We started off early this day. Our last full day in the area and we wanted to make the most of it. With no night life to speak of we awoke relaxed and refreshed. A quick look at the area will show you what was left to cover that day…
All that was left was the South Head of the bay and the National Park it was surrounded by. What started with a small drive down the coast ended with us arriving in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)!!! In 1915 the southern part of Jervis Bay was ceded to the ACT so that it might serve as a seaport for the territory, regardless of the fact that it’s over 130 km from Canberra.
One of the great things about all of the National Parks in Australia is that the park fees are normally per vehicle and are really generous. Booderee National Park was to be no exception.
Booderee in the Dhurga Language means bay of plenty and was chosen as that name in 1995 by the local Aboriginal community. It has an abundance of treks and beaches but the best seemed to be near the very end of the peninsula around Murray’s Beach so we headed there first.
Once more the beach had snow white sand and had some stunning vistas out across the bay and across to Bowen Island, a tear shaped island that is home to over 5000 breeding pairs of Little Penguins. The island was named after Lt Richard Bowen Royal Navy. Incidentally there is another Bowen Island in the world – over in Vancouver, Canada that is named after Richard’s older brother Rear Admiral James Bowen Royal Navy. The Canadian version is more famous due to its use in motion pictures such as The Russia House,Look Who’s Talking, Another Stakeout, and Antitrust to name just a few.
With the clouds gathering we set off on one of the coastal trek paths while it was still dry. Along our way we encountered a menagerie of Australian fauna. Human laughter could be heard as we entered the path and that meant only one thing – a Kookaburra! A few yards in and a rustling in the bushes to our left revealed a little wallaby. As we continued on along the path we encountered some impressive webs and a Golden Orb Weaver Spider the size of a dinner plate as well as some mean looking bulldog ants and some impressive trees. There was also a white-bellied sea eagle soaring above (but he was too quick for our cameras 😦 ).
After our walk we enjoyed some pack lunch on the beach. Unfortunately it was overcast so it was a ‘tops on’ trip to the beach, but the water was warm enough to paddle in. It sometimes beggars belief that beaches like this are so close to Sydney. Back in London the nearest beaches were a long train ride away in either Southend on Sea or Brighton and they pale in comparison.
We had been on borrowed time all day against the rain and it finally showed up just after our lunch. We had to run a gauntlet back to the car – dodging puddles and mud – all the while suffering the mocking laughter of the Kookaburras. With the rain pelting down we had limited options left to us – the Botanic Gardens would certainly be a no go. Karen remembered that we had passed some vineyards on the Friday morning so we decided to head north to check them out.
We had not done any research on the wineries so it was a case of turning into the first one we saw along the road. Our lucky dip was to be the Two Figs Winery. Situated on a hillside overlooking the Shoalhaven Coast this was a very picturesque place. By the time we had negotiated the winding one lane trail to the summit the rains had stopped.
With Karen driving it was up to John to sample the wares and pick a bottle for dinner that evening. He was more than up to the task!
We had such a great time here for Easter. A quick glance at the map revealed further spots to explore – maybe next time!