Monthly Bus Outings

(**WEBMASTERS NOTE: Each month Robin takes a bus load of residents out for the morning and freely shares her extensive knowledge of the Central Coast area and its many attractions gained over many years of living in the area. Afterwards, she then compiles the photographs and text into the reports that you see here and forwards it all to me.
I simply upload Robin’s reports to this website so full credit goes to her. I am sure that the residents that travel with her on these outings both appreciate and thank her for her work, she is a real treasure and a credit to the village. Keep up the good work Robin..)

December Half-day Outing to East Gosford …. Tuesday 3rd December 2019

Our final outing for 2019 was to the Gosford Regional Gallery and the Edogawa Commemorative Garden in Webb Street, on the Caroline Bay foreshore.
The Central Coast Potters Society was holding its annual Christmas sale in the adjoining Community Gallery.

The Regional Gallery Shop had a wide variety of items to purchase, including the very popular small bags of food for the swimming and waddling wildlife.  Visitors, young and old, love feeding the ducks and colourful carp fish at the Koi Pavilion in the Japanese Garden.

Waddling Australian Wood Duck
Koi Carp Swimming

The Garden was officially opened in 1994 and offers a tranquil setting in which to relax and enjoy nature.

 

Chatting in the Tea House

Some residents chose to visit the Archibald Prize 2019 touring exhibition from the NSW Art Gallery and they reported that it was well worth the entry fee of $5 (concession).
We enjoyed, at our own expense, morning tea in the very popular Top Point Café
which is open 7days (8.30am to 4pm).

For the 13 residents from Alloura Waters on the bus outing, it was a busy morning with so many worthwhile displays to appreciate at our Regional Gallery at East Gosford. 

Special Thanks go to Susan who supplied the photos.

Our first bus outing for 2020 will be a half-day visit to Ken Duncan Gallery, at Erina Heights, on Tuesday 4th February.
                                                                                                                                                                     Robin A
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Half Day Outing to Wyong.. late October 2019

On Tuesday 29th October (5th Tuesday in the month) 18 residents travelled in the Village bus to the Wyong area.  It was a warm day with smoke haze, reminding us of the early bushfire season.  After driving through Ourimbah and Tuggerah, we stopped for our picnic morning tea in Woodbury Inn Park by the Wyong River at Mardi.

There was ample seating, spread under massive trees including majestic Camphor Laurels and we admired our surroundings as we enjoyed morning tea.

 

Across the road on a rural property, chooks roamed free with 2 young, inquisitive black Alpacas keeping them company.

Plaques have been erected on the original site, giving the history of the Inn. Woodbury’s Inn was established on this site about 1866 by Matthew James Woodbury as a private residence with accommodation for travellers using the Old Maitland Rd. It had a liquor licence. The first known Catholic Church services in the district were held at the Inn, which was also the first Post Office in the area. After the town of Wyong came into being with the opening of the railway line in 1887 it was closed as an inn and became a private residence only for about the next seventy years. Because of its decayed and dilapidated condition it was demolished on 7-1-1978.

Site of the Old Woodbury Inn
Plaques about the Inn
A Stunning Fungus near the Site
The Model of Woodbury’s Inn in Alison Homestead at Wyong
Enjoying the Peace

Our next stop was also by the Wyong River, at the Old Wyong Milk Factory.

High Up on a Roof
Vibrant Colours …… Bougainvillea Screening

We browsed at our own pace visiting Little Creek Cheese (the Central Coast’s handmade gourmet cheese factory and outlet) and Luka Chocolates where handmade chocolates are made, tasted and sold.

Our Happy Residents in Luka Chocolates

A short stroll took some of us down to the River at the rear of the property to view the fish ladder.   It is here that fresh water from upstream meets the salt water from Tuggerah Lakes.  The Wyong River flows over a course of 60 km, from the Watagan Mountains area to its mouth on Tuggerah Lakes.

At Chilli Secret Thai Cuisine some residents happily sat, cooling off at the shaded, outside tables awaiting a takeaway order to be enjoyed on our return to Alloura Waters after our enjoyable outing to Wyong.

Thanks go to Jill for sharing a number of her photos with me.            Robin A

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Half Day Outing to Patonga.. Early October 2019

On Tuesday 1st October, we had 13 residents on board the Village bus to see the wildflowers in Brisbane Water National Park. It started off a drizzly wet day, but by the time we’d arrived at Staples Lookout the sky had cleared and we were able to stretch our legs, admiring the views over Woy Woy Bay, Brisbane Water and Gosford.

Staples Lookout View

Spectacular views

Lichen and Fungi on a Rock Wall at Staples Lookout
A View of Umina Beach from the Bus

At Patonga, we had our picnic morning tea which was enjoyed by all.  We even had a brush turkey join us for a piece of fruitcake, in the large pavilion.

The views from Patonga Beach are lovely and peaceful.

The New Playground Opposite the Pavilion
Patonga Wharf

Andy drove us around Patonga and we saw many campers in the Caravan Park.   Heading back along Patonga Drive, we stopped to admire the many waratahs and other native plants which we were able to photograph.

Waratahs on the Warrah Lookout Road.

Scribbly Gum….. A Survivor
Scribbly Gum Trunk
A Work of Art
Drumsticks Flower (Isopogon Sunshine)

We arrived back at Alloura Waters at 12.15pm and all agreed it was a most enjoyable morning.  We thanked Andy for his safe driving through the beautiful, scenic Central Coast.                                                                                                                                                         Joan R

Thanks go to Joan R and Bev W for hosting the outing to view the spring wildflowers in the National Park.  The much-appreciated photos were taken by Jill and Joan and I was able to include them in this coverage of the October 2019 Wildflower Outing.       Robin A

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Our Full-day Trip to Kurri Kurri ….The Town of Murals, 3rd September 2019

On 3rd September, eleven happy travellers set off for a great day at Kurri Kurri, a town known for its 57 murals painted on the buildings. The day’s weather was perfect and, after a search for a couple of late-starters we set off at 8.45am, first stopping at Cooranbong for a nice picnic tea.

Morning Tea in Cooranbong Park

Enjoying the spring weather in the Picnic Area

Then off we went to the Kurri Kurri Information Centre where our travel guide Col joined us on our bus. Col told us some of the history of the town.

Once, there were about 160 coal mines in the Cessnock, Maitland and the Kurri Kurri areas but, when mines closed down, the miners and families went elsewhere to work.   In the year 2000, the “Towns with a Heart” committee was formed and this led to the start of the mural project. The murals visually tell the stories of the people, events and places that shaped the area’s heritage.

On the Buses
Members of the Mural Committee in the Bus
Rothbury Riot 1929
Hauling Coal Skips
Anzac Cove Gallipoli
Blacksmith’s Mural

Andy, our Alloura Water’s driver, skilfully drove our bus around Kurri Kurri so that we could admire the murals and take photos. An image of a kookaburra, the emblem of the Town with a Heart, is in each mural.

Ashes 2002
Radio Tribute
Gathering for Worship
Memorabilia
Remembering Our Heritage
The Bullocky

At 12.30pm it was time for lunch which we all enjoyed at the Kurri Kurri Bowling Club.

Then at 2pm, it was time to depart Kurri Kurri, The Town of Murals, after enjoying our visit.  Andy got us home safely to Alloura Waters at 4pm and all agreed it was a great day out.
                                                                                                                                                       Joan R

Thanks go to Joan and Susan for hosting such an interesting full-day adventure in the Hunter Valley and for supplying me with their photos, as well as details about the September Village Bus Outing.
                                                                                                                                                       Robin A

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Outing to Alison Homestead, 4th June 2019

The home of Wyong District Museum and Historical Society is at the corner of Alison and Cape Roads on Wyong’s first land grant in the 1820’s to William Cape Snr. In 1875, William Alison Snr purchased the three Cape family properties at Wyong, but it’s not certain if a new homestead was built or the existing cottage extensively renovated.

Beautiful grounds
Real sheep with a metal roo

Previous Village bus outings took Alloura Waters residents to Alison Homestead in 2009 and 2011 before an arson attack (at the end of 2011) destroyed most of the homestead and museum exhibits. Fortunately, the other buildings onsite were undamaged.   The rebuild of the Homestead took 4 years to complete and the local community generously donated many items of memorabilia to replace what was lost in the fire. It wasn’t until the end of 2015 that the Museum reopened.

Model of the Homestead before the fire
Homestead in 2009
This room was destroyed
The Memorial Wall before the fire
Our visit in 2011

Improvements to the Homestead, other buildings and the grounds are ongoing with many volunteers involved. In 2016 on an outing to Wyong we once again were able to admire the peaceful rural views from the front of the homestead, across the wide expanse of green grass and paddocks and enjoy the exhibits.

Visit in 2016

On Tuesday 4th June 2019 (Brrrrr….) we ignored the predicted weather and visited Alison Homestead, admiring the improved gardens, new displays and the cosy undercover eating area (now equipped with see-through cafe blinds and gas patio heaters). Guess where we lingered over our picnic morning tea.

