Day 83 - 4th July
Kempsey to Coopernook State Forest camp
Distance Travelled - 192.9 km
Awoke to a clear sky and a tiny bit of sun poking it's way into my tent. Got up and went for a quick walk and then had breakfast while waiting for things to dry out a little. Hardly any dew last night which was good. Left the grounds around 9 am and went for a look through the town. On the way I discovered their weekend markets so wandered through, buying some fresh fruit and vegetables for the next few days and talking to people about various wood and metal work pieces they had on display, getting some ideas for my own projects as well as some for the kids at school.
Left the markets and went in search of the local pool which is heated, only to find that it is closed for maintenance in July. Spoke to a local who told me that the next town on my list, Port Macquarie also has a heated pool. Finished wandering around town and headed for the information centre. Not a lot to look at in regards to art and craft but it was well set out and the staff were friendly.
Left the information centre and started the trip to Port Macquarie to view the Tacking Point Lighthouse. Found it easily enough only to discover that parking was very limited and there were large numbers of people there, primarily as it is a good place for whale spotting. Finally found a spot to park and spent a fair bit of time getting a few people-less photos before indulging in a little whale watching of my own. Saw quite a few but they were well off in the distance, it was more a case of seeing whale spray than whale.
Left the lighthouse and went onto town to the visitor centre which is housed in the Glasshouse - a concert hall type arrangement with a gallery as well. Found out the location of the pool and went there only to find that one too was closed in July for maintenance. So much for my decision to do some swimming as a form of exercise to help offset the sitting down while driving.
Went past a local fish and chip shop and decided to call there for lunch and had a delicious feed of grilled fish with way too many chips on the plate to even contemplate eating them all. After feeling that my hunger had been extremely cancelled out, I headed off for Crowdy Head Lighthouse. Found it without too much trouble and this was another of the 'twin' lighthouses designed by the architect Barnett. There are 5 in total of these 'twin' lighthouses as they are called. Took a few photos and headed off to Coopernook State Forest for the nights stay.
The campsite is a beautiful area inside the state forest, surrounded by very tall pines eucalyptus trees plus a variety of others. There were a reasonable number of people staying here, about 15 vehicles all up but all well spaced apart in a park-where-you-like, no-set-arrangement system. Found a spot and parked and then headed off to explore. Came back about an hour later having spent time wandering and speaking to people about their travels and experiences.
Set up the tent and cooked tea before settling in for a relaxing early night, chilling out to some music and doing a bit of stargazing in what appears to be a clear night. Tomorrow I will head for Sugarloaf Rock Lighthouse at Seal Rocks and Nelson Head lighthouse at Port Stephens and then see how I go from there. Camping places are becoming harder to find as I get closer to Sydney so that will require some investigating too.