Exploring Nelson Bay

A couple weeks ago we enjoyed a nice long weekend away with our good friends Mae Lee and Bruce.  We took a quick flight up to Newcastle (just North of Sydney) and made a 30 minute drive to Nelson Bay.
Mae Lee and Bruce on the ferry
We enjoyed a Friday night dinner at the local gold club, where we had to show id to prove that we lived farther than 5 km away.  Otherwise, we would have had to join the club to get in.  Strange place.
On Saturday morning we took a ferry ride from Port Stephens across Nelson Bay to Tea Gardens.  It was a pleasant one hour ride during which we enjoyed the views of the bay, the mountains, lots of pelicans, and even a few jumping dolphins.  

View from the ferry - lots of pelicans on the shore
Jumping dolphin from the ferry
In Tea Gardens we had morning tea (that's tea meaning snack) of coffee and scones with jam and cream while we watched a kayak race and enjoyed some sunshine.  Then we took a slow wander around the town, a nice quiet spot along a river.  After a lunch of super fresh fish brought in to the pier just outside the cafe we took the afternoon ferry back.  

Pelican landing in Tea Gardens
Baby ducks!

Strolling along the river in Tea Gardens
After some afternoon naps the boys went for a run and Mae Lee and I went for a hike up to the top of Tomaree Point.  It's an old volcano on the edge of the bay with spectacular views of the ocean on one side and the bay on the other.  We made the tough climb to the top just before sunset and enjoyed the stunning views.  Then we headed back for some Thai-ish food for dinner.
Mae Lee exploring the tide pools
pretty sunset over the bay
At the top of Tomaree Point
The view from Tomaree Point
Mae Lee, Bruce, and I at Tomaree Point
Sunday after the boys went for another run we had a long and leisurely breakfast by the water (though not quite by choice - slowest and most inefficiently run restaurant ever!).  Then we drove down to Anna Bay where we watched the camels take tourists for rides along the beach.  We ran down some sand dunes that were part of the largest moving sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere (aka Stockton Sand Dunes) and then leisurely explored the beautiful beach.  

Mae Lee petting the camel named Trooper
Mae Lee and Bruce enjoying the view at Anna Bay
Anna Bay
After relaxing in the sun we went to the local brewery for some beer, wine, and lunch.  After some more afternoon naps we took another sunset walk to Gan Gan point and enjoyed some more spectacular views.  The Gymea lilies up at the top were unusual and stunning - giant stalks of red flowers growing from what look like yucca plants.

Gymea lilies
Gymea lilies and a view of Nelson Bay and Tomaree Point
Monday the boys enjoyed a round of golf while we went wandering through the streets of Newcastle. After lunch and a few more cheeky sips we flew back home to reality well rested and relaxed.

Sunset at Gan Gan Point
More beautiful views
and some beautiful people


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