Rugged up and warm

After our “cuppa and chat time” we explored, at our own pace, enjoying the displays, especially those in the modern newly-built wing.

Happy to be inside

Not for winter

Love and marriage ……….
Wedding photo c 1920’s

Locksmith display
Electricity wasn’t needed
An attractive display of old lanterns

The outside buildings are filled with tools, period machinery, photos and handmade models relating to the settlement of Wyong and surrounding areas.

The permanent Historic Scale Model Exhibition is housed in one of the outside buildings.

Model of Edward Hargrave’s cedar house called “Noraville” built c1857
Model of Woodbury’s Inn built at Mardi c1866
Model ships

The former Yarramalong Public School slab hut was reconstructed in the grounds, as a classroom highlighting education in the Wyong Shire.

The slab hut in 2016 with Ned Kelly as the guard

The metal Ned Kelly Sculpture now takes pride of place at the Homestead’s front gate, guarding the mail as a mailbox for 1 Cape Rd.

We appreciated the hard work being done by the enthusiastic volunteers (many of whom are retirees) who maintain the buildings, displays, gardens and lawns, organise activities and guided tours and do important research. They gave us the opportunity to reminisce while enjoying a trip back in time to Alison Homestead.  

 Andy, our driver, chose our route home to Davistown via Tuggerah, Chittaway, Tumbi Umbi and Terrigal. Some brave surfers were enjoying the swell at Terrigal Haven and some brave residents from Alloura Waters ventured out of our bus to take photos in the wild conditions.

Wild conditions at Terrigal Haven
It was too wet and cold for thongs

Thanks go to Gloria and Jill for the extra photos they took on their phones. It was good to be able to use them in this coverage of our June outing to Alison Homestead.                                                                                                                                                                      Robin A

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Outing to Spencer, 7th May 2019

On Tuesday 7th which was a beautiful autumn day, we travelled through the lands of the Darkinjung people to reach Spencer at the junction of Mangrove Creek and the Hawkesbury River. Our route took us via Somersby, Central Mangrove and Mangrove Mountain where we had a short break near the Community Hall, Fire Brigade and shops.

Andy investigates

We were interested to see how the natural bush furniture, made from Bloodwood timber, had weathered from when we had seen it on an outing back in 2016.

Photo frenzy

For countless years, a majestic Bloodwood tree had graced the area before it was mysteriously poisoned.   The tree, unfortunately, needed to be cut down in June 2015, but its beauty can be still be appreciated as the timber was used to make the amazing, natural bush furniture on the site.

Bloodwood timber in 2016
Village outing in 2016
It’s hard to read the plaque in 2019.
It was easier to read in 2016.
The toilets are environmentally friendly.
What lives here?
Who’s photographing an orange fungus?
The photos of fungi were colourful and interesting.
Colourful play equipment for adults and children
A graffiti-free area
Yes, I climbed up here
Happy travellers
Where’s our morning tea?

Half an hour down Wisemans Ferry Road, we reached Spencer, known as the Hub of the Universe. This small village, in our Central Coast Council area and Robertson Electorate, is regarded as part of the Mangrove Mountain area.

Our picnic morning tea was enjoyed under The Tree fondly known as the Dunkirk Hotel, on the river bank. This stately mangrove tree has provided shelter for community gatherings for over 100 years.

The sun is so bright today
Why is this dummy high up in the Dunkirk Hotel canopy?

While we were relaxing over a cuppa, cake and biscuits, we chatted to a South Australian couple who had pulled up with their vehicle, fold down van, boat, fishing gear and 2 fur babies (dogs … Tinkerbelle and Missy). They were on their way home via the Hay Plains after travelling extensively along the east coast. Yes, they’d enjoyed our Central Coast area.

Tinkerbelle
Missy
Missy with her owner
Time for a chat about South Australia

Across the road from the Village Store (not open on Tuesdays) there is a park with play equipment, mosaic murals, an historic plaque on a large sandstone rock, picnic table and public toilets.

The general store is up for sale.
The communications hub
Wave Rider play equipment
Colourful mosaics
Mosaics by the mangroves

On 12th June 1789, the Governor and his party, searching for suitable farming land, ventured ashore on a “marshy point” in the area and spent the night in their tents. This was only 3 days after they had gone ashore at Green Point on Brisbane Water.   There are easily accessible historic plaques in both areas remembering Governor Arthur Phillip’s exploratory visits in 1789.

The boom box near the Dunkirk Hotel
Mangroves on Mangrove Creek

Spot the camouflaged ducks in the mangroves.
We were only an hour from home, travelling back to Davistown by the same route we took to reach the Hub of the Universe …. Spencer (originally called Fernleigh).

Robin A

Dangar Island, 2nd April 2019

On Tuesday 2nd April, a group of residents travelled on the Village bus via the M1 to Brooklyn where a delicious picnic morning tea was enjoyed in McKell Park.

McKell Park on the Hawkesbury River

It was a short trip by ferry across to Dangar Island, east of Brooklyn

Going aboard MV Sun at the Brooklyn Public Wharf
Goodbye Brooklyn Marina
Boats near the Marina

Dangar Island is rich in Indigenous and European history. The Aboriginal people were custodians of the island for at least 30 000 years. In 1788 Captain Arthur Phillip’s party visited the island, staying overnight. The following year he twice used the island as a base for short exploratory trips along the Hawkesbury River. It was named Mullet Island until 1922 when it was renamed Dangar Island.

Mouth of the Hawkesbury River

Spot the railway bridge.

Dangar Island’s Public Wharf

The Dangar family purchased the island in 1864, paying 76 Pounds for the 76 Acres

Houses near the wharf

Most of the Alloura Waters group spent an hour on the island, while others stayed on the ferry returning to Brooklyn with some of the local commuters.

Goodbye Dangar Island
Back at the Brooklyn Marina
This is a popular shop at the Marina

Looking out from an eatery at the Marina

 

A nautical theme ….. looking up inside the Marina

There was time for lunch and some shopping before we travelled home via the scenic route……. the old Pacific Highway.
The full day outing was organised and hosted by Joan R and Marie N, with Joan supplying the photos and Marie writing a short report for AWARE.                                           Robin A

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Outing to Pearl Beach, 5th March 2019

It was spectacular weather on Tuesday 5th March when we travelled to Pearl Beach. At Tascott we stopped near the IMAG NE sculpture, on the foreshore, for photos and view-admiring.

At the boat ramp we were surprised to see a beautifully restored 1934 Ford Pickup with a small row boat on the tray. The owner is a local boatie who patiently and proudly answered questions from some of our residents, before he skilfully rowed out to another vessel anchored in Brisbane Water.

Nearby, on Brisbane Water Drive, the Highway Patrol was pulling over drivers for breathalysing. No, Andy wasn’t stopped for testing!

After a brief stop at Umina Beach, near the Surf Club, we travelled down to Pearl Beach. As the morning was fine and warm, the “village” was busy with dogs and their walkers, swimmers in the rock pool and sunbakers on the beach.

The beach is unpatrolled and is hazardous for swimmers.
The rock pool is very popular
Northern end with no swell on 5th March 2019
What a difference! On our Village Outing in March 2017 there was a 3 metre swell.

Andy skilfully parked the bus right at the beach reserve where we were able to use a picnic table, seat and sandstone blocks for our picnic morning tea. We relaxed chatting and gazing out over the beach where locals and visitors were enjoying themselves.

What’s this work of art outside the toilet block?

It’s the Pearl Beach Street Library, organised by local residents.

The Crommelin Native Arboretum was a short drive away and some of us took a stroll in the northern section which is entered off narrow Crystal Ave. The Pearl Beach streets have gem names such as Emerald Ave, Opal Close and Cornelian Rd. (Your challenge is to find out about Cornelians.)

A gigantic Angophora near the Arboretum

Poem …… Trees
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
By Alfred Joyce Kilmer 1886 – 1918 (He died fighting in World War 1)

Our journey home, after a great outing, was via the Rip Bridge and Kincumber.
Robin A.

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Ken Duncan Gallery, February 2019

It was way back, in August 2014, when we last went to the Ken Duncan Gallery on a Village Bus Outing. As it’s always a popular, air-conditioned attraction to visit, especially on a hot summer’s day, it was a good choice for our first outing in 2019.

Terrigal Lagoon was less polluted in August 2014.

On Tuesday 5th February 2019 we stopped for an early picnic morning tea in the Terrigal Lions Park on the foreshore of the lagoon, opposite the Scout Hall. Before long, our free entertainment arrived … 3 dogs. The lagoon proved too tempting for 2 of the dogs who were soon in the water. The third dog was a grey and white Whippet which has not yet taken to enjoying the Terrigal Lagoon.

