Friday, December 28, 2012

Seal Rocks

While Brian is off on holiday, we decided to do a few things close to home.  We thought about going elsewhere for a few days, but decided we'd just as soon spend the majority of our time at the incredible beaches where we live.  However, I've been wanting to see Seal Rocks for a long time.  The pictures look beautiful and I always enjoy seeing creatures in their natural habitat.  As you might guess by it's name, Seal Rocks is home to lots of seals - in fact, it is the northern most colony of Australian Fur Seals.

So we planned our trip out.  Since there's not much in the way of food in Seal Rocks, we decided to stop in at Bulahdelah for lunch.  It's a small town, but we found a cafe and had a bite before heading out to see the Grandis - the tallest tree in New South Wales.

The boys were quite keen to see the Grandis.  It is a Flooded Gum Tree, or Eucalyptus Grandis.  We headed a few minutes out of our way, down a small, curvy road - with help from the navigation system!  We turned onto the road the Grandis is located on and were immediately disappointed.  The road was shut because of a bridge collapse!  The boys were disappointed, but we turned around and made our way towards Seal Rocks.

We turned onto yet another small, curvy road and were cruising along when Nathan shouted that a turnoff had a sign for the Grandis.  For once, Nathan's sign reading had paid off in spades!  We made a mental note of how many kilometres we had travelled and promised the boys we would try on our way back home.

From the small, curvy road we turned on to the unpaved, small, curvy road heading to Seal Rocks.  There are no plans to pave the road, in large part because that is how the citizens want it.  They do not want their town commercialised, and after spending time at one of their lovely beaches, I don't blame them.

We drove through town towards the Sugar Point Lighthouse, having to pull almost entirely off the road several times to let another vehicle by us.  We parked in the car lot and started the short hike to the lighthouse.  The kids warned me that my legs might hurt, as they had done this walk before.  I was pretty confused, as the path was pretty straight and flat.  They assured me that it would get steeper - and it did. It's actually a very steep climb to the lighthouse, but it doesn't last long and my legs didn't hurt!  On our way, we heard some skittering in the bush and encountered a Goanna climbing up a tree to get away from us.

We also passed a blowhole, which made for pretty landscape:

It looks more like a cave to me, but the sign said blowhole, so we'll go with it!

Before we started our steep climb, we took a short detour to see Seal Rocks.  Here are some of the lovely views we had.

You can't see it well in this picture, but, Yacaaba and Tomaree (where we live)
are in the left of the background

Not edited, the water is really this gorgeous!

There was also a big rock at the lookout, which the boys scrambled up immediately.  Will wanted to jump off of it.  I okayed it, taking pictures along the way.  Nathan decided to jump off of it as well.  He fussed after he landed.  In a change of personalities, Brian said he never would have let them jump in the first place.  For the record,  Nathan actually brought his knee up to high and hit his arm - it had nothing to do with the height of the rock!

He used to be my scaredy cat!
After goofing around with the rocks for awhile, it was up the steep incline to the lighthouse.  Unfortunately, you are unable to climb to the top.  We were able to climb up a level, but it would've been fun to go all the way. I'm not sure why you can't - maybe because of the gusty wind?

This picture looks like you are just seeing the top of the lighthouse, but it is actually all of the building.  It doesn't need to be as tall as most lighthouses are because it is built on such a tall cliff.  Apparently even with the lighthouse it was not easy to avoid rocks and such.  One of the beaches is actually named Treachery Beach!

Obligatory pose for mum!
After wandering around at the lighthouse, we went down and spent some time at the beach.  Brian and Nath did a bit of snorkelling, while Will and I splashed around in the water.  It was fairly rocky and seaweedy, not my favourite thing in the world.  However, spending time out on the beach is always well worth it!  After a while, we (and by that I mean I) changed out of our cozies (Aussie slang for swimsuit) and started the trek back home.

Nathan made sure that we remembered to check and see if we could get to the Grandis, which we had remembered even without his help!  We travelled down yet another small, curvy, dirt road and were able to make it to the tree.  The road was closed just on the other side, which made the boys happy.  It was a very short walk and suddenly we were there.  It is a beautiful tree, piercing through the canopy of the forest.

Will offered to hold my sunnies -
clearly out of the goodness of his heart!
And here's what happens when they get tired
of mum taking pictures!

And that's our adventure for that day.  We're getting ready to have another one - Brian finally bought a surfboard!  I only told him I would buy him one for his last birthday, which is the end of April.  We're heading to the beach shortly!

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