Adventures in Newcastle

I feel like so much has happened since I posted last. I had a trip to the Reserve to find cockatoos, a trip to the beaches in Newcastle, and Vivid in Sydney. There are way too many photos for one post so I’m going to split them into two.

On Sunday I had planned to go for a walk with MeetUp to the beaches. However, it started raining as I went to leave the house and I decided I didn’t want to walk 7km in the rain. So I canceled. I decided to stay in and get some writing done. Even though I’m on an adventure, PhDs wait for no one. After an hour or so, the sun came out and it turned out to be a beautiful day. I was disappointed I had bailed on my walk so I decided to head to Blackbutt again. I went in a different entrance this time and was rewarded with trees full of cockatoos!

They were so loud and noisy and really fun to watch. While looking for more cockatoos, I spotted a pair of red parrots as well! It turns out these are called crimson rosellas. Unfortunately, the only time they were close to me I was shooting into the sun so I don’t have any close ups.

It was a lovely walk and the sun stayed out. Thanks to all the rain I ended up seeing some cool mushrooms including this stinkhorn:

Newcastle Beaches

On Monday morning, Lynn took Nao and I down to Newcastle. We stopped at Nobbys Beach and Horseshoe Beach. Horseshoe beach is the only leash free beach in the area so there were all sorts of dogs running around having a great time. We walked past the dogs and headed out to Nobbys Lighthouse. We hadn’t planned to walk all the way out but some lady told us there was a seal hanging out at the end. So we headed out.

Sure enough, there was a sea lion (not a seal because he had external ears). He looked like he was having a relaxing day.

We had a lovely walk around the breakwater and then headed back to the car along Nobbys Beach. We found some cool beach items including half of a sea urchin test (shell), squid eggs, and a cuttle bone (interior “shell” of a cuttlefish). Not bad for being back by the dunes.

Newcastle History

From there we took a drive along the coast and passed by Fort Scratchley. It turns out they were celebrating the 75th anniversary of their attack by Japanese submarines. My window was open as we passed the fort just as their cannon fired. Ouch! They had some bagpipers playing as well. I’ll have to go back another day to check it out.

Next Lynn wanted to take me to see the obelisk. They built it to replace a windmill that had been there for many years. When the mill was to be torn down, the sailors argued they needed it for navigation purposes. To solve this they installed the obelisk. There is a nice marker up there that shows you where you are looking. I didn’t recognize any of the names but Lynn was able to point in the direction of her house.

We finished the morning by walking the Newcastle Memorial Walkway. According to the website, “The walk was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli in 1915 and the commencement of steel making in Newcastle”. While we were up there, I was hoping we’d see a whale. As we got to the top and decided to head back down I saw spray on the water! Often times I think I’ve seen something but it turns out I’m imagining things. However, today it was a whale!

Even though I could have stayed all day, we had to head back. I was headed off to Sydney by bus in the afternoon. The trains were down because of track work so my trip times were limited. My next post will detail the rest of the day down in Sydney. However, it was a great way to start the day on the water. We saw all sorts of animals without ever leaving land! Have you been fortunate enough to see a whale from land before?

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Newcastle

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