John with the owner of the Whippet

After a quick morning tea, it was time to head off in our bus. Fortunately we didn’t have time for a run up the Skillion.
A short drive via Serpentine Road took us to the Gallery at Erina Heights. There, our visit was off to a relaxing start in the theatrette where we viewed 2 short presentations featuring Ken Duncan’s photographs. Then there was ample time to appreciate the stunning photographic prints, many featuring far-flung areas of the globe, on the walls of the spacious viewing rooms.
The Central Coast is one of Ken’s favourite regions of Australia and that’s why, like us, he chooses to live here. Many of his photos, including The Long Jetty and Pearl Beach, showcase the beautiful Central Coast. We were able to admire and buy numerous items in the Galley shop where books, posters, jigsaw puzzles, DVD’s and fridge magnets feature photographs taken by one of Australia’s leading landscape photographers.

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Mystery Tour, 4th December 2018

On Tuesday 4th December, after an exploratory drive around Point Frederick it was time to travel a short distance to visit the Gosford Regional Gallery in Webb St East Gosford. There, we headed outside to stroll around the beautiful Edogowa Commemorative Garden. This Japanese Garden, officially opened in 1994, is located in the grounds of the Regional Gallery, on the Caroline Bay foreshore.

We appreciated the beauty and tranquility of the Garden.

We live here and you can buy food for us in the Gallery Shop.
Visitors enjoying nature

The Koi Pavilion and Lotus Pond
Koi carp waiting to be fed
Feeding ducks and fish at the Koi Pavilion
A young visitor with the Australian wood ducks
Young at heart visitors

The Dry Stone Garden features 3 stones (representing heaven, earth and man) in a sea of raked white gravel.
The Tea House is a place to meditate and think
Resting in the Tea House
The Wisteria Walk
A Water Feature
The Lotus Pond
Spot the Lotus Flowers
Spot the mallard duck at Dragon’s Tail Falls.
Who zoomed in on the white Baeckea flowers?
Where’s our morning tea?
I know where there’s a seat.
A seat outside the gardens

Inside the main Gallery, one of the exhibitions of paintings was Lotus Flowers by Geoff Harvey, a prize-winning Australian artist whose work is held in Galleries throughout Australia. His exhibition was inspired by the Buddist symbolism of the lotus flower and 3 of Geoff’s paintings are based on his visits and knowledge of the Edogawa Commemorative Garden.

A large sculpture reminds visitors that the Koi fish are waiting to be fed.

In the adjoining Community Gallery, the Central Coast Potters Society was holding its annual Christmas exhibition and sale. The Society celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018 and the pottery items on display showed just how many talented and imaginative potters live on the Central Coast.

Here’s the potter who made my purchase.

Thank you JR and JW for taking the photos on our half-day mystery outing.

Our picnic morning tea was enjoyed in Phyllis Bennett Reserve at the entrance to the Regional Gallery where the picnic tables are shaded by impressive towering trees such as very old Camphor Laurels.

Before our morning ended we drove around the East Gosford area, admiring the well-cared for houses and gardens. In Russell Drysdale St we located the buildings used by Central Coast groups including the Family History Society, Potters Society and the Handweavers, Spinners and Textile Arts Guild.

It’s no mystery to us! We know there’s so much to enjoy on the Central Coast.               Robin A

The Entrance & Toowoon Bay, 30 October 2018

The third outing in spring was on 30th October which was the fifth Tuesday of the month. The outing to The Entrance and Toowoon Bay was hosted by Joan and Marie.

Enjoying the sun at The Entrance

The Entrance takes its name from the narrow channel which connects Tuggerah Lake to the ocean.

The Entrance Bridge
No rides today on the Grand Wheel
No rides today on the Grand Wheel

The Entrance is recognised as The Pelican Capital of Australia. The very popular Pelican Feed, which started over 20 years ago, takes place daily on the waterfront at 3.30pm.

Percy the pelican statue
The foreshore
Pay to ride or walk for free
Hi….here I am
Blue sky
Shades of blue
Time for a rest
We’re happy

The photos were supplied by Joan R

Thanks Marie and Joan for hosting the enjoyable outing to The Entrance and Toowoon Bay.       Robin A

Morphet, 2nd October 2018

Our destination was Morpeth via Cooranbong where we stopped in the popular park, enjoying a delicious morning tea provided by hostess Joan R.

We then visited Cooranbong’s Elephant Shop and we were very impressed by the magnificent display of gemstones in the adjoining shop.

As we continued our journey, Andrew our driver commented on points of interest such as the Maitland Gaol and the building where Cobb and Co used to change their horses. The countryside was very green and the Hunter River at Morpeth was very full.

Bridge over the Hunter River
Court House Museum
Morpeth’s Main Street
An Important Sign
A Stone Seat
An Eye-Catching Wooden Seat

Most of the shops at Morpeth were open including the Alpaca shop, Teddy Bear shop and the Lolly shop. Some of us indulged in a little retail therapy! There were plenty of eateries and some of us dined Al Fresco for lunch.

Shops in Morpeth

Christmas Colour

Happy Browsers

Some people indulged in an ice cream at Maccas on the way home after a pleasant day out.

Photos taken by Joan R                 Details about the outing from Marie N

Thanks go to Joan and Marie for hosting such an enjoyable full day Village Outing.     Robin A

Patonga, 4th September 2018

On Tuesday 4th September we set off on our half-day outing to see the wildflowers in Brisbane Water National Park. We travelled through Kariong, getting out at Staples Lookout in the National Park to admire the extensive views over Woy Woy Bay and Brisbane Water.

Staples lookout
What a view
Which direction??

A brief stop in Woy Woy’s Correa Bay reserve, at the bottom of Bulls Hill, gave us more water views to appreciate.

Correa Bay
Find the ducks. It had rained the previous night

At Patonga, our picnic morning tea was enjoyed in the large pavilion on Eve Williams Oval not far from the ferry wharf. We spent time chatting, strolling and exploring the area and watching the Fantasea Ferry making a stop at the wharf while we fed the lone brush turkey which had greeted us at the pavilion.

Greeted at Patonga
Cosy in the pavilion
Just the right height for a cuppa!
Yes, the rain held off
Spot the pelican
Time for a stroll
Time to go

We knew we’d be able to have a close look at the waratahs flowering along Patonga Drive as we headed home. Earlier that morning, as we travelled down to Patonga we’d seen the tell-tale splashes of red. Homeward bound, we stopped at the start of the Warrah Trig Road which leads to Warrah Lookout.

It was easy to spot the waratahs
Framed
Along the roadside
A group to admire
They are so tall.
Seen from afar ….. spot the waratahs

Robin A.

Toukley, 7th August 2018

On a blustery, August day we headed straight for Toukley on our first half-day Village outing in our new bus, travelling through Long Jetty and The Entrance. A short drive through the busy Toukley shopping area took us to the Peace Park on the Budgewoi Lake, near the Bridge. There we enjoyed our picnic morning tea and admired the lake views. We were surprised to find that the adjoining Commercial Fish Co-Op in the Park had closed down recently.

Enjoying the Peace Park
Enjoying the Sun
I need my sun glasses

It’s always a pleasure to spend time browsing in the Federation Gallery/ Gift Shop in the Park. The talented members of the Toukley and District Art Society produce a wide variety of items and the friendly volunteers are proud of the numerous attractive displays of paintings, porcelain, cards, jewellery and other gifts. Of course, a number of small purchases were made to take back to Alloura Waters!

A small purchase
A happy shopper
A colourful display
I like this magnet
Our bus in front of the closed Fish Co-Op

Our journey home on Tuesday 7th August took us back along Wilfred Barrett Drive, through Wyrrabalong National Park to The Entrance. Instead of travelling through Erina, our route though Terrigal gave our views of the Skillion, the shape of which is regularly changing because of weathering and rock falls.

Robin A

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Whale Watching on Tuesday 3rd July 2018.

The rain cleared overnight, giving us an ideal, cool morning for whale watching. There were light winds and smooth seas and YES we saw whales on our half-day outing to Copacabana.

We’ve spotted the whales

From Captain Cook Lookout on Tudibaring Head, the tell-tale blows enabled us to spot Humpbacks frolicking and surfacing as they cruised northwards.

Alloura Waters whale watchers
Where are the Humpbacks now?

Some of us enjoyed the panoramic view from the top platform of the Pacific Ocean to the east and south.

Looking south
Top platform of the Lookout
Nearly down the steps

On 7th May, 1770 Captain James Cook, on the Endeavour, sailed north along this part of the coastline. Looking back, he described in his journal 3 headland points and called the area Cape Three Points. The Lookout is named after him.

The map at the Lookout

Others were happy to stay on the lower level with views to the north over Winney Bay, North Avoca and Terrigal.

A reminder of botanist Sir Joseph Banks
On the lower platform
Chatting, but don’t call us chatterers
One of Copacabana’s newest houses adjoins the carpark

Our picnic morning tea stop was at Bonnie Lookout near the Copa Beach Surf Club.   Bonnie Lookout is named in memory of Bonnie Hawkins who, as a long-time resident of Copa, was tirelessly involved in many local projects helping the community.

