The Entrance

animals, Sydney Weekend trips
Greetings from vacation, Blogland!

 

It’s not so much my vacation, since I don’t actually have a job to take a vacation from (yet … do you hear me employers of Sydney??); but, Partner-in-Crime wanted to take full advantage of the holiday weekend by securing himself an additional couple of days off from work so that we could trot off to realms more relaxing. We were too slow to book reasonably priced airfare anywhere enticing, so we became set on the objective of securing as much R&R as humanly possible, within driving distance.

 

P-i-C settled on The Entrance, a little town about two hours north of Sydney. The beautiful thing about The Entrance is that it boasts beach on one side and lake on the other, creating a lush and unique ecosystem. Purportedly the name derives from the town being located at the entrance of the lake into the ocean, and is the English translation of the original Aboriginal name.

 

We spent two nights at a tucked way motel, which was nestled on a residential street, and looked frighteningly budget from the front gate. My unhelpful first words when we pulled up were, “did you look this place up on Trip Advisor?”. P-i-C assured me that due diligence had been done, and that we’d be comfortable. In fact, it turned out to be a beautiful little spot, with a great swimming pool, hot tub, grills (which we made use of to cook a delicious steak dinner on Thursday night), and cozy-enough one bedroom apartment style rooms.

 

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Our first night in town was dreary and cold, and the receptionist ominously told us that is was certainly Murphy’s Law, given that we were going into a long weekend, and the weather earlier in the week had been so nice. Murphy or not, we just had to make it through the dreary night, with the forecast looking much more promising by morning.

 

We wandered into town, with nothing else to do but eat dinner, and found the main street ghost-towny, minus the ghouls. No souls, living or dead, appeared to be stirring. One dark haunt after another had us nearly ready to eat KFC (KFC, by the way, has secured a strangely large portion of the fast food market share in this country, an accomplishment that I am at a loss to explain). Thankfully, we found at the end of the block, an Italian restaurant that stayed open to the witching hour (9p.m.). There was an itsy movie theatre, should we have been feeling particularly vampirish after finishing our dinner at the late hour of 8:45, but we found the offerings to be unpromising, so we returned to the hotel for an evening in front of the TV, a rare luxury/sociological study for us, since we don’t have a glowing box of our own at home.

 

As promised, the weather was glorious the next day. We set off by car for grand adventures. After breakfast at a sidewalk cafe, we headed up the main road to see what there was to see. Along the way, we spied tennis courts, which looked to be from a post-apocalyptic film set, and we grabbed our rackets and climbed through the hole in the fence (not kidding) to hit the ball around a bit; which we did fully undisturbed by any local authorities.

 

Following Slumdog Wimbledon, we moseyed off to find sun and surf. We spent the rest of the day strolling a collection of beaches and lake fronts, including:

 

The Entrance North, where surf culture was in full force, particularly marked by a whole lot of tan-bikini/board shorted teens who were inexplicably at the beach at noon on a Thursday.
 
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Photobucket Teenage hoodlum handiwork, but at least toilet paper in the wind makes for an interesting photo.
 
Long Jetty (duly named) …
Photobucket (Credit Partner-in-Crime for this beautiful shot)
… featured a beautiful lake front park, with an inspiring array of wildlife. It reminded me of Florida marshland, that complicated and fragile environment that is hard to love at first sight, until you fully grasp the complexity of the landscape:

 

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Finally, the beach at The Entrance was a rich landscape of volcanic rock formations and pebbly sand. The water near shore was ankle to knee deep and, based on the number of fishermen/women at play, must have been chock full of marine life.
Photobucket (Another Partner-in-Crime original)
The most entertaining part of the trip was the pelican feeding event at Memorial Park, a family-friendly promenade with kid’s water park, playgrounds, and carnival rides. Everyday, a bevy of Australian pelicans arrive on a specially constructed platform for a free-for-all fish flying extravaganza (volunteers toss out a cooler full of fish for the benefit of the birds and the tourists). It may be a bit gimmicky; but mostly it was magical to have the chance to be up close to these incredible, bizarre birds. They were about the size of small children (sorry parents, but is was hilarious to see the birds scare the bejeesus out of a couple of too-bold kiddies on the front row), and they were actually quite graceful when they took to flight.
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Photobucket (Pelican pictures by Partner-in-Crime)
Ah, but they did smell atrociously. I mean, really bad.
We exited The Entrance yesterday morning, with no clear plan; but further adventures have and continue to unfold. More postcards to come …

3 thoughts on “The Entrance

  1. C. In Oz

    @FL Girl – it’s a nice trip, and very manageable from Sydney. It’s super family friendly. You should go!

    @D – Ah, too bad I didn’t know that. We could have had coffee! (Good to know about the school holidays – I thought there was just an incredibly high rate of truancy/drop outs in The Entrance. 😉 ).

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