Tuesday, March 8, 2016

coastal getaway

As an endless summer rolls along Paul and I decided to head to the coast to catch some cooling sea breezes.

Paul had never been to the the Shoalhaven part of the NSW coast so we set off early Saturday morning from Goulburn and drove to the coast via Fitzroy Falls which is a little South East of Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands.

Fitzroy Falls (low on water after a dry summer):



Heading through Kangaroo Valley and across Hampden Bridge:

We stopped at the town of Berry which is about 6kms from the coast, Saturday mid morning and it was exactly like Paddington on a Saturday. Lots of smart deli's, upmarket cafes and twee trinket stores. And VERY busy.

A brisk walk of the main street and we left Berry to check in at our hotel 20 minutes away to the South West.

This whole region is very expensive and accomodation is a little ridiculous in my opinion. Most of the small towns in the region require you to book at least two nights if staying  over the weekend.

Some of the B&B's charge upwards of $400 for a night. We settled for a hotel in Nowra which was just about the cheapest room we could find at $110 for the Saturday night.

A bleak mid sized city (pop. just over 35,000) with little in terms of attractions (wait for the flood of incensed Nowrarites...) - we asked a local merchant what were the top three things to see in Nowra and she said: "Kangaroo Valley, Berry and Harris Scarfe (the store she worked in).

The hotel was basic (what I'm used to) and at least it had a pool.

After checking in we drove to the coast to a little fishing hamlet called Greenwell Point where we were entertained by the pelicans and corellas.

Back to the hotel by 6ish and then we headed off to Nowra for dinner. And of all places we ended up at the Nowra Bowlo. (Bowling Club). A first for me!! Disappointment was high on the menu and it lived up to all expectations.

Early the next morning we set off for Jervis Bay and particularly Hyams Beach.

I'd been to Hyams Beach several times before. The last time was with three other mates on our motorbikes down from Sydney for a days ride. When we arrived at Hyams Beach (midweek) it was deserted and as we walked along the water's edge on the pristine white sands we were rewarded with a pod of dolphins swimming alongside of us less than two metres from shore.

This visit on a hot Sunday promised to be a flotilla of bare bodies crammed side by side filling the sands from water to woods.

But I was very pleasantly surprised at how quiet it was.

Hyams Beach:

When we'd had our fill of sun,sea and surf we set off for Canberra via some back country roads through thick native forests and past tiny country villages with names such as Sassafras, Nerriga, Wog Wog and Tomboye.

We stopped for lunch at Bungendore where we once again visited the Woodworks Gallery (a must see if going there) and then popped into the National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery of Australia in Canberra for some kultur before heading home.

Outside the NGA:

Back in Goulburn and the heat continues.