Bonnie Lookout

We were thrilled to see, in the distance, more whales blowing just off the southern end of Macmasters Beach (Macs).

Mourawaring Point at Macmasters
Copacabana Beach
It was time to head home to Davo

Andy, our bus driver, skilfully drove us up and down many of the steep roads in Copacabana. Our journey home was via Cape Three Points Road to Avoca Beach where we enjoyed sightseeing from the bus.

On our half-day outing, we covered only a small area of the scenic Central Coast, but there was certainly much natural beauty to appreciate.
Robin A

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5th June 2018, All around Brisbane Waters

By making a variety of purchases at Spotlight, Bunnings and Officeworks we supported some of the larger shops in West Gosford. We were certainly ready for morning tea when we reached Fagan Park at Point Clare. Peter Fagan was an early pioneer of the district and his family befriended the poet Henry Kendall, allowing him to stay in the small stone cottage now known as Henry Kendall Cottage.

We’d just finished our picnic morning tea when light rain started to fall. So it was time to head indoors again for more browsing, admiring and buying ….. at the nearby Fairhaven Shopping Village, formerly called Vintage Fair. We enjoyed our Op shopping in the main Op shop, the Old Schoolhouse and the various buildings with “upcycled” furniture, tools and toys etc.

Outside the Old Schoolhouse
Bargains Inside
This is interesting

Proceeds from the sales go to our Central Coast based Fairhaven Services. Fairhaven has grown from modest beginnings over 50 years ago, when Fairhaven School for children with a disability was opened. In 1984 it relocated to Narara, becoming Glenvale School (NSW Department of Education).

How does this look?
How many dragonflies can you spot?

Earlier this year, a special icon was introduced to be used by Fairhaven. The dragonfly was chosen for its characteristics of transformation and adaptability, ability to see beyond limitations and living life to the fullest. The green dragonfly character is known as Bunji, which is an Aboriginal word for friend or mate.

Bunji the Dragonfly

Today, Fairhaven provides three key services…. accommodation, employment and community support for people with disabilities on the Central Coast.

Grey Sky and Grey Brisbane Water

There were other areas around Brisbane Water to admire, even though the skies and waterways were grey as we travelled along Brisbane Water Drive to Woy Woy.
Instead of the usual quick trip back to Davistown on our village bus, we extended our outing by relaxing on the ferry Saratoga on the 30 minute trip from Woy Woy to Empire Bay.

What’s outside?
I can see through MY window as I eat.
Spot the pelican at Davistown’s Lintern St Wharf.
Scandretts Boatshed at Davistown is on the Council’s 2018 draft Heritage List
Here we are at Empire Bay Wharf where our bus and driver awaited

The Brisbane Water area is beautiful, even on a grey winter’s day. We had a very enjoyable time exploring it on our extended half-day outing which lasted 4½ hours.                                     .                                                                                                                                                             Robin A

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1st May 2018, Outing to Long Jetty and The Entrance

The foreshore of Tuggerah Lake at Long Jetty was the perfect place to visit, in perfect weather, on Tuesday 1st May. Our first stop was at the Long Jetty which reaches 351 metres out into the deeper waters of the Lake.

Strolling on the jetty

The original Long Jetty was built in 1915 from the trunks of paperbark trees, its purpose being to transport passengers on the ferry service, to Wyong, using the deeper parts of Tuggerah Lake. Early in 1927, severe storms washed away the original jetty and Erina Shire Council arranged, by tender, for the rebuilding of the iconic structure.

Today, it’s an interesting stop on the cycleway/walkway which stretches around the Lake.

Sisters Enjoying the Long Jetty Foreshore

A flowering Banksia towers over the amenities block.

In 2015, to celebrate the centenary of Long Jetty, an extensive photographic display of historic photos was erected on 2 of the outside walls of the public amenities block.

Here’s a relative’s name
What an interesting display it is!

This will do me.
The wooden beach seats facing the small, sandy beach are popular
Yes, we will be able to get off the seat, without help
Our bus awaits to take us to Picnic Point reserve at The Entrance.
There were more views of Tuggerah Lake from our picnic morning tea spot.
Who’s feeding the birds?
Sun, glorious sun in May
Where are our fish?
What’s making those bubbles in Tuggerah Lake?
Where’s that ball I have to retrieve?
I found it without help from the seagulls.

It’s time to leave the picnic area at Picnic Point … a jewel of Tuggerah Lake.
On such a glorious autumn day, we travelled home via Shelly Beach, Toowoon Bay and Bateau Bay to Davistown … THE jewel of Brisbane Water.
                                                                                                                                            Robin A

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3rd April 2018, Outing to Mangrove Creek Dam

The dam is the largest of our 3 water storage/supply areas on the Central Coast

To reach Mangrove Creek Dam on Tuesday 3rd April, we travelled through Kariong, Somersby and Kulnura (meaning in sight of the sea or up in the clouds). The picnic area, high above the dam, is impressive with its beautifully maintained facilities. We appreciated the peace and tranquility of the bushland.

Beautifully Maintained Facilities
Peace and Quiet
A Sandstone Seat
High above the Dam

We spent a leisurely hour there enjoying a cuppa and cake, admiring the views from the easily-accessible viewing platforms, chatting and also reading interesting details about Mangrove Creek Dam on the display boards. We also met up with a couple from our Village and their 3 grandchildren from Queensland. They’d travelled by car to the dam and then to Wisemans Ferry via Spencer on their day’s outing through the Central Coast Hinterland.

What a View!
Picnic Area at Mangrove Creek Dam
Hi, Up High
Time for a Chat
Informative Displays
Spot the Goanna
Camouflaged
On the Move
I Live Here.

Our trip home included a stop at the wonderful Kulnura General Store which has been run by an Indian family for the past 7 years, providing a friendly, essential service in the rural community.

The Popular Outdoor Bar at the Kulnura Store

We then travelled down steep Bumble Hill and through the beautiful Yarramalong (meaning cedar country) Valley with its historic buildings, turf farms and lush countryside with a variety of livestock. On a beautiful autumn day, our half-day outing in the Hinterland had taken us through some of the most picturesque areas, just an hour’s drive from Davistown. The wide open spaces were seen at their best with green pastures, brimming dams and well-fed cattle and horses.

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6th March, 2018, Outing to Katandra Reserve

Katandra is an Aboriginal word meaning Song of Birds

Spot the Kookaburra in the grass.

This natural bushland reserve, at Mt Elliot, is part of Central Coast Council’s COSS (Coastal Open Space System) and has spectacular views from St John Lookout, looking out over the Matcham Valley towards Terrigal and Erina and even farther to the Baha’i Temple in northern Sydney.

The Lookout, 200 metres above sea level, is easily reached from the picnic area.

At the Lookout we found it interesting (and sometimes challenging) recognising natural and man-made features…..the most prominent being Erina Fair.

Our group, some of whom had been there on a previous outing almost 3 years ago, enjoyed relaxing in such peaceful surroundings.

March 2018 Ant Towers
April 2015 Ant Towers

Before our picnic morning tea, there was time to wander and spot the birdlife, massive trees, rock formations and unusual ant mounds.

Rock Climbing

Majestic Vegetation
Morning tea in the fresh air
Yes, that’s our bus! It made it up and down The Big Dipper

A visiting local who can’t read the sign

  • Domestic pets are not allowed. However, horse-riding is permitted on designated trails in Katandra Reserve.

 

We didn’t need to go horse-riding as our village bus was using its horsepower. We travelled back down and up The Big Dipper (Tapley Rd) and along The Ridgeway to Lisarow.   Niagara Park Shopping Centre is where the Sara Lee factory outlet sells a wide variety of edible products. Some of us also found bargains to purchase in the Samaritans Charity shop which is in the same shopping centre.

Our round trip took us through some of the most picturesque areas of the Central Coast. How lucky we are to have COSS reserves such as Katandra, Rumbalara, Mt Ettalong and Kincumba Mountain so close to Alloura Waters!

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February, 2018, Outing to Woy Woy

Why Woy Woy?   The history of the area, home to the Guringai Tribe, is fascinating and we were reminded of this on our outing on Tuesday 6th February. At Tascott, we stopped near the IMAG NE sculpture on the foreshore and admired the views across Brisbane Water towards Green Point.

Our picnic morning tea was enjoyed right on the point in the popular Lions Park at Woy Woy where there’s always much to see. Families were using the playground equipment; some people were in the shallow water filming a children’s series for ABC iview; the Saratoga ferry passed close by in the Channel on its run from Davistown

Saratoga Ferry

Film Makers

Just as we were leaving this historic Brick Wharf area, another bus arrived with residents from BlueWave Living (formerly named Woy Woy Community Aged Care).
Our next adventure was when we visited the Governor Arthur Phillip monument which is in a small reserve at the end of Orange Grove Rd, overlooking the Rip Bridge.

It had been on a previous bus outing way back in 2015, that the owners of a VERY STEEP block of land adjoining the reserve, proudly explained to us about a new modular home they were building there.

