|It had rained hard in the night, well at least that's what the campsite owner said. We must have slept heavily to miss it! Anyway, we were again woken by all the bird calls. There were warnings about dingoes posted in the camp kitchen, but we didn't see any, not sure if that's good or not.
The sun was sort of shining so we walked through the dunes to the beach, and what a fantastic beach it was. Soft golden sands, the surf pounding on the beach and a gentle breeze. It was lovely and warm and we enjoyed our stroll along the tide line, getting just our feet wet - in the clean waters of the South Pacific.
The campsite had strange looking birds (well strange to us!) they were black with red heads, looked a bit like chickens but had tails that fanned out vertically. We paid on the way out and made our way back up the unsealed road, very bumpy in parts, to the Bungwahl road and this time turned right to follow the Lakes Way which wound its way across country to the shoreline with bays and beaches with lovely names, like Blues Beach, Boomerang Beach and Elizabeth's beach before hitting a very narrow stretch of land with the lakes on one side and the ocean on the other. The weather was a bit mixed but was very warm.
We stopped at Hawkes Point Lookout, it was a bit of a walk up a short but steep hill with a lookout tower built on the top. The reserve was an attempt to re-create the landscape to what it was before European settlers stripped the land bare and planted bananas and created grazing. The lookout did have great views back along the coast and up to Forster but the recreated landscape was growing so fast the views were somewhat limited, unfortunately.
Finally we came into Forster, at the head of the Myall Lakes National Park, situated at a bridging point on this coast of sand dunes and spits and very large lakes held behind them. The prevailing currents bring a nap enormous amount of sand northwards creating many spits and bars, fascinating coastline. Anyway, Forster wasn't that interesting but we did find the library and catch up on emails.
We followed The Lakes Way all the way back to the Pacific Highway and carried on northwards. Ruth had found, in one of the many guides we had picked up, a place selling oysters, so we swung off the Highway and trucked on down to Harrington and found the place. In the middle of nowhere, but right alongside the Manning River, a small industrial looking building with two ladies inside shucking oysters. It was late in the afternoon, so we were limited to either 'cocktail' or 'bistro' oysters. We bought the cocktail oysters, and very good they were too. Ruth declined, but I found they had a really good flavour. We also bought a large handful of king prawns, which were also very tasty, but Ruth liked these.
Back to the Pacific Highway, we made our way to Port Macquarie where we found a spot for the night. Right on the beach at Flynn's Beach, a very popular surfing beach, there was little room for us, but we did find a spot by the beach and settled in for the night. As darkness fell, the surfers gave up and went home so we were there virtually alone. It was a beautiful beach with quite big rollers crashing in, hence it's popularity with local surfers. It did mean there was a constant but muted roar of the surf all night, but we managed to sleep through.