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Show Us your Craic! -'Australia'! John and Deirdra

Ridin' the Sand Dunes- Melaleuca Style!

AUSTRALIA | Wednesday, 3 September 2008 | Views [1388] | Comments [1]

So over the next few days we got the full run down on the cabins, dorms, camping and everything there was to do in the area: Whale & Dolphin watching, Wine tasting, Shark feeding, Quad Biking, Paragliding, Parasailing, 4x4 tours etc, etc …i.e. a lot.

 2 minutes from the hostel was the attractively named One Mile Beach, however the following day we were to sample the awe inspiring Stockton Sand dunes- vast stretches of sprawling sand dunes stretching all the 35kms back to Newcastle.

 

Pete was proud to point out “These are the largest ‘moving’ sand dunes in the Southern Hemisphere” as his rag top Land Rover bounced from pot hole to sandy hump, causing us to ‘ahhh’ and ‘whoop’ with anticipation …and fear. After a few seconds we lost sight of the coast and the civilised world, now somewhere over the sandy horizon, and we were surrounded by these immense dunes rolling like hills into the distance.

 

The Landy made it’s ascent in the tracks of another tour company’s vehicle. As we parked a large group of excited Asian tourists were disembarking and readying their cameras for their Sand-Boarding experience.

We stood at the top of a large dune. Before us sloped away a 70 foot drop and next to us Pete was furiously waxing “the fastest boards in Port Stephens”. We went for it, flying down these dunes on the wooden boards and furiously scrambling back up the hill to go down again.

Since the National Park authority took over the management of the dunes things had become a little stricter for the tour guides. In response Melaleuca had a new tour vehicle in the ‘shop, getting ready for the influx of summer Backpackers.”

Soon the rain that had woke us during the night returned, so we leaped off the dunes, and parked on the beach, waiting for it to pass. (Apparently New Years Eve is a great time to visit, when everyone comes to the beach and parties through the night with the dunes in the background.)

 

The next couple of days we hung around and checked out Nelson Bay and the surrounding area. We definitely discovered that this place has more to offer that you’d think and should be one of the key pit-stops for anyone travelling up the coast. Melaleuca Backpackers and its chilled out grounds are the perfect place to base if travelling or working- a great big kitchen, cosy tv/living area with squishy sofas and DVD collection to work through and in case of emergencies, Pete is sure to have a few spare crates of beer lying around! (The 4 owners are all friends who spent years travelling together when they were a bit younger- so if anyone knows how to make a good backpacker place, it’s these guys)

 

Having stocked up on internet time, cake and beer (in that order) it would have been great to hang around a little longer but unfortunately a couple of days of persistent showers signalled our need to move on (- we were running out of time!). 

 

www.melaleucabackpackers.com.au

 

Comments

1

that dune boarding looks mental. I love it.

  crustyadventures Sep 29, 2008 4:20 PM

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