The Steep block in 2015
Plenty of Sandstone in 2015
2018, the house has been built.
The View Across to the Mantra Resort at Ettalong.

On this outing, ie February 2018, we were warmly greeted by the neighbour’s dog, a Labradoodle called Copper. Copper is a Delta Therapy Dog.  Delta dogs and their owners make regular visits to aged care facilities, hospitals, mental health units, schools and disability groups.   As volunteers, they offer pet therapy … a chat, a paw to shake or a coat to pat. One of the places Copper visits is BlueWave Living at Woy Woy.

Copper’s owner invited us to admire the view from her back deck
Dog Admirers
This is the view from the deck, looking across Booker Bay and Ettalong.

Our Cook’s Tour of the Peninsula continued as we drove through Booker Bay, Ettalong and Umina before viewing the historic Runway Park in Trafalgar Ave, Umina. After years of neglect following its operation as a runway in World War 2, the formerly unnamed park was given a complete makeover last year thanks to Federal and State funding and enthusiastic local support.

Homeward bound, as we drove over The Rip Bridge, we were reminded of Governor Arthur Phillip who, over two centuries ago, found that rowing against the ebb tide was impossible. His boats and crew had to wait for the tide to turn before passing through the rapid current of The Rip.

March 1788 …. Monument Plaque

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Spring Has Sprung

Once again we have reports of three recent bus outings under the heading of “Spring has Sprung”. There was some difficulty due to bus breakdowns but these did not deter our intrepid travellers..

Tuesday 3rd October 2017

Patonga was our destination this time. After admiring the excellent views from Staples Lookout on Woy Woy Road, we made a brief stop in the small reserve at Correa Bay at the bottom of Bulls Hill.

Correa Bay Reserve
Beautifully-coloured Local Sandstone

 

The sandstone wall is the right height for exercising

In the waterside village of Patonga, we enjoyed our picnic morning tea and admired beach and bay views from the small reserve opposite the oval.

Near Patonga Wharf

It was so dry, with sand instead of grass, in October 2017

There was grass, instead of sand, in that same reserve in October 2013

Tuesday 31st October 2017, Mystery Tour

We enjoyed a second outing in October, replacing the one cancelled in September. Where did we go on our round trip? After passing through busy Terrigal we visited Crackneck Lookout in Wyrrabalong National Park. We were there to enjoy the panoramic coastline views stretching as far north as Norah Head

Crackneck Lookout
Across to The Entrance
We’re here in Wyrrabalong National Park
Time for a Chat and a Laugh
A Bird’s-eye View

It’s quite a slope!
I love this tree

Sculpture by the Sea

On our way to our morning tea stop, we drove past Bateau Bay and Shelly Beach …. places we’d been able to spot from the Lookout. In Swadling Reserve at Toowoon Bay we were enthusiastically greeted by some lucky dog owners and their lucky pooches, heading home after their off leash outing on Shelly Beach.

What a welcome!!
Four Poodles

Pebbles the greyhound is wearing a Green Collar and doesn’t need to wear a muzzle

Pebbles is an adopted, retired racing champion

Swadling Park has excellent picnic facilities which impressed us all as we relaxed over our picnic morning tea. There was time to wander around the reserve before driving down to view Toowoon Bay Beach and the entranceway to Kim’s Resort.

Andrew, our driver chose our route home and what an excellent choice he made, taking us through Tumbi Umbi and the beautiful Holgate and Matcham Valleys before reaching The Entrance Rd at Erina Heights.

Tuesday 21st November 2017

Our final outing for 2017 was to Brooklyn on Tuesday 21st November, using the bus borrowed from Broadwater Court Village. Guess where our Village bus needed to be, once again. Andrew drove us south along the scenic Pacific Highway, with bright splashes of yellow Coreopsis flowers adding colour, on both sides of the Old Road.

We were glad to stretch our legs when we reached Brooklyn Park in Hornsby Shire.

Chatting in Brooklyn Park
Playground Stroll
I love swings
How about a push?

Our picnic morning tea was enjoyed in Lower McKell Park in the area adjoining the tidal swimming baths on the Hawkesbury River.

Alongside the Tidal Swimming Baths
Around the Baths

En

We had time to explore Brooklyn in the bus.   We drove up and down some of the steep, narrow roads to reach Parsley Bay, and also Upper McKell Park which is high above the Bay.

Up or Down????
Above Parsley Bay

The area is very popular with tourists, locals and foraging brush turkeys

Some tourists

Male Brush Turkey

Governor Phillip named the Hawkesbury River in 1789, after the Baron of Hawkesbury (Charles Jenkinson

It’s so peaceful here in Upper McKell Park.

Our trip home was faster on the M1 Motorway, but not as relaxing as our drive down to Brooklyn had been hours earlier. On our three round trips in spring, we travelled on numerous roads, winding through numerous areas with beautiful scenery but, for many of us, Davistown is hard to beat.

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Winter Wonderland, 2017

** Your Webmaster has been away on holidays for an extended period over winter so no posts of trips were put up for you to view. Robin has kindly compiled the last 3 trips into one report for June, July and August and this is reported below as “Winter Wonderland, 2017″**

In winter we enjoyed 3 half-day outings, under blue skies, covering a wide area of the Central Coast, from the Bouddi Peninsula in the south to Lake Macquarie in the north.

Tuesday 6th June

Our destination was Wagstaffe on the Bouddi Peninsula and we travelled through Killcare Heights, admiring the views from Marie Byles Lookout.

Looking Down to Killcare Beach
At the Lookout
Whales Pass Here
Across Pittwater to Barrenjoey Lighthouse.

We relaxed in the sun, having our picnic morning tea near the Wagstaffe Hall and Wharf.

Totems at Wagstaffe

Tuesday 4th July

It was an ideal morning for whale watching from Captain Cook Lookout at Copacabana.

What can you see

Our picnic morning tea, with spectacular views, was enjoyed near the Copacabana Surf Club.

Copacabana Beach

Tuesday 1st August

On our way to Summerland Point, we decided to have a break and stretch our legs at Budgewoi. In Mackenzie Reserve, on the foreshore of Lake Munmorah, we enjoyed a warming “cuppa” while a biting wind blew.

As we were well-rugged up, we still appreciated the breezy, brief break.

In Summerland Point Reserve on the shores of Lake Macquarie, we were sheltered from the wind and spent a pleasant half hour strolling, chatting, sitting in the sun while admiring the views, or happily having a swing on the play equipment.

Strolling and Chatting

Sitting in the Sun
Enjoying the Play Equipment

Although a bit chilly on occasions we still enjoyed our “winter wonderland” outings….

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May 2017, Full Day Outing to Hunter Valley Zoo

Our previous Village outing to Hunter Valley Zoo, at Nulkaba in the Cessnock area, had been way back in May 2011…

Six years ago..
Feed Time in 2011

Six years later, on Tuesday 2nd May 2017, we were glad to stretch our legs and have our picnic morning tea in perfect weather at Cooranbong Park, on our way to the Zoo.

On the Bridge in the Park
A Welcome Break at Cooranbong

Hunter Valley Zoo has been open for 10 years and is the home for many native and exotic animals and birds.

Yummy Fresh Eucalypt Leaves
Blue Sky for Our Visit
Alligators Everywhere

It’s a small, private zoo supported by the local community and well worth the trip to the Hunter Valley to be able to enjoy close encounters with so many animals such as meerkats, koalas, roos, dingoes, monkeys, camels, farm animals, reptiles and countless birds … large and small.

On My Way to See the Lions
Lions Live Here (including 2 white ones)
Hanging Out in the Sun
Flying Foxes … Not Flying
Aren’t I Beautiful?
Hello, Camel.

A volunteer program is run for animal and wildlife lovers, giving them the opportunity to work with the animals and participate in the daily shows and talks.

A Brave Volunteer
Oscar the Albino Diamond Python… Yes, some of us did touch Oscar.
We were in time for the Capuchin Monkey Talk at 11.30am.
Snooze Time for a Victorian Koala.
Emperor Tamarin Monkey Enclosure
A Beautifully-coloured Rock Wallaby

There are picnic tables under cover, free barbecues and seats for the visitors. The animal enclosures are immaculately kept by friendly, enthusiastic keepers and volunteers who are very proud of the zoo and the animals in their care.

Our Reserved Lunch Area
Who’s Feeding the Peacock at Lunchtime?
Colours of the Rainbow
In the Walk Through Aviary
I’m Almost Free
Friends
Time to Relax
A Sleepy Bush Stone Curlew

A star attraction is the meerkat display. 6 year old Savanna is the only adult female and she has had 2 litters of meerkats this year, with the youngest 4 pups having been born in March.

