beach

Yacaaba Headland Walk


I ran out of time yesterday to post about my walk up Yacaaba Headland and how I only just avoided being in a storm that was moving in. So today (it’s actually the 27th July 2012 as I type away) I must get two days of posts done, even if I slip this one in back in time, so to speak (as you can with the post time when posting).

BrunchSo I decided to do the Yacaaba Headland walk just before lunch and had lunch in the carpark, while reading the paper. Nothing too healthy – I tend to eat far too much junk when I’m on holidays. So it was a bacon & egg roll, as well as a couple of potato scallops and some chips (and coke of course) See Picture at Left. It was really brunch and I needed the energy boost to accomplish the walk. Sounds like a fair excuse anyhow. You do burn a bit bushwalking and climbing mountains.

So after lunch I set out on the walk. It was a beautiful day, spring like, which was quite strange given it was the middle of winter. It was really quite warm and a great day for a walk along the beach and for being in the great outdoors. The walk to the top of Yacaaba Headland from where I set off was a good 1km along the beach, then a further 1.5km from the beach to the top of the headland. So not a great distance really, though the same ground would have to be covered again on the return, so something like 5km all up. I had plenty of time to cover that distance and I knew that from having done this walk before. So of I went.

First up though was a picture of the scene before me as I got through the sand dunes and onto the beach.

Beach & Yacaaba

ABOVE: The Beach and Yacaaba Headland in the Distance

There were very few people out and about, just a couple of people fishing along the beach and a few walkers as I approached Yacaaba. I could see what appeared like a storm brewing back towards the north and out west. Nothing to worry about at this stage though. Plenty of time.

SpongeOne of the things I noticed along the beach was the amount of debris from the sea. There was a fair bit of what I would call natural debris, such as timber, weed of various types, sponges (See Picture at Right), heaps of shell fragments and even a small fish. However, there was a bit of human debris (rubbish) also, which was a shame. Got me to thinking if anything from Japan would end up here in the long run – from the tsunami. Most of it is heading to the US and west coast of North America, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising if a bit made its way to the Australian east coast.

After a bit more than 1km I reached the headland and began my ascent up Yacaaba. The track to the the top of Yacaaba is easily followed and not too difficult in my opinion. There are some steeper sections and the track can be a bit rocky, loose and a bit unstable underfoot, but not too bad overall.

There aren’t a lot of wildflowers to see there at the moment, variety wise I mean. There are plenty of Wattles in flower of course and the usual Banksias, as well as one or two other flowering plant species to be seen.

Wattle

ABOVE: Wattle BELOW: More Wildflowers

wildflowers  wildflowers

As you walk towards the top you begin to get some fantastic views over Port Stephens and in particular Hawks Nest, Tea Gardens and Winda Woppa. The further up you go the greater the views of course and as you near the top there are views up and down the Pacific Coast. It really is a great place on a clear day for fantastic coastal vistas.

View Towards Tea Gardens

ABOVE: View towards Tea Gardens BELOW: View over the Pacific Ocean

Pacific View

Having enjoyed the views for a while, I decided I had better start the trip back and try and beat the storm that was now rapidly heading my way. It was very dark out to the west and north, thunder could be heard rumbling along and flashes of lightning in the clearly heavy rain off in the distance. So down I went. The trip back down was fairly quick, having observed plenty on the way up and knowing the storm was rapidly approaching the descent was somewhat quicker than the ascent had been. No surprises there really.

Bottom of Yacaaba View

ABOVE: The View up the Coast from the Bottom of Yacaaba – Shows the Approaching Storm.

The view up the coast (as seen in the above picture) was marked by the approaching storm, which became increasingly menacing as it adavanced and I got closer to the car. It doesn’t look too bad in the photo above, but as I neared the car It was fairly severe in its appearance and I just got into the car as the first drops of rain began to drop. It was pouring by the time I got back home (just 5 minutes or so away). Yet the storm was gone as fast as it hit.

Myall Lakes National Park


It was my first official day of annual leave from work today and of course it had to start with a good sleep-in, which I might add I’m going to try and avoid doing for the entire period of my annual leave – just the first couple of days. I have been extremely tired, so a few sleep-ins will be helpful – for my health and well being you know. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about and agree with me entirely. I take your silence as tacit agreement. Thank you for that.

