Saturday 13 June- Bellinger River
Today we decided to explore Urunga (a bit of history of this town here), as it was sunny, which we’d hoped for to enjoy the blue sea…. Had seen pictures of the km long boardwalk which looked very interesting. It was. The length of boardwalk has been from the town along the mouths of 2 wide (Kalang & Bellinger) rivers all the way out to the ocean – river on one side, wetlands with mangroves on the other.
Back in the day a lot of work needed to be done to enable sailing boats to navigate the shallow entry, such as steam tugs, a pilot station, ‘training wall’ and a breakwater. Local cedar was logged, and during floods floated downstream.
We saw fish, many little blue crabs, and some kids catching nippers (for those who want to know what they are and used for, click here).
After that we enjoyed a lovely lunch on the Kalang river, and then we did another wetlands boardwalk. ‘Wasteland to Wetland’.
This was a fairly short loop through a pretty area. It was built and only opened recently, finished in 2017. Prior to that, it had been subject to a 6-year clean-up of an environmental mess that was left un-remediated or cleaned up by Broken Hill Antimony P/L who used the site for 5 years ending in 1974 – extracting the heavy metal antimony from its ore ‘stibnite’; a process which completely contaminated the wetlands and water and saw the area barren. Today, the cleaning of the soil and water is still being monitored and adjusted as needed, and a lot of natural habitat has regenerated. It is very pretty.
Sunday 14 June
As we are staying at a site where they have not yet opened the amenities (other than a few toilets) we have had to use our own shower, which is small and a bit of a pain. The shower nylon shower curtain (which has the advantage of drying very quickly) clings to your wet body, so Jen will probably make a hoop to hang from the curtain rail and push the curtain out to provide some space between body and nylon curtain. – for the next trip. Arno will need to investigate the possibility to replace the ‘straight-up’ showerhead (as it is actually only useable if you hand-hold it) to an adjustable angle shower and have both hands free.
We had a nice easy day with some shopping, and a late lunch with Geri & Michael at our favourite place Raleigh Winery, where we were the first day to the area. They completely agreed with our verdict. It was again, first class. We also bought a bottle of Muscat, after having a bit with dessert, and took the rest home (and consumed that evening). The weather was okay-ish but cleared up late afternoon and then turned into a magnificent sunset.
Monday 15 June
Packed up – beautiful weather, but of course a lot of dew and condense, so needed to wipe and dry the annexe panels. We had only put up the sides this time, as the front cannot be rolled up in its entirety, and we like to have that outdoor feel. Need to get straps fitted to that panel so we can do that. It will make a bit more versatile.
We returned to Bellingen, and just wandered around a bit, and stopped at the Swiss bakery for a treat. It is a cute country town. After that, we headed south again, en-route to our next destination: Scotts Head.
We took the scenic route and stopped to spend a few hours in Nambucca Heads. It is a lovely coastal town again, with some spectacular viewpoint – so we checked out a few of them and walked around a bit (including some very steep hills!).
Over lunch in the caravan along the river, we also enjoyed a Zoom session with Harper’s school to watch her virtually receive her first award… She was tickled pink – all ready in her school uniform and a bit of lipstick for the occasion, excited for the end of year assembly. She has not been to school for 13 weeks… So Sam will have had all 3 kids at home from mid March until September!
After Nambucca, we arrived at Scotts Head caravan park around 2pm or so. Geri & Michael had just settled in, and their friends came shortly after in a cabin they had booked. We had a lovely walk on the beach, with a stunning sunset and discovered a lovely spot for Jen to see the sun rise at 6.15am (hm – if the alarm wakes her – it’s pretty late now!).
Drinks on their deck, and some stargazing in a clear sky.
The weather promises to be great again tomorrow, and Arno plans on a game of golf, and we’ve spotted a few nice courses on our way here, so he’s all set.
Check back on this post later, as Arno has much nicer pictures, but he is asleep now, so I am sure he will replace mine/add his tomorrow…. goodnight!!