First on our to-do list was Bushranger Bay in Bass Point Reserve. Just a 10 minute drive from our camp site at Shellharbour, Bushranger Bay is an aquatic reserve within Bass Point Reserve, which means you aren’t able to fish, spearfish or collect any sea creatures.
Lib was extremely excited to wetsuit up and snorkel, whilst I had my hesitations (sharks!) but was keen to check out the views.
Lib went in for a snorkel, swimming back and forth throughout the base of the bay, seeing only a few fish and a red sea creature. She tried to film with one of our cheap action cameras, but salt and rust had taken its toll on the waterproof case and it flooded! Overall, it wasn’t that impressive a snorkel site this visit, perhaps you need to go out deeper or dive further down. At least the view was epic!
We continued to explore Bass Point Reserve, stopping in to look at the Shipwreck Memorial and do part of the coastal walk. This walk included an indigenous cultural walk, with signs explaining some of the local history. It was interesting to think about the cultural heritage, and note the massive quarry built right next to the reserve. Reflecting on how history and our own influence have shaped the Australian coastline is both devastating and challenging.
Looking out over Maloneys Bay Lookout, we were again blown away by the scale of the South Coast cliffs. And the height of the quarry industrial machinery. Nature and mankind rubbing faces in a loud and guttural groan – the sound of the mechanical dinosaurs at work echoed over the valley.
Our next stop was Killalea State Park where we had a picnic lunch at The Farm Beach, a top surfing beach in Australia. Only around another ten minute drive from Bass Point, Killalea State Park has camping, beaches and plenty of great views. We ate our self made chicken and avo sandwiches while quietly egging on the local surfers.
Killalea State Park is beautifully maintained, even the drop loos, and I can see why surfers flock to the long, perfect waves of The Farm. It really looks like somewhere a typical Aussie movie would be shot, and it was quite a treat to be able to have a sweeping wave length view of the surfers as they rode in.
We returned back to camp for a quick car fix. After the poor sleep last night, we were determined to work out a way to make our queen mattress lay flat. We discovered our folded down back seats were stopping the mattress, and they were held in by only four bolts. Luckily Dad had suggested we bring some tools, so Lib unscrewed the bolts and wallah ! We removed the offending seats and loaded them into our Aldi roof bag on our Aldi roof tray.
We treated ourselves to an ice cream sandwich alongside the free, public baths at Shellharbour (just a small walk from our campsite) and splurged on a pluto pup, fish and chips as an early dinner in reverse.
As the sun set, we explored the rocky headland around our caravan park. The ocean has carved marvellous geometric shapes, both perfect lines and symmetrical circles, over years of grazing away at the rocks.