Blacksmiths Beach

15 December 2017

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Today we relaxed. Blacksmiths Beach was only a 5 minute walk from our holiday park. A nice beach but the water was too cold to stay in long.

 

 

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Morisset Park, NSW

14 December 2017

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Morisset Park was listed on TripAdvisor as a great place to have a picnic lunch and see kangaroos. We are suckers for seeing roos and we needed a stop for lunch as we circled Lake Macquarie. We did find the kangaroos and had a great time with them; however it was not what we were expecting. First, the Morisset Picnic Area is on the lake but not near the kangaroos. Second, the kangaroo area is adjacent to a mental hospital. We did not want to trespass on hospital grounds so we missed the turn several times. Once we found them it was fun but not a good place for a picnic, just a quick stop for a roo selfie.

 

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Snapper Point in Munmorah Park

14 December 2017

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Snapper Point is a lookout in Munmorah State Conservation Park. With a short walk it provides fantastic views of the surrounding coastline. We did not fully investigate the park. If we had more time, Frazer Beach, Bongon Beach, and Tea Tree Lookout looked nice.

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Pic 2017-1214 04 Bongon Beach Edit

 

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Caves Beach, NSW

14 December 2017

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After few days in Newcastle, we moved less than an hour south to the Lake Macquarie area. Our first stop was Caves Beach. True to its name, Caves Beach has a series of seas caves that the kids loved exploring. We only spent a few hours walking the beach and climbing the rocks however it would be a great place to spend a day.

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Newcastle, NSW

12 – 13 December 2017

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Newcastle, the second largest city in New South Wales, is located about 100 miles (160 km) north of Sydney on the Hunter River. Once “Steel City”, the export of coal and other minerals from the Hunter Valley Region to China has provided a boost for the local economy. Newcastle appears to be an industrial city on the verge of a rebirth. Growing up in Pittsburgh, also known as “Steel City”, I witnessed the shutdown of Jones and Laughlin Steel and soon after watched Bethlehem Steel grind to a hault, Newcastle’s industrial revitalization has a familiar look.

The city has two very different faces. The north side of Newcastle and Newcastle West on the Hunter River is dominated by industry and shipping. Although the south bank is lined with apartment buildings and restaurants the river side is all business. Newcastle West is undergoing a massive revitalization project. When it is complete, this should be a nice area to visit. The ocean side of Newcastle East is the city’s scenic face. The shore is lined with beaches and parklands. This is where you’ll find the fun and sun we expect in Australia. Overall we thought Newcastle was a nice place to visit for a few days and expect it to be even better in the coming years.

Newcastle Coast

Nobbys Head

Newcastle City and Wharf

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Tamworth, NSW

11 – 12 December 2017

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Tamworth is the Country Music Capital of Australia so it was a must stop on our route from Coolum Beach to Sydney. Tamworth is the site of Australia’s largest annual country music festival, Tamworth Country Music Festival, and home of the Big Golden Guitar. The town center was busy. The main street sidewalks have award plaques embedded in them listing each year’s award winners. The area along Peel River is nicely done with one of the largest and nicest children’s playgrounds we’ve seen so far, war memorials, gardens, and plenty of odes to country music.

On the south side of town is the Big Golden Guitar. It includes a small museum, wax museum, café, gift shop, and most notably a 40 foot tall replica of the Golden Guitar award. For a country music fan, Tamworth is definitely worth a visit.

 

 

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Warwick, QLD

11 December 2017

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Queensland / New South Wales Border on the New England Highway

On our way from Coolum Beach to Sydney we plan to visit areas of southern Queensland, Newcastle and the Central Coast along the way. The first night we stopped on the Gold Coast. The next day we drove inland over the Great Dividing Range and south to Warwick, Queensland. We heard of Warwick through an Australian country music song. It is known for its annual rodeo, that’s all we knew. It is a cowboy town with major services for the region and nicer than we expected.

Warwick

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