Monday, December 20, 2010

The Sydney to Brisbane drive (Day 3)

Established in 1821, Port Macquarie still preserves a number of its structures with historical value. In the middle of town is The Glasshouse.

Sporting a sleek wavy glass exterior, this is also where the Visitor Information Centre is located, as well. How is this historical? Well, read along.

Stepping inside, the interior reminded me of the Sydney Opera House, with similar functions.

Unfortunately for us, the Regional Gallery was shut, as it was a Monday.

To me, it was not the fact that it was the newest arts, conference and entertainment centre in Port Macquarie. What made this place significant were the archaeological remains found during construction integrated into the building design. The remains, dating back to 1824 can be viewed through floor inlays, glass wall displays and interpretive plans on the lowest level of the building.

The Glasshouse (Visitor Information Centre and Customer Service)
Corner of Clarence and Hay Streets, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
02 6581 8888 (Glasshouse Customer Service)
Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:30pm
Saturday and Sunday 9:00am to 4:00pm
Public Holidays 9:00am to 4:00pm

Glasshouse Regional Gallery
Tuesday to Friday 10:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday and Sunday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Extended opening hours for special programs as advertised

A five-minute walk up the hill brought us to St. Thomas' Anglican Church, the fifth oldest Anglican Church in New South Wales and is still in daily use.

The walls are about one-metre thick and consists of 365,000 hand-made bricks laid by convicts.

Most of the timber in the building is locally-hewn cedar.

It was interesting to notice that they used cubicles back in the days. I wonder how worshippers were segregated?

You could tell that the church was really old not only by the layout, but also from the wear and tear present throughout the building.

One thing I have always admired about churches are the stained glass windows.

The cross in this church was a little harder to capture, as it blended really well with the background.

We climbed up the tower to see if we could access the pipe organ and found out that the wood used to make the spiral staircase was in fact Malayan Chengal.

St Thomas' Anglican Church of Australia
Hay Street, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
02 6584 1033 (Administration Office)

Before leaving Port Macquarie, we made a stopover at Tacking Point Lighthouse, the cutest lighthouse I have ever seen!

Looking like a loaf of bread, it is the third-oldest lighthouse in Australia.

The view from the lighthouse was great but the winds were incredibly strong. I could not keep myself standing still!

Lunch was simple yet satisfying with each of us selecting a different type of pie each from the famous Fredo Pie Shop.

There was a continuous stream of customers and it was not hard to find out why. The pastry, temperature, filling, everything about the pies were exceptional, which explained the wallful of awards.

Fredo Pie Shop
5 Macleay Street, Frederickton, NSW 2440
02 6566 8226 (Tel / Fax)
Daily 7:00am to 7:00pm (except Christmas Day)

After an hour on the road, we arrived at the northern end of Arakoon State Conservation Area where the historic Trial Bay Gaolstands.

Opened in 1886 as a Public Works Prison, the gaol was used as a German Internment Camp during the First World War.

Walking through the entrance to the assembly hall and cells, I was trying to imagine the structure with its roof intact.

The middle archway led us to the former kitchen, bakehouse and scullery.

The archways on the left and right opened up to two wings of 64 cells.

I climbed up the guards' North Western watch tower to get a view of the vehicular driveway around the inside of the prison wall.

And also to look at the view yonder.

I have to say, this is a prison with a hell of a good view of the Pacific Ocean.

Trial Bay Gaol
Arakoon National Park, Cardwell Street, South West Rocks, NSW 2431
02 6566 6168 (Tel), 02 6566 6507 (Fax)
Daily 9:00am to 4:30pm (except Christmas Day)

Our next stop was the Bunker Cartoon Gallery, two-hour drive away in Coffs Harbour.

Housed in a historic World War II RAAF bunker built in 1943, it exhibits the largest private collection of contemporary cartoons in the Southern Hemisphere.

At the time we were there, they had a collection of Dee Texidor's work on display. Despite the fact that I told myself not to by things I 'want', I still ended up walking away with one print, which is now hanging on a wall in my room. *smiles*

Bunker Cartoon Gallery
John Champion Way, Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450
02 6651 7343 (Tel), 02 6650 0908 (Fax)
Monday to Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Adults $2
Children $1

Coffs is also known for its thriving banana industry, its waters and the wedge-tailed shearwater bird or muttonbird. We have not heard of its existence prior, let alone seen one. Therefore, we thought we should visit Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve, which was just past the marina.

There were plenty of burrows on the ground but I did not manage to see a single bird!

I did, however, manage to catch a sight of this fella.

And also this fella coming up for a breath of fresh air! (For those who can't see what it is, that 'thing' was a turtle).

Feeling tired and hungry, we quickly drove to Woolgoolga and checked into Sunset Caravan Park.

At the time of booking, the only vacancy was a brand new villa and at a slight discount so I thought, why not?

Woolgoolga Creek was right behind us.

There were two rooms. The room on the left sleeps four.

The room on the right sleeps, well, the standard two.

The washroom was small but adequate and clean.

Sunset Caravan Park
64 Newman Street, Woolgoolga, NSW 2456
02 6654 1499 (Tel), 02 6654 1325 (Fax)

Highlight of the day would have to be dinner, which we had at Maharaja Tandoori Indian Restaurant.

We had potato and egg curry, as well as chicken vindaloo with garlic naan and paneer naan.

I am telling you, this was the best Indian meal I have had in Australia throughout my years here.

Maharaja Tandoori Indian Restaurant
10-12 River Street, Woolgoolga, NSW 2456
02 6654 1122 (Tel)
Lunch: Wednesday to Saturday 11:30am to 2:00pm
Dinner: Tuesday to Sunday
School holidays
Lunch: Every day except Sunday
Dinner: Daily

Distance covered today: 255km


Meitzeu said...

You have a really nice blog! GOnna put u in my blog roll! :)

Chrys said...

aw, thank you :)