Friday, March 27, 2015

Heaps of Hart on the Sussex Inlet

I'm the "King of the Sand Dune!"

Bryce doing his best Leonardo DiCaprio impression

We are so lucky to have been given invitations and opportunities from the St. Michael's staff - and school community. Last weekend was another terrific day with Christine and Adrian Hart exploring the Sussex Inlet on their "Bar Crusher" boat and spending the day with them - and their grandsons, Ethan and Noah. The boys made instant friends and had a terrific time with their new mates. 

The forecast was cloudy and somewhat windy, but it turned out to be nice on the water and the sun even came out for a bit while we were enjoying a "picnic lunch" at "Little Manly"

The boys all waited for Adrian to get the boat ready for the water 

Time to board!

A quick photo before they get their "sea legs"

Bryce in the First Mate's chair

Liam exploring the shoreline 

We headed out towards the open water, but it was too windy and rough (with the kids on board) to travel past the inlet. Instead, we pulled up to the sandbar shoreline and did a nice walk exploring (and playing) on the sand

Lots of seabirds around

Liam and Noah enjoying a barefoot sand walk 

  Bryce loses his hat in the winds up on the bank!

Everyone makes their way towards the water 

Beautiful beach (but very rough!)

Chy-Anne and Christine walk barefoot on the sand 

Chy-Anne looking for dolphins, maybe? (They are often seen here)

Back to the boat and Liam is soaking up the sun as First Mate 

Lots of pelicans line the shoreline (likely waiting for the fisherman to return) 

The Sussex Inlet Rescue Boats

Adrian looks on as Bryce works on his Aussie Tan! 

Black swans on the water

And then it was time to go fast when we hit St. George's Basin!!! 

Cormorants were everywhere - we actually watched one choking back a pretty big fish (whole!)

Huge Pelicans!

This is where you can hire a boat for the day 

Toadfish - apparently toxic (to eat) this point, it's just easier to assume something here is poisonous unless you hear otherwise:) We were feeding them scraps of ham and quite a few began to gather.

Both Liam and Bryce had a turn driving the boat (Thanks Adrian! You made their day:)

So many things that live in the waters here

This is how the boys entertained themselves after they had finished their lunch...

After the boat ride and a picnic lunch at the sandy hillside of "Little Manly" - we headed back to Christine and Adrian's house and experimented with Liam and Bryce riding a little 4 wheeler! 

This is the map showing where we were:

This is where our boat ride took us

This is an aerial photo of the Sussex Inlet leading in to St. Georges Basin

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Spiders and Wallabies on Old Murray Trail - Booderee

A beautiful pink sky in the morning! 

This bushwalk took me on the same path that we had already done with the boys and Chy-Anne when we first arrived in Australia - on the hunt to see the Little Penguins from the Lookout near Murrays Beach.

Today, it was the Munyunga waraga dhugan (loop walk) 'White-bellied sea eagle's home camp'

Had to pull over to take a couple photos of some roos on the roadside (mom and joey)

Lots of maps available in Booderee National Park to keep you in check:)

Started on the crystal clear waters of Murrays Beach

Sunny, bright blue skies

Lookout at Governor Head towards Bowen Island (home to Little Penguins)

At this point, a storm started rolling in and made it quite windy for the rest of the walk

Found this "fisherman's path" down towards the cliff edges and some really great views!

Bowen Island

Lots of great rocks around...large chunks of quartz everywhere!

Came across this memorial with a plaque - very humbling

A wide path makes it easy to see everything around you

Apparently, this is terrific spot to see Australian Fur Seals at certain times of year. 

This was a great sign as it labelled the entire view of the distant landscape 
from the higher elevation where I was

Came across a wallaby

Some great wildflowers along the way

Bull Ants (they were everywhere!)

The ruins of the Cape St. George Lighthouse are seen in the background here

Golden Orb-Weaver Spider (actually saw 4 total on this walk).

Half way!

Jacky Lizard - up close and personal

Bottlebrush trees - a favourite for the birds here

This is where I had my first snake encounter on a bushwalk. 
Too quick to get a photo - it was small and not deadly.

Signs of fire or lightning strikes are common on these walks

The markings seen here are the tracks left by the "scribbly gum moth"

Some great bird noises surrounded me. 
Pretty sure that I caught a few glimpses of the endangered "eastern bristlebird" on the walk, too:)

And finally, a stop back at Murray Beach to admire the view!