Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Day 63: Tea Gardens to One Mile

While travelling down this great coast of ours one thing I have found some deal of curiosity in is the naming of towns. As I review the plans for the route ahead or as I reflect on the road taken I alway give a moments wonder to how and when these locations came to be known as they are and who was repsonible for their naming. Some like Tea Gardens, or One Mile have presumably taken their names from the obvious physical characteristics. But others like Hat Head and Old Bar intrigue me. And then there's places like Murder's Bar, Jackass Flats, or Sheeps-head gully-sinister or satirical I'm not quite sure what to make of their history. As many of us know a large number of names have Aboriginal origins. Or towns like Woolgoolga, are derivities of, in this case from Wee-Gullga, a name for a native plum in the area. But given the complex indigenous language and the very poor ear that european settlers apparently had for aboriginal phonetics it is very likely that many words and names were incorrectly translated by early pioneers and planners.

Port Stephen Headlands

Rain clouds loomed and threatened from the moment I woke until the time I went to bed. From Tea Gardens I crossed the harbour to Nelson Bay by ferry and then followed the coastline past Tomaree Headland, Shoal Bay, Fingal Bay and finally onto One Mile. Every bay and headland was picturesque in its own unique way and if only the sun were shining a little brighter would they have been revealed in their true glory. For most of the day I trudged on through the rain until I had had enough and made camp at One Mile. I let the pics speak for today's walk.

Fingal Bay

Fingal Bay

Dunes at Zenith Beach

Zenith Beach

The final hurdle to One Mile

Tomorrow its off along Stockton beach. A number of people I've spoken to have made a particular note of the remarkable topography of the Stockton sand dunes which I'm about to encounter. I'm very much looking forward to checking them out.

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