A good friend of ours, whose son is also the same age as the Pok (our son), recommended to us a fantastic camping spot on the NSW Central Coast called Patonga. I must admit that while I have ventured up and down the NSW Northern and Southern coasts many times for holidays or a recreational break, for some reason I have not been very often to the NSW Central Coast. This is the area marked by the Northern side of the Hawkebury River and stretching up to the Hunter Region (where Newcastle and the Hunter Valley wineries are). The oversight on my part will not be made again, the area is stunningly beautiful. There is a large national park area, with walking tracks and trails for mountain biking. The beaches are calm and protected. And of course you have the Hawkesbury River and its many coves, inlets and tributaries. This area was originally the land of the indigenous Australian peoples – the Darkinjung. The Darkinjung have inhabitated the NSW Central Coast for over 25,000 years and there are still rock carvings preserved near Pearl Beach.

While the weather was a bit poor (we set off with me putting the bikes on the roof in the pouring rain), we got quite lucky – pitching our tent just before a shower and packing it up before another. We took a cruise down the Hawkebury River to Bobbin Head for a spot of lunch, and visited Pearl Beach and Umina Beach as well. Near Pearl Beach we also discovered a pristine nature reserve called the Crommelin Native Arboretum. I also got the chance to take the new MTB Steed out for a spin (that is my next post).

The Pok absolutely loved this trip with his Mickey Mouse in tow and exploring “the jungle”. Though he was awestruck at the giant pelicans near the Patonga jetty. All in all a great short break that we will be going back to, and all within less than a 90 minute drive from the Sydney CBD. Below are some of the photos I shot while down there, but I was not really in the mood for photography so much as enjoying the break. I did get the chance to shoot (photograph) some native Australian birds in their habitats, a couple of macro shots of the native fauna, and some eucalypt blue hued landscapes. As usual, the images from this post link through to the larger photos on my Flickr site.

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If you want to know where Patonga is on the map, I have attached a link (the map image below) to the location on Google Maps.

Google Maps - Patonga NSW