In case the last post was not enough to convince everyone, I am pretty keen on Crescent Head. But the thing is, I am pretty bloody keen on most all of the mid-north coast of New South Wales. It is just such a beautiful part of the world. The beaches are gorgeous but are rarely crowded. The water is warm enough to swim but cool enough to be refreshing. The weather is mild for most of the year but lacks the fierce humidity of Queensland or the bone dry heat of Victorian summers. There are beaches, rainforests, sand dunes, rivers, lakes, mountains, caves, estuaries, farms, breweries, dairies, wineries; pretty much everything you could want in a summer holiday, right? Right.
As I mentioned, I originally went north to do my practical legal training in a community legal centre in Port Macquarie, a lovely town a few hours north of Sydney. It’s not large by my city slicker standards, but it’s large enough that there are plenty of things to do there. For a start, there’s a gorgeous little slice of national park right in the middle of the town. Sea Acres National Park is small but highly recommended; when you’re traipsing through the rainforest boardwalks eyeing the strangler figs, you definitely don’t feel like you’re a scant walk from houses and milk bars.
Other honourable mentions go to Kooloobung Creek Nature Park (so many flying foxes!!), as well as some of the amazing Port Macquarie breweries. We checked out The Little Brewing Company and Black Duck Brewery; both produce some incredibly good beers, and both are small enough that a visit also gives you a chance to have a good old chat with the people doing the brewing. I’m still thinking about Black Duck’s Migration Stout and suspect I will be doing so for quite some time now.
And speaking of the finer pleasures in life (i.e. booze), there are also some fantastic wineries in the area. I know I should be talking about the wine, but I’m bad at that (I enjoy drinking it, but am godawful at winespeak), so I’ll just say that in addition to delicious wine, Innes Lake sports the most magnificent beast of a bougainvillea that you will ever see, and Bago Winery has a hedge maze. Delicious wine, local cheese AND a hedge maze to run around in afterwards? What could go wrong? Nothing, that’s what!
(isn’t it amazing? I should have included a person for scale but in lieu of that, let me point out a) the cars on the bottom right, and also the fact that a full-grown adult can traverse that boardwalk without having to duck to avoid all that glorious magenta)
Further up the coast is Delicate Nobby, South West Rocks, Trial Bay and Arakoon. Further south is Lake Cathie, Laurieton, Dooragan National Park… the list goes on. I visit this part of the coast as often as I’m able and I am still yet to run out of new things to do. No better place for a summer, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s no coincidence that I’m staring longingly at these photos now that we’re well into a dreary Melbourne winter.
Back to reality next post, I promise!