Dash to the beach   Leave a comment

Saturday, 14 September, 2014

Did I tell you that I’ve finally got another car! A beautiful 1.8 Toyota Corolla which has made my life so much easier and allows me to get out and about.

Anyway, on Thursday I noticed that the weather on the coast was looking good and decided that I could kill two birds with one stone, by firstly giving the car a good run out to test its capabilities and secondly to check out a new route up to Jervis Bay that I spotted on the map. Generally, when I (or anybody else for that matter) go to the NSW South Coast, this means a drive along the Kings Highway through Bungendore, Braidwood, down the Clyde Ravine into Batemans bay and then turn left to get to Ulladula, Mollymook and Jervis Bay or right to travel down to Narooma, Bermagui & Eden. This means that driving up to Jervis Bay by this route means that it would take 3 to 3 and half hours to get there from Canberra. However, just before Braidwood there’s a road that forks off up towards Jervis Bay through the small town of Nerriga. I had a suspicion that part of this road would be un-sealed, meaning that I would have to slow down for fear of wrecking my new car.

Anyway, left Canberra early without any breakfast, as I knew that I would be stopping off at Braidwood for the usual coffee and pie in the bakery (As you know, it’s the law that you have to stop in Braidwood for a pie!). The Nerriga road veers off the King’s Highway just before Braidwood, but it was only an extra five minute drive to get into the centre of town and the bakery. The traffic was fairly heavy on the way down to Braidwood, but immediately I turned off the main road I hardly noticed any traffic at all and I was just congratulating myself on a good move when I hit the first stretch of gravel road! It was a bit of a shock at first, but once I realised that the road conditions were actually pretty good, with the gravel surface well packed down, I soon started to increase my speed and fairly soon I was nearly back up to the sort of speeds I was doing on the main highway. This first stretch lasted for around 10km and then I was onto a 50/60 km stretch on sealed road that wound its way through some beautiful countryside, part of which I stopped and took a look at before continuing on towards the coast. The second stretch of gravel road was a bit of a bone shaker and I had to reduce the speed considerably in order to spot and avoid some of the larger potholes. I soon worked out that by driving in the middle of the road allowed me to proceed at a decent lick and on this 15 km or so of road, I only saw a couple of other cars coming the other way. At the end of this road, I joined the main coast road that runs from Sydney all the way down the NSW coastline to the Victorian border and headed toward Jervis Bay. So 3 hours after leaving home, I found myself pulling up into a small car park just of the beach at Hyams Beach.

Wow! three hours, including time spent at Braidwood munching pies, to get from home to one of the best beaches in NSW, not bad. Mind you I don’t I’d be using this route when its wet, but then again I wouldn’t be coming to the beach in the rain anyway.

First things first was to take a dip in the crystal clear waters of the bay, bloody hell the water was freezing and as I was drying off by the waters edge I heard my name being called out across the beach. Canberra in not a big place, but I never seem to meet anybody I know when I’m out in town, but when I’m away seem to bump into loads of people I know and today it was Phil, from the Big Hike group and his wife Barbara who just happen to be on a week’s holiday in the area and were taking a walk along the beach. We chatted for a while, during which they told me about some of the best places to visit in the area including the Booderee National Park, which is within the Jervis Bay Territory, which in turn is actually classed as part of the ACT.

So after taking my own walk along the Hyams beach towards the strangely positioned HMAS Creswell Naval base, I took a drive around to the Booderee visitors centre to enquire about camping in the National Park and what it had to offer. After having a chat with a couple of the excellent park rangers inside, I found myself booking a two night stay at the Green Patch camping grounds for the first of the upcoming public holiday weekends.

Hoping to avoid any potential conflicts with any kangaroos who fancied taking me on during a twilight drive back to Canberra, I left the coast at around 4pm and taking the same route back, I arrived back home after just two and half hours.

Posted September 14, 2014 by yermandownunder in Observations, Out and about, Travels

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