Day 520 – 532 13/10 – 25/10 Gold Coast to Newcastle

On the road again. Just to see some different spots we are visiting all the lighthouses from the Gold Coast to Newcastle.

First stop was Point Danger Lighthouse. It also doubles as a Captain Cook Memorial. It was opened in 1971 & it was the first in the world to experiment with a laser light. The experiment was unsuccessful & reverted back to a traditional light. It is on the NSW/QLD Border.

Next Lighthouse is just over the river at Fingal Head. It was built in 1872. Nice spot, never knew it was there.

Spent a couple of days at Byron Bay.

The Cape Byron Lighthouse is the most powerful lighthouse in Australia & sits on the countries most Easterly point. The light can be seen from 50km away. It was built in 1901. You can stay in the Lighthouse Keepers cottage. Not sure I would want to with the number of tourists that go there.

A game of golf at the beautiful Byron Bay Golf Club. The course was in great condition after the preceding weeks rain.

A visit to the Byron Bay Brewery & Beach Hotel is always enjoyable.

Plenty of Bluebottles on the beach when Ulrika took Billy for a carry.

Went for a ride on the new Solar train. Whilst it only goes a few kilometres, there is a tavern at the end of the line:)  The train set was originally a 600 series (661 & 726) built at Chullora in 1949. They were withdrawn from service in 1994. They were then restored & modified at Lithgow Railway Workshop in 2013.

As always when at Byron people watching is a favourite pastime. Have a go at the guy at the bar. Are they his PJ’s or what!

This is for Hayden. Lots of bush gobblers in the Caravan Park.2018 19 Oct_0535

Just down the road is Richmond River Lighthouse (Ballina). It’s a twin of the Fingal Head Lighthouse. It was built in 1879.

A night at Yamba is always fun. Great feed of prawns from the Co-op.

The original Clarence River Lighthouse was built in 1879. This is a replica of the original that is on the hill behind the current lighthouse.2018 20 Oct_0680

The new lighthouse was built in 1955. The reason given is that when the Pacific Hotel was built part of the light was obscured.

Speaking of the Pacific Hotel, it’s a terrible place to have a beer 🙂

This is the view of the lighthouse on South Solitary Island from Emerald Beach Headland (just north of Coffs Harbour). It was built in 1880 & was considered the most isolated in NSW. It was the last lighthouse in NSW to be converted from kerosene to electricity in 1975. The only way to get materials to the island was by basket lowered by cables from crane.

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Next stop was South West Rocks & a visit to Trial Bay Gaol. Work started on it in 1877 but due to the difficulty in working the stone it was not finished until 1886. It was built to house inmates that were building the breakwall. The gaol was closed & abandoned in 1903. In 1915 it was reopened as a German internment camp (no wonder Ulrika likes the place). It closed again in 1918 & was left to ruin.

This is whats left of the breakwall. It was originally supposed to be 1500m long but only made it to 300m. It was continuously washed away in storms.2018 21 Oct_0596

Not a bad spot for your final resting place.2018 21 Oct_0607

This is the amazing Smoky Cape Lighthouse. It began operating in 1891. The views are magnificent. You can rent one of the three Lighthouse Keepers cottages.2018 21 Oct_0631_edited-1

The South Passage just of Horseshoe Bay. It’s a 100ft gaff rigged schooner set up for sailing training & charters.

Did I mention the pub?IMG_2612

Hat Head is a place we will go back to. Plenty of whales going past. Its quite, good kayaking & a bowlo.

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Bird watching. Didn’t know how many creeks, rivers, ponds & lakes in the area.

We had a game of golf at South West Rocks. Found a friend that I nearly stepped on. Nearly needed a pharmacy for a nappy.

Dropped into Crescent Head. Added to the list of places to spend more time at.

Came into Port Macquarie the back way & got the barge across the Hastings River.

Tacking Point Lighthouse was built in 1879 & cost £4,650. Great view over Lighthouse Beach.

Lunch at the Royal Hotel looking over the river. The dolphins even put on a show.

Dropped into North Haven Beach & found these old dears. The one on the left is a Jaguar Mark IV built between 1945 to 1949. The one on the right is a Mark V built between 1948 to 1951.

Crowdy Head Lighthouse put on a show with lots of whales breeching (no photos, they were too far away). It was also built in 1879. You may have noticed that the last 4 or 5 lighthouses look the same. That is because they were all designed by the Colonial Architect James Barnet.

Cattai Wetlands was interesting, not as many birds as we thought, but lots of water.

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Drinks at the Harrington Pub with the locals.2018 24 Oct_0927

Last stop before Newcastle was Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse at Seal Rocks. It was built in 1875. They have just finished renovating the Keepers Cottages so they can rent them for holidays.

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A friendly Kookaburra & a magpie taking on a Goanna.

The Caravan Park at Forster was great.

Haven’t had a sunset shot for a while. This is looking over Wallis Lake.2018 25 Oct_0986

Quote of the Day

“Cure for an obsession: get another one.”

Mason Cooley



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