14-17 March: Dodging the rain in Jervis Bay

Author: Mr A

Location: Huskisson, Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia

Thursday: It was a novelty at first hearing rain crashing onto the roof of the caravan. An excuse to brew endless cups of tea, finalise our trip plans for Europe, and snuggle down with Miss Tasmania!

An attempt at an evening walk is cut short by our first rain drops
Jervis Bay looking dramatic as the horizon disappears under torrential rain heading our way

Friday: We managed a short 13km cycle along Jervis Bay’s shoreline shared path, with a hot chocolate reward for our minor efforts:

Half way along our ride the grey skies part to allow fingers of sunlight to beam down onto the bay
Nice to wrap up warm and enjoy a hot drink

The late afternoon cleared allow for a fabulous sunset:

The last sunbeams catch a turquoise wave as it breaks on the shore
Grid-like rock pools at the water’s edge reflecting the sunlight
A copse of gum trees catching the last of the light
We’ve not seen the sun all day, but still it goes down
Time to go back to the Zone for dinner!

Saturday: After a couple of days of little activity we were getting a bit van crazy, so drove into Booderee National Park to tackle one of the longer circuit walks. Booderee translates as “Bay of Plenty” in the local language of the Koori people, who have now been handed back this land to continue with over 20,000 recorded years of custodianship.

Well, didn’t we get lucky with the weather. The park was looking fabulous, all glistening and shiny with the foliage recently washed clean.

Setting off from Steamers Beach Car Park
Walking down towards Steamers Beach
The ferns gleaming in the sunlight after their wash in the rain last night

A Jacky Lizard also seems pleased to see the sunlight, and wasn’t keen to move off the step to let us pass
Mrs A on the walk down to Steamers Beach – with another 10km left to hike we decided against going all the way down and back again

There wasnt a heap of birdlife, but plenty of wallabies bounding around. The flora certainly looks like it has recovered pretty well with the lush cover back after the devastating fires of Christmas 2001. We drove back from Tasmania through the area a few weeks after those fires and both shed tears for all the animals burned to death in the inferno that took 400 firefighters to get under control.

In 2017 fire once again ravaged the park. You can still some some of the impact, but it once again is looking mostly healthy. As for species lost, then it is not such a happy story. Since 2004 a monitoring program has been in place and sadly has seen local extinction of some glider species and the “common” ringtail possum. Inexplicably mammals in both fire affected and non-affected areas seem to have suffered. Researchers are at a loss. My uninformed view – this is a pattern we are seeing all over Australia as climate events become more extreme and humans continue to encroach on habitat at a shocking pace. You may have seen the more alarmist articles that are predicting complete ecosystem collapse as insect numbers fall drastically.

On that cheery note check out some of these fab photos from the ever talented Mrs A!

Mr & Mrs at the lookout
The beautiful Blacks Harbour – named for the aboriginal residents
Apple time at Blacks Harbour
Such a picturesque location
Would be great snorkelling here
Calm waters with Caves Beach just around the headland, popular with surfers
Could spend hours checking out these rock pools, full of little fish
Another bay, further around – the water looking amazing through the trees

We always love visiting this area – this was where I proposed to Mrs A back in September 2000 after all – and we will definitely be back again. We just love how we are still able to find something new in the region every time we come, whatever the weather.

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