While the days are still warm, it is worth doing the walk between Bittangabee Bay and Hegarty’s Bay, an area of the Light-to-Light Walk, inaccessible by car. The Light-To-Light Walk is in the southern part of Ben Boyd National Park, which I have previously featured in: https://candeloblooms.com/2016/08/16/ben-boyd-national-park-part-1/ and https://candeloblooms.com/2016/08/23/ben-boyd-national-park-part-2-photo-essay/. The walk stretches 30 Km from Boyds’ Tower in the north to Green Cape Lighthouse in the south. Here is a photo of the interpretive board provided by National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).While we would love to do the walk in its entirety one day, at least most of the key areas (Boyd’s Tower, Leatherjacket Bay, Saltwater Bay, Bittangabee Bay and Green Cape) can be visited by car on day trips, except for Hegarty’s Bay, which can only be accessed on foot, either from Saltwater Bay in the north or Bittangabee Bay (photos below) in the south!While we had heard about its great scenic beauty, its inaccessibility was an added lure, so in July 2017, we finally did the 9 Km return walk between Bittangabee Bay and Hegarty’s Bay and it was everything we expected and more! The walk takes 3.5 hours return, though we actually took a bit longer as we kept stopping for photographs!We started from the Bittangabee Bay Picnic Area and walked down the hill to the beautiful Bittangabee Bay Beach with views of the green green water of the sheltered bay and the Imlay’s old storehouse to the south. It’s a lovely little sandy beach, backed by a small creek and lagoon, with rocky platforms either end. We love just sitting on the rocks to the north of the beach! We rockhopped north to another small cove. The beach was teaming with hordes of soldier crabs, marching down to the water’s edge or diving into their burrows, before we too dived into the bush to rejoin the track north to Hegarty’s Bay.After crossing the lovely little Bittangabee Creek, we headed uphill through a thick forest of banksias, sheoaks, pittosporum, melaleucas and beautiful gums… to stunning heathland…
with intermittent views of the ocean, then descended to Black Cliffs, an amazing large rocky platform… with spectacular views in all directions. Here is Green Cape Lighthouse to the south… We loved exploring the rockpools, teaming with life: barnacles, sea snails, mussels, chitons, limpets, crabs, starfish, cunjevoi and a myriad of seaweeds and kelp.The stunning beauty of the bay was amplified by dramatic storm clouds and golden light.We followed the Light-To-Light track markers north over the rock shelf, then back into the heath and grassland, with more colourful flora,
and tantalising views of Hegarty’s Bay…before dropping down to a creek and Hegarty’s Bay Camping Area with its quirky structures in a forest clearing. Unfortunately, the camera lens smudged with the rain, but hopefully, these photos will give you some idea. We watched Glossy Black Cockatoos ripping bark off the sheoaks in their search for grubs. Just beyond is Hegarty’s Bay …with its stunning red cliffs and fascinating geology, including a beautiful deep waterhole!Unfortunately, it wasn’t really swimming weather, and we did in fact have to shelter under rocky overhangs to eat our sandwiches during heavy rain, but once it had stopped, we retraced our steps back south. That’s a White-Bellied Sea Eagle flying down low across the bottom photo! As we neared Bittangabee Bay, we took the alternate route back past the historic foundations of Imlay House. Here are photos and the plan from the NPWS board:The Imlay brothers, George (1794-1846), Peter (1797-1881) and Alexander (1800-1847), were the first European settlers in Twofold Bay, establishing the first permanent whaling station at Eden in 1834. While they were the major whalers for the next nine years, competition from other whalers forced them to open a second whaling station at East Boyd, with crews further south round Bittangabee Bay, where they had substantial stock runs. In 1844, they laid foundations for a stone house right beside the small creek behind Bittangabee Beach, to be set amongst bark huts, fruit trees and gardens, but sadly, George died in 1846 and Alexander in 1847, with Peter migrating to New Zealand in 1851, and the house was never completed. We also watched a very busy, quiet lyrebird foraging for grubs with its strong powerful legs, with a very clever and opportune White-Browed Scrubwren in its wake, enjoying the proceeds. We actually saw six lyrebirds that day, so it is a good spot to see them. I suspect they are fairly used to campers in the area! We also saw these equally quiet Eastern Grey kangaroos!It was such a beautiful walk and we would highly recommend it! Some final photos from Bittangabee Bay Beach…!For a map and more detailed information on the walk, it is worth looking at: http://www.wildwalks.com/wildwalks_custom/walk_pdfs/saved/Saltwater%20Creek%20to%20Bittangabee%20Bay%20(nsw-benbobnp-sctbb).pdf.
Next week, I am returning to my craft library, with posts on books on Textile Printing and Natural Dyeing.