Tuesday 24th December 2013 Taree and Crowdy Bay National Park
We woke up and changed the temperature gauge sensor on the car, but by screwing this bolt too strongly, it triggered a tiny crack in the thermal base housing. Now, we didn’t know if that crack could be leaking or not. If it was leaking, then the cooling water would leak through. The engine could get too hot and replacing an engine would be another story. So we decided to drive to the closest place where we could find a replacement for the thermal base housing. And that place was Taree, 45 minutes south of Crowdy Bay National Park. Off we were, on a rainy day, on Christmas Eve.
It took about 10-15 minutes to exit Crowdy Bay National Park and we passed through the small town nearby, Launceston. We asked at a small Repair Shop there if they had this spare part, but they confirmed we should go to Taree. We saw a Santa hitch-hiking in Launceston.
On the way to Taree, we stopped for toilets at a rest area called Johns River Rest Area. There was a sign explaining why the river was called Johns River.
There was another sign telling the Aboriginal story of the creation of the nearby North Brother, Middle Brother and South Brother hills. It was a nice story.
Later in the day, we saw on a map where these hills were located.
When we got to Taree, another Santa was there, on the bridge, contemplating cars passing through.
View of the Manning river from the bridge.
One street of Taree.
We spent a couple of hours going around, from one car repair shop to another. We went to 6 car repair shops and 3 different spare parts reseller. The last spare part reseller a bit outside of town had the thermal housing base we wanted. We went back to a car repair shop with it and asked if it could be changed. As it was Christmas’eve, they said best would be to come back on Friday 27th December but we may get the car back only on the Monday. They also said that if we managed to drive around all day without leaking then it would probably be fine to wait before to replace it. So we finally decided to go back to Crowdy Bay National Park.
On our drive to Crowdy Head lighthouse, we stopped at the small pier. There was no one except the pelicans and cormorans, sitting each on one light, all lined up there. It created a strange atmosphere.
We walked to the end of the pier and the pelicans in particular were checking us out as we walked by.
The cormorans seemed to care less.
Fisherman boat in the bay.
We got to the lighthouse nearby at Crowdy Head.
In the background we can see three hills, maybe the three brothers.
We drove back in Crowdy Bay National Park, the trees have a way of bending above the road like if they were curious of us, whispering to each other.
We got to the main campground where we payed the National Park fees for the 2 nights we were staying. That campground was more packed, but had some kangaroos going around.
Mummy Kangaroo and baby in the pouch.
We went to walk on the beach. I could understand now why it was called Diamond Head. The rocks do look a bit like shaped diamonds.
The surf looked really good, very clean gentle curly waves, perfect for beginners. It was a bit late, so we decided to come check this out the next day.
Back to our campground.
We headed for a walk to the nearby beach and learned on the way about the Bitou bush, a weed which has invaded 80% of coastal New South Wales, another of the 1,000 weeds Australia tries to get rid off.
Our beach was more windy than that one we had just gone to on the other side of the Diamond Head. There were some paragliders playing in the wind.
The rock formations were absolutely fascinating.
It seemed like someone or some people, long time ago, had drawn on those rocks a secret map of the universe.
A rainbow serpent.
One of the thousand galaxies represented in these rocks.
The face of a giant who was transformed in a rock, as all the giants I had seen in the past in Egypt, at St Catherine’s monastery on Mount Sinai, and who had fascinated me so much I made a book out of them. http://au.blurb.com/books/2367513-the-giant-who-loved-silence
Now that one was funny. It made me think of a cousin of Donald Duck coming from outer space with a big head like in Tim Burton’s movie which got transformed into a rock.
I tried to catch a picture of the crab digging out a hole but he was too fast and I only remained with the picture of the hole he was making.
We headed back to the campside and saw a wallabie.
We had cold showers and warmed up around our fire and cooked potatoes in it.
Then our neighbour Eric invited us to join him and his wife around their own fire and offered us wine and tea and we had a really great evening hanging out with them. They were on holiday and had droven from Victoria to escape the cold and discover this National Park with their three daughters. We talked about Australia, Aboriginals, the environment, the evolution of the earth, and so many more topics. Eric was working 2-3 hours east of Melbourne between Gippsland and Bairnsdale as a Natural Resource Management Consultant in Environmental Planning for Ethos NRMS. You can see awesome photos and learn more about it on their website, it really sounded awesome to me. http://ethosnrm.com.au/
Great talks around the fire with a glass of wine in hand in a beautiful National Park…It was an awesome way to celebrate Christmas Eve!