Once again, the Gloucester Environment Group arranged a magnificent bushwalk – this time in the Crowdy Bay National Park.
Leaving the Pacific Highway just north of Coopernook, a lovely drive through forests and past farmlets took us to Kylies Beach Campground, where several of us set up camp on Friday evening and slept to the sound of the ocean.
Morning saw several others arrive not long after we were woken up by many kinds of loudly calling birds.
Crowdy Bay is a gem of the mid-north coast.
A leaflet available at the Park Office at Diamond Head shows several dozen kinds of wildflowers that can be found in the park, and during our leisurely walk on Saturday, we found more than half of them, plus a few more that weren’t listed.
My favourites are the Handsome Flat Pea which I’ve never seen before, the Golden Everlasting and of course the lovely white Flannel Flowers which are everywhere in spring near the coast.
Our walk passed many spots named after Kylie Tennant, author of many novels, in particular The Battlers, for which she won the Australian Literary Award in 1942, and All the Proud Tribesmen for which she won Children’s Book of the Year in 1960.
Kylies Hut, not far from our campsite, is an historic hut that was built by local man Ernie Metcalfe for Kylie Tennant who used it as a writer’s retreat.
Ernie Metcalfe, Diamond Head and Crowdy Bay are portrayed in her 1971 book The Man on the Headland.
As well as visiting Kylies Hut, we walked through the coastal forest of banksias and paperbarks, swam after lunch at Diamond Head beach, and then returned to our camp site through the coastal heath across the headland.
According to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Crowdy Bay National Park protects a pristine sweep of coastline near Port Macquarie and Taree.
The Aboriginal people have known its bountiful wonders for over 6000 years, Captain Cook glimpsed its glittering beauty in 1770, and it is all still there for everyone to enjoy. Other highlights include Blackbutt, Geebung and Cheesetree picnic areas. Other campgrounds are Indian Head and Abbey Creek.
A final magnificent sight was a pair of colourful paragliders swooping through the sunshine over Kylies Beach – we stopped to watch their acrobatics for several minutes before heading back to camp for a well-earned rest before dinner and then to bed with the sound of rain on our tents.
The Environment Group will have a recess from walking during December.
The walks program for next year will be available in early January. Contact Alison Lyon at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0409 718 795 if you would like to receive a copy.