OCEAN, BEACH, CREEK, BIRDS & SUPER HORNETS
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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Where I stayed
Black Rocks campground
JOURNEY: Brisbane to Bundjalung NP 280kms
WEATHER: Cloudy and cool; later sunny and 30 degrees
Black Rocks camp ground on 10 Mile Beach, Bundjalung National Park has been a favourite camping destination for us since 1995, last visited in March 2009.The park underwent some refurbishment following a destructive fire in 2008 and we are happy to see that the scrub and heath have grown up and created 47 bushy private camp sites.
The gravel road into the park is very corrugated and we travelled the 20kms at 20-30kph- slow but sure!
Bundjalung NP protects about 38 kms of NSW coastline; the area was home to the Bundjalung people; the Jerusalem Creek, lagoons, mangroves and paperbark forest and low heath edge the magnificent ocean and gorgeous 10 Mile Beach here- swimming is not really safe in the pounding surf so just a quick dip in the cold water is the best option!
Swimming in the lovely Jerusalem Creek is definitely the way to go and it is a great waterway to kayak or canoe.
We arrived late afternoon and took a while to choose our site because phone connection was dependent on location in the park- after stopping for a Death Adder on the road we found a site distant from where he slithered into the bush.
We remembered that the park is home to these guys and the brown snake too! Important to keep eyes wide open! You can die from their bite!
We also needed a sunny spot for our solar panels. So much to consider for happy campers!
Unusually for a national park we have internet, phone and full TV coverage so it is a very comfortable location! Sad to see the storm trauma in the USA unfolding on TV and hard to comprehend New York without the subway and electricity!
The park is home to the coastal emu that remained elusive this time but we did catch a good look at the Eastern Whipbird scraping around in the branches with his piercing whiplash call ringing through the camp ground in the morning. Magpies visited for breakfast and we saw the pretty red beaked Oystercatcher each time we walked the beach.
Must mention the Super Hornets, the Boeing F/A 18 fighter jets that fly over in the afternoons and are amazing to witness- speed, shape and sounds. A camper said that they fly in from Amberley Base for practice sessions! This jet replaces the F111 apparently! We settle in to enjoy the peace after they fly their last circuits.
The camp ground is about 25% occupied during our stay and it's quiet and magical. The full moon rising out of the ocean is a special treat for us on Tuesday, and as always the sunrise is a must see, not every morning but when Kath thinks the dawn has promise and when she leaves the bed in time for the first and strongest colours!
Standing high on the sand dunes above the camp ground and ocean in the first light of day you feel in touch with nature- changing tides, varying skies, and mighty vistas. We notice the impact of nature on the coffee soft rocks, gradually disappearing over the years under sand and with the impact of big seas!
The sand dunes protect the camp ground from windy weather and we appreciate the beauty of this place and decide to stay longer than planned.
Sunsets are a beautiful sight from the top of the sand dunes! In fact we have a 360 degree vista from these tall mountains of sand.
We check our supplies and realise we can definitely do 6 nights- need to ration the fresh milk and remind ourselves to store some long life milk for future contingencies.
Things to do: 4km walk through the banksias and paperbarks to the mouth of the creek.
2km stroll along the sandy trail by Jerusalem creek.
Long walks south along 10 Mile Beach.
Things to do (cont.) Canoeing or kayaking Jerusalem Creek
Rock fishing, shore fishing, fishing, fishing and fishing!!
Swimming in the ocean with care and in the creek.
Or you can just sit and contemplate nature, enjoy a camp fire and catch up on some reading. Kath is finishing the Stieg Larssen Trilogy before getting into her Kindle and Sheila is enjoying Peter Yeldham's "Barbed Wire and Roses" and tackling her Ipad games.
Warm days and cool nights mostly- perfect camping weather. Friday served us wild winds gusting at 50kms an hour so we confined ourselves to the van for most of that day.We comment that nature still rules and nothing can be done about the weather- just adapt and accept!
Facilities here are gas barbecues, pit toilets, fireplaces and shelters that were bunkers during World War 2. There is no fresh water, the water in the creek is brackish.
The camp ground accomodates a lot more campers on Saturday and we will pack up tomorrow and continue south. Black Rocks is an excellent camping experience. Recommended!