Journey to Down Under – 3. Stage Port Macquarie

When we arrived in Port Macquarie it was four o’clock in the morning and Sureya and I were really tired. Funny was when we got out of the Greyhound, we were asked in very good Bernese German if we were Sureya and Leandro. I could hardly believe my ears and thought that this was due to tiredness and that I had misheard myself. Again I heard the voice and I answered with a tired yes. Then I realized that our host was also Swiss. He took us to our apartment and wished us a nice day. But we were still so tired that we went straight back to bed. Around noon we got up and decided that would like to have a beach day today because I finally wanted to go to the beach. But first I wanted to eat something because I was starving. So first we went shopping and on our way home we passed a domino pizza and had the idea to buy a pizza and eat it on the beach.

Our Beach

Arrived at the beach, we were almost alone there. I didn’t think much about it and spread out my beach towel near a big rock formation. I had a clear goal in mind: to jump into the sea immediately and cool off a bit, although it was windy that day. I ran towards the sea and as I sensed the first drop of water, I knew why the huge beach was so empty. The sea water was freezing! As soon as I was inside, I ran back to my beach towel. I was very disappointed and therefore Sureya suggested to go for a little walk on the beach before eating. Since the pizza was already cold anyway, I agreed. We strolled to the lighthouse and when we were about 200-300 meters away from our beach towels, I saw from distance two dogs playing together. I said to Sureya: “Keep an eye on the dogs so they don’t eat our pizza”. As soon as I said that, one of the two dogs ran towards our beach towels.  I ran back as fast as I could while Sureya was laughing. I arrived just in time I was able to stop the dog’s snout from opening the pizza box. Unfortunately the pizza got a bit sandy when I tried to save it. We decided then to eat our pizza first and take a walk afterwards.

Discoverer in search of a treasure

After late Lunch we finally walked to the lighthouse. I was always looking for beautiful shells or stones for my grandmother, and I also hoped to see some crabs or something like that. But the only thing I discovered was an old, rotten sandal. At the top of the lighthouse we had a great view of the beach and the sea. We took one two photos and ran down again, because it was really cold because of the wind. After that, the day was almost finished. We cooked and made a nice movie evening.

Does anyone feel like jumping down?

The next day we took the bus to Port Macquarie (maybe I should mention that our apartment and the lighthouse are about 12 kilometres away from Port Macquarie). First we went to the Koala Hospital. The Koala Hospital takes care of injured koalas and released them to the wild as soon as they are completely healthy. I thought it was good that the entrance was free and that you could give instead a small donation. First we went to the information hut to find out everything important about the koalas. After that we passed a very special window. You could look directly into the operating room through this window. Fortunately there was nothing to see, because that meant that all koalas were fine. Afterwards we went to the koalas, who have to stay there forever, because they are so badly wounded that they would die immediately in the wilderness. I thought it was really cute that each Koala had a name and each told his own story. I realized that the people who work there didn’t treat koalas like animals but like human individuals. That’s where you have to go!

Say cheese!

The Rotohaus is located directly next to the Koala Hospital. The Rotohaus is an old house built in 1890 by James Condon. The Rotohaus is one of the few 19th century wooden houses still standing in Port Macquarie. Since I am not so interested in history, I found the Rotohaus only mediocre. Next we walked back to the centre through the Kooloonbung Creek Nature Park. This nature park is a river landscape full of mangrove forests. At the beginning of the park we saw a sign that you shouldn’t wake the sleeping flying foxes. I thought that we wouldn’t see one anyway, although I wanted to observe one in the wild for a long time. We walked and after about ten minutes Sureya said: “Look up there! There is one”. The joy was huge when I discovered it, and I quickly noticed that it was not just one, but about 10 flying foxes, all hanging upside down on the tree. I can tell you it’s a completely different feeling when you see the animals in the wild instead of in the zoo. I immediately took a picture and watched them sleep. I love animals so much I could spend hours studying and watching them.

Sleeping flying foxes

I think the park  was very special because it was very varied. Sometimes it reminded me of a European forest, then again of a mangrove forest and once I thought I was in an African savannah. You see the park is very diverse. In the evening we went to the beach and enjoyed the beautiful starry sky with a little bit of alcohol. Since we were outside the city and there were no clouds, it was one of the most beautiful starry skies I have ever seen. Ps. small warning: In Australia it is forbidden to drink alcohol in public, unless you wrap it in such a way that you don’t see that it is alcohol. Or you just don’t get caught 😉

The next day we decided to do the Coastal Walk. It starts at Tacking Point Lighthouse and ends at Westportpark in Port Macquarie. The whole walk was about 10-12 kilometers long and very comfortable. First we walked from our beach to the Lighthouse. There we looked briefly for migrating whales, because a man had told us, he had seen a whale school one hour ago. Then we walked from beach to beach. I felt like an explorer who had just stranded on Australia and was now exploring the country. I picked up every stone, no matter how small, and inspected it thoroughly, stopping again and again to observe small crabs and starfish. On the way we also saw the typical Brush Turkeys and I always joked with Sureya that we should catch one and grill it later.

Coastal Walk

After several hours we arrived at the Break Wall in Port Macquarie. The Break Wall was a wall of very big stones, which served to protect the bay of Port Macquarie from big waves. What is special about it is that the stones were painted by people from all over the world. Many people immortalized themselves on these stones with their name or painted something. Some were very strange, some very kitschy and some very sad, because they were dedicated to deceased people. My favorite stone was a picture with a stormy sunset with a lighthouse and the quote: “You’re the guiding light in a stormy night”. Unfortunately I deleted the pictures of the Break Wall by mistake. From Break Wall to Westport Park it wasn’t too far anymore. But the end of the walk was very disappointing. The Westport Park was nothing special, a small park that was just renovated. But on the way we saw 2 pelicans!

Pelicans in the bay of Port Macquarie

On the last day in Port Macquarie we borrowed two bicycles from a hostel and decided to visit the Woregore Nature Reserve because we had the idea to swim in the river. Maybe you noticed that I was greedy to swim again. I thought today would be the day when I could finally swim. But the joy vanished very quickly when we discovered a sign warning of saltwater crocodiles. So again I couldn’t swimm. But since I had put on my swimming trunks, I suggested to swim at a beach near Port Macquarie. When I arrived at the beach, it was finally time: I took off my T-shirt and ran into the sea. After a long time I could swim in the Pacific again. The water was ice-cold, but I didn’t care at that time. In the early afternoon we drove to the Local Food Market. However this was rather a disappointment, since there were only four to five stands which offered almost nothing. We decided to buy Sushi and to eat at the pier, because it was very nice there and we could observe the everyday life in Port Macquarie. In addition, we even saw a dolphin in the bay trying to steal the fish from the fishermen. Later we brought our bikes back and took the bus home to pack as we had to leave at four in the morning for Byron Bay.

Woregore Nature Reserve Park

In the middle of the month you can read my personal impressions of Port Macquarie again. Don’t forget to leave a Like if you like the article and follow my blog if you like the content. Feedback is always welcome. So stay tuned!


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