Monday, 1 August 2011

Day 60: Sandbar to Seal Rocks

Leaving Sandbar I made my way around the northern shoreline of Lake Smith. Rain clouds lingered but did little more than spit intermittently. Winds wipping across the lake made the walk a little chilly but my attention to it was short lived as I stumbled across two black swans. The pair taking turns to duck their head below the water and grab some brunch amongst the reeds. Having never seen black swans before I was delightedly surprised by the luck bestowed upon me at such an early stage in the days walk.

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Leaving the swans behind to continue their breakfast I began to cross a thin stretch of sand that separates two bodies of water, the Tasman Sea and Lake Smith by no more than 20m. On rare occaisions the lakes fill with so much water that the sand bar is opened by drawing a thin line in the sand between the two. Fresh water from the lakes begin to trickle along the newly formed passage eating away the sand as it makes it's way towards the sea. With all the rain the lakes district has recieved in the last month or so the sand bar was articficaly opened but fortunately for me had self-closed by the time I arrived on this Sunday morning.

The Sand Bar

Crossing the sandbar I made my way for the nearest ridge line searching for a break in the trees to find a rough track leading away from the beach and up into Myall National Park. Although over grown the track was easy enough to distinguish. As the tracks began to disappear or branch in several directions I was again aided by the wisdom of Rob and Richard and I was able to find my way through without too many troubles.

The way ahead

The track

From the snippets of sky I could see through the canopy the clouds had apparently disappeared but as I brushed passed, under, over and around various trees and shrubs laden with water on their leaves and flower heads I nevertheless became as wet as I would have been had it been raining. After a couple of hours navigating my way through the scrub I popped out on to the sealed Seal Rocks road which, would you believe, led me to Seal Rocks. The view over the last crest was gob smacking...

Seal Rocks

Winding down past Seal Rocks, a hamlet no more than the beach, a caravan park and maybe some houses not to be seen, I climbed back up toward the light house.
Making the most of the afternoon

After dropping my gear and settling into one of the cottages at Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse I followed the keeper's advice and climbed the steep path up to witness the show the lighthouse puts on in the dark of night. Looking up into the dark night sky I was surprised to find 16 beams up light bursting out of the house and spinning around it's central axis. I always thought there was just one beam emmited but obvioulsy I was very wrong. Captivated for a short time the cold winter wind high atop the rocky headland soon forced an unfortunately retreat back to the cosy warm cottage below.

Seal Rocks Lighthouse
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