DAY 4 June 5th

DAY 4: June 5th

Started the day off with some grocery shopping at Woolworths to get snacks and beverages for the road trip.

About 1 ½ hours up the coast we stopped at Newcastle Beach which is a popular recreational spot and home to Fort Scratchley a former coastal defence installation built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack (it is now a museum).

Off to the left of the beach starts the break wall and the entrance to Nobbys Head Light which is an active lighthouse with the original one being built in 1821 and was automated in 1935. The lighthouse grounds are open to the public on Sundays where you can take a picnic lunch or enjoy tea being served by volunteers while taking in the 360 view.

We walked along the break wall which seems to be a favourite spot for joggers and dog walkers. There are some interesting rock formations along the wall as well as stone artwork.

After we had received our daily dose of Vitamin D we piled in the car for the hour ride to our overnight destination Port Stephens. My oh my, the windshield is dirty I better clean it, wait this means I must be using the signals correctly- YEAH!

40 minutes into this leg of our trip, my trusty navigator spots a sign ‘Wade with sharks and rays next exit’. We all said at once “let’s check it out” as the exit is fast approaching.

What an experience!! We opted to wear chest waders instead of struggling into wet suits (more flattering too). After our brief lesson on how / where to touch the sharks and rays we headed into the waist high water of tank #1 with our guide.

12-15 sharks and rays were swimming around us at knee level while we fed them shrimp, squid and other fish from a foot long plastic stick with a small clothes pin attached to the end. We could also rub our bare hands along the outer edges of the rays and the backs of the sharks, both are very friendly bumping into us. Things were going swimmingly until a shark did more then bump into my leg, he decided to chomp down on my left calf going through my waders and jeans to flesh.

It was quite a shock, the guide said it was nothing – it feels worse than it is. We moved onto the other 2 tanks which had larger sharks and rays then our 90 minute adventure was over. Took my waders off, checked my leg and there was quite the 6” dark bruise on it – no broken skin thankfully. Showed the bruise to our guide and she had never seen a mark like it on anyone else before.  Always a first for everything but this one that didn’t need to be me.

Walking the breakwall

Breakwall artwork

Nobbys Head Light

Petting a ray

Oucha momma!

Headed to Port Stephens, checked in at the motel then walked 10 minutes to a small Thai restaurant where we had a delicious meal .