Wednesday, December 30, 2015

KINCUMBA MOUNTAIN AND TERRIGAL HAVEN - MTB AND SWIM - 30 DECEMBER 2015

A beautiful morning - cool but sunny.

I rode around the tracks at Kincumba Mountain for about 5 km. The main track (unnamed) was great. The sunlight filtering through the trees was a bit blinding at certain angles. It was so nice hearing the sing-song call of currawongs while gliding past bushes and trees.


After the ride, I drove to Terrigal Haven for a swim, coffee and a book read on the beach. The water was a bit brisk. A swim after a bike ride just feels so good. :)

Nice start to the day!

PATONGA/MOUNT ETTALONG/PEARL BEACH - KAYAK, MTB, SWIM - 29 DECEMBER 2015

After a bout of relatively cold and wet weather, the day was looking promising.

First stop was Patonga and a kayak through the estuary. I did this partially not long ago but the waves tended to swamp the kayak. Since then I bought a splash deck. It made a huge difference as at one point a small wave crashed over the kayak and normally it would have deposited a bucket or two of water in the kayak if not for the slash deck. It still needs a few adjustments to make it more taunted.


The 1.96 km kayak through the estuary was fun with small waves to crash through and to ride into shore. The splash deck certainly improved my confidence in the situation knowing that the kayak would not fill with water.


The second stop was Mount Ettalong which was just after the turn off for Pearl beach from Patonga for a 1.6 km bike ride. The parking area looked grubby but the ride was excellent though short. The main track was wide and there were heaps of  shorter turnoffs for sandstone rock ledge lookouts over the ocean.




The track was fun with lots of small obstacles and low hanging trees. :)



The final stop was Pearl Beach for a coffee on the beach and a swim. I love this beach! It is sheltered and deep and clean. A great spot fro swimming, relaxing and taking in the great view across to Box Head.

An excellent morning.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

WAMBERAL, KILLCARE BEACHES, KINCUMBA MOUNTAIN - SNORKEL, SURF, SWIM, MTB AND CHRISTMAS - 18 DECEMBER TO 28 DECEMBER 2015

The time before Christmas was very busy. Christmas was excellent with good company and food and presents.

I had two days of good fun surf at Wamberal Beach, then hurt my hand on the second last wave then later (out of the surf) my knee. I still managed to do a few things since the injuries but it has been a bit limiting and hurting a bit.

Anyway, I had a couple of snorkels - Kilcare Beach rocks, Putty Beach rocks and Terrigal Haven. In all cases the visibility was pretty poor though a did see sting rays, a huge ray and a large wrasse. Still, it was fun and the water temperature was nice.

A few swims to keep off the Christmas fat (I'll need a a lot more swims to do that).

I finally had a good 5.5 km bike ride at Kincumba Mountain yesterday. It hurt at the beginning but eased off about half way through the ride.


Hopefully, all will be back to normal tomorrow.


Thursday, December 17, 2015

KILLCARE BEACH - SNORKEL AND MR ARCHIBALD - 17 DECEMBER 2015

A mid morning coffee at Killcare, then a swim and snorkel around the rock pool.


The water was too turbulent for an decent footage or photos but the water was nice and there were a few large fish and green as green seaweed.



Mr Archibald the dusty lorikeet was in a Christmas festive mood.

PUTTY BEACH - SNORKEL - 15 DECEMBER 2015

A hazy morning with little wind.


Drove to putty Beach in Bouddi National Park.


A nice walk along the beach and a brisk entry into the water.


The visibility wasn't the best due to poor light and water movement. Still, I hadn't had a snorkel for awhile so it would be a good test of the cameras.


There were a few fish, a lot of thick seaweed and a two stingrays. The rays were great. On the first pass, a small ray kept trying to hide in the seaweed. I progressed further around the rocks and on return there were two rays in full view on the sandy ocean bottom. Great to watch!


TERRIGAL HAVEN - ROCKPOOL HOPPING - 14 DECEMBER 2015

Time for something different!


Arming myself with  waterproof cameras, I wandered around the rock pools of Terrigal Haven to try some shallow underwater shots.


Well, I wasn't too successful but I learned a few pointers in retrospect:

1 focus videos on one spot underwater - fast movement is visually too hard to watch.
2 use smaller camera for underwater shots in hard to get places using a selfie stick. The balance of the camera is hard to control. So, take selfie attachment for go pro camera.
3 be prepared to get wet.


Still, it was a nice morning and it was fun hopping across the rocks.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

BRISBANE WATER NP MTB - WARRAH TRACKS ENCORE - 12 DECEMBER 2015



I parked at the start of the Sani Depot trail on Patonga Road at Brisbane Water National Park.


Down the hill and turned to the right to follow the Neera Trail. I had a ride there a few days ago and liked it. It was a good track starting as a disused service road and turning into a narrow track weaving between trees, rocks and bushes. There was a big steep climb at towards the end.


Back on the main road and up to the start of the Van Dahl Trail. I followed this partially, turning off to the left to play on a smooth undulating slab of sandstone and to admire the landward view.

