It’s a long way to the top, Day 103 – Tranquility & Hospitality

Day 103 Monday 15th Sept 2014 Stockton to Sutton Forest

The Newcastle Shipwreck Walk is on the northern breakwater at the mouth of the Hunter River. Built on the rusting hulks of numerous shipwrecks it is a place for reflection. Like all piers, it is the preferred spot of fishermen and those who’ve passed on are also remembered here with poignant messages painted on the rocks. “I always thought I would see you again.”

A bike, or a bucket on the path signifies a fisherman at work below on the rocks. Feral cats also a feature, live amongst the large rocks. They are hard to see but their meows are a giveaway. Little piles of Whiskas and the occasional take away container water bowl denote that they are being cared for by locals.

We buy seafood at the Newcastle Fish Market and head out of town. Gabbi Garmin our GPS tries hard to take us via the coast road and we lose about twenty minutes getting back onto the motorway south. We ask ourselves why we are heading south as the air smells of exhaust fumes and the traffic noise is deafening and while we sit in the Pennant Hills bottle-neck we wonder how the locals manage this traffic snarl. Giving thanks to the government of NSW we eventually join the M7 and in minutes we’ve bypassed Sydney and we’re down in the Southern Highlands stocking up on food to take to Double or Nuthin’s sister’s place.

K & P’s property in Sutton Forest is a haven. The house is set in 105 acres of bushland, garden and farmland. The house overlooks a series of lakes. There are black cockatoos of the yellow tailed variety, rosellas, and king parrots squabbling in the garden and swans gliding on the dam. The evening is still but far from quiet as there is a cacophony of voices rising up from the dams, a gaggle of croaks and squawks. As we traipse out of the house towards our vans K asks us to shake out our shoes. They have funnel web spiders!

Towing Kms: 295Kms

2021 Note: That Pennant Hills bottle-neck has now been alleviated by the new M8 underpass and we can’t wait to use it.

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