Savanna, the Adult Female Meerkat
I’m Watching You Watching Me
Savanna’s Pups
I love the Sun
I Love Digging
A Young Meerkat
On the Alert in the Meerkat Enclosure
We’re Still Smiling
Home Time Approaches
Yes, I Talk to Visitors

And so it was goodbye from Alloura Waters for another ??? Years..                                                                                                                                                                                                   Robin A

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April 2017 Half Day Outing to Avoca

We found some bargains whilst browsing in the Erina Clearance Centre at the start of our half-day outing on Tuesday 4th April. Some residents bought colourful small toys called Nooks, suitable for Operation Christmas Child which is supported annually by our Alloura Waters Craft Group

Nook Toys

Our morning tea was enjoyed in the spacious picnic shed, right at the end of Avoca Drive on the southern end of Avoca Beach, near the rock shelf.

Some experienced surfers were in the surf just off the rocks, while a couple of beginners were receiving, on the sand, a private lesson from David’s son, Cory.

It was a good morning for strolling along the path above the shallow rock pool and rock shelf.

Spot the surfers near the rock shelf

Some of us were happy to sit and relax, chatting to other residents and visitors to Avoca Beach.

David greets a visitor from Copacabana

This part of the Coast was originally inhabited by the Awabakal Aboriginal people. Avoca (an Irish word meaning great estuary or where the river meets the sea) was named by an Irish army officer, John Moore, who was given the first European land grant in the area in the 1800’s.
On our trip home we made a brief stop, in the Terrigal area, at George’s Fruit Barn which always has a wide selection of tempting products.

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March 2017 Half-Day Outing to  Pearl Beach

On Tuesday 7th we saw water, water everywhere but fortunately, the rain droplets were few and far between. At Tascott we stopped to admire the views across Brisbane Water, looking towards Green Point. The IMAG NE sculpture is a favourite attraction for photo snappers and photographers

Nell checks things out

After driving along the waterfront at Ettalong and Ocean Beach, we stopped for morning tea, using the sheds in the reserve near Umina Beach Surf Club.

Morning Tea at Umina Beach

The Peninsula Recreation Precinct opposite our picnic area was a hive of activity as parents with children on scooters and bikes enjoyed themselves. We had time to look at the large and powerful surf pounding Umina Beach, or sit and chat, or get introduced to a dog owner from Henry Kendall Village with her cavoodle Hermione …… a Sandy “twin”.

At Pearl Beach, we had a slow, short stroll in the Crommelin Native Arboretum, entering along the track which leads from the tennis courts in Opal Close. This special place in Pearl Beach which we all enjoy consists of 5.5 hectares of mostly open forest, developed and maintained by volunteers.

What lives in this intriguing hole in the Arboretum?

At the end of 2016, a $15000 Emergency Tower, complete with a defibrillator and shark kit was installed near the Beach amenities block. Money was raised for the emergency items by local residents and Federal Government funding was secured for the purpose-built cabinet which stores the equipment.

Emergency Defibrillator

The Beach is not patrolled and is hazardous for swimming

Surf Break off the Northern End

There was a 3 metre swell, keeping surfers out of the water on the day of our swell outing.

Kookaburras Aren’t Prohibited at Pearl Beach!

Our journey home after a busy, enjoyable morning was via The Rip Bridge and Kincumber.

 Robin A

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Outing to Toukley   Tuesday 7th February 2017

On our half-day Village Bus outing we made a detour at The Entrance North so that we could appreciate the beauty of the Lions Sensory Garden, on the shores of Tuggerah Lake. The flowering gums, with their masses of red and pink blossoms, were spectacular and admired by all as we strolled around the Garden.

Flowering Gum
Flowering Gum
Splashes of Red Calliandra
Splashes of Red Calliandra
View of Tuggerah Lake
View of Tuggerah Lake
Tuggerah Lake Viewing Platform
Tuggerah Lake Viewing Platform

Tuggerah Lake is the largest waterway of the Three Lakes System that includes Budgewoi Lake and Lake Munmorah. Large sandy areas separate these lakes from the sea, but they share a common access to the Pacific Ocean via the treacherous Entrance Channel.

Packing Up at Canton Beach
Packing Up at Canton Beach

Still on the shores of Tuggerah Lake, we enjoyed our picnic morning tea. We were refreshed by a lovely southerly as we admired the beautiful views across the lake from our picnic tables in the Canton Beach Foreshore Reserve. Way back in the late 1850’s, Chinese fishermen used the area as a base for catching and curing fish that were then shipped to Queensland, the goldfields and also back to China.

A short drive through Toukley took us to The Federation Gallery, the home of the Toukley and Districts Art Society, in the Peace Park on Budgewoi Lake.

That’s My Art
That’s My Art
I’ll Sign Your Card says Pat
I’ll Sign Your Card says Pat

All of the items on display and for sale in the Gallery are by the Art Society’s talented local members and we were impressed with the paintings, porcelain, hand-painted cards and jewellery.   Purchases were made from the Gallery and also from the adjoining Commercial Fishermen’s Co-Op.

A Watercolour Painting called Family Outing by the Same Artist (Pat) …….
A Watercolour Painting called Family Outing by the Same Artist (Pat) …….

Once again, a very enjoyable outing appreciated by all…

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November Bus Outing

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Damaging storms and wet weather in June and July meant we had to twice change our plans to visit Point Frederick. It was third time lucky, when on Tuesday 15th, we rugged up (but also took our insect repellent) for our half-day outing to Long Nose Point …. as it was originally called.

We took a short stroll in Pioneer Park
We took a short stroll in Pioneer Park
It’s high tide in Brisbane Water
It’s high tide in Brisbane Water
It’s a Wisteria vine
It’s a Wisteria vine

A large memorial lists the names of those buried, between 1840 and 1953, in the Point Frederick Cemetery (on the site now called Pioneer Park).

Pioneer Park Memorial with bronze plaques
Pioneer Park Memorial with bronze plaques
So many pioneering families are remembered
So many pioneering families are remembered

After our exploratory stroll, it was time to travel a short distance to East Gosford for a picnic morning tea. This we enjoyed at picnic tables in the grounds of the Gosford Regional Gallery and Art Centre in Webb St.  Inside the Art Centre, there was ample time to buy ……local handcrafts beautifully made by the Central Coast Creative Craft Group. The Gosford Art Prize exhibitions were viewed in the Regional Gallery and small bags of fish food were bought in the Gallery Shop. Outside, we appreciated the beauty and tranquility of the Edogawa Japanese Garden.

The Koi Pavilion and Lotus Pond
The Koi Pavilion and Lotus Pond
Admiring the large colourful Koi fish
Admiring the large colourful Koi fish
A feeding frenzy with Koi and ducks
A feeding frenzy with Koi and ducks
Hungry mouths to feed
Hungry mouths to feed
Here’s a handful of fish food
Here’s a handful of fish food
Relaxing and meditating in the Tea House
Relaxing and meditating in the Tea House
This will do me!
This will do me!

Another enjoyable trip Robin…..

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Bus Outing to Spencer, October 2016

On Tuesday 4th we travelled through the lands of the Darkinjung people to reach Spencer on the Hawkesbury River. Our route along Wisemans Ferry Rd took us via Somersby and Central Mangrove before we had an interesting short break at Central Mangrove near the Community Hall, Fire Brigade, shops and health facilities.

1609-bus-outing01
Waratah St Mangrove Mountain

For countless years, a majestic Bloodwood tree grew on this site until it was mysteriously poisoned. The tree needed to be cut down in June 2015, but its beauty can be still be appreciated …. just as we visitors did.

Beautiful Bloodwood Timber
Beautiful Bloodwood Timber

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History of the majestic tree.
From Tree to Bush Furniture
From Tree to Bush Furniture
A Hall with a Proud History
A Hall with a Proud History
 The Public Toilets Camouflaged with a Passionfruit Vine
The Public Toilets Camouflaged with a Passionfruit Vine

Half an hour down the road, we came to Spencer on the north bank of the Hawkesbury River.   Known as the Hub of the Universe it is a small village in our Central Coast Council area.

1609-bus-outing08

Enjoying the Scenery
Enjoying the Scenery
Our morning Tea Spot
Our morning Tea Spot

We sat in the Dunkirk Hotel using the wooden picnic furniture under The Tree, enjoying our picnic morning tea ….. cuppa, cake and biscuits. This mangrove tree has provided shelter for community gatherings for over 100 years and is fondly known as the Dunkirk Hotel.

Always Open
Spot the Chained Bottle Opener on The Tree
Always open
Always open
Not So Well Camouflaged ……..No Passionfruit Vine
Not So Well Camouflaged ……..No Passionfruit Vine
Spencer’s Mosaic Mural
Spencer’s Mosaic Mural

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Across the road from the Village Store is the park with the play equipment, mosaic mural, historic plaque, picnic table and public toilets. The store is not open on a Tuesday.

In the Park ….. Remembering Governor Arthur Phillip
In the Park ….. Remembering Governor Arthur Phillip

On 12th June 1797, the Governor and his party, searching for suitable farming land, ventured ashore on a “marshy point” in the area and spent the night in their tents. This was only 3 days after they had gone ashore at Green Point.

Can you spot some special symbols carved in the sandstone? There’s also a face behind the rock monument.
Can you spot some special symbols carved in the sandstone? There’s also a face behind the rock monument.

