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Sea Acres National Park in Port Macquarie

11 December 2011 One Comment

Thursday 10th February 2011 – Port Macquarie, Australia

I awoke early today as I had planned a full day. I wanted to visit Sea Acres National Park, and it was some distance away. I had to walk along the long coastal pathway to get there, so it would be a good day I thought.

First off though was a quick walk to the harbour to see if I could spot any dolphins before they headed out to sea for the day. As luck would have it, two were busy patrolling the waters in search for breakfast. They weren’t the only ones hunting for a meal either, as a few of the local fishermen were competing with the dolphins for the best catch. It isn’t the worst way to begin the day by the looks of it.

The weather wasn’t great this morning, as the clouds had brought with them a steady drizzle of light rain, but the temperatures were still high, and I felt a little clammy already. With a long walk ahead of me, it was only going to get worse I was sure.

I returned to the hostel briefly to get together my things, and met my new roommate in the process, a lovely girl from Luzern in Switzerland, somewhere I have visited on my travels. It was nice to actually be able to say that I have been there. Unsurprisingly, she hadn’t visited my home town in England. I’m not entirely sure why anyone would, although there is great history there, and not a lot of people are aware of this. We had a nice chat before I set off again, this time with food and water, and a hat of course.

Stunning Beach ViewsThe beach views along the walk appealed to me greatly, and I stopped often to admire the panoramic beauty. Strategically placed seating along the walkway encouraged me to sit and admire my surroundings, so this is exactly what I did. It doesn’t matter how many times I stare out into the ocean, or how many times I breathe in the sea air, I never get bored of it, and it always feels like the first time I have witnessed such a sight. It always looks similar to the last time I looked out, yet no two views are ever the same. I think this is one of the reasons I would love to live by the sea. I want to be amazed on a daily basis.

I happened upon a lizard while on my coastal walk, and it was far bigger than any I had seen to date. The reptile scurried up into a tree with some speed, and rendered itself largely invisible against its leafy surroundings. I couldn’t really get close enough for a decent picture, but I was fascinated by this creature. I hoped this wouldn’t be the last I was going to see.

I carried on with the walk in the now baking heat of the sun, and it wasn’t too long before I witnessed a large bird being attacked by two smaller birds. These birds were effectively escorting the larger foe away from their territory, and probably their nest of new-borns. It appeared a colossal mismatch, though the little birds were not afraid to put up a fight and to prove their strength in defence. Throughout the day I saw this happen time and again, and it made me realise that this is just the way it is here.

The pathways were decorated with numerous webs from the six-legged creatures that reside here. Many yellow and black spiders battled for space in amongst the branches of the trees and shrubs. Some were a fair size, and I didn’t know if I really wanted to get very close to them. Surely these must be harmless!! I hoped anyway.

A Goanna at the BeachLater, I saw another lizard. This one, however, was huge, and I had to whip my camera out for some footage. While I was busy admiring the animal, a passer by commented on its size. She’s a fair size, eh! the guy explained. I asked if it was normal to see them this size, and he said they do get bigger. He went on to explain in some detail about the daily routines of these reptiles, and how they rummage through people’s bins at night, causing trouble wherever they go. Apparently these animals are pests, much like all the other animals I am seeing for the first time. To me they are different, unique, special, but to the locals they are a nuisance.

Port Macquarie BeachesThe coastal walkway led me here, there and everywhere. I walked on the beach at times and had to focus my attention elsewhere as I stumbled upon a nudist beach. The elderly folk were clearly enjoying themselves as the laughter carried through the sea breeze, but I didn’t feel the need to see anything that might scar me in to my later life. I am being cruel, I know, and I don’t mean to be.

The time was getting on by this point, and the National Park was within my reach now, but I had to rest a while on a solitary seat situated half way up the cliff, overlooking the beach and the ocean below. Here I sat for a while regaining my breath, when all around my feet army ants went about their daily business. These ants are huge, and I didn’t fancy seeing if they bite, so I lifted my legs above floor level. Thankfully, none were on the seat.

Eventually, I reached my destination only to find it was closing in 15 minutes. It’s fair to say I was a little annoyed by this, and I asked in vein if I could quickly go in and come out again in 15 minutes, but she said they were already closing the gates. Having walked all this way it would have been nice to have seen something, but I guess sometimes bad luck happens. I had to laugh to myself as I walked out of the reception and back towards the path to begin the long walk back. A young couple returning to their car looked at me to acknowledge the fact I was laughing, and to presumably conclude that I was a little strange. I am English, so I guess this makes me strange in the eyes of an Australian citizen.

With the immediate prospect of walking all the way back again, I had to switch into positive thinking mode. I was down after the realisation of not being able to relax a while in the National Park, and I had to snap out of it if I was going to get back before my legs gave way. Luckily for me it was a nice walk, so I just got on with it.

A nice cool drink at McDonald’s was just what the doctor ordered, and set me up for the remainder of the walk. Once back at the hostel, I needed nothing more than to shower and to get out of my wet clothes. Later – after meeting more people from the hostel – I went out for a pizza and returned to the hostel for fun and games into the evening. The hostel was busy tonight, and it was fun to hang out with some cool people.

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Written by Daniel Stevens,
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One Comment »

  • Scott said:

    Good stuff. I love reading your blog. Good adventures, told honestly.

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