Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Catherine Hill Bay & Gwandalan

On Saturday we made a snap decision to go for a drive to Catherine Hill Bay, which is about an hour's drive north from here.

Initially the village was named Cowper, and served as a base for coal mining by the New Wallsend Company.  The mines have all closed now.  The name Catherine Hill was adopted to commemorate the schooner "Catherine Hill" which ran aground in 1867.  The village comprises the oldest group of buildings in Lake Macquarie area.  The bay is beautiful, and the village itself has lots of original miner's cottages, beautifully kept.

Although the day was a nice one, it was a little windy and the swell was still very big so the beach was closed.

But that didn't stop a couple of hardy surfers on their boards.
This is the historic coal wharf at the southern end of the bay.  At low tide, you can walk right up to it on the beach, and around the point.  Far too dangerous on Saturday as the tide was almost at its peak.

Look at the size of this chain!  It is embedded in rock, and buried in the sand, but it would have originally been used to secure ships.

The wind had risen by this stage and made the beach a bit wild and woolly, so we decided to take our picnic to Gwandalan, which is on Lake Macquarie itself.  Good idea, as we found a pretty park, and it was quite sheltered.
Our view from the picnic table.

We were accompanied by a posse of ducks, until those pesky seagulls drove them away.

Setting up lunch.

These kids were having a ball messing about in their little putt putt.  The pelicans didn't seem to mind them at all.

The boys went, and the pelicans decided to have a preen in the shallows.

After lunch we walked along the foreshore for a way, all the way up to the point, and found a lone pied cormorant at the very tip of the point standing sentinel (on one leg!). How do birds manage to sleep upright, on one leg, half way up a tree, without falling over, even when there is a high wind?

On the way home, we stopped for an ice cream at Budgewoi.  This is the channel which connects Lake Munmorah to Budgewoi Lake. Seagulls of course, and a handful of fishermen, mostly dads with their kids.

Til next time.....Keep on stitching


  1. I would love to picnic near some water, I love the las vegas desert but sometimes after seeing photos like this I need a cool drink of water!!

  2. You found some nice spots for a lovely day out! :)

  3. Funny to read what might have been a post about the north of englands mining area, but for the stunning weather lol Wallsend is an area around Newcastle in Northumberland which was a mining area for many years.
    Lead, coal and other minerals mined generally until the world provided cheaper alternatives from overseas.
    I guess for all we are miles apart, we have many past influences that help us meet in the middle lol
    Looks to have been a lovely day and Im in awe of your friends beautifully quilted wholecloth in prev post!
    And the fussy cut dresden -y design is ace!

  4. Sounds like a lovely day! Nothing like time on the water :)

  5. I've often wondered the same thing about birds! Surprising and delightful creatures, all. I enjoyed seeing the boys puttering around by the pelicans. Somehow that scenario makes everything feel right in the world.


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