We left Narooma on Sunday morning, with the view of making it to Abercrombie River NP by evening. After a stop at Surf Beach to catch up with my mum and dad and to wish mum a happy 91st birthday for next month we were back up the Clyde and on the road to Goulburn by early afternoon.
Mr P is back from his fishing trip to the coast and Dusty is in need of an overhaul inside and out before next setting of on our road trip, north to Queensland.
First things first, curtains and seat covers were stripped out and put in the wash, this was a long overdue chore. We will need to go out to Fyshwick tomorrow to get the shower tent and pump. I think Anaconda will be out best bet for these. Monday it’s new tyres and a trip to Bitch’n stitch’ for the privacy screen for the Fiama awning.
We are hoping to get down to Narooma next Saturday for the school reunion and a catch up with friends before hitting the road north on Sunday. Our first stop will be the popular birding spot at Capertee Valley, driving up through Goulburn to Bathurst will also by pass Sydney.
Stay tuned for more reports.
Like a lot of Canberrans we made the most of the 3 day weekend, to take a break from the city. The weather at the coast was predicted to be wet and windy, no better excuse was need to head the hills. We were on the road by 8am on Saturday morning and made a stop in Cooma, I love a good Tourist Information Centre. All those free maps and the local bird list. Our destination was the thermal pool at Yarrongabilly Caves in the Kosciusko National Park, via Adaminaby and Kiandra.
I forgot to take the camera down with us, so this image is uploaded from the Internet. The pools are down a steep track from the car park, the walk takes about 15 minutes on the way down and was a bit of a trek back up taking us twice as long. We enjoyed the afternoon swimming in the 27 degree water, despite a couple of showers of rain. There is no camp site at the pools so we drove on to the site of old township of Yarrongabilly, to a great little camp site beside the river.
Although we saw lots of warning signs and poo on the road we didn’t see any of the reported 7,500 brumbies running wild the the park.
The VW really went well and ate up the hills arriving at the camp in time to get the fire going before dark. We were relieved when this storm passed to the north, entertaining us over dinner with a lightening show.
|Berringer Lake Conjola National Park|
Although we had both done some research for our 3 day road trip to explore the lakes in the Milton, Ulladulla area, we really had no set plans. Best way to travel I think!
We had decided to take the road to the coast through Nerriga on Friday afternoon. Although mostly sealed there are very few opportunities to overtake. At one stage we had a convoy of 10, 4WD utes behind Dusty, we obligingly pulled over just outside Nerriga and had a chuckle when all 10 utes pulled into the Nerriga pub car park 2 klms down the road.
Friday night we free camped at a spot I had spied on an earlier trip near Bendalong, toilets, electric BBQ and a waterfront view. Good birding as well, I ticked 1 rufous fantail just near the toilet block (a first for me). Saturday morning was overcast and drizzling rain so we decided to make the trip down the coast, to see if we could get access to Termeil Lake south of Ulladulla. Unfortunately the road into this part of the Meroo National park is 4WD only. We took the 2WD access road to Meroon Headland and spoke to some the fishermen camping they were pulling down their tents as the fish were not biting.
Time for someserious fishing,so we opted to pull into aptly named little hamlet of Fishermans Paradise for a paddle. This is a backwater of Lake Conjola, I had a great paddle in the falling light up the picturesque Porter Creek as far as the wooden bridge. The creek goes under the highway and is navigable up to the dam a trip for another day. The fishing back at the ramp was pretty ordinary, but was an ideal spot to spend the night.
Sunday we made for beautiful Berringer Lake, in Conjola National Park. This little lake is much quieter than the adjoining Lake Conjola. Unfortunately the mouth of the lake is very silted up and like most extuaries along the coast really need a goodtidal flow to improve the fishing. Mr P managed to bag a nice flathead and swag of tailer for dinner.
|Overnight camp spot|
|Sea Eagle nest|
|Don’t know the story behind this sink in the middle of nowhere|
|Fish were biting, trailer and flathead.|
After a week of temperatures in the high 30s it was no wonder that we were joined by a steady stream of traffic down the Clyde on Friday afternoon. Our 5 o’clock departure meant that there were the usual number of idiots on the road, breaking their necks to get to the Bay in under 2 hours. Safely arrived at sea level it was a relief to smell the salt air again and and feel the sea breeze.
Over the next few trips we are going to paddle some of the lesser known waterways of the south coast. This weekend our destination is Congo Creek, a small waterway accessed via South Head Road south of Moruya Heads. We camped at the very popular National Parks campground, and were lucky to get the last site on the foreshore.
