Australia, Bulahdelah to Newcastle

Well we survived last nights storm but woke up to very soggy tents, if it’s not condensation, it’s rain, either way our tents are normally wet !! We got under way a little after 8.00am, our destination, One Mile Beach, it’s over the headland from Nelson. To reach it we’d need to take two ferries but first we had to do some cycling.
Our route saw us cycle back into Bulahdelah then turn left into a very narrow and quiet lane called Bombah Point Road. It starts as a paved road but as we expected it soon became gravel, that lasted for about 10km then we were back on sealed. The morning was cool, overcast and there was a heavy mist hiding the hills and tree tops. We made good time and arrived at the Bombah Point Ferry, $2 each and a five minute ride saw us off the other end and onto Mungo Brush Road. It’s now flat all the way to Tea Gardens where we’ll pick up the second ferry to Nelsons Bay. Along the way we took opportunities to climb the sand dunes and see the sea. This area of coast is well known for sand dunes and from One Mile Beach there is a 30km stretch of moving sand dunes, hopefully we’ll get to see them !!
It was an easy ride into Tea Gardens and we found the ferry, it wasn’t very well signposted !! The skipper took our bikes and we went for a drink while we waited for the ferry to leave. 1.00pm and we got under way, on the way to Nelson, pelicans sit atop most of the poles that line the channel, huge, clumsy looking birds but also somehow friendly 😉
Along the way we also saw dolphins, there so quick, it was almost impossible to photograph them, I did however manage to get a photo of a fin !!
From Nelson Bay it’s a 7km ride over the hill to the beach, where we found a backpackers place called Melaleuca, great place with plenty of animals, including Josephine the Kangaroo, Squire the dog, possums, and apparently Koalas, although we didn’t see any !!
The place had a warm friendly feel and was complete with a large lounge and kitchen, sadly the cabins were to expensive so it’s out with the tents again !!
Naomi and I decided to treat ourselves to a meal out, there was a nice restaurant only five minutes walk away, the guy at the backpackers told us about it and said it was good !! He was right, it’s owned by a couple of Greeks but they do pizzas and the usual burgers and surf food as well as Greek classics. The portions were huge and perhaps it was a mistake to have starters and main course but somehow we managed !! We washed it all down with beer and a bottle of red wine, actually we took half the bottle back to the backpackers and drank it while watching a film. Great end to a fantastic day !
And so to the photos…

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We bought fresh eggs from the guy on reception so it was scrambled eggs for breakfast, great start to any day ! That done, we were all packed and ready for the off. We decided to pay a quick visit to One Mile Beach as we hadn’t actually seen it yet. The weather yesterday prevented us from straying to far, it’s been very stormy and wet in the afternoons for the last few days.
Lovely looking beach, safe for families as well and it has great facilities, cafe, toilets and a shower, Australia certainly provides well for its citizens. From there we dropped into Anna Bay to take a look at the Sand Dunes, they stretch for 32km along the back of Stockton Beach. It’s a fantastic sight and must be a great place to explore, of course there are many activities you can do here including, sand boarding, horse riding and four wheel drive tours. The beach itself is beautiful, again it’s safe and has a great cafe and the usual showers, fantastic !!
The road from there to Stockton is busy, really busy and there’s very little shoulder in some parts. We felt quite exposed at times and had to be very careful, we’re still reeling from the news of the six cyclists who got mown down by a car in Sydney !!
Having reached Stockton we boarded the ferry for the short trip across the Hunter River to Newcastle. It was once renowned for supplying coal but your more likely to find coffee these days, never seen so many coffee shops and cafés 🙂
From the wharf it’s a 3km ride to the backpackers, we’ve booked a room again as we have a day off here and prefer to leave stuff in a room rather than a tent !
As we have a full day in Newcastle tomorrow, we went out and shopped for a picnic lunch then as we were close to an Indian restaurant we stayed out and ate 😉
Twice in two days we’ve had proper food at proper tables, how very extravagant !!
Oh well best tighten the purse strings again otherwise this trip may end prematurely 😉
Only kidding, let’s check out the photos !!

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Great day, tomorrow should be even better !!
It seems there was a party at the backpackers last night, lots of drinking and noise at unreasonable hours, very unhappy. The place was a disaster area this morning and stunk like a brewery and an ashtray. There were some people asleep on sofas who should have been in a dorm and it wouldn’t have been so bad if they were dressed !!
I sound like a grumpy old git but there are rules posted everywhere and they all got broken, the manager took a weekend off and left two 20 year old girls in charge. They couldn’t cope and frankly should have called the police. After we’d had our say to the girls in charge and found out when the manager was back we left to do some sightseeing.
We caught a train into the centre and walked to the lighthouse, took a few photos of the beaches, lighthouse and ships, all very lovely. After that we walked up to fort Scratchley, took a tour of the tunnels, they were used to supply munitions for the gun emplacements. The fort is famous as it’s guns are the only ones in Eastern Australia to fire on a Japanese submarine ! Not only is it a great tour but there is also a museum, cafe and stunning views from the cliff top. We were even lucky enough to be there for the 1.00pm firing of the gun, it’s fired as an audible time keeping signal, it coincides with the ball drop from the Customs House Hotel. Now we were feeling a little thirsty, as luck would have it we turned a corner and came across The Grain Store, it was as the name suggests a grain store and warehouse, now it’s a trendy boozer with 21 craft ales on tap !! We could easily have stayed and got plastered but we were good and only had the one, it was gorgeous and took all our willpower not to get a second !!
We kept walking back to the train station but decided to walk up to the obelisk, so we changed direction and set off up the hill, more great views and photos on the way then a walk back down past the cathedral and on to Darby street. Coffee and cake time and it doesn’t get much better than Coco Monde Choclateria !! Feeling refreshed we continued our ramble back to the hostel. A quick shower, a little down time then out for dinner, excellent food at very affordable prices, curtesy of the Exchange Hotel, it really was fantastic !!
Back to the hostel to find that all the male guests were fined and told to leave, the place feels much calmer tonight. And so, another day off comes to an end and now I feel like I need a day off to recover 😉
Two more days and we’ll be in Sydney 😉
Night all
Oops, nearly forgot the pictures !!

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And so another blog completed, keep reading folks, things can only get better !!
Take care
JC

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About John Chevis

I'm a forty something single guy who spent far to long depressed, but luckily for me I found an answer in the form of exercise !! I started running and cycling on a regular basis and now two and a half years later I'm cycling the world !!
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