The Coromandel Walkway to Stony Bay

We woke to a beautiful morning in Port Jackson and walked along the beach to the start of the trail to Fletcher Bay. The trail climbed a steep hill at the end of the bay, affording great views back across our beachside camp. After about 4ks of spectacular cliff top paths we hit the gravel road on which we walked the final 4ks into camp. We arrived into Fletcher Bay at 10.30, and given the short walk and the beautiful weather decided to push on to the next camp site at Stony Bay. The route there was along the area’s main attraction – the Coromandel Walkway – a stunning 10k walking track. The views were breathtaking, being mostly along the edge of the coast with views to rugged headlands and offshore islands. We must have stopped at least 30 times for photos – mostly we took ‘snaps’ (ie taken with my little camera) but sometimes we took ‘shots’ (meaning Daniel got his mammoth camera out) :-). We met 2 day hikers en route, the first walkers we have seen. Clouds were gathering and rain threatened for the last 2 hours of the walk, but we got to set up camp and have dinner without rain. Again the camp was deserted, with just one other tent [although of course they had a car! When are we going to meet anyone else who is walking and carrying their tent?! So far, the only other hardy (or poor …) souls we have met were a German couple who were cycling and camping, and who looked half our age :-)]. We did have some visitors though in the form of very persistent ducks who seem used to getting dinner scraps. We had to do some aggressive chasing to clear them, but we forgave them when a duck turned up with 9 gorgeous ducklings in tow! They had no fear and kept approaching us, which then caused the mother to snap at us – what a job she had to manage those 9 naughty chicks! Sadly, we saw a dead chick an hour later and did wonder if she had already lost one of her brood …
Although it was well into evening (ie cold!) by the time we finished dinner, we braved the cold water showers (maybe we are acclimatsing?). We had a wild, wet and windy night but the tent held up well – its first major weather test, and we scored it an A- (points deducted for some water retained on the roof, but that could be due to bad pegging technique!).

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