A holiday favourite

Half way between Jervis Bay and Mollymook , a favourite holiday destination attracts families, fans of watersports and fishermen and women alike for the varied activities in the small area: great swimming, fishing, prawning, worming, wildlife and water sports. A beautiful area in the Shoalhaven region that has been described as “an aquatic playground, with crystal clear waters”.

Lake Conjola stretches about six kilometres back from the tidal entrance at Cunjorong Point, on the South Coast of NSW, just north of Ulladulla. The lake is home for many fish species that originally attracted fishermen. Amongst the fish that once upon a time could be caught are bream, whiting, tailor, flathead, black fish, leatherjackets and jewfish. Nowadays there are fishing platforms and small jettys that run along the park’s lake-side. Ideal for weekend tourists and opportunist cormorants.

Working or worming

Three hours South of Sydney, Conjola Beach is within the Narrawallee Creek Nature Reserve. Golden sand beaches with striking blue waters that are backed by 10-20 m high foredunes; and nearby, a small community of Lake Conjola (population 350). The perfect setting and location for a holiday, or for a home if you are a beach worm.

Beach worming is one of the least known fishing activities yet one that can only be described as an art, or hard work. It takes the patience of a turtle and the speed, laser vision of Cyclops, and lightning hands of a ninja to snatch the worm from the sand. Pliers in one hand and a smelly fish in the other, the worms poke their heads up to feed, concealing the rest of their bodies. One must creep behind the V-shaped pattern in the wash the worm creates when it sticks its head above the sand for the smelly fish. Then, with another piece of stink bait held close to its head one must lure the worm out on the bait. Once the worm is biting the fish, one must close the pliers around its head and draw its thrashing form from the sand. That’s the idea, anyway. Surprisingly, some beach worms grow to be up to 2½ metres long, beneath the sand.

Selling for $1 to $1.50 each worm, it makes for an attractive business when there is no limit on bag sizes for licensed wormers and one might harvest up to 1000 a day. However, over-harvesting has caused the destruction of the pipi industry. And some fishermen say to have witnessed a depletion of worms on the mid-north coast of NSW. Hopefully the industry will be regulated so that this skillful hobby can be done in the years to come.

Bonus day at the beach

Sometimes ideas get formed on a beach. Sometimes those ideas involve beaches. And sometimes investigating those beach ideas end up at a beach on a day you normally would be sitting in an office. It is always better to take those opportunities; especially when you end up being able to swim on a 30 degree day on an empty beach.

Post by Richard

Hard but… rewarding?

Bouddi National Park is a national park that is home to some very pretty and unique bush and coastal walks. The park was established in 1967 as a National Park; and named after the local Aboriginal name of the area: Bouddi.

One of the walks in the park is the Bouddi coastal walk. An 8km walk full of quiet beaches, lookout points, boardwalks and panoramic ocean views. Though what other sites fail to say is: a hard and very hilly walk. You will find yourself up and down a steep hill before you finish the previous one. Especially challenging if you don’t carry enough water on a hot summers day. Or after a long night of beers and fighting with sound systems.

However, the strenous work is alleviated by Maitland Beach. A hidden gem you can only get there by walking through the bush. And the ups and downs. And it’s worth it.

Maitland Beach is in Maitland Bay which was named after the paddle steamer SS Maitland that was wrecked on the submerged reef off Bouddi Head in 1898. Apparently, the remains of the boiler still sit on the eastern rock platform. But I cannot confirm nor deny that. I can, however, confirm that this beach was well worth the arduous exercise.

Penguins point has no penguins

I took up running over 10 years ago now. I am by no means a running junkie but I do clear my head whilst hitting the road. I guess if ever a lion chases me I wont be the slowest runner. Apparently elephants and pigs will be slower. So long it is not a cheetah at my pursuit…

Culburra beach is the perfect place to find a route out to Penguins point. With a 40 meters incline above sea level the view out the point is incredible. Most of the year you can see the whales migrating up and down the coast. Not during summer though.

I use Map my Run to search for routes around when Im away from home and found a great 5km route just at our doorstep. And so I ran. Did you know it takes 200 muscles to take a step when you run?

The largest of them all

Culburra beach is a tucked away town north of Jervis Bay National Park. With a population of 3,500, this little beach town was originally designed by Walter Burley Griffin, the same architect who designed Canberra. Culburra was known until 1916 as Wheelers Point until the first white settler, when became Culburra – meaning sand in the local Aboriginal dialect.

As in all Australia, good coastal beach towns aren’t complete without good fishing. And around good fishing there is always Australian pelicans lingering about to catch some fish, or at the very least, scraps of fishermen cleaning their catch of the day.

Australian pelicans are the biggest pelicans in the world and have the longest bill of any bird; it measures 49 centimetres in length and can hold up to 9 to 13 litres of water.

Australian pelicans can measure around 1.6 – 1.9 metres in length and have a very large wingspan of 2.5 – 3.4 metres.

Male Australian pelicans are bigger than the females and can weigh up to 10 kg in some cases, but 8 kg is a more usual upper weight.

Australian pelicans do not have much waterproofing oil on their feathers and can become wet and cold. No wonder they search the warmer locations.

Not everything is what it seems

The Blue Mountains were formed around one million years ago. There is no wonder there is so much history around this area. The Blue Mountains is densely populated by oil bearing Eucalyptus trees. Thus the atmosphere around them is filled with finely dispersed droplets of oil, which, when combined with dust particles and water vapour, make a blue visual effect.

The Blue Mountains are about a 90 minute drive from Sydney. There are eight connected conservation areas in the World Heritage area, all full of dramatic scenery of cliffs and waterfalls and full of amazing walks and hikes. Free for all to enjoy nature and even spot a few creatures. Though be careful not to step on snakes or legless lizzards like this one! (See if you can spot the ears)

The right way around

In Evans Lookout Road in Blackheath, about fifteen minutes drive up past Katoomba, is a walk called the Grand Canyon walking track. It is often considered as the most impressive walking trail in the Blue Mountains. It has, however, some very steep sections and there is an easy way around the circuit and a hard way which ends up in steep inclines and never-ending uphill zigzags.

The Grand Canyon bushwalk was constructed and opened to the public in 1907. Since then thousands of walkers make the ~6km bushwalking adventure around rainforest, creek crossings, waterfalls, huge sandstone walls and rock overhangs. Including us.

And just if you are wondering, we went the right way around…

Punch buggy

Im not sure where the game really began. There are some theories (here and here), like being a “dark joke in dark times” in Germany. Regardless of its origins, the game has caught popularity in our family and now spotting the unique design of “beetles” has become a pavlovian response to punching and a bit of fun. The increasing rarety of the original bochos means that spotting them is hard. Unless you come across a gathering of old VW vehicles.

Life is good

Sometimes we are reminded of how lucky we are. Every day we should take the time to appreciate the good in our life.