Having A Dolphin Of A Time

Trip Start Dec 20, 2011
Trip End Sep 15, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Good old Newcastle, I have spent about 6 months in total there from my job, so I know it quite well, but there are still things I haven't seen or done and I was quite happy to be able to visit again, to see the old hostel that I called my second home.

We left for Newcastle from Katoomba in a very foggy and rainy day; there was no point in sticking around so we headed towards Newcastle via putty road up to Singleton. It was a really nice road with some nice views; most of which were clouded over, but it also went through some windy roads and rocky landscapes.
We arrived in to Newcastle by late afternoon and sneakily used the showers of the hostel I had previously stayed in. It was refreshing and needed and we set off for a bit of a drive around.

We returned back to the hostel and I knew two people still working there from the times I have stayed and they had no problem with us using the facilities and free clothes wash and even the use of surfboards for the next day.  We went to Beaumont Street for the use of the free internet and then scuffled back to the hostel to cook up some dinner. The hostel had changed a little bit but my farewell message from the first time I was there still remained and so do the great memories, less the people.

We woke up to a nice day even though it was forecasted for some rain and set about hitting the beach for an early surf, but when we got to the beach the conditions were terrible and extremely choppy, not good for beginners like us. We left feeling a little cheated but not defeated as we did some more sightseeing with a couple of views and a walk to the end of the Nobby’s Beach pier to watch some surfers who were pretty good, although we both caught the sun, but worth it.

We continued around the coast to the bogey hole which was a convict made swimming baths and where we saw a pod of dolphins cross the coast towards the surfers at Newcastle beach, but then they disappeared into the huge blue expanse of the ocean
The disappointment of not being able to surf lured us more into going for one, so we headed back to the hostel and picked up the surfboard and body board and drove to Newcastle Beach. Within five minutes we knew that surfing was going to be too hard so we just opted for a go on the body board which was more user friendly in the conditions. It was a lot of fun and nice to be in the water and being active.
A quick shower at the hostel and we headed to Nelson Bay via the long Stockton sand dunes in Anna Bay and the glorious One Mile Beach. We set up our campervan at the marina carpark and set about making dinner at a lookout and settling in for the night.

We were keen for a Dolphin cruise and the prices are pretty good, we managed to get a student discount so it cost us $23 per person for a 1.5hour cruise with an extremely high chance of seeing some Dolphins. We set off at 11am with a bunch of other people and headed out to the bay where Anna was the first from the boat to spot them coming up for a short breath of air.
There were two Dolphins doing their daily food run and their curiosity got the better of them and one even swam alongside the front of the boat, only 2 meters from us.It was fantastic to see them up close and very memorable for the both of us and a great decision and the weather was also amazing.
We also went back to the lookout with better conditions than the previous night which made for some nice views over looking some great landscape. We had one final bid to try some surfing but it was hard to rent a board during the week so we ended up swimming for a little bit at Fingal Bay which was beautiful.

It was then time to say goodbye to Nelson Bay and the fantastic time we had there, we were headed towards Port Macquarie next, so we drove along the Pacific Highway for a little bit and diverted down Lakes Way to Seal Rocks and Myall Lakes National Park. 
We thought that a 4WD was needed to get to Seal Rocks as the Lonely Planet had indicated, but we still went to check it out and the road was fine.
A beautiful little secluded place with a nice beach and grand lighthouse. A nice little stop off on the way north to our eventual town lodging of Forster.

The problem is there are so many nice places to stay and visit all along the NSW coast, but if you have the time and especially if you are keen on seeing Dolphins and Surfing then I suggest to take full advantage of this great area of Australia.


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