Sapphire Coast Getaway

I have recently returned from a few days on the beautiful unspoilt Sapphire Coast of New South Wales-approximately 2.5 hours drive from Canberra where I live. Being a teacher, I have the added perk of school holidays so I thought why not? I packed my bodyboard, fins, suitcase, esky, two bags of food, hat and sunscreen with some swimmers and set off on the open road. I climbed over Clyde Mountain, yelled out “Cabbage Tree Creek “when I approached it (a favourite past time on trips to the coast as a child and whenever my parents visit me from Queensland down south.)

Soon I had passed the summit of the mountain and Pooh Bear’s cave and saw the beloved first glimpse of the ocean on the horizon with the thought “I see the sea” (something my dad always said when we passed this spot-he however now lives on the Gold Coast and is 20 minutes from the sea so he doesn’t get as excited about it as when he lived in Canberra which is much more inland. Then I passed a sign for Bateman’s Bay along with its population number, crossed the iron Bateman’s Bay Bridge dotted with boats with the islands out to sea and stayed on the highway until I reached the turnoff for Broulee. I took the turnoff and drove through the quaint seaside village, past my favourite pizza shop just across the road from the beach, over the bridge and to my fvavourite Mossy Point cafe’ where I enjoyed a large mocha.

After that I walked down to the public jetty and took some photos of the blue water lapping gently against the shore. The wind unfortunately was a bit strong and blew my blue and white hat I’d bought from Port Douglas in far north Queensland into the water! I found a part of the jetty near the water level and dropped down into the sand, trying my best to avoid the inevitable purple and white oysters which were lurking beneath the surface-I like to eat them not tread on them! I retrieved my now dripping hat and yanked it back on my head. The two people who were also on the wharf didn’t even laugh!

Then I walked back to the cafe’ and bought some hot chips with chicken salt as the pizza place was closed. I enjoyed the chips on Broulee Beach, where I also sunbaked and read my book. I then went for a bodyboard with my fins and caught some waves into shore. After that I headed back along the highway to a town called Narooma which was about 40 minutes away. I checked into the caravan park there-I had treated myself to a nice cabin with a glimmer of an ocean view. I dropped off my things and headed for the beach by the surf club. I went for a swim and read my book for a while (I do this quite a lot) before heading back to the cabin, having a shower, getting changed and going out for dinner at a place advertised as having a “million dollar view” (it truly does): O’brien’s Hotel.

I had a roosta boosta pizza and a glass of Pinot Grigio (a wine a friend of mind introduced me to and which I now love.) The next day I slept in, had breakfast at the cabin and a large mocha at a quaint little cafe’ my brother and his wife had visited when they came to the coast from Queensland for Christmas. It had wooden whale painted table numbers and had a wonderful view down through the town, with the ocean in the background glimmering serenely in the spring sunshine. After my mocha I did a spot of shopping-buying a couple of summer dresses and some pretty scented soaps. Then I went to the kinema (that’s what it’s called there) and bought a ticket to a romantic comedy later that afternoon called Everything Everthing-a love story between two young people-one of which supposedly cannot go outside as she is allergic to everything and could die.

It had beautiful scenery of Hawaii in the film-a place I would very much like to visit one day and of which my dad has fond memories. After the film, I headed out for dinner to the Narooma Golf Club-probably in the best location for a golf club ever invented-with a beautiful view all the way across the headland and green golf course to the lighthouse perched atop Montague Island a few kilometres out to sea. I had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc this time (Pinot Grigio was only available by the bottle and I wasn’t going to drink a whole bottle now was I?) I also had an entree’ of half a dozen natural local oysters and a pumpkin tart with blue cheese sauce which was absolutely delicious.

The next day I followed the path winding its way past the caravan park, across the bridge over Wagonga Inlet and all the way to the breakwall (where apparently seals often bask in the sun), a netted swimming area and another beach. I made my way to the other beach, sunbaked and read my book before heading down the length of the beach on a serene walk with the sea breeze in my hair, the sand under my toes and the roar of the ocean in my ears. I explored the rocks at the end of the beach-waves crashed over some of them.

Then I saw a figure on some wooden stairs leading up the headland. I walked up the stairs too and found myself atop the headland and overlooking an adjacent beach. Then I walked back along the beach, boardwalk and path to the cabin and had lunch there. After that I headed across the road to the Visitor Information Centre as I had seen online that they had a Lighthouse Museum inside the building. It was free! I read about the history of the lighthouse and the lighthouse keeper families on Montague Island and learned that the light in the display original lighthouse from the island actually came from a similar lighthouse in Green Cape in Eden further along the NSW coastline before you hit Victoria (I have visited this lighthouse on my Eden adventure.) You could put a dollar into a machine and put you hand on a hand print and the lighthouse on display would light up, rotate and tell you information about itself. It said all moneys went to the keeping of the museum which is run by volunteers.

After looking at the information centre, I passed two mermaid dolls on the bench outside and headed for a swim at the Narooma Pool-a pool I had often visited with my mother and brothers as a little girl and which used to have mats you could float on. I did some laps there and then had a shower back at the cabin, got changed and headed to the  beach near the surf club where I went for a sunset walk. I did try to find a path leading up to the graveyard on the headland overlooking the beach but couldn’t find one.

I googled the address of the graveyard on my phone and used my GPS to find my way there in my car. I drove past the industrial area of town and down a narrow street shrouded with trees-like a kind of darkening green tunnel. Then I was at the graveyard. It had a great view of the beach at sunset and the moon which was now out so I took some nice photos. I did find it eerie being there alone and it almost being dark though so I didn’t stay long. I drove to a Chinese takeaway restaurant and bought some food and went to BWS and bought two bottles of Pinot Grigio (on special.) Then I watched Indian Summers on my laptop back at the cabin on a DVD boxset I had got from a library in Canberra.

The next day I checked out of the caravan park before 10AM (as required) and headed to a favourite spot of mine-the town of Bermagui. Bermagui was about 30 minutes further along the coast than Narooma and I call it “Bermi” for short now (I’m not sure if the locals do but maybe?) I drove the the Blue Pool-two concrete pools built into the seacliff and surrounding rocks which are filled with sea water. I dipped my feet in as it was a bit windy and the water was rather cold (I was a wuss.) I resorted to reading my book on the headland with chips and chocolate (I’m on holidays) instead before driving back into town and parked outside a  nice cafe’ just across the road from the beach.

I ordered a large cappuccino followed by a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and a lunch of a chicken Turkish bread toasted sandwich with salad. I enjoyed this feast with my book in the sunshine gazing at the ocean before me. Then I headed across the road to the beach, lay down my town and you guessed it, sunbaked and read my book. Then I got in my car and set off back for Canberra, stopping off for a visit with tea and biscuits with my grandgrandparents in Moruya on the way.

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