Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Cycling at Port Macquarie

Location - New South Wales, Australia
Ride - Port Macquarie
Distance - 34.5 km
Terrain - Mostly on road, very light traffic.
Difficulty - Easy.
Highlights - The ferry ride across the Hastings River.




We found winter! Queensland doesn't do winter, which is really nice, but we are on our way home, only five hours north of Sydney and winter has come up to meet us.  It wasn't so much the mercury as a combination of the mercury, the cloud cover and the wind.  With a maximum of 16.6 Celsius and only very occasional sunshine it was definitely a touch chilly, especially on the way home. We seemed to cycle most of the day into the wind too which didn't help matters.

Port Macquarie isn't exactly famous for it's bike paths. As the guy at the Information Centre said when I asked for a map - "Port Macquarie is a triathlon town. Our cyclists get used to riding on the road".  D gets nervous in traffic and I just get nervous so we decided to head for the most isolated roads in town.

We crossed the Hastings River on a car ferry, free for bikes, and found a four wheel drive track running through bush next to the sea.  It was pretty easy riding for the first few kilometres but the track deteriorated after a while and we found ourselves having to strike through the bush to get around a couple of fairly deep puddles stretching across the road. We gave up long before the end when the dirt road deteriorated to sand and it got harder and harder to push through.

As usual I was hoping for some wildlife and as usual we didn't see any. Port Macquarie has quite a few koalas but they are hard to spot, hardly surprising given that they spend their lives fast asleep in trees.  We have seen kangaroos and wallabies before in this area but they must have had advanced notice we were coming this time and stayed out of sight.  At one point we rode out along a long breakwater right at the mouth of the Hastings. I had high hopes for whales or at least a dolphin or two but all we saw were a couple of fisherman who didn't seem to be having any more luck catching fish than I was seeing wildlife.

Tomorrow we head home. Unfortunately there is plenty of wildlife there - possums and bandicoots in plague proportions. They come out at night and eat my seedlings. I suppose nuking them is out of the question?

The Hastings River


Crossing the Hastings


Out on the breakwater



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