We got away from Forster fairly early for us (just after 9) and kept on tourist route 6 ‘The Lakes Way.’ Some great views of the countryside and national parks and of course, a few lakes. We went past a sign that pointed down a road telling all and sundry that this way leads to the second biggest tree in New South Wales. Vrooooom straight past it. I would love to go down all these rabbit holes on the way, there’s just so many opportunities to take a secondary road here or an unsealed detour this way, but we just can’t do it all and we are certainly limited by our snail imitation of carrying our house around.
We took the turn off to Tea Gardens and Hawks Nest which are both a part of the north shore of Port Stephens. On the edge of Hawks Nest there is a long curved piece of shore called Jimmys Beach. The caravan Park is not the cheapest one we’ve been to but it has such a great outlook surrounded by trees and call of flocks of birds that aren’t pigeons. So I know that all the Jimmies I am in contact with don’t own a beach down this way so it must be some lucky NSW James that has lucked in.
After set up we did a little suss out drive and found the Hawks Nest Surf Lifesaving Club and went for a surf for a couple of hours. Lou caught the biggest wave ever! (for her) She did a great job holding onto to the surfmat and has now learned the basics of shifting your weight to steer it. Tim is going well with his body surfing too. We splurged out and bought fish and chips for dinner but I have to say I was a little disappointed to learn that when you buy them from the fisherman’s co op they only have frozen ‘product’ as I was told when I asked the lady what was their freshest fish. I got some oysters too that were yum except for one that tasted like mud (I’m still alive). While I was waiting for the order to come up I threw a lure out in front of a nearby boat ramp and managed to pull in a flathead. I didn’t have my ruler and it looked like it might’ve been just on or undersize so I threw it back.
The next day we took the stand up paddleboard out for a spin. It was a bit windy and overcast so it took us a while to find the right spot. Before this I had mooted the idea that we leave it in Sydney to be shipped home later as it is a hulking big thing that is just taking up space. No one spoke in favour of keeping it. But after our latest foray I have all votes for keeping it with us.
We had a picnic lunch and then the kids swam in the Tea Gardens pool while a did some unsuccessful lure throwing in the river.
The afternoon at the campsite was peaceful and the sunset over the water was cool.