strip in known as the Holiday Coast.
Making overnight stops over 4 days, we worked our way slowly up the coast. Our first stop was in Nelson Bay. This small community is located along Port Stephens on a peninsula jutting out into the Pacific. Known primarily as a recreational beach and fishing area, Port Stephen hosts the largest game fishing tournament in the Southern Hemisphere. Delicious Pacific oysters are grown in the waters here. While purchasing some prawns for dinner, Alan helped himself to a half dozen of the tasty beauties. They were smaller and saltier than others we have enjoyed.
|Port Macquarie Coastal Walk|
Driving on next to Coffs Harbor, we walked out to the
Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve at
the eastern end of the marina but failed to spot any of the muttonbirds or the
humpback whales which are typically seen at this time of year. From the marina, deep-sea fishing,
snorkeling, sailing and diving trips are offered. We bypassed the Big Banana, a local amusement
park, and an easily recognized point of reference for directions. (As in, “take
a left at the Big Banana”—you can’t miss a 30-foot banana in the sky!) Moonee Beach Nature Reserve, just north of
town, offers beaches for swimming, sandcastles and surfing. There are also extensive trails which lead
visitors through kangaroo habitat.
|Marina at Coffs Harbor|
A young man we had met in Sydney had recommended a stop in Surfers Paradise. Expecting a laid back little surfing town, we were shocked to find something along the lines of Miami Beach with mile after mile of towering hotels and condos. Obviously a very popular spot, it took us an hour or more to drive a few miles along the beach front road, with nary a glimpse of the ocean. Traffic moved at a crawl, and we took the first opportunity to turn left and get out of there. Not our cup of tea, as the saying goes. And on to Brisbane.
|Overlook at Port Macquarie walk|
|Port Macquarie surf area|