Between Newcastle and Coffs Harbour

Port Macquarie Travel Blog

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Blackbutt Reserve in Newcastle NSW

Newcastle wasn’t a very stimulating place to be, at least in our opinion. The only thing worth visiting as far as we were concerned, was the Blackbutt Reserve in the outskirts of the city. Since we only stayed in Newcastle overnight (a nice Formula One Motel), we decided to visit the reserve in the morning before heading further north towards Port Macquarie.

 

The Blackbutt Reserve is home to a lot of koala’s and some wombats, but the main thing to see here is birds. All types of birds in the various colours of the rainbow were making their noise in order to get some attention from two Dutch guys. Since we got there at nine in the morning, we were virtually the only ones there. It’s a shame the reserve was a bit worn down. Apparently there had been some kind of storm a short while before we came, and the resulting damages hadn’t been repaired yet (and seeing that the reserve mostly runs on volunteers, chances are it’ll take a while to get fully fixed unfortunately).

Chatting amongst friends...

 

After leaving Newcastle we headed further north on the Pacific Highway. After having lunch at Bulahdelah (great name!) we took a side turn away from the highway and towards a national park. Eventually we turned off again, this time towards the Seal Rocks. When the weather is good, seals (who would have guessed!) can be seen here, but since the weather was a bit shaky that day we didn’t have any luck.

 

We arrived in Port Macquarie late in the afternoon and immediately got rid of our bags at our hostel. It was a YHA this time, and although that can be good for lots of people, it’s a bit weird for us 30 something guys… J We’re just not used to watching cartoons with the teenagers anymore…

The room was clean though, and that was really all that mattered.

Can you pick out the one that tried to steal our breakfast?

 

Port itself was a quaint little town, a bit sleepy but very nice nonetheless. It’s one of the first European settlements in Australia, which can still be seen through the many colonial buildings and the old cemetery.

 

Luckily the weather got better, so we decided to take a chance and leave the highway again in search of an outback adventure. Through towns like Nambucca Heads and Bellingen we arrived at Dorrigo, centre of  the Dorrigo National Park. There was an awesome Skywalk there which gave us a fantastic view over the tropical rainforest, but even better was the walking trail leading into said forest…

 

You start the trail from the car par/restaurant/souvenir shop area, but once you turn the first corner, all you hear is the noises of the wind in the trees, the tropical birds in the distance and the wild kangaroos in the scrub.

Wombat up close and personal
Absolutely stunning! The highlight for us here was the Crystal Shower Falls, a waterfall where you could walk all the way around.

 

Before driving on towards our next sleeping place, we made a short stop at another waterfall nearby; Dangar Falls. Equally impressive, but this time we could only see it from afar. After returning to the Pacific Highway we made a beeline towards Coffs Harbour, our next port of call…

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Blackbutt Reserve in Newcastle NSW
Blackbutt Reserve in Newcastle NSW
Chatting amongst friends...
Chatting amongst friends...
Can you pick out the one that trie…
Can you pick out the one that tri…
Wombat up close and personal
Wombat up close and personal
My friend at Seal Rocks
My friend at Seal Rocks
Port Macquarie harbour
Port Macquarie harbour
Port Macquarie
Port Macquarie
Thats me right there by that tree
That's me right there by that tree
Crystal Shower Falls at Dorrigo NP
Crystal Shower Falls at Dorrigo NP
View from behind Crystal Shower Fa…
View from behind Crystal Shower F…
Dangar Falls
Dangar Falls
Apparently its illegal to jump of…
Apparently it's illegal to jump o…
Port Macquarie
photo by: Morle