Tuesday 13 May 2014

Sydney Day 3: Shoalhaven, Greenwell Point & Kiama

We had enough of the city so we drove out into the countryside to take in the views that Australia is famous for. My brother loves driving (and is young and full of energy), he was the designated driver of our little road trip to Grand Pacific Coastal Drive.

Brother takes over from the hubby for long distance driving
Passengers enjoying the amazing view

We were supposed to go to the beautiful Sea Cliff Bridge (a road that is built at the side of a cliff right above the sea with an awesome view!) but I thought it was called the Grand Pacific Coastal Drive, which was actually a super long highway that linked Sydney to Canberra via the Australian south-east coast (you may download the map to find out what attractions are littered along the Drive).

Anyway long story short, we typed "Grand Pacific Drive" into Google Maps and it directed us via the Princes Highway instead of the Grand Pacific Drive. We ended up somewhere near Shellharbour, way pass the Sea Cliff Bridge in the north. If we were to drive back to the bridge, it would have taken us another 1 hour (30 minutes there and 30 minutes back) and that just didn't make sense as we will be passing through the bridge later on our way back to Sydney.

Hence after much debate, we decided to continue our journey south to Shoalhaven Heads to visit the award-winning Coolangatta Estate Winery. Of course we would rather visit Hunter Valley but as that is like a 3-hour drive north of Sydney city, this winery will have to suffice.

Award winning Coolangatta Estate Winery
(Address: 1335 Bolong Road, Shoalhaven Heads 2535; Opening hours: 9am – 5pm)
Beautiful vineyard with a mountainous backdrop
Main building of the winery
(They hold a lot of wedding receptions in the hall on the 2nd floor with all the glass windows)

I can't / don't want to drink so I was expressing milk instead while the rest tried the different wines offered by the winery.

Wine tasting and short history of where the wines came from
Various wines in their retail space

We were given a short wine-tasting session where the staff explained the different wines that they offer. The hubby and brother managed to buy a bottle of wine that had to be fermented for 12 years. The next batch of wine will only be available some time around 2020 so needless to say there weren't many bottles of the current batch left. Hubby was super pleased to add it to his personal collection =)

We continued on our journey further south to Greenwell Point, where fresh oysters are brought in by the fishermen (Google Maps search term: "Greenwell Point").

Plaque at Greenwell Point Fisherman's Wharf
Beautiful sea view
A cool family photo
Sister with the boats in the background

Beautiful isn't it?

We spotted a mum chilling with her kid at a playground right next to the beach and I was just thinking how wonderful it would be to be able to bring your kid to a playground by the sea (with a really awesome weather) anytime you wanted. I guess the grass is always greener on the other side!

Enjoying a lovely swing

The deliciously fresh oysters were what brought us to Greenwell Point in the first place. However, after reaching the farms, we were told it was not the season for them!

Oyster farms

We were really disappointed but well, at least we got to visit such a scenic place. As it was getting late, we made our way back to Sydney, making a stop at Kiama (Google Maps search term: "Kiama blowhole").

Along the way, we had to stop for a herd of cows crossing from one side of the road to the other! Of course we stopped for a photo, which got a lot of strange looks from the locals as they did not understand what was so interesting about a herd of crossing cows.

My girl has never seen so many cows up close before!

We arrived at Kiama Blowhole after a 30-minute drive. Blowholes are sea caves that grow landwards and upwards into vertical shafts towards the surface. Compressed air and pounding waves cause a spout of water to burst out of the hole (like the blowhole of a whale, hence the name).

The Kiama Blowhole was first described by Surgeon George Bass
Signboard that explains how the blowhole came to be the way that it is
With the Kiama Blowhole right behind us
A selfie with the iconic Kiama Lighthouse
(It's my opinion that you cannot consider yourself a Selfie Master, unless you can do it without a front-facing camera, like me here *grin*)
Who can resist such a breathtaking view?
A group photo taken by the brother's camera mounted on a tripod
(like a postcard isn't it?)

As we were leaving, we passed by the very cool Kiama Harbour Rock Pool.

One of the rock pools at Kiama Harbour

I can just imagine swimming in it with the ocean just beside you, way cool! Too bad that it was almost going to be winter and would therefore be too cold for us to go swimming.

We continued on our journey back to Sydney via the Grand Pacific Drive hoping that we'll still be able to see the Sea Cliff Bridge before it got too dark.

Notice the little brown signboard with a highway-looking logo on top of the main signboard?
These brown signboards indicate the way to the Grand Pacific Drive so keep following them and you'll be ok =)

Despite the brother driving as fast as he could, we didn't manage to reach the Sea Cliff Bridge before the sky got dark. By the time we arrived, it was pitch black and all we could see was bits of the cliff and a lighted curvy road that indicated that we were at the right place.

I felt personally responsible for not getting it right from the beginning such that we were not able to see the bridge. It was one of my biggest regrets of the trip! *sigh*

Thankfully the brother enjoyed driving along the mountainous road so it was not completely a wasted journey. The road was not easy to drive at all at night, with just lights on the road to guide our path, but the brother was a pro!

After a long day, we finally arrived back at the city where my brother and mother prepared a really awesome dinner. Really thankful to my brother for driving and cooking! Needless to say, he slumped onto the bed super exhausted at the end of the day and I tried my very best not to disturb his sleep (I woke up in the middle of the night to pump and wash you see)!

We were all super exhausted after a long day, which the siblings later told me was simply too packed for their liking. We had to re-look at our itinerary and move some things around so that we are not doing too many things in one day!

So many things so little time, I say!

Continue to >> Sydney Day 4: Taronga Zoo
<< Back to Sydney Day 2: Fish Market, Luna Park & Sydney Tower Eye


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