06.02.2016 28 °C
So yesterday was my last full day in Sydney and I decided on a walk from Spit Point to Manly. The day started cloudy and a little cooler, an advantage when walking. I caught the train a couple of stops up to Wynyard and then the bus to Spit Bridge where the walk started, most walking in Sydney is well signposted and this was no exception with the walk winding up and down through some lush rainforest.
I was able to spot a number of lizards on the walk, although unable to get any photos as they move so fast! There were also the ever present stunning rock formations and some stunning little beaches to wander down to for some rockpooling and paddling. Within one of the rock formations I spotted something I have never seen before - some wild bees had made a couple of bits of honeycomb and looked like they were busy making more! There was also evidence of the funnel web spider, although I was careful not to get too close.
About a thid of the way through the walk the path took me uphill quite a way and the landscape changed from the rainforest to a much drier, scrub like landscape and the weather had also changed to much hotter with the sun being out most of the time. It was at this point I realised I had left my sunscreen at home - I really needed it! I found I didn't like this landscape quite so much, not so much colour nor wildlife around but as it was much higher it gave way to some gorgeous views.
The last part of the walk took me through residential parks and streets and again, was not so interesting. I was also quite tired by this point so was glad to reach Manly where I grabbed a bit of lunch and sat on the beach before heading back to Sydney on the ferry - on a much rougher crossing than last time!
I spent the evening in Darling Harbour, quite touristy but still very nice, and I enjoyed a kangaroo skewer, very tasty, dare I say even better than beef and leaner so not so much fat. As I sat at the harbour I looked back over the fabulous week I have had in Sydney. It far surpasses Melbourne and I am very sad to be leaving it, I feel like I have only just scratched the surface of seeing this city and I will be back for sure.
This morning I picked up my hire car early for the start of my road trip. I have been given a little blue Micra, which drives very well but feels a little like a tin box, it has air conditioning though! I was a little worried about driving but there was no need as its as easy as driving in the UK, just have to watch my speed as it is in km here rather than miles.
So I set off for Newcastle, roughly a 2 hour drive, I got stuck in some jams in the Sydney suburbs but once on the freeway it was foot down. Once I arrived I was hungry and in need of a coffee so found a lovely little cafe with friendly staff and a power point to charge my phone. First impressions of Newcastle were that it is an ordinary little town but then I walked down to the beach which is simply breathtaking. Large waves crash up against the long sweeping beach, bigger waves than I saw at Bondi but still safe to paddle in. The beach is also a jellyfish graveyard with hundreds to little blue jellyfish everywhere, I have since found out these are bluebottles, not deadly but will give a nasty sting so I'm glad I was careful where I put my feet!
A walk along the beach and up on the memorial boardwalk, a walkway that has been put in to commemorate local men lost in the world wars with views across the beach and cliffs below, I walked on to the next beach where I relaxed with an ice cream before walking back the same way. I then got back in the car and across to my accommodation for the night, a lovely little cottage with the owner away on holiday and being looked after by another Airbnb renter and it is in a lovely quiet residential area, making a difference to the bustle of the places in Melbourne and Sydney.
Tomorrow I leave early for another drive up the coast to Port Macquarie.