Cessnock, Tea Gardens, Hawks Nest, Myall Lakes NP, Forster
4 days away
256 km / 159 miles since last post
519 km / 322 miles total
We started the day off with scrambled eggs on toast for breakfast - which set us up for the day ahead. Firstly. we wanted to check out a couple more vineyards in the Hunter Valley before we left. We drove to Ernest Hill's cellar door, which had some lovely wines. After tasting a few, we decided upon a tasty Verdelho - usually a variety only found in Portugal. We also opted for a slightly fizzy red dessert wine. Stu and I are not normally fans of dessert wine, but this one tasted so refreshing, light and fruity, with a deliciously subtle fizz that we couldn't resist. It was not ridiculously sweet and syrupy, as has been my previous experience of dessert wines.
After leaving the Hunter Valley we headed towards the Myall Lakes National Park. On the way we stopped off at Tea Gardens for some lunch by the lake. As we were eating our lunch, a man approached us asking where we were from, where we were heading to etc. I think the paranoia of living in Knowle for too long kicked in, as Stu immediatley checked where his rucksack was. It turned out the guy was just being friendly and wished us well on our travels. (Stu: It's pretty sad how living in certain areas of the city permanently affects your psyche). We then headed further along to look at the beach at Port Stephens. The beach there is huge and stunning and the view out towards some smaller islands was great.
We then continued through the National Park, stopping now and again to see the sights. One of the stops being 'The Dark Point' - sounded pretty ominous! Turns out that it's just a collection of huge sand dunes. By this point the day had really heated up, and even a short 10 minute walk up the dunes and back was enough to start breaking out into a sweat. You wouldn't want to get trapped there without any shade or water!
Further through the park is a ferry point to take you across the lake for a small fee. We then followed the unsealed road for about 10km until we rejoined the Pacific Highway again. The road wasn't too bad, but you have be careful of the pot-holes! The whole journey through the park was a lovely scenic drive, and worth the detour from the main highways going North.
The next stop was Forster. This hadn't been an original place to visit on our travel plan, but it seemed a convenient place to stop enroute to Port Macquarie tomorrow. It's actually proved to be a great place to stop. We are sandwiched between Wallis Lake and the Pacific Ocean. After arriving at the campsite and cooking some dinner (bangers and mash!) we headed down to the lake in time for the sunset. It was really peaceful and Stu remarked how he might take a dip in the lake tomorrow!