THURSDAY 4 MARCH HAWKS NEST
In the morning, I walked to get the paper – about a km each way.
Then I did the washing, which had built up over our wet time at Crescent Head. After carrying the washing basket quite a distance to the laundry, found that I had to walk even further – to the Office, for tokens for the machine. She could have mentioned this when we checked in! The tokens were only $1.50 each – but there is only a cold wash on offer.
We drove back across the Singing Bridge to Tea Gardens, where John found the Bowls Club and booked in for a game tomorrow morning.
Then we went to the Information Centre. Found out that the Singing Bridge is so called because its design makes it act like a wind harp in strong winds. The name of Tea Gardens is presumed to come from a failed attempt to grow tea in the area, in the 1850’s. Hawks Nest? Well, there was a big old tree that hawks used to build nests in, near the old hotel site, and that became a landmark for shipping – so the name stuck.
After lunch, we went driving, to the north, through Myall Lakes National Park that starts just north of Hawks Nest. The road runs between the ocean and the Myall River for a while, then skirts the Bombah Broadwater – one of the fresh water lakes of the Myall Lakes system.
We passed some tracks to the ocean beach – there were glimpses of big dunes and a couple of 4WD beach access points.
We stopped at the Mungo Brush camp ground, which was a bit crowded, but we found a place to park, and walked the 1.5km Rainforest Track. Most pleasant. Saw a white eared honey eater.
The Bombah Broadwater is just beautiful. A house boat holiday there, one day, would be wonderful! There were large schools of fish evident, and BIG ones jumping. For a while, we watched two azure kingfishers “fishing” quite close to us – excellent.
Drove on round, following the Broadwater shore, to have a look at the Bombah car ferry. We saw quail scurrying across the road, and a big red-bellied black snake.
There were some very attractive camping spots along the lake shore, tucked in amongst the big paperbarks of the area. Not all had toilets, though. None of the National Park camp areas have power, of course, and here it is BYO water.
We did not go across on the ferry, not wanting to do a big loop drive to get back to Hawks Nest. Went back the way we had come. Decided it was a great place and definitely worth a return visit one day. We drove about 65kms.
Apparently the Myall Lakes system is a declared Ramsar Wetland area – significant for wetland conservation.
For tea, we had soup, then crumbed veal with a lemon caper sauce. Very “gourmet”, followed by fruit.
During the day, the sky had grown steadily darker. There was a pretty impressive thunder and lightning display after dark, but no rain.