Friday, June 29, 2018

A Trip to Port Macquarie / Part 2

Day three started with another coffee in town before we headed 'down memory lane', also known as the Pacific Highway Freeway, an hour north to Crescent Head which is a famous long board point break.
One of the longest and most classic right hand point breaks in Australia the area was made a National Surfing Reserve in 2008.

We had visited there few times before in our younger surfing days but as usual the lack of surf was evident. We think we jinx the place. Despite this, it is a lovely to walk along the point up onto the headland. The water was so clear and blue and inviting despite the winter temperatures. A number of kids were spear fishing around the rocks on the southern side of the headland.

We had a beer in the tavern and a meat pie from the local bakery for old times sake. I have to say that this time we left the former in 'better condition' than we had in past visits.
On the way home we took the back road which is quite a rough gravel track through some very marginal cattle country.

But suddenly you are surrounded by tea tree plantations. This one was the 300ha (750 acre) Maria River Plantation and is part of huge plantings which stretch north almost to the Queensland border.
Total production of tea tree oil ranges between 70 and 100 tones a year.
Tea tree oil is distilled from one of the many species of the Australian native paper barks, Melaleuca alternifolia.
The final surprise of the trip was crossing the Hastings River by ferry back into Port Macquarie.
That night we had BBQ lamb with duck fat roasted potatoes and two bottles of excellent wine.
Next morning it was time to leave. The three days had gone all too fast.

The return trip was a mirror of the first except from Sydney to Moruya we flew to Merimbula way to the south to drop off passengers first, before heading back. This adds an hour to the trip. Strange scheduling but guess REX have the economics worked out.
Both landings were pretty 'exciting' as the weather had turned bad.
But all the pax must have been locals and used to it as there was not a peep as we bounced and swayed our way down to the runway before what seemed a controlled crash landing.
Stirls is off to the USA soon to visit his daughter and twin grand children. We should see him down this way in September. I am saving up all the two man farm jobs.

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