Thursday 9th September - Day 4
Rain had consistently fallen all night, so we weren't surprised to find the area around our unit awash with water and the sky leaden. The first of many kangaroos to be seen today, were drenched but happily grazing, just a few metres from our back door.
We were making footprints on the sand by 8am, decked out in all our warm clothing and rain proof gear. It was difficult to make out our destination of Red Cliff Headland, just 4 kilometres north.
The view south was only a tad brighter. The only bright spot was the low tide, making the sand firm for walking.
We climbed off the beach at Red Cliff Headland and whilst walking over several kilometres,we passed through several campsites with cold, bedraggled campers trying to boil the billy for a much needed cuppa. Much of the track was through winding bush and as we turned corners, we surprised numerous kangaroos just a metre or so from us. They too must have been feeling miserable, as they didn't bother to move away. It was too damp to get photos, until we were about to return to the beach.
The signage here indicated to head back to the beach, although the map suggested a sand dune track. About 4 km along the beach, we discovered and exit from the beach and the track we should have been on. Not to worry, the rain had lessened and we had been comfortable on the sand.
At about 11 am, we emerged from the sandy bush track, to find ourselves on Shelley Headland with views south from where we had hiked from. It was time for a snack and thankfully the sky cleared for us to relax and watch the waves crash on the rocks below.
Shelley Beach had few shells, but was a pleasant poncho-less walk, of a couple of kilometres.
From Shelley Beach we had our first real climb of the hike, to Dirrangan Lookout, a spot of great importance to the local Yaegi people. We were now on the last section of the coastal route, winding up and through wonderful coastal heath, with views to rocky shoals and sheltered bays. Alas, no whales could be spotted. The wildflowers more than made up for their absence. I want to return here in Spring next year, to witness their true beauty.. For the first time we were greeting other hikers, although they were just out enjoying the 'Angourie Walk' - Angourie to Shelley headland, 10 kms return.
Zoom view of the headland where we had hiked from.
A faint view of the same headland, far in the distance.
As we crested one more ridge, we were excited to see our final destination about 1 1/2 km away. We were proud of our achievement and felt confidence for our long hike in England, in September - Wainrights Coast to Coast, 300 km [Help!] over 16 days.
The rain didn't want us celebrating too much and managed to drench us in the final 10 mins of walking. Thankfully, my car was still where I had parked it, near the small, local shop. An hour and a half drive saw us back in our cabin at Red Rock. We found Gary and invited him to join us for a beer and dinner, to thank him for coming to our rescue on Monday, when the Corindi River boatman didn't arrive as arranged. A lovely meal with good friends was a perfect way to complete our adventure.
Unknown to me that evening, I was to be blessed with the 'icing on the cake' so to speak, the following morning. I was awake at 6. It wasn't raining and sunrise was about 6.45. I quietly rugged up and set off to Red Rock Headland. It was magical. I've had great difficulty culling my shots, so I apologise if I have over done them, more than usual!
North from the Headland
It was still raining out to sea.
As the sky lightened, it was difficult to tear myself away. One last shot from the headland, then I dropped down to the river mouth. Its tranquility, as I watched pelicans, shags and seagulls feeding, and a hopeful fisherman casting his line in to the crystal clear water, added to the happiness bubble inside
me. I am so grateful to be fit enough to hike these kilometres, with such good friends who share the wonder and beauty of our amazing land 'down under'.
I hope my Yuraygir Coast walk has enthused you to get out enjoy the great outdoors, where ever you live. I would love to read your comment.