Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Sydney to Brisbane drive (Day 1)

When was the last time we had McD's brekkie? I think it was the last time we went camping and that was back in May. Wow, a good half a year!

And to think that the traffic on a Saturday would not be too bad, I was so wrong. Perhaps it did not occur to me that the school holidays would have begun the itinerary was put together. Yes, I had an itinerary complete with a very detailed checklist. I am paranoid with forgetting to brings things with me on a trip and would rather have a black and white version of my mental note.

So, from our humble abodes in Strathfield, we keyed into the GPS our first stopover: The Entrance.

Located on the New South Wales Central Coast, it is aptly named The Entrance as it is where the magnificent Tuggerah Lake meets the Pacific Ocean.

It was not difficult to tell who the local residents are:

We did not really explore town much, as we decided to continue towards Bungwahl. It took me ages to find the correct match in the GPS, which runs on a 2008 system. There were certain roads which did not exist back then which does today, adding to my confusion.

Well, we finally did find our stop for the night: Yarramin Park Farmstay.

I felt excited because we always drive past such gates with long driveways and lush green on both sides but have never drove through.

Cate welcomed us with the accompaniment of her two extremely friendly lovelies, Dollie and Lily (if I recall correctly).

Personally, it felt more like walking into somebody else's home. I guess that is what a farmstay literally is I suppose.

We were greeted by clean homeliness complete with a well-equipped kitchen, which uses tank water.

The living room had a sofa bed, which if required, would need prior notice.

Oh, and a whole chest of good reads and fun games!

The room was comfortable and cosy with a whole wall of spacious wardrobe space.

And what more to ask when you had grapevines for a view?

Stepping out of the side sliding door onto the verandah gave this view:

In the corner near the gate that connected our flat to the owners' home was a collection of pottery.

There was also a fence with fruits Audrey managed to deduce as passionfruit. (Haha, and I call myself an early childhood educator when I have never seen a fresh passionfruit!)

I opened the little gate under the leafy arch and walked out onto the green. At the bottom of the hill, I saw a wooden structure, which I assumed was a stable for horses.

And what do you know? A beautiful creature came out to say hello...

We both highly recommend this place if you are looking for a peaceful weekend getaway for two. And when I say peaceful, I mean peaceful, as I was lulled to dreamland by roosting cuckoos nearby.

Yarramin Park Farmstay
8 Racecourse Road, Bungwahl, NSW 2423
02 4997 6198 (Tel), 0416 202 938 (Mob)

Of course, to catch what was left of natural sunlight, we headed out to nearby Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse.

Established in 1875, it is located at Seal Rocks and is part of the Myall Lakes National Park.

There was a breath-taking gorge as we ascended the hill.

I can hear you ask, "Where is the stupid lighthouse?!" Well, I was asking that question myself when I hiked up this slope.

No, this obviously does not look like a lighthouse.

This is the lighthouse. And to get to it, we had a tremendously steep slope to climb. Great, first day and we gave ourselves physical exercise already.

But for this view, all worth it, no?

This lighthouse is one of only two lighthouses in Australia with an external stairway.

And with such steepness, it made sense to have this sign.

I wonder if I fit into the latter category...

Access to the lighthouse is from sunrise to sunset all year round. If you have extra cash to spare and would like to experience living in a lighthouse cottage, give Seal Rocks Accommodation at Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse a try and let us know how it went.

Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse
Lot 1 Kinka Road, Seal Rocks, NSW 2423

Forster was where we stopped for dinner at Beach Street Seafood.

We figured we wanted something simple and fast. And besides, not many other places were open. Needless to say, I had fish and chips with garden salad!

I have to admit that the fish was very fresh and would think that they have quite a patronage with a clean and brightly lit shop that is open every day of the week, as well as helpful waitstaff.

Beach Street Seafood
Beach Street, Forster, NSW 2428
02 6557 5300 (Tel)

With a cup of gelato in my hand, we walked along the waters to admire the crystal clear waters. We not only could see the sandbed but also every single fish that swam in there. Someone called out, "Look, stingray!" which gathered a small crowd. Was there really one?

Oh my goodness, yes! My first 'wild stingray' encounter. Forster, take a bow. Your stingray and magnificent sunset had my applause for a great first day.

Distance covered today: 419km

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