We decided to spend 3 days at Belmont Pines Caravan Park on the banks of Lake Macquarie, twenty minutes south of Newcastle. First impressions were positive, absolutely waterfront position.
The view from the rear of the 5th wheeler.
We had a spot out of the wind, some spots were copping a fair blast from a moderate wind. We didn’t really have a clue what there was in the area to fill in a few days, nothing obvious stood out, did we set up camp in the middle of suburbia. A tour around the park along with a short walk to get the hang of the area filled in the day.
Day two started with a drive into Newcastle, we came across Fort Scratchley, a fortified big gun and cannon batallion used from the late 1800’s through to World War II, a free self guided tour takes you around the outside with 360° views around the harbour, over Newcastle itself as well as up and down the coastline.
The view up the river
The lighthouse in the distance along with the breakwalls at the mouth of the river.
An underground inspection of the tunnels and gun emplacements on a guided tour takes a little over an hour and the guide gives a very informative talk, well worth the small cost. Luckily almost all the guns that have been used at Fort Scratchley are still on site.
Day three started with a trip to the Travelhome 5th wheeler workshop, mainly because we were in the area.
A frame not long out of the jig in front with an almost finished van in the background.
Just down the road was Cave Beach, luckily the tide was out and I even coaxed Dianne to come exploring. What a fantastic time was had exploring caves carved into the cliff face by tidal action over time.
Lunch was at the local club, talking to a few locals we were advised that just down the coast was the historic Catherine Hill Pier. We decided to have a look, another good decision. Coal mining right off the beach, along with several mines a little inland and the rusting remnants of a disused pier used to load coal ships.
A large coal seam right on the beach, there was even a blocked off mine shaft right on the beach just to the right of the picture straight into the coal seam.
The day was getting late, but we were being informed of places of interest to have a look at by the locals, nothing like a little local knowledge. We just didn’t have the time, maybe we will have to have a return visit on another trip, although we had a quick trip out to Warners Bay on Lake Macquarie, not far from the caravan park. I went a for a short bike ride around the foreshore bike and walking track, a very good place to see the sites on the edge of the lake, while Dianne had a coffee across the road in a local coffee shop.
Some parts of the lake are very picturesque and accessible, while others do not have good access.
An early start for tommorrow as we will be navigating through Sydney on a Sunday. We are heading around the coastline to Melbourne this year, never been this way before. The weather looks as though it will be reasonably warm for the next four or five days, time will tell.