Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pebbly Beach 2013

Over the long weekend for the Queen's Birthday (have to love that we get a long weeked to celebrate the Queen's birthday that isn't even on the Queen's actual birthday - long live the Queen!) we took advantage of the extra day off to get out of town.  After hearing from a lot of people that Pebbly Beach was amazing, we thought this was a good opportunity to check it out.
View from Sublime point over Wollongong
Pebbly Beach is about four hours south of Sydney and is a pretty beautiful drive down the coast. 

A few of us drove down on Friday to start the weekend early and were treated to a cabin up on a small cliff right above the ocean.  There's no better way to sleep than to the sounds of the waves crashing right outside.
Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny with a high around 18C (mid-60's F), not too bad for the first weekend in winter, and Chris and Gerrie went down to the beach to get started on their weekend- long assualt on the local fish.
Lesley and I wandered down an hour or so later with breakfast to keep them going and were treated to an empty beach with only Chris and Gerrie down there. 
After a few hours of regular fishing, with at least one flathead in the bag for dinner the boys decided that they weren't getting up close and personal enough with the fish and decided to trade the fishing rods for spear guns.
This happened to be Gerrie's first spearfishing attempt, and if you can't tell from the picture above, he was quite pleased to be wielding a spear gun.
I'm happy to report that after over 3 years of attempts, a new spear gun and specialist wetsuit purchase, and lots of hard work, there was success! 
While they were out spearing the rest of the group arrived to join us relaxing on the beach and we were treated to an amazing show - two dolphins were actually surfing the waves!  I only got them on camera from far away, but they are towards the left edge of that back wave.  This was something that I'd only seen on TV prior to this and I was very excited to see them. 
You might think that after spending almost all of the daylight hours fishing, and with a fishing charter on the books for Sunday morning they might be tired of fishing, but the adventure continued as the sun went down.

The streak of sucess continued with additional fish being pulled in and we all started looking forward to a dinner of fresh caught fish.
We were treated to a great sunset on the beach and then packed up to spend some time around the campfire.
Sunday morning the boys dragged themselves out of bed waaaay before daylight to jump on a fishing charter while the girls wisely slept in and had a relaxing morning.   
One of the most amazing things about Pebbly Beach is just how much wildlife is around.  There were King Parrots and cockatoos flying around everywhere and more kangaroos than you could count.
The kangaroos in particular were quite happy to get up close and personal (some bread or other food might also have helped). 
Sunday was passed in relaxation on the beach, followed by the boys returning with their catch of the day.  We started up our bonfire to bbq the fish and enjoyed the evening by the campfire.  As always, s'mores were enjoyed, and also supplemented by some amazing chocolate stuffed bananas on the fire which will definitely need to be made again.
After a perfect weekend of weather, Monday turned out to be overcast and rainy, great weather to be ready to pack up and head home. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Parental Visitors: Felix and Fran

Chris with Mom and Dad at the Swans game
We were recently lucky enough to have some visitors from home come and stay for a couple weeks.  Felix and Fran braved the lengthy flight and landed in good spirits in Sydney.  We granted them a grace period of a half a day to rest and then it was off to the races, cramming in as much fun and sightseeing as possible for the rest of the trip.

We ventured up to the Hunter Valley for some wine tasting first where we stayed at a vineyard overnight and sampled many wines and ate delicious food.  We went next to Port Stevens where we took in the bay and stayed at a bed and breakfast in the Soldiers Point area:

In Port Stevens we saw a beautiful sunset at the aptly named Sunset Beach as well as spotted our first koala in a tree there.

We had Easter Weekend in Sydney where we drove up to Pittwater and took a walk around Long Reef to view the coast.
Keeping up with Mom and Dad is tiring

Felix and I also took the opportunity to go out on a fishing charter targeting kingfish.  Victory and dinner were had.
Felix with his first king!

The following week we ventured down to Jervis Bay to hang out with the kangaroos and hike around the beautiful Booderee National Park:

View Larger Map

We saw lots of birds and roo's and took in the spectacular view of the coast:
That camera looks tasty
Or maybe I'll eat this guy, surround him while he is distracted

Looking North up the coast

On walkabout
It was a great trip for everyone and we got to share the big news about the baby on the way to the new grandparents!  Plans for spoiling the child are well underway.  We look forward to a return visit to continue our adventures!