Forced rest for the first days of winter

Community Highlights Oceania Forced rest for the first days of winter

Saturday we pulled up camp mid-morning, heading north from Nowra to Wollongong. Being the first day of winter, we were introduced with a bit of a rush of cold wind and the threat of rain later in the day.

First stop though was Kiama, to the blowhole, and we certainly picked a good day to observe the sea in all its fury. It was cold. It was windy. The blow hole was blowing! The spray looked like steam with the smaller waves, but the bigger ones strutted their stuff. The still photos don't do the motion justice.

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The blowhole is on the rocky headland, which is also home to the Kiama lighthouse, completed in 1887.

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From Kiama we found our way to the Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort (actually in Fairy Meadow just north of the Wollongong CBD), with our site nestled behind the tea trees bordering the pristine (and today very angry) surf beach.

The light drizzle forced us to relax through the afternoon, by reading, puzzling, and generally slowing down. We did try to find a break in the drizzle to head quickly to the supermarket on the bike, but our best attempt was foiled when after shopping, we walked out to find it raining fairly heavily. Needless to say, we got home a bit wet, but at least our pantry was a couple of shopping bags fuller (we can't carry too much on the bike).

Sunday, a bit like Saturday afternoon, the persistent drizzle kept us inside most of the day. However, by mid-afternoon it cleared enough to visit some local breweries. You can read our reviews of Dusty Lizard Brewing (complete with a resident bearded dragon), Seeker Brewing and Resin Brewing (housed in a charming historic building) by following this link: Aussie craft brewery and taproom reviews.

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Monday was a run-around, errand day, to motorbike shops where we each scored a new jacket with couple of good bargains. We were also in the hunt for a better lock for the bike. On the way home, we stopped in at Five Barrel Brewing.

Tuesday with a break in the weather, we were back to the touristy stuff. First, off north to ride on the Sea Cliff Bridge on the Grand Pacific Drive. No doubt you've seen it in all its stunning glory in ads. Funny though, while you're driving it, it doesn't feel any different to any normal bridge or elevated road. But when you walk it, it is something else.

Fast facts:

  • Cost $49 million to build
  • In some spots, it is up to 70-metres east of the original road.
  • It consists of a five-span, 450-metre-long balanced cantilever bridge adjoining a seven-span, 203-metre-long incremental launched bridge, sharing a common pier.
  • It has been engineered with a design life of 100 years!

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We thought the main story though, was on the other side of the bridge; the old road in some places, still hugging the unstable cliffs (you might be able to see it below at the bottom of the pic with rusty guard rails peeking through the bushes) - sometimes the rockfalls would close the road for months at a time, hence a new road needed to be built!. Walking that road would be fascinating and I'm sure would have plenty of stories to tell.

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From north of town, we then rode back into town, where we wandered around Flagstaff Hill with the new lighthouse and the battery with the disappearing gun (installed just after the Crimea War with the fear of Russians attacking the local industrial hub) ...

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... to the sheltered harbour with the old lighthouse on the breakwater.

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Apparently, Wollongong is the only point on the eastern coast of Australia which has two lighthouses in close proximity to each other.

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Wednesday we woke to another chilly morning. After a leisurely breakfast and pack-up, we left Wollongong to go inland. Two of the three routes were not suitable for either trucks or towing caravans, so we tracked north-west to go over the ranges before heading back south-west to Moss Vale. By the time we arrived at the Moss Vale Showgrounds (our home for a couple of nights) a light drizzle had set in. We set up on our site which was next to an old blacksmith's shed - we might just fire up the forge!

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The drizzle wasn't heavy enough to stop us going for a walk into town, but enough to stop us going for a ride. We really need to think about finding a warmer, drier destination.

This featured blog entry was written by DJBnomadz from the blog Home on the road.
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By DJBnomadz

Posted Wed, Jun 05, 2024 | Australia | Comments