A ROAD TRIP
Days 1&2, April 27-28, 2022
We waited until Easter school holidays and Anzac Day were over before heading off. For us in Australia, Easter holiday period is a true end of summer. Beach safety patrols end, winter sports start and days get increasingly shorter and colder. It is also the time that Outback Australia is cool enough to be bearable and could be enjoyed. Our ultimate destination on this trip is Central Australia via the Flinders Rangers in South Australia, where we plan to spend most of our time.
Our past summer and now autumn have been influenced by La Niña weather patterns. This usually means wetter then average conditions. We had expected rainy periods but not such persistent rain interspersed with even heavier downpours. Resulting in extensive flooding along the East Coast with loss of life and property. While we were not directly impacted, it has affected much of our ability to be outdoors. Beaches were polluted due to runoff, national parks closed due to risk of landslides and this left us feeling like we were in another form of lockdown. After the fires, the neverending Corona related restrictions on movement, the arrival of persistent rain was just too much. Recent opening up of interstate and international travel and easing of restrictions brought some optimism and dreams of escape. A gradual return to some kind of normal life.
So onto the Road Trip. We had thoughts of naming this trip “Bend but Don’t Break Tour”, a reference to my dicky knee but after the first two days “No Sunglasses Required Tour 2022” may be more apt.
We left Sydney on an overcast, foggy morning. Uneventful peak hour traffic till we hit the outskirts of the city and could finally take a sigh of relief. The car was packed to the gunnels, certainly not our usual lightweight backpack.
We got to our first destination at Coomies Track on the Beercroft Peninsula about 160km south of Sydney.
We just stepped out of the car when the sky opened. A steady stream of rain with the radar showing a huge bank of clouds following.
One of the upsides of car touring is that there is always an easy way out. No need to suffer unless the reward is worthy. Weighing it up we pulled the pin and drove to a nearby town.
Huskisson used to be a sleepy fishing village when we first came here on diving holidays in the 1980’s. More recently it has been transformed by the influx of holiday makers. Not many tourists today – it seemed to be just us and a few other lost looking souls looking at the grey sky merging with the grey looking ocean. The usual azure blue seas fringed by the whitest sand in the world looked so drab in this oppressive weather.
The next morning it was raining even harder. With fingers crossed and weather radar suggesting better weather ahead we backtracked to Coomies Trailhead.
The trail is on the Beecroft peninsula which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean, Jervis Bay National Park, an Australian Navy Bombing Range and the coastal village of Currarong. Interesting neighbours.
We chose to walk the trail in an anti-clockwise direction commencing at the curiously named Abrahams Bosom Beach. The first part of the walk towards a trig marker traversed a wet coastal scrub forest with many trail offshoots. It was along this section about a quarter of the way along that Hammer decided to follow “a trail less travelled”, on a whim. The track got narrower and more overgrown. It took a bit of convincing before he agreed to turn back to a more formed track towards the cliffs of the Beecroft headland.
The rain persisted but it was not cold or windy so it wasn’t so bad. Back on trail we turned northwards towards Mermaids Inlet and Gossangs Tunnel. The inlet was quite spectacular, steep cliffs and icy blue ocean meet in a square U-shaped slot. The nearby tunnel was a bit spooky, a narrow opening in the cliff which allows access to the rock platform on the other side. With each wave hitting the rockplatform below a gust of air would exit the tunnel where we stood. On a better day it might have been tempting to crawl through to the rock platform, but not today.
The rain continued in a steady drizzle as we made our way towards a shipwreck of the SS Merimbula. The ship ran aground in 1915 with all aboard managing to get off safely. A few rusting pices of the ship remain.
From here we rockhoped along the shoreline back to the trailhead at Abraham’s Bosom Beach. Soaked but happy to be back outdoors.
As it was still raining we continued our drive south stopping for the night in a coastal fishing town of Ulludulla.
A quite Thursday night didn’t offer many dining options. We chose the nearby Marlin Hotel – a pub which has seen better days but still retains some remnant character. The wine was on tap and came in two varieties: red and white. Nice to be back in a small town.