Discovering lost corners

On 18 August 2014 by From elephants to kangaroos

Before I left for my road trip on the East Coast, I did not really have any specific itinerary in mind. I had some obvious stops that everyone talk about (like the Whitsundays, Byron Bay, Cairns, Brisbane or Sydney) but I wanted to leave me the freedom to explore other things on the way. This allowed me to arrive in beautiful places thanks to the advice of travelers met along the way, my instinct or by luck losing me. I’ve already talked a bit about my stop to Agnes Water in this article and great people I met there. I told you about my visit to the koala hospital in Port Macquarie. Today I‘ll talk about two other places I went that completely charmed me.

IMG_1754The 1st is actually a route called the Lakes Way. Two Australians who are traveling by bicycle from Perth to Cairns (big challenge!) advised me on this one. So rather than take again the highway, I took this detour” between Taree and Newcastle to see a different view of Australia. I was able to see some very nice corners between the ocean and lakes, with lots of walks to do. I personally started by walking at Forster, it took me about 1 hour and this walk helps along the side discovering superb views. I was lucky, a large sun was up and I was able to walk around in t-shirt by 20 degree, pretty nice during Australian winter! As a bonus, I had lunch facing a group of six dolphins who decided to go through it just in time … how to say :)
IMG_1777I then went at Cape Hawke that provides a 360 degree view of the area and so really helps you realize that the region is divided between the ocean on one side and dozens of lakes of any size to the other. In the midst of this, a few pieces of land to give relief! I then crossed the Booti Booti National Park, I stopped for a moment of personal reflection in Smiths Lake, only for miles around, observing the calm of the lake by this sunny day. Then I finished the tour of the lakes by Seal Rocks which I had heard. This is the end of a peninsula. I climb to the lighthouse once again allowed me to admire beautiful views but also to meet Mark, the Australian man who repairs parts lighthouses of the all country (in this caseByron Bay’s one!). And since few people made ​​the walk to the lighthouse because it is very high and in general, especially at this season, there are few tourists, he was very glad that I got interested in his job. He also gave me good advice on the beach so watch the sunset or a place to camp for free. So here I am at Neranie Park, next to a lake, with only the birds as companions, to enjoy this place so peaceful

IMG_1828The next morning, I leave for the 2nd place which Aude and Joris, from Very Good Trip, had told me about: the Worimi National Park. It is a park located in Anna Bay, still above Newcastle in the Bay of Port Stephens. This park has the particularity of having massive sand dunes that extend over 36km long. So here I am arriving in a surreal moonscape, always this wonderful sea along the Australian coast and the dunes beside that seem out of nowhere. When you are in the middle of it, it is almost like if you were in the Sahara (although I‘ve never been there, it’s kind of how I imagined in even grander wait one day to put my feet and see it!). So I‘m going to walk in the dunes, completely alone in the world. The sun still shines, giving superb color sand and landscape in general. I also heard from one activity to do on site: the sandboarding. IMG_1840Being fan of snowboarding, trying me kitesurfing, wakeboarding and any other sport involving a board, I was curious about this and couldn’t resist. In addition, I met Ian from 4WD Tours R Us at its booth, super smiling and friendly, that convinced me (but did I really hesitate?) to do it. So I went with him and a group of Koreans in the midst of very large sand dunes. 2 seconds to learn how to slide on the black wooden board, a lifetime to play with! I hit the dunes having a lot of fun, taking some sand on the way but it did not matter. Between each run, I must go back of course, no cable car here as skiing! A little out of breath, so I take every ride for a chat with Ian and having fun with him. He explains that he arrived there 14 years ago and has never left. It also explains that the dunes are constantly moving for several miles every year to the land. He also took a lot of pictures for me, thank you to him!

IMG_1871For lunch, I opted for the beach in Nelson Bay, once again superb and shows some mountains. So I decided to get a little digestive walk, still on Ian advices, to Shoal Bay to see these famous mountains that are part of Tamaree National Park. I climb on top of Tomaree Head, pretty high by the way (especially for me and my vertigo), and here I am faced with a 360° panorama on this beautiful bay. I take full advantage of the panorama before descending gently on the beach. I was so fascinated by the sand dunes that I decided to go back for the sunset (Ian told me I could sleep in the car park calmly) and it was a damn good choice. Beer on IMG_1892hand, I see the colors of these gorgeous sunsets the Australia offers reflecting on the sand, while giving a different picture of the place. No words really to describe, except to say that it’s probably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have seen during this road trip, perhaps even during this world tour...

The next day, I go towards Newcastle and the Blue Mountains before heading to Sydney. But I know that the weather will turn and the rain coming across the region for a week apparently according to local. I take advantage of my night with dunes and stars above, knowing that this little magic moment will not be the last.

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