Gerroa isn’t just by the river but by the beach – the glorious Seven Mile Beach that stretches 7.8 miles (or 12.5km) all the way down to Shoalhaven Heads.
It can be a windy beach, but on this day there was hardly a breeze. Perfect weather for families.
One last look at the rolling waves before the drive back to Sydney. With the Gerringong by-pass complete, the journey back was barely an hour 40 minutes now. Such accessibility means that it might not be so serene here in the near future.
Further down-stream, the creek pooled into a wonderful fresh-water pond, complete with waterlilies and a sandy bottom.
It was our swimming spot for the week – I was lucky to be able to swim there three times. By mid-afternoon the water temperature was close to 30C, though it was a tad cooler in the deeper parts. I was told that the pool’s depth decreases as the Dry goes on, so that by July it would only be waist deep.
The creeks of the area drain into the many channels of Cooper Creek, which we’ll explore later. This waterfall/rapids gives you an idea of how much water was draining away.
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!
Our afternoon swim was particularly scenic at the very pretty Bell Gorge in the middle of the King Leopold Range. It was about a 1km walk from the car park, and on the way we passed many a ghostly boab.
Our first glimpse of Bell Gorge was of a tranquil pool amidst the red ochre of the King Leopold Range.
Time for a dip! The pool wasn’t very deep up top.
You could even peer over the edge of the waterfall (the current wasn’t strong at all).
Others took a steep track to the bottom pool. I didn’t go however those who did said it was nice and deep.
Another nice end to the day.
We’re on the home run back to Broome now, and the weather also got hotter – way over 30C maximums required a cool down so I’ll give you a rundown on swimming stops we visited.
First up was Miner’s Creek on Drysdale River station. Sandy bottomed and quite deep in places, it was a pleasant place to swim. It however had a metre long freshwater croc on the bottom and what I thought was a mischievous spirit. We were told by our guide to introduce ourselves as some strange things have happened to him on previous visits – like his air-conditioner breaking down for no reason. I had my own experience – my retractable walking stick refused to retract for several days!
A hundred or so kilometers down the track was Galvans Gorge with a pretty swimming hole, and pretty lotus flowers. The swimming hole was very deep, and the steep sandstone cliffs proved irresistible to leap from for some – not a good idea though as there were some hidden rocks at the bottom.
At El Questro we camped by the Pentacost River. It was a little oasis, and the first thing in the morning was the best time to capture this tranquil setting.
However tranquility was no more by mid-afternoon. As the temperature climbed past 30C, everyone was interested in a freshwater dip.
The tranquility of the morning was my picture of the day.
This spell of warm weather seems never-ending at the moment. Today it was 28C here in Sydney, warm enough to enjoy the beach. These photos though were a few weeks ago during the Anzac Day weekend. Umina Beach was surprisingly deserted for a long weekend.
There was very little swimming going on even though the water temperature hadn't dipped as yet.
I think there were more dogs than people in the water that afternoon.
I also did a reconnaissance of the northern end of the Maroubra Beach. There is a rock pool, Mahon Pool, that may have been a good bet if the swell was off-shore, but certainly not on the day of my visit.
It certainly gave you a good view of the sandstone cliffs.
And a spectacular view of the coastline beyond.
But with the big surf, it drew crowds wanting to get up close and personal with the ocean – without getting too wet.
I preferred to keep my distance from the edge and take my photos from relative safety. I think the ocean was mesmerising wherever you stood that day.
Those waves were really impressive, but not for those up for a swim.
The main beach had been closed for swimming a few days that week, so for those wanting a dip it was time to head to the southern end.
At this end was a more sheltered spot for a quiet dip. Surrounded by the green hill of the Malabar peninsula and the sand dunes, you could be mistaken you’re in a little coastal hamlet.
The water was clear, and although not deep, was enough to be refreshing.
And safe enough to introduce the little ones to the water too.
I stayed poolside for awhile, watching people’s graceful strokes.
It made me regret not bringing my swimmers along.
And at the other end were some people starting out their swimming careers. Perhaps this was the first time this little one has been in the water without floaties?
It was a good way to end the project, and the short course. There are 2 more short courses to do, and I think I might try another later on in the year.