Myall Lakes National Park

Once I was up I thought I should do something – so the day wouldn’t be viewed as an entire waste. So a drive to Bulahdelah was on the cards via the Myall Lakes National Park and the Bombah Point Ferry. So that’s what I decided to do, after I thought through a few more possible options for other things to do during my holidays. I have come up with a reasonable list I think – I just need to see them all through now. Hopefully that will happen – just need to keep myself from sleeping-in too often.

Wattle in BloomSo I headed off for my drive through the park, which is only a very short drive from where I live, just on the other side of Hawks Nest.

One of the things you notice when driving through Myall Lakes National Park at the moment is all of the Wattle that is flowering. The Wattle (Acacia) is a native shrub – actually there are many species of Acacia, with the one pictured being Acacia longifolia. Everywhere you look in the national park along the road you see masses of Wattle in flower. With the growing conditions in recent times they all look magnificent.

Of course the Wattle isn’t the only wildflower currently flowering, but it is probably the most prolific of all of the wildflowers at the moment. The Banksia is another very noticeable wildflower that is flowering at the moment and there are several others also.

More Wattle

ABOVE: More Wattle

I spotted some more wildflowers when I stopped at the place known as the ‘Hole in the Wall.’ Hole in the Wall is a picnic area providing views of the coast and Pacific Ocean. It also provides access to the beach. I didn’t head down to the beach, but I did enjoy the view. It is a great spot on the coast here on the Myall Coast.

Banksia

ABOVE: Banksia Flower BELOW: View from Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall

So after Hole in the Wall it was pretty much straight to Bulahdelah, via the Bombah Point Ferry, but that can be tomorrow’s post as I won’t be doing a great deal tomorrow. So until then, enjoy looking at that panoramic shot above.

The Beaches of Newcastle


100_1871

It has often been said that Newcastle has some of the world’s best beaches. I wouldn’t know about that – I haven’t visited all of them.

What I do know is that having travelled around a lot of Australia, Newcastle is certainly up there with the best that Australia has to offer.

It is hard, in my view, to define just what makes the best beach. I imagine that someone who surfs would have certain criteria that differs from someone like me, who likes the natural beauty of a place more than anything else when it comes to liking a beach.

I think the beaches around the West Australia town of Esperance are simply stunning and I currently rate these as the best beaches in Australia that I have seen. There may well be better beaches, but in my opinion, those of Esperance are better than Newcastle’s beaches. But that opinion includes criteria such as seclusion, natural beauty, etc. For recreational use, access, etc, Newcastle has some brilliant beaches that the locals adore. They are certainly good for a walk along when it isn’t too hot and they aren’t too crowded.

Walk to the Top of Yacaaba


100_1735web

Yesterday I went for a walk along the beach at Hawks Nest. When I reached the end of the walk I arrived at the beginning of the Yacaaba Walking Track in Myall Lakes National Park. I saw the sign and thought – ‘well, I might as well do it – I’m here now.’ So I did.

The walk to the top is a 1.5 km walk, with some fairly steep sections – though these are fairly small. The views along the way and at the top make the small amount of effort to get to the top well worthwhile. From The clubhouse at Hawks Nest’s Ocean Beach to the top of Yacaaba and back took me about 2.5 hours, however, I did the entire walk without shoes. I’d recommend shoes for the Yacaaba Headland part of the walk.

For more photos visit:

Myall Lakes National Park – Yacaaba Walking Track

A Walk along the Beach


100_1774web

I decided to go for a walk along the beach today. I wasn’t feeling too well and thought the fresh air and cool breeze along the beach might be just the tonic – and it worked. So perhaps this is something to try in the future when I feel a little unwell.

For more pictures of my walk and the beautiful coastal scenery of Ocean Beach at Hawks Nest visit:

Myall Lakes National Park – Yacaaba Walking Track

HAWKS NEST – OCEAN BEACH


100_1674web Today’s photo was taken at Hawks Nest, the neighbouring town to Tea Gardens (where I currently live). I went down to the beach and decided to take a few shots of the coastal scenery close to where I live.

As can be seen, the weather was fantastic and the surf pretty small. The scenery however, was still pretty special I think. The water here is of great quality – crystal clear. Not a bad beach.

For more photos visit:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/kevinmatthews/sets/72157622123626697/