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Even though the Village Store wasn’t open, the friendly owner was keen to talk to us about Spencer ….. on his private wharf/outdoor dining area.

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Before leaving Spencer, there was time for a chat, relaxing in the Dunkirk Hotel where our bus awaited.

This Will Do Me
This Will Do Me

Report and photos by Robin A

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Outing, August 2016

On 2nd August, the half-day Mystery Tour of our local area went ahead as planned and fine weather prevailed in the morning. At Green Point, we visited the stone obelisk marking the area where Governor Arthur Phillip went ashore on 9th June 1789, on his second exploratory voyage, searching for suitable farming land.

Green Point waterfront
Green Point waterfront

At Yattalunga (meaning watering hole) we saw the newly completed wharf and the environmentally friendly seawall which was built to help stop erosion of the foreshore.

Yattalunga waterfront
Yattalunga waterfront

Saratoga Oval was our next stop and we took the opportunity to walk the short distance along the boardwalk. The picnic shed at Lintern St Wharf was where we had our morning tea, with views across the channel to Riley’s Island. It was originally called Shell Island and its interesting history is well-documented.

Local visitors in Lintern St Davistown
Local visitors in Lintern St Davistown

As soon as we started to enjoy our picnic morning tea we were greeted by the local birdlife …… ducks, lorikeets and noisy miners.

Lorikeets in line
Lorikeets in line
So colourful
So colourful
 Lintern St waterfront
Lintern St waterfront

We were surprised to see another visitor …. a tourist coach driver from Sydney …. and we clapped and cheered when he skilfully parked his long Volvo coach between a car and a tree. What a pity he had to move the coach when he discovered that he was at the wrong wharf

Parking manoeuvre underway
Parking manoeuvre underway
Dwarfed at Lintern Street Wharf
Dwarfed at Lintern Street Wharf

Later, we saw the coach in another tight parking spot at Central Wharf waiting to pick up day-trippers off the ferry from Woy Woy. It had been an interesting morning for us on our Mystery Tour and we appreciated the opportunity to explore the local area by seeing the sights / sites in Green Point, Yattalunga, Saratoga and Davistown.
Robin A

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Winter Outing, July 2016

The changeable weather has caused disruptions to our monthly Village bus outings. The planned outing to Point Frederick in June was cancelled because of widespread storm damage on the Central Coast. In July, a wet start to the day meant another change of plans. On a wet winter’s morning we headed for Budgewoi on our half-day outing, making a brief stop at The Entrance North.

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Sensory Garden

The Sensory Garden on the shores of Tuggerah Lake is always a popular area to visit…..at any time of the year.

Spring in the Sensory Garden in 2015
Spring in the Sensory Garden in 2015
Winter in the Sensory Garden in 2016
Winter in the Sensory Garden in 2016

On Tuesday 5th July, by the time we reached Mackenzie Reserve on the shores of Lake Munmorah at Budgewoi, the weather had started to clear but we still appreciated being able to use the largest picnic shed on the Central Coast for our morning tea.

Morning tea in the Reserve
Morning tea in the Reserve
Under the majestic paperbark trees
Under the majestic paperbark trees
Under the majestic paperbark trees
Prepared for all weathers
Wooden footbridge in Mackenzie Reserve
Wooden footbridge in Mackenzie Reserve
On the bridge ….blue everywhere
On the bridge ….blue everywhere

Under a blue sky, on our return trip to Alloura Waters we made a short detour to locate The Art House which is Wyong’s $12.7million cultural and performing arts theatre, opened in April this year.
Robin A

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Brisbane Water Outing, May 2016

Our half-day outing enabled us to support some of the shops in the West Gosford area by making purchases at Bunnings, Officeworks, Spotlight and the Salvation Army Op Shop. After browsing and buying, or just enjoying a short walk on the Point to Pelicans Cycleway, we were ready for morning tea. Along Brisbane Water Drive, we stopped at Fagan Park at Point Clare for our quick picnic, the park being named after Peter Fagan who was an early pioneer of the district.

1605 Tuesday Bus Trip01
After our morning tea at Fagan Park

Refreshed, we were ready for some more browsing, admiring and buying …. this time at Fairhaven’s Vintage Fair shops. There was time to visit the “upcycled” furniture and liquidation sheds, the main Op Shop and the Old Schoolhouse with so many handmade items.

Browsing Again
Browsing Again

1605 Tuesday Bus Trip05

Don’t liquidate me!!
Don’t liquidate me!!
A Bargain
A Bargain
Frames galore
Frames galore

Proceeds from the sales go to our Central Coast based Fairhaven Services. Fairhaven has grown from modest beginnings over 50 years ago, when Fairhaven School for children with a disability was opened. In 1984 it relocated to Narara, becoming Glenvale School (NSW Department of Education).

Book Bargains
Book Bargains
Inside the Old Schoolhouse
Inside the Old Schoolhouse
Time for a Photo ….. Not a Selfie
Time for a Photo ….. Not a Selfie
Attractively Displayed Items
Attractively Displayed Items
A Novel Idea
A Novel Idea
No, it’s not for two-up
No, it’s not for two-up
A Final Look
A Final Look

Today, Fairhaven provides three key services…. accommodation, employment and community support for people with disabilities on the Central Coast.

Our Bus Awaits
Our Bus Awaits

On our quick trip back to Alloura Waters, there were more areas around Brisbane Water to admire as we travelled along Brisbane Water Drive to Woy Woy. Once again, the skies and waterways had been so blue on another beautiful day.

                                                                                                                                                      Robin A

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Bouddi Peninsular Outing, April 2016

To reach the spectacular Bouddi Peninsula, we travelled via Kincumber and Macmasters Beach. The weather for our half-day outing was perfect. We made a brief stop near the Maitland Bay Information Centre, at the beginning of the steep track down to Maitland Bay where the paddle steamer SS Maitland was wrecked on the bombora off Bouddi Head in a gale (later named the Maitland Gale) in May 1898.

At Marie Byles Lookout we admired the view across to Lion Island, Palm Beach and the Barrenjoey Headland, at the entrance to Broken Bay. Governor Arthur Phillip named the headland “Barrenjuee”, meaning little kangaroo or wallaby.

T the lookout
At the lookout
Across to Barrenjoey Lighthouse
Across to Barrenjoey Lighthouse

The lookout at Killcare Heights is named after the talented and determined Marie Byles who, from her family’s beach house at Palm Beach, would gaze across the water, through a telescope, to the rugged coastline of the Bouddi Peninsula.

Marie Byles Lookout
Marie Byles Lookout

She vowed to visit “her faery lands forlorn” and in 1922, she persuaded a group of her university girlfriends to explore the area with her. After travelling by train from Sydney and ferry across Broken Bay, the bushwalkers made their way down to a secluded beach, now known as Maitland Bay. Marie, ten years after this trek, spearheaded the campaign that ensured “the faery lands” were protected as Bouddi Natural Park (now National Park).

Wagstaffe Wharf
Wagstaffe Wharf

There was plenty to see at Wagstaffe (Waggy) where we travellers from Alloura Waters relaxed, on land, over our picnic morning tea near the wharf and hall.

Community Carving Project
Community Carving Project
Hard Work
Hard Work

The Bouddi Community carving project commenced in June 2012, under the guidance of a local master wood turner and carver. On a previous outing in 2013, some of us from our Village had seen the start of the carvings.

Used telegraph poles being carved in May 2013
Used telegraph poles being carved in May 2013

Other travellers on our beautiful waterways were relaxing on the 3 ferries that passed …. the Sorrento, Fantasea (Palm Beach ferry) and the Lady Kendall.

Fantasea Ferry
Fantasea Ferry
Across to Ettalong from Wagstaffe
Across to Ettalong from Wagstaffe
Off to Palm Beach on te Fantasea
Off to Palm Beach on the Fantasea

Another traveller (on land) was Molly, a Waggy local identity who brightened our day by enthusiastically greeting us from her canine petpram stroller. She was on her way to the water’s edge with her walking companions.

Molly being Ferried
Molly being Ferried
Dont forget us...
Dont forget us…
Lets go, I want to paddle
Lets go, I want to paddle
where is Molly paddling to?
where is Molly paddling to??
So serene
So serene
Where is our bus??
Where is our bus??

Heading home, after negotiating the hairpin bends on the steep Ward’s Hill Road, we were able to appreciate our waterways again, by making 2 short detours. We visited Bensville and also the completed Shipbuilders Memorial on the Broadwater at Kincumber.

1604 Bus Trip18
Where is Alloura Waters??
1604 Bus Trip17
Shipbuilders Memorial at Kincumber
No, we wont be walking home on the cycleway today.
No, we wont be walking home on the cycleway today.
Home we go... BY BUS..
Home we go… BY BUS..
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Wyong Outing, 1st March 2016

On a warm, first day of autumn our Village bus took us to the Wyong area, our first stop being Alison Homestead, the home of Wyong District Museum and Historical Society.