The paddle up the creek from the beach takes about 50 minutes, with a few stops to look at the wide variety of bird-life. 36 species were counted for the weekend, with the highlight being a Lewin’s Honeyeater and a Spotted Pardalote, birds that I have not encountered in this area before. As well as a Lyrebird scuttling off the Kings Highway at the top of the Clyde on Sunday afternoon.
In February 2013 Congo Creek was the site of a large fish kill http://www.naroomanewsonline.com.au/story/1345208/fish-kill-at-congo-creek-due-to-low-oxygen-gallery/ The creek is on the way to recovering, with a few lucky fishermen (not us) bagging a nice flathead and bream.
On Saturday afternoon we were joined by a delightful couple from the UK driving a Bocklet Expedition Camper. They had driven overland through Europe to Asia via Pakestan and down through Indonesia via Timor Leste to Darwin. There was a gathering of campervan nuts like me queueing for a peek inside and to hear their stories.
|The Bocklet was a late arrival and had to park at the boat ramp on Congo Creek.|
|Congo Creek Mouth|
|Fairy Terns on the beach at the mouth of the creek|
|Mr P trying his luck with lures|
Australia Day marks the end of the Christmas holiday season on the South Coast of NSW. This now means that all our favourite weekend haunts are not so busy. After an afternoon fish at Preddys Wharf at Moruya we drove down to Potato Point and parked at our favourite picnic area and toilet block. We didn’t want to attempt the road in the the National Park during the storm and in the dark. Dusty does not have great undercarriage clearance, the low hanging water tank takes a bit of a pizzling on dirt tracks. After a top up with water and and a dash to the loo we set off to find the spot Mr P had located a few weeks earlier. This area is a maze of tracks and after a couple of wrong turns we found the spot in time for breakfast on the lake and what a view.
Saturday morning paddle to Borang Lake
I had hoped to photograph the 2 Little Eagles that I had spotted last weekend, so loaded the camera and tripod and set off after breakfast. Given the windy conditions, this was going to be a challenge. Midway down the creek past Horse Island the wind picked up from the south, I made good time with the tide in my favour reaching Borang in 1 hour and fifteen minutes. The paddle back was fine until I was back in the open lake. My little boat had taken in quite a bit of water by the time I reached camp on the southern side of the lake. Round trip time 4.5 hours of paddling, I was shagged and no Little Eagles.
Fishing and birding
My hectic work schedule and the thermometer hitting 40 for the last 3 days, had me feling rattey and in much need of an escape to the coast. Mr P had discovered some excellent kayaking spots along the Tuross River on his last 2 solo trips and was keen to show off the fishing and bird life in the area.
We arrived in the early Thursday afternoon, I was still not sparking on all cylinders and decided to veg out and tackle a longer paddle around Horse Iisland after a good nights sleep. This is such a pristine waterway.
Our early departure from Canberra on Friday meant we missed the majority of the traffic, exiting for the coast. After a shortstop at Surf Beach to drop the Christmas goodies into the family’s freezer for safe keeping we headed down to Tuross. The plan being 2 nights camping before taking up a holiday house at Tomakin with friends and some of the kids.
That was the sales pitch used by real estate agents in the 60’s and Tuross Heads is still a gem of a spot and our destination for the 2nd road trip of Summer. A later start from Canberra saw us at the Rustic Pizza again for our pickup at 6:50pm.
There are camps that are just too good to share, some of you may be able to guess the location of this one.
|Great overnight camp|
|The reason why we were up so early.|
|Perfect paddling conditions|
Tuross Lake is the breeding site of several endangered bird species. Before the king tides and heavy swells of the last 2 days there were 70 Fairy Terns and Little Terns nests on the sand spit at the lake entrance. By Sunday morning these were reduced significantly. Hopefully it is still early enough in the season for these birds to lay more eggs.
|Another endangered species Sooty Oystercatcher|
Both Sooty and Pied Oystercatchers were observed either with chicks or sitting on eggs.
Destination Preddys Wharf.
An early start meant that I was able to get away from work by 3pm. The Friday afternoon traffic down the Clyde was orderly, probably the increased police presence helped. A wet road, down a mountain needs a bit of respect. At least 3 drivers were having a bad start to their weekend.
A stop in Moruya, for bait and a wood fired pizza, at a new place I had spotted on a previous trip. We opted for the Moruya River, great choice, just the right amount of anchovies. It was raining by the time we arrived at Preddys Wharf. So beer and pizza and wait for the rain to stop, in my case in bed early with my book.
|Noisy Friar Birds|