Two Days in Port Stephens – oops. Take 2.

It’s been two days since we returned from a two day break in beautiful Port Stephens. The weather was nice with just a few showers over night. This is where we stayed. This photo is a photo of an advertising photo taken from the other side of the golf course. The apartment we stayed in was on the first floor facing the golf course in the building centre right of the photo – one of the taller buildings with the triangle frame at the top.

Neither of us play golf. It’s the tranquility of the place that lures us there.

On the first morning we took a ten minute drive to Nelson Bay where we enjoyed a quiet coffee while we waited for the ferry to take us to a little riverside town named Tea Gardens.

It’s near quietness was due to it being a day before Easter and the school holidays had not yet begun.

The ferry was pretty old but it added to the glamour of the trip. There was only half the passenger capacity so social distancing wasn’t a problem and the captain, and one crew man, were very informative.

Photo by Norm

With the swells being quite high through the heads, it was not easy trying to stand let alone holding a camera and taking photographs. These are just a few photos taken on the way to Tea Gardens.

After some window shopping, we wandered around to read the lunch menus on various cafe and restaurant windows. We settled on the Seagrass Cafe with gluten free options. I ate just over half of my meal. Norm ate all of his and almost the rest of mine.

The Singing Bridge was named after the hand-railed pedestrian fence had been installed. Apparently when the wind blows, from a certain direction at around 80 kilometres an hour, a very loud whining can be heard up and down the river until the wind lessens and changes direction. On the first occurrence, those who heard it were quite frightened by it. We didn’t get to hear it though.

The outing took just over three and a half hours with our return ferry ride being escorted at one time by a lone dolphin. We did see a few dolphins leaping out of the water some distance away on the trip out too.

Photo by Chrissy

Most of the time away was just to relax and watch the day go by. Returning home on Good Friday would have been OK except for road works that backed up traffic. We discovered just over this hill, two lanes suddenly became one. This photo was taken when the traffic came to a dead stop. We then proceeded at a speed of 2-4 km an hour for the next 5kms. As soon as we past the roadworks, the traffic disappeared.

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More Holiday Photos

Just a few photos taken by Norm on my birthday. I learned a lot about these bottle-nose dolphins. This one is Bella. You can read about Bella here:

At the research centre we also learned about the hundreds of turtles and tortoises that are injured every year, mostly by discarded fishing wire.

We also spent a few hours at the Butterfly House. We would have stayed longer but it suddenly become very busy with too many people and although we opted to wear masks, not many others did.

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Just a few Holiday Photos

We have been in this beautiful town of Coffs Harbour since Sunday March 13th. We have so far visited the dolphin and marine research centre, a pebble beach, walking trails, spa, swimming pool and restaurants.

We also visited the Honey Place today but no photos. The information on beehives and whole honey process was very interesting. We’ll be here in Coffs Harbour for another three days. When we return home, there will many, many photos to sort through.

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Happy Birthday to Me

What did I do on my 65th Birthday? Swim with a dolphin, of course.

She’s teaching the dedicated team of vets and researchers more than they can teach her.

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Riverside Walks & Views

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Boxing Day Pizza Party

Dylan, the youngest of the now teenage grandchildren, has often been found in our kitchen with either Norm or myself at our house. This year he was eager to help his Pa cook the Boxing Day pizzas. Never to old to help out.

The secret to overcome the problem of leftovers from Christmas day is to make pizzas for three teenagers. Below include three of our grandchildren who are aged 14, 15 & 16. {We had an early Christmas last weekend with the younger two grandchildren)

More photos to add to our photo album from Christmas 2021. Crazy but lovable teenagers.

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Not all work…

After spending a few days delivering Dad’s estate items to family members and visiting some of our adorable grandchildren, we decided to stay overnight at one of our favourite destinations before returning home with an empty trailer.

After checking in at the resort in the Hunter Valley, we headed to Harrigan’s Irish Pub where the food is delicious and the chef is willing to adjust a recipe for my allergies.

On our return to the resort, we changed our footwear and went for a walk to burn off some of the calories. Photos- a joint effort by Norm & Chrissy

We came across a park bench seat where we enjoyed the same view as a pair of ducks who hardly moved the whole time we sat.

After a comfortable night and a light breakfast we drove the remaining 3 hours home.

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Don’t worry, beach happy.

This is Rainbow Beach. A beach teeming with shells and pebbles of different colours – probably how it got it’s name. It’s a beautiful day to be able to roam in spring. We love beachcombing. While re-hydrating with a cool bottle of water and nibbled on a finger-food lunch we sorted through our finds tossing many back into the surf or onto the sand. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, we didn’t do any stone stacking.

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Alfresco Kitchen/Diner Completed.

Norm’s new BBQ/Pizza Oven/Cooker
First, check instructions.
View to back garden.
Decor creations.
Herb pots scattered around for handy use in cooking.
If you check the photo Norm is in, you will notice the new outdoor clock. The photo with the art work above was taken before we decided to put up the clock. The artwork won’t be down for long. We’ll find a new place in the garden for it. I’m pretty sure we aren’t finished yet with what goes where but I’m sure future photos will reveal changes here and there.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden & Retirement

More Alfresco Planning.

To follow on from the post a few days ago, we spent this morning fertilizing the lawn and painting items for the garden and Alfresco area.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden

A Bargain and another Snap Lock-down.

We found these 2 black concrete pots on Gumtree, a local online market place similar to eBay. They were just $10AUS each. While waiting for the tiling to be completed we spent our time stripping the layers of old paint, sealed and painted them white. When the alfresco kitchen/dining is completed I’ll post update photos. Update: We have gone back into a snap lock-down. Our tiler can only do emergencies. Again we wait.

Archived in: I’m in the Garden, Retirement

1,500 Trees Planted

That’s a lot of koala food trees.

The seedlings are located at a plantation on the Maria River and donated to the Koala Hospital. Here they grow not just local trees but also for koalas in other areas of the state where fires have destroyed habitats and for sick and injured koalas that are in the hospital’s ICU, rehabilitation and permanent care with koalas that cannot be released due to their injuries or disease. Today, Norm and I worked on the trees that have been there 2-3 & 4 years to remove mass saplings from tree trunks so the healthiest saplings can grow without being stunted or strangled by the multiple saplings. Mass saplings can also become a moisture trap becoming vulnerable for bug infestation. Because these branches need to be at a reachable height by leaf/branch collectors, we try and keep the new sprout to grow outward and slightly downward. Once the tree is too high, it becomes an OH&S issue for the volunteers collecting the daily leaf required.

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A Visit to the Plantation.

Yesterday, I went with Norm to the Koala Hospital tree plantation where we grown, not only local food trees but trees for koalas who come in to the hospital some distance away in other home ranges. Norm usually does one day a week at the plantation under the guidence of the manager. The plantation not only has acres of very old trees but also rows and rows of trees from seedlings, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 year old. There we pruned dead wood and new shoots that will choked healthier limbs to encourage growth at the lower part of the tree so leaf collectors can’t climb. The plantation is where most of the source of fresh leaf is collected every morning of the year for the ICU, rehabilitating and the permanant koalas that cannot be released into the wild because of blindness, severe injuries and organ damaged caused by diseases among other health issues. It was a beautiful sunny morning without being to hot. I hope to learn more from the manager, and Norm, about the different species of gum trees so I can recognise which leaf is which when I feed the koalas. We try and give the koalas 3 varieties every day but those special change slightly each day. The trip over to the north shore of the river is quite a pleasant drive. I hope to take more photos of the fauna and flora in the area next time.

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