Liz Hemmings Photography

South Coast NSW Get Away: First Stop Batemans Bay

So COVID-19 continued to rear its ugly head and dashed our moderate holiday plans. With no hope of overseas travel in site Corina and I planned a trip to Victoria to visit her daughter in January along with some adventures along the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsular then back along the South Coast of NSW.

December 19th came and we got news that the virus had once again escaped into the community. Impending border closures, Christmas approaching and holiday plans for many in jeopardy.

Corina made a quick dash through country NSW to visit her daughter with the expectation the borders would close soon. She had to go alone as everyone else had been in an “orange zone”. One week on the orange zone disappeared and by New Year all of NSW was declared red and Victorians were left scrambling to try and get home.

Our plans needed to change and luckily we had the forsight to only book accomodation with free cancellation periods. All our Victorian accomodation now cancelled we were left with 4 nights in NSW on the South Coast which were meant to be our return journey.

Once Christmas was over we got together and made some new plans as to where we could add a few days before our Bermagui booking. We decided on two nights in Batemans Bay and two in Merimbula giving us eight nights in total along the South Coast of NSW.

Batemans Bay

Our photography trip started a few days later than expected with an easy drive to beautiful Batemans Bay. We broke our journey in Goulburn to stretch our legs and purchase some lunch to eat later from Roses Cafe. The salmon fritata was scrumptious as was the sweet potato salad.

After a quick rest break we packed our lunch into the cooler and headed towards the coast enjoying the countryside along the way.

We arrived in Batemans Bay in time to have a late lunch by the water before heading to our motel to check in and unpack. Once we had unpacked we headed out for a drive to check out the area looking for possible sunrise and sunset options to photograph. We found a few options for sunrise but not so much for sunset.

Our plan was to get some dinner and find a nice spot to eat then wait for the sunset. Well the first parts of the plan worked with some lovely take away fish and chips from The Boatshed located next to Batemans Bay Harbour. We found Surfside Beach near Pinnacle Point which was a good spot to eat our fish and chips and make a sunset plan. As we waited we could see there was not going to be much in the way of a reverse sunset so decided to move more to the bay area in hope of a glimpse of the sun as it set over the mountain.

While we waited I tried out my graduated filter set which Dad had given me a few years earlier. He had purchased for himself but as he got sick he gave it to me as he knew I was also a keen photographer. Disaster struck when as we abandoned our third location I discovered the lens system had fallen out of the pouch somewhere. We backtracked and searched the beach but it was black and the sand had lots of black pieces of driftwood making it hard to see. A quick dash to the previous beach and no luck. Sunset was abandoned completely as we went back to the first beach where I had discovered it missing and made a last attempt to find it. Just as we walked past a young couple and their son fishing I saw her pick up the plastic piece I had lost ready to put it into a bucket thinking it was rubbish. She was most confused as I said “Oh you found it!” It was like she had also been looking and found it first. Happy the to have the vital piece of the filter system back we headed back to our motel to make morning plans for sunrise.

Craker Sunrise

After a disappointing sunset outing we set all our hopes on sunrise. The Sky Candy app promised a 47% chance of a colourful sunrise. We packed our camera bags and charged our batteries. Our clothes laid our and the alarm set for 5:00am to ensure we made the chosen spot in plenty of time for the 5:56 am sunrise. We left our room for the 5 min drive just before 5:30am to find colour buidling in the sky.

We were so relieved we did not miss all the colour as we arrived and we were in for a treat. The sky went from pink and purple to red and orange and lasted until well after the sun rose. There was some cloud that blocked the view of the sun but luckily the cloud caught the colour and gave us a real treat. As it turns out it was the best sunrise we would get to experience on our trip.

Swim at Broulee

Corina was keen for a swim in the ocean, it is not my thing but I was happy to hang out and take photos of the fun and activity going on in the ocean. On our way to find the perfect swiming spot we checked out Tomikan Beach and the headland. There are so many pretty beaches, some popular but many out of the way with very few people. Whereever we went it was the same, pristine white sand and clear blue sea.

I took a few photos of the scenery and really just sat and enjoyed the lack of pressure to do anything. I know it has been an awful 12-18 months for everyone and I am no exception. Major surgery and a broken foot together with the extraordinary “unprecedented” pressures from school has left me unfit, broken and burnt out. This holiday has been the beginning of the healing; in my happy place behind the camera and beside the ocean.

After Corina’s swim we had a look around at a few more places such as Guerilla Bay before heading back for lunch. One point of interest in the area were lots of beaches had signs saying “Dog Time Share”. What this means is that you can take your dog there before 9am and after 5pm which seems an awesome arrangement.

As we were near then ocean we decided on some delicious Aussie tiger prawns on fresh breadrolls for lunch and an afternoon nap to continue the holiday healing.

Rain and cloud spoilt any chance of sunset photos but there was a long enough break in the rain for a walk along the harbour to check out the interesting sculptures while our steak sanwiches and burgers we ordered from Roy’s fish and chip takeaway Cafe and Sri Lankan for dinner cooked.

Again there was cloud and rain so no sunrise on the horizon. We enjoyed a welcomed sleep in before packing to head to Merimbula.

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