1603 Wyong bus trip01

At the corner of Alison & Cape Roads, the Homestead is on Wyong’s first land grant in the 1820’s to William Cape Snr. In 1875, William Alison Snr purchased the three Cape family properties at Wyong, but it’s not certain if a new homestead was built or the existing cottage extensively renovated.

1603 Wyong bus trip14

We were keen to return to the Homestead as our last visit there was in August, 2011. It was only reopened at the end of last year …..4 years after an arson attack destroyed most of the homestead and the museum exhibits.   Fortunately the other buildings onsite were undamaged.

1603 Wyong bus trip03 1603 Wyong bus trip04

After our “cuppa” we wandered at our own pace enjoying the gardens and displays, especially those in the modern newly-built wing.

1603 Wyong bus trip05
Museums newly opened wing.
No pump-up tyres on the trike
No pump-up tyres on the trike.
1603 Wyong bus trip07
This car had been bought at Farmers in Sydney in the 1950’s.
Vintage pedal car
Vintage pedal car.
Ah, remember meccano
Ah, remember meccano.
A scooter for scooting along
A scooter for scooting along.
There’s much to see in the museum
There’s much to see in the museum.

The outside barn and sheds are filled with tools, period machinery and equipment relating to the settlement of Wyong and surrounding areas. The former Yarramalong Public School slab hut was reconstructed in the grounds, as a classroom highlighting education in the Wyong Shire.

A beautiful setting for the slab hut school
A beautiful setting for the slab hut school.
Look for the cane and the Globite school case
Look for the cane and the Globite school case.

 

We saw and appreciated the hard work being done by the enthusiastic volunteers (many of whom are retirees) who maintain the buildings, displays, gardens and lawns, organise activities and guided tours and do important research. They gave us the opportunity to reminisce while enjoying a trip back in time to Alison Homestead.

Enjoying a rest and a chatter
Enjoying a rest and a chatter.
Ready to depart
Ready to depart.

Our next adventure was just across the road at the Old Wyong Milk Factory, on the Wyong River. There we once again browsed at our own pace visiting Little Creek Cheese (the Central Coast’s handmade gourmet cheese factory and outlet) and Luka Chocolates where handmade chocolates are made, tasted and sold.

You can’t miss the entry!
You can’t miss the entry!

1603 Wyong bus trip18

Little Creek cheese factory
Little Creek cheese factory.
Luka chocolate factory
Luka chocolate factory.

1603 Wyong bus trip21

Chocolate moulds….small and large
Chocolate moulds….small and large.

Lunch was enjoyed at the Café or elsewhere in the grounds which feature numerous beautiful, mature trees.

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We parked right at the Milk Factory Café.

1603 Wyong bus trip231603 Wyong bus trip24

The Wyong River Weir
The Wyong River Weir.
Here the salty water meets the fresh water, the habitat for platypuses
Here the salty water meets the fresh water, the habitat for platypuses.
Fresh water is pumped upstream to a pumping station to be sent to Mardi Dam.
Fresh water is pumped upstream to a pumping station to be sent to Mardi Dam.
A spectacular mature Oleander bush
A spectacular mature Oleander bush.
A flowering Oleander in the driveway
A flowering Oleander in the driveway.
A true-blue Wyong cow
A true-blue Wyong cow.

After bypassing the popular, well-used Fitness Centre and the Children’s Playground, both in the grounds, we were ready for home …… but not before admiring the pig letterbox at the Vet Practice right next to the Old Milk Factory Complex.

The vets are in the homely, old Upper Cottage and treat farm animals as well as pets
The vets are in the homely, old Upper Cottage and treat farm animals as well as pets.

1603 Wyong bus trip33

It had been a very enjoyable Village Bus Outing on the first day of autumn.

                                                                                                                                                                Robin A

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Tuggerah Lake, February 2016

We had no complaints about the weather on Tuesday 2nd. The day was superb and we were able to actively enjoy some of the areas along the south-western shores of Tuggerah Lake.

Bluebell Park, on the appropriately named Lakedge Ave at Berkeley Vale, was our first planned port of call …. for a toilet stop. As it was too early for morning tea, we stayed in the park for just a brief time checking out the spectacular views across the lake to Long Jetty and The Entrance. What a massive lake it is with easy access because of Wyong Council’s 300km of on- road and off-road cycleways and shared pathways!

Tuggerah Lake at Bluebell Park
Tuggerah Lake at Bluebell Park

A short distance farther along Lakedge Ave, we enjoyed our picnic morning tea relaxing in the Lions Park at Chittaway Bay. Once again, strolling while chatting on the shared pathway was a popular activity. There was also time to sit and chat while admiring the lake views.

Morning Tea in the Lions Park
Morning Tea in the Lions Park
This is the Life
This is the Life
No Bikes in Sight
No Bikes in Sight
Look at Those Hats
Look at Those Hats
Enjoying Chittaway Bay
Enjoying Chittaway Bay

After visiting Chittaway Point, a narrow, low-lying stretch of land between Tuggerah Lake and Ourimbah Creek, we made our way to Sara Lee Factory outlet at Niagara Park for some tasty products to take home as souvenirs of a very enjoyable outing.

 Robin A

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Outing to Mangrove Creek Dam, November 2015

We had a beautiful spring day for our final Village Bus Outing for 2015, on Tuesday 17th November, when we drove to Mangrove Creek Dam, travelling via Kariong and Kulnura.

1511 Bus outing01

The picnic area at the dam is impressive with improved facilities, a result of the recently completed beautification works by Wyong and Gosford Councils.

Viewing platform
Viewing platform
A chat on the high platform
A chat on the high platform
It’s a long way down!
It’s a long way down!
An interesting display
An interesting display
1511 Bus outing06
So peaceful
Morning tea with a view
Morning tea with a view
A true blue view
A true blue view
No litter … or ducks to feed
No litter … or ducks to feed
Feathery seed heads on a Clematis vine in the picnic area
Feathery seed heads on a Clematis vine in the picnic area
There’s even a free booklet about the dam.
There’s even a free booklet about the dam.
A photo stop on the way home
A photo stop on the way home

Along the roadsides, eye-catching clumps and carpets of bright yellow daisies were abundant. Bushcare and landcare people regard them as weeds while others call them mountain daisies.

A roadside invasion in the Mangrove Mountain area
A roadside invasion in the Mangrove Mountain area

Our trip home took us through the beautiful, Yarramalong Valley with its massive cedar trees, turf farms, historic buildings and lush pastures with livestock ….all just an hour’s drive from Davistown.
                                                                                                                           Robin A

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Village Bus Outing to Wyee October 2015

Our morning tea stop, on our way to Wyee Garden Centre, was by the Wyong River at Wyong. As Tuesday 6th October was a very hot day the picnic sheds and tall trees, by the river, provided much-needed shade at Wand Jetty, just off the Pacific Highway.

1510 bus trip to Wyong01
Reading about Arthur Wand, one of Wyong’s pioneers

Early last century, ferries transported passengers from the Wyong Public Wharves that were located where the jetty now stands.

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Wand Jetty Plaque

Excited holiday-makers travelled by train to Wyong Station and then went by ferry down to the mouth of the Wyong River to reach The Entrance and other popular areas around Tuggerah Lake

Reflections on the Wyong River
Reflections on the Wyong River
Shade on a hot Spring day
Shade on a hot Spring day
It’s too hot for a barbecue!
It’s too hot for a barbecue!
Time for a chat under the trees
Time for a chat under the trees
Reading about our water catchment area
Reading about our water catchment area

At Wyee Nursery we were impressed with the variety of plants, calming water features with the sound of running water, gifts, garden products and talking Australian parrots (not for sale) in the spacious aviary.

Hello cockatoo
Hello cockatoo
Remember to look up at the hanging baskets
Remember to look up at the hanging baskets
A well-placed garden seat….
A well-placed garden seat….
….surrounded by Bromeliads
….surrounded by Bromeliads
An impressive display of succulents thriving in the sun
An impressive display of succulents
A colourful indoor display with a seat to share
A colourful indoor display with a seat to share

Yes, of course, we made some purchases at Wyee Nursery, one of the best Garden Centres on the Central Coast.
                                                                                                                                           Robin A

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Village Bus Outing September 2015 (Second trip)

This was a second village bus outing in September, this time to Kincumba Mountain. We took heed of the forecast for a hot 30°C Spring day and left our rain gear and heavy clothing at home.

Our first stop was at the Shipbuilders Memorial near the Kincumber boat ramp and jetty in Carrak Rd.

1509 Nearly Completed
Nearly completed open structure
Sign displayed during the construction
Sign displayed during the construction
All aboard on the Kincumber Broadwater
All aboard on the Kincumber Broadwater

Off we set on the Shipbuilders Memorial Walk ( a section of the shared cycleway/walkway linking Kincumber and Saratoga) enjoying our short stroll along the foreshores to reach the very popular Broadwater Park where our bus awaited.