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Gina, Joe and Justin's Backpacking Experience

Sapphire Coast

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 24 December 2008 | Views [496]

The next little portion of or trip was called the Sapphire Coast and it is the section that starts on the southern east coast and travels north along the coast to Sydney.  Our first town was called Eden and of course the campervan park where we stayed was called “The Garden of Eden,” lame eh?


Eden is an old whaling town of umpteen million years ago, back when that was an acceptable  industry.  Because of this they have “The Whale Museum.” so as i am traveling with Joe “OMG Another Museum” Mayo...we of course went.  The most interesting part of the whole museum was this story about “Old Blue,” who was a killer whale that would, to make a long story short, lure whales into shallow water and then take the whale hunters to where he stashed the whales.    The story says that he did this for quite a few years and made this town one of the most successful whaling towns in Australia.  After he finally died the town's whaling industry died almost immediately.  Cool story and they even saved his bones and put them on display in the museum.


After this we continued on our previous plan of bouncing between national parks and doing hikes and whatnot.  And of course more off-road caravaning!!!  This time i even took a picture of one of the warning signs that must be intended for other people ;).  To briefly describe a few of the more interesting spots, the pinnacles were really cool.  They are the pictures of the cliff that has a layer of red rock on top of a layer of white rock.  We didnt get the whole story of the geology behind them, but there were pretty neato nonetheless.  Another good stop was in Kiama where they have a cave that extends into the surf which has formed a big blowhole near the end.  Every couple minutes you heard a big WHOOOSH noise and then a 30 foot blast of water followed.  They also had a portion of this area where they dug out all the rocks from the middle and lined the walls with cement, to make a big ocean swimming pool!


We also did two alleged “must do” walks that were supposed to be shipwrecks on shore...note to self do not let Australians drive your boat.  The first one we drove 50 Km off the nearest highway and spend 2 hours searching for it after we found the correct beach...Its been since decided that it must be invisible.  The second one we at least found, but were a little disappointed because all that was left of this huge ship was a section that was about 20 foot across and maybe 5 feet tall.  Its amazing what 90 years of saltwater can do to iron and steel.


I have to bring up the story of our 50 km drive to the first (invisible) shipwreck.  On the way out we decided to check out this beach called Bingie Bingie Beach.  Now to date we have only seen about 5 total kangaroo's on all of our bush-hiking and 1000km of driving, and we thought we were doing pretty good.  On our way to bingie bingie we popped out of a wooded section and into a old cattle field that had no less than 150 kangaroos!!!! They were EVERYWHERE.  Joe was like a kid in a candy store with his camera, giggling and snapping about 300 pictures ;).  In his defense though it was pretty cool seeing all these guys, i had NOOO idea there were that many of them around, they were even in the roads.


My final bushwalking story is by far my favorite for this part of the trip.  We made the decision to get off the coastline for a bit (too much water...time for mountains again) so after perusing the map i found this completely random spot on the middle of the map called “Granite Falls.”  Granite Falls had a few surprises for us we would soon find out.  The first of which was that they were trying to keep it a secret; in order to find this thing we had to go   DEEP into the forest on a real live one-lane two-track road complete with grass growing up the middle.  This thing was WAY into the bush.  When we finally got there and did a bit of a hike only to find that the great granite falls were completely 100% DRY.  It was almost eerie looking at this HUGE (300ft tall) rock waterfall with absolutely NO water anywhere in sight.  I should also mention that it was currently raining and had been raining for about 10 hours at that point so i have no idea why this thing was bone dry...Kinda funny though.  So for entertainment purposes we decided to do what all little boys would do, throw things into it.  We started with sticks and were amazed at the sound a little stick made when it hit the bottom of this thing and echo'ed back up.  We later upgraded to a big rock (ok maybe a few big rocks), these were 10 times better as they basically exploded like a gernade when they hit the bottom.  I actually took a video of this and as soon as i figure out how i'll post it up, i can only hope that you will be as entertained as we were ;), but i have a good feeling about it!


Our last stop on this part of the adventure was the MOGO zoo which was recommended, by one of the locals as being a don't miss thing.  It was actually pretty interesting as they specialized in endangered animals and had lots of animals i had never even heard of before like white lions and big ugly tapirs.  They also had red pandas which could possibly be one of the cutest animals on earth.  I didnt take a lot of pictures here so i don't have much to post up, but Joe, of course, took about 600 so i'll have him post up some stuff.  I also have been required to tell the story that i got “marked”  one of the last 1000 Sumatran tigers left in the world.  I think thats enough of that story though.  You have to get the rest of the gory details from joe/gina as they obviously thought it was 1000% times funnier than i did!

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