh and sparkling world the next morning where there had only been the steamy sweat of humidity the day before. We fished (Fiela caught some very good sized herring) gathered oysters and threw them on the fire in the shell, swam, surfed, played on the sand and generally enjoyed ourselves.  Even the drop loo played along by not stinking that much. Sigh, this place was great but weatherzone was telling us that rain was coming and it wasn’t going to go again for a while, so we packed up and headed to our next stop on the northern side of Ulladulla.
Idyllic days...
But it's not all beer and skittles: tandem naughty corner action.
Really? You can't throw rocks at people? Close up? At all???

Bendalong is another beautiful spot, at a much more expensive campsite but with a waterpark, jumping pillow and all the other natural coastal playgrounds you could imagine. We set up just in time to avoid a horrendous downpour and hunkered down for what followed- about three days of wind and rain. Sure the sun came out just to almost dry everything out and allow us to go for a swim at the beach, but the weather was in general, soul destroying. On the upside, we had internet and power, so there was a fair-sized ABCKids fest going on in the camper, Fiela had ‘the most epic surf ever’, caught a heap of fish off the kayak and we watched as the kangaroos boxed on the lawn in front. This was another five days of great camping, despite the torrential rain.
Looking out to Washerwoman's Beach, a beautiful protected little bay at Bendalong.
And with the end of those few nights began the eating, drinking and socialising games as the Uyshuis stared down the barrel of over a week in the relative luxury of three solid homes and the hospitality of  friends and family.
Birds hassled us for food...

...which they got.

Grey kangaroos
 The rest of these pictures are of two male grey kangaroos 'boxing'. A few of the females were on heat, so the boxing happened regularly and as with the human world, the girls looked on thinking "What a pair of idiots!"

Some feral camp kid terrorising the streets.

A dry moment at camp.

No comments:

Post a Comment