Booderee National Park

by Petra Bucheli

Friday 7th - Tuesday 11th October, 2016

We drove with the car for a long weekend southwards. Our destination was the Booderee National Park. We rented a bungalow in a lodge. Rolf and Anna recommended it to us.

The drive was not so relaxed. First we needed about an hour to get out of Sydney. And then the traffic got stuck. Sometimes cars turned and drove in the wrong direction to change over were possible to the northwards leading lanes. The radio told about a heavy truck accident. The kids grumbled sometimes, but shortly before we could stop they fell asleep. So we continued to Kiama and stopped there for lunch. There we visited a blowhole. I had a déjà vu: I remembered the park with the light house and the blowhole. I think I passed here 2007 on the way from Sydney to Canberra and had to change the bus here.

We then continued directly to the Booderee National Park. The Lodge is next to the Sussex Inlet which connects the St Georges Basin with the ocean. Immediately after arrival the children wanted to go to the playground. It was directly in front of our house. We then got visited by Wallabies and had a short look at the inlet, then the sun went already down.

On Saturday the weather forecast was not so well. We decided to go to the Botanical Garden. There are many short ways so we could go back home when the rain starts. We saw many different flowers and plants. Unfortunately we could not walk around Lake McKenzie, that path was closed. Kiara did not like to be carried and thus now explored the park on her own way. Currently wood sticks, leaves and stones are very interesting. We had a few drops of rain, but generally we kept dry.

On the way home we stopped at Cave Beach and looked down from the lookout, but neither Konrad nor I had the desire to go down. In Jervis Bay I stopped to buy butter even though I took a huge amount of food with us. After dinner we went again outside. There were again some wallabies. After we walked along the inlet to the ocean and saw several pelicans.

Sunday we made a 5.4 km long hike. Already at the beginning Jann moaned that he is tired. Still he had to walk. The first part was in the forest. Here we saw parrots and even a echidna, but I only saw its back side as it immediately disappeared into the shrubs. The second part was along the coast, but the view was obstructed by the bush. At one of the few good viewpoints Konrad discovered whales. A further lookout was in front of Bowen Island. Here a sea eagle circled. Unfortunately we did not see the inhabitants of the island, the little penguins. After we stopped shortly at Murray Beach and by the “Hole in the Wall”. We wondered what we would find there. It was a beach with view to a rock leading into the sea with a notch in the middle. The kids liked more the leaves on the ground. We met a local who told us about the region of Jarvis Bay.

We then drove out of the National Park to Hyams Beach. They advertise it as the most white beach of the world. It is even in the Guinness book of records. I am not sure if it is really more white than Whiteheaven Beach in Queensland. Who wants to see which one is more white may do the comparison when we are back home in December. Since 2007 I take home sand from every beach I visit. The different colors are interesting.

The Monday can be summarized as “sand, beach and birds”. It got a bit warmer and thus we had the breakfast on the veranda. Suddenly we heard a bird: a kookaburra! Konrad only believed it when two of them landed on a nearby tree. Later we also saw a small blue-black bird.

After we walked along the beach. First we were nearly and later completely alone. The kids liked very much the oversize sandbox. After we could walk back to the lodge along the water and the inlet as it was low tide. In the afternoon we went to the inlet, again with sand toys and this time also with the swimming cloths. The water was refreshingly cool. But except of Jann and me nobody wanted to test the water. And as Kiara had a rage attack, I put her feet into the water to stop it. It worked and she wanted to again to bath her feet.

On Tuesday we had the say goodbye to the Booderee National Park. We just hit the highway up north when we saw a pasture full of kangaroos. A bit further we stopped at the Illawarra Fly Treetop Walk. Here you can walk on a metal bridge over the tree tops and enjoy the view over Wollongong and the Illawarra region.