We left Katoomba at about 9:30 on Monday morning after the daily wake up call from the wild Cockatiels! When we first saw one of them in the campsite we assumed it was someones pet but it turned out there were dozens of them living in and around the campsite. It's pretty amazing seeing birds like that close up in the wild. Would loved to have stayed there for a few more days as it really is an amazing place but we need to press on as we need to be in Brisbane on the 30th January. We drove about 250km to Newcastle which is about 150km North of Sydney. Newcastle is the second biggest city in NSW after Sydney and has some great beaches. We checked in to a campsite at Stockton Beach which is just to the north of Newcastle and is at the southern end of a 23km long beach! There's a small ferry that runs across the bay from Stockton to Newcastle.
When we checked into the campsite the woman on reception said to us 'you know that the beach is closed because of the big shark'! We thought she was joking at first but turns out it's been all over the news here for the last week and all the beaches along the Newcastle coast have been closed for the last 8 or 9 days. Trust us to pick the beach with a 5m Great White Shark hanging about!! Today was going to be a beach day but we woke up this morning to grey skies, rain and high winds. Just like camping at home!
We managed to get a walk along the beach in between the rain showers. We never spotted any sharks but saw some pretty weird looking jelly fish. There was loads of washed up Bluebottles (also known as Portuguese Man-o-War) which can give you a pretty nasty sting apparently. They've also got signs up on the beach to beware of snakes! What a place! Went to the pictures tonight to see Birdman, what a waste of two hours that was! On the road again tomorrow. Heading back inland to the Hunter Valley for some wine tasting. The internet connection has been pretty limited in the campsites so struggling to get any pictures uploaded but will try and get some posted when we can. B&V