The crowning glory to visits to these parts was the view from Bald Hill in Stanwell Tops. It overlooks Stanwell Park Beach, the Sea Bridge, and the greater suburbs of Wollongong in the distance.
Such a view meant braving a few crowds and even a tourist bus, but concentrate on the scenery and even such inconveniences were tolerable.
On a cove north of the Sea Bridge is Stanwell Park Beach. Golden sands, a blue Tasman Sea, all hemmed in by green hills make this an ever photogenic beach.
This visit was in late July, but the temperature on the sand was warm enough to encourage some hardy souls to head for the surf.
Watch out for the rips, ladies!
It’s been a seriously long time since I visited the Illawarra coast line north of Wollongong. In fact, the last time I posted about the area was back in 2009!
Since then, the Sea Bridge at Coalcliff has become a bit of a tourist attraction, and on a day out with M, we decided to see what the fuss was about. We started the walk on the north end of the bridge, and walked down to the south end to get this view.
Just note that it was very windy there out on the bridge. The view of the coast was better when you’re walking south to north, but only in the morning/late afternoon/cloudy days. And do not attempt to do a ‘Titanic’, as we saw some Chinese tourists do in the middle of the bridge. I mean, really?
One of my favourite places to sit and contemplate is by the rainforest creek that borders the pasture. I’ve sat here many times: when the creek was dry, and when the water simply trickled. During Easter there was a rush of water due to a wet few weeks, which was a joy to the senses.
We’ve come to the end of our rural Easter. Hope the experience has been a contemplative one.
But if the leaves weren’t quite turning, the flowers were putting on a show, particularly the grevilleas.
Being an earlier than usual Easter this year, the leaves were only starting to turn on the long avenue.
Some of the leaves had turned.
But most hadn’t.
It of course doesn’t make it less of a treat to walk down in all weathers.
Speaking of clouds, we saw some majestic cloud formations over Easter as a front moved across the escarpment. This brought a ton of rain on Saturday. Strangely, the rain was very localised – even Kiama, a mere 10km away, got hardly any rain.
I spent Easter at Jamberoo Abbey with my good friend M from Ahh… Serenity. It was really well worth driving 1.5 hours – the last half hour through rolling green hills and rainforest – to stay 3 days away from the stresses of the city.
This year we scored great rooms with views of the escarpment. I certainly enjoyed every minute of staring out at the elements, whether in sun…
Or in cloud.
We’re out of the national park and driving down the Grand Pacific Drive. The view from Bald Hill has got to be one of the most photographed in NSW after Sydney Harbour and Blue Mountains. On a clear day you can see all the way to Port Kembla, even all the way to Saddleback Mountain near Kiama. If the wind is favourable you can see the hang and para gliders do their thing.
Stanwell Park beach is pretty nice too, but it’s really a surfing beach and not a swimming beach. I’ve been caught up in a scary rip or two there to know.
Saturday started off pretty crap weather-wise, but luckily it cleared up (mostly) to make a visit to the Illawarra Fly Tree Top Walk worth it.
It’s basically a walkway suspended 20m above the ground, so you are literally among the trees.
While there are similar walkways around Australia it was interesting to be up so high among such familiar landscape. The views are similar to what can be had for free at Saddleback Mountain, but I think it worth doing once.