I backtracked and followed a number of trails and played on a large area of tessellated sandstone.

Back onto the main road and down the hill towards Patonga, I turned left on to the service road that connects as far as Pearl Beach. I followed as far as Warrah Trig lookout and admired the view across Broken Bay.


Backtracked uphill and turned to right to a link road connecting to Warrah Road. Followed Warrah Road and turned right on a fun, narrow, bushed lined track then joined the main road and peddled a short distant to the van.


A fun 9.61 km ride with an elevation range of 95 metres.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

BRISBANE WATER NP MTB - WARRAH TRIG TRACKS - 10 DECEMBER 2015

Drove to BWNP and parked in the 'car park'  just before the Warrah Trig turn off.

 

I followed Van Dahls Trail, Sani Depot Trail and Neera Trail, then Patonga Drive back to the van.

The first two trails are service roads but they are a fun ride with a few small turnoffs offering good views or tessellated sandstone to ride upon.



Nearing the end of Sani Depot Trail. another sign indicated Neera Trail. The trail was so good. It was narrow with obstacles like small drop offs and rocks. It traverse around a large hill being slightly undulating. In the last section, I had to carry the bike up a steep rock cliff to get pack to a rideable track.



Another obstacle, though unpleasant were the webs of the Golden Orb Weaver Spider across the track. I rode face first into one web with the spider crawling across my sunglasses. Very unpleasant. Anyway, the spider survived.

Back onto the main road and it was a hard ride uphill to the van. I was very happy as it was the first time I'd made the hill without stopping.


It was a great 5.87 km ride with an elevation range of 104 metres.



After the ride, I had a coffee and a swim at Pearl Beach. Such a good swimming spot - deep water straight off the sand. I also had a reasonably quick walk around the arboretum. Another pretty place that I'll visit again with more time.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

BARRINGTON TOP NP - HIKES, MTB AND KAYAK - 4 TO 6 DECEMBER 2015

A bit of free time so I drove to Barrington Tops National Park.

I rang earlier to check local conditions and all was looking good.

My first stop was Gloucester where I picked up a number of pamphlets/maps on the parks in the area.

I backtracked to the Gloucester Tops Road and followed it till the end. It was such a great drive - rolling hills which became more clustered amongst rustic farms with  cows wandering over the roads, cattle grates and gates, low bridges and five water crossings.

Upon reaching the national park boundary, the farms ended and the bush dominated thick and dry.
The road became very steep in sections after passing the camp area and finally, I reached the start of the Gloucester Tops walking tracks.


I was soon on the track and loving it. The track was open at the start meandering above the river and passing through small trees, dense bushes and grasses, then wandering up and down through forests along an easy to follow path.

Along the way, there were glimpses of the river and various cascades. The highlight, I thought was the Antarctic Breech forest which was covered in moss the greenest of greens. It wandered down to a rocky mossed covered gully with cascading water. It was so pretty.

A great 5.92 km hike. with an elevation range of 102 metres.

I drove down to the camping area and rested during the afternoon. There was still enough light so I cycled down the river walk trail. It was a great 2.18 km ride with a river crossing in ice cold one metre depth water.


Darkness fell with a great starry starry night and quiet sleep.

In the morning, I did another bike ride of the river walk then drove to Gloucester.

In Gloucester, I had coffee and watched the quiet, easy life of the townspeople then went to the local markets.

I had booked a kayaking trip with BOAC, which was a short distance from Gloucester. There was three of us. We were transported to the Barrington River and kayaked down to a pick up point. Pretty easy!



The kayak was good but the water level was low so there were a number of shallow spots where we had to porter the kayak. Still, there were some good rapids and I learned a few more kayaking skills.

I camped at the Steps and had a short ride ride on the mtb trail before it got dark.


In the morning, I rode the MTB track again. It was good though a bit short at 1.79 km.


Over to Copelands SRA, for a 1.75 km hike along the hidden treasure trail. It was a nice walk beneath dry rainforest tyrees and a few gold mining relics. I nearly stepped on a large lizard!




Monday, December 7, 2015

PATONGA - OCEAN HIKE AND KAYAK - 3 DECEMBER 2015



Back to Patonga for a hike and kayak.


It was a cloudy morning but the sun was trying to break through the light cloud cover.

I parked at Dark Corner and wandered along the beach and around the rocks. It was a pleasant walk with sea gulls screeching away due to an approaching sea eagle and an inquisitive plover, who kept a sideways eye on me.


Stepping over the rocks, there were some that were close to the water's edge covered with mollusks and patterned sandstone on the dry sections.


There was another small beach which I strolled along and took in the scenery.



I backtracked and drove to the pier to launch my kayak.

I had some fun paddling around and under the pier, then paddled to the other side of the bay.

The sea swell though small was causing my kayak to flow up, down and around. Not the best kayak shape for the conditions. I paddled along the rocky shore until the swell and the backwash of the waves made for difficult conditions.

I paddled back towards the estuary and used the swell to gain a little extra speed. That was okay until I got closer to shore and a small wave threatened to tip the kayak.


