Day 82 - 3rd July
Maclean to Kempsey
Distance Travelled - 283.9 km
Woke about 7 am and peered out of the tent to find a clear sky with a hint of sun shining through the trees at the edge of the showgrounds. Got up and made breakfast and ate it watching the sun gradually top the trees and start to shine on me and the tent, quickly drying the light dew and warming me against the slight breeze blowing through. Casually packed and chatted to a variety of people staying there eventually leaving about 10 am.
Started on my way towards Coffs Harbour, looking through Maclean on the way and stopping at the info centre. They had a nice selection of art and craft on display ranging from small woodwork pieces (another idea or 2 for school gleaned here), knitting, painting, paper craft, cards and jewellery. Spoke to the lady there about a few places I want to visit that are not lighthouse related and she managed to answer most of my questions.
The drive to Coffs Harbour was pretty in parts going through some farming land, state forest and semi rural areas and a tad boring once on the highway. Went through plenty of small towns and stopped at few for a stretch of the legs or a look at interesting shops etc and finally made it to Coffs Harbour - home to the Big Banana - by lunchtime. Went to the info centre and discovered it is probably the least interesting one yet.
Left Coffs Harbour. via Maccas to post the blog, after finding out the lighthouse associated with this area is offshore and only accessible by helicopter. Continued on to South West Rocks - the location of Smoky Cape Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse in NSW. The drive there was once again punctuated with bits of nice scenery interspersed with highway driving.
The lighthouse was quite well presented but given it's location a little difficult to photograph due to only limited amount of space on the platform around it. Took a few shots from the platform and then some more on the way down the hill back towards the car. The view over the water was very nice and I took a few shots of that as well.
Left the lighthouse and headed towards Kempsey Showgrounds, the location of tonight's campsite. A nice 40 minute drive from the lighthouse (including roadwork delays) found me in the showgrounds. Went for a walk around the grounds for half an hour for some exercise and then set up for tea and made up the tent.
Spent the evening listening to music, reading by torchlight and sorting my photos from today and writing the blog. Tomorrow I plan to investigate Tacking Point Lighthouse in Port Macquarie and Crowdy Heads Lighthouse near Harrington and if time permits maybe Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse near Seal Rocks.