GREEN PATCH -POPULAR CAMPING BEACH
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
322Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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February 7 2013
JOURNEY: Sydney, Wollongong, Berry, Cape Jervis, Green Patch campground. 207 kms
WEATHER: high 20's, sunny, blue sky- perfect!
Time to pack up and leave Sydney. The drive out of the city at 11am was easy, no traffic jams, and we were at the Wollongong Lookout less than 90 miutes later. The views over the city on this sunny day were pretty impressive; Wollongong is an industrial city of nearly 300,000 people and a large port, about 80 kms from Sydney.
Sue had told us about the Donut Shed in the little town of Berry and that's where we stopped for a coffee break - we made coffee and ate the cinnamon dusted donuts at the lovely park on the edge of town.
We left the Princes Highway at the turnoff to Jervis Bay and were soon set up in site 50 at Green Patch campground in the Booderee NP. This national park charges quite high fees for camping because of the facilities like drinking water, hot showers, beach access etc.: Sun-Thur $17 for the site and $7 per person. Fri -Sat $22 per site and $11 per person. Guessing that its close proximity to Sydney allows them to charge higher fees and the sites are booked out one month in advance over summer for Friday and Saturday nights.
The area is thickly forested and the mahogany and blackbutt giants looked like they had been there forever. Heath and ferns were lush below the canopy and we saw tiny blue wrens, gorgeous rosellas and bright king parrots. The big grey kangaroos dotted the land and we loved the smaller dark brown wallabies nipping in and out of our camp.
Boderee means "plentiful bay" in the local Dhurga aboriginal language and the bay at Green Patch was indeed beautiful- white sand, gently rolling surf on the crystal clear green/blue sea and original forest lining the shore.
The sound of the ocean was audible from our camp site, even with the strong winds later on. We wandered around the area getting our bearings, and then it was time for dinner and red wine. Lovely.
The very tall trees surrounding us caused a little nervousness when the winds whipped up later in the afternoon but the ranger confirmed thta the trees in the campground had been inspected for safety of campers.
Saturday dawned sunny and still, so it was down to the beach for a swim and the water was cool and refreshing. Quite a few others had the same idea! It was good to be dipping into the Pacific Ocean again.
We tackled just a few of the shorter walks because Kath's Achilles is still in the recovery stage and enjoyed our time chilling out in the fresh clean air. Despite the rangers warning that the winds would be stronger than last night, the night was still and cool- he got it very wrong and we were happy about that!
In summary this is a pleasant camping spot but overpriced- the bathroom facilities needed a good clean and refurbishment and the sites could have been better levelled and cared for. You expect more from a national park charging such high fees. BUT the natural environment is beautiful and the lovely beach suitable for swimming.
Telephone and internet access available!
Wood fires were allowed in a central area and a few people took advantage of the pits.
We were out of Green Patch by 9am and drove around the Jervis Bay area to explore places of interest.
First stop was Murrays Beach where we checked out the wharf and beach quite quickly as it was blowing a gale along the shore.
Cape Jervis Village was not much more than a general store and some houses, so the Booderee Botanical Gardens was our next stop and we wandered around the huge gardens, surrounding Lake McKenzie a spring fed body of water. ""Gardens" seemed a misnomer for this large area of natural bush, although we did notice a lot of recent plantings, protected by wire cages against the resident wallabies.
We stopped at the famous Hyams Beach, very busy on this sunny weekend morning- Hyams boasts of the whitest sand in the world!! Many beaches make this claim and we decide that
Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays beats this one on that claim. It is a lovely beach, no doubt! But whitest sand...!!??
Then it was back onto the Princes Highway, south to our next stop, Pretty Beach!