Once onshore. I wandered along the beach. The sand was soft in places so that I sank as I walked. It was a nice view across the bay and up the estuary.


I paddled back to the pier and played around some more then back to the van.


I nice 1.46 km hike and 2.95 km kayak.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

PATONGA MTB AND HIKE - 1 DECEMBER 2015

An excellent morning - sunny and warm and getting warmer.



I drove to Patonga to ride the bike along the edge of Patonga Creek. The track started out clearly defined along the banks of the creek. Unfortunately, the first campsite I came across was littered in rubbish and used toilet paper was strewn in a wide area. Some people come to camp in an area like this because it is natural and reasonably pristine and then they leave it like a garbage tip for others to clear up or the wildlife to ingest. On my return Two guys from Gosford council were cleaning the mess up. Congratulations as the area is really BW National Parks responsibility.


I walked the bike across a rocky creek and then the real ride started. Well, sort of started, as there were lots of low  overhanging vines and fallen trees across the track so it was a lot of stop to navigate around, over or under it. At one point, when I had a bit of speed up my go pro hooked on to a vine and I was pulled backwards off the bike.

 
After a short time, I reached a wide flat area of mangroves. There were a couple of tracks leading through it. Some tracks ended in pools of water but I managed to go a fair distance before the mangroves and tough grasses became too thick.


There were thousands of mud crabs! they tended to blot and hide or stand their ground to defend themselves. A puffed themselves up too high and toppled backwards.

I backtracked and followed the foreshore of the creek around the urban area. There were a lot of birds and looking across the still and reflective Patonga Creek it looked so peaceful and serene.


I cycled along the hard sand of the creek edge to the camping area at the estuary of the creek.


I parked the bike and walked out to the point admiring the creek, the bush foreshore , the creek estuary and the small waves breaking on the sandbanks. Very pretty!


Backtracking and continuing on to the pier, I rode along the pier and met some people going by boat to Broken Bay Sport and Recreation Camp where I use to work about 30 years ago.


It was a pretty and scenic 5.99km ride

 
I finished the morning with a fun small surf at Wamberal Beach and then coffee with a friend at Terrigal Haven.

Friday, November 27, 2015

KINCUMBA MOUNTAIN MTB - 27 NOVEMBER 2015

 I drove to Kincumba Mountain early in the morning but the rain but a dampener on the activity.

I had to drive to Sydney anyway to do a few things.

 
Later, in the afternoon after I returned, the sun was out so I went for an afternoon ride.

 
It was warm and quiet. It was a fun ride of 5.45km with an elevation range of 45metres.

The re are so many tracks to follow that join up to make it a good bush ride.


The highlights were the stillness and quietness. A twig cracking or leaves rustling was a head turner - snake breeding at the moment.

PATONGA CREEK KAYAK - 26 NOVEMBER 2015

The day was going to be a hot one. I drove over to Patonga for a kayak on Patonga Creek.

The current was fast flowing with the incoming tide. I paddled along and fished. Not a single bit though a did see a few fish past me and jumping in the water.


I was hoping for a bit of wildlife watching but today there were a few herons and that was about it.

The paddle back was difficult as the tidal flow had increased so it was a constant paddle against an increasing wind.

 
Still, it was a nice morning with the sun reflecting off the water.

 
A 3.97km kayak :)

Friday, November 20, 2015

BRISBANE WATER NP, PEARL AND WAMBERAL BEACH - BIKE, HIKE, SWIM AND SURF - 20 NOVEMBER 2015

An amazing morning. A blanket of fog across the land and sea. I drove to Brisbane Water National Park towards Patonga.

The drive was inspiring with fog lifting so that the valleys and mountains were fog shrouded but reasonably clear in between.


I parked near Warrah Trig and rode the service roads and tracks. Coming down the main road towards Patonga I spied a track on the left. It was an uphill cycle along a disused road with a number of obstacles like overgrown bushes, drops, etc. Further along this track I turned right following the orienteering ribbons.

 
This track was very narrow and I was forced to walk in a number of spots. Eventually, it opened onto a large undulating rock platform with views over Broken Bay and Patonga. I had fun playing on the large dips and smooth surfaces of the platform.


On return, I followed the orienteering ribbons. It looked like the same track but it soon became so narrow and thick with vegetation that I couldn't turn the bike around so I had to keep going. It was a hard walk with the bike and finally, I broke onto another wider track with sweat pouring off me.

 
I followed a few more tracks on the way back to the van. A hard 6.8km mtb/hike with an elevation range of 26m.

Pearl Beach was nearby, so I drove there for a swim. It was excellent, sunlight twinkling off the ocean surface and deep, clear water. After a refreshing dip and coffee, I went home.


About mid morning I went down to Wamberal Beach for a surf. It didn't look too good but while I was watching the wind swung around to off shore. I ended up having a nice fun surf with just a couple of others.

A great day and the temperature soared to over 45C.

BALI, BALIAN - SURF, WALK AND REST - 26 JUNE 2017

Kara changed rooms today.  An early glassy size in head high waves. Only a few out but it got a little crowded after awhile. Jacinta ...