Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Short Trip South: Sport Climbing at Nowra, Kiama Coastal Walk

The kayak search is still ongoing, but, in the midst of that, we got a great Ebay deal on a cargo barrier and combined a trip to pick up the cargo barrier with three days away. Our first two days was spent climbing at Thompsons Point near Nowra. Apparently, the most popular crag at NSW's most popular sport climbing area. Very solid rock, nice solid ring-bolts (this is a sport climbing area), nice ambience above the Shoalhaven River (with ready access should you want a dip) and reasonable length climbs. We found the climbs on the average side (Wingello has better climbing), but, all in all, a nice place to spend a few days and there are hundreds of routes to climb.

On our third day we walked the Kiama Coastal Walk – a 22 km trek along the coast from Minnamurra (northern suburb of Kiama) to Gerringong Harbour. I'm not sure how many people walk the full distance, as, despite it being a beautiful sunny, but not too hot, Saturday, neither Doug nor I saw anyone doing the full walk. We did our usual trick for these through walks with one person starting at either end and crossing paths in the middle.

Personally, I like walking and could walk for a good part of each day, all year long, so pretty much relish any walk – heinous bushwacking probably excepted, so it's no surprise that I enjoyed this walk. It's not as wild as some, in fact, the entire walk passes through a heavily modified landscape from the suburbs of Kiama south to the farmland near Gerringong. However, the scenery is delightful, sea breezes keep you cool, there are dozens of opportunities for swimming off white sandy beaches in clear water, and, for the most part, you won't see many people.

If, because of fitness, motivation, time, or any other constraint, you could only walk one section of the full 22 km, the section from Marsden Head to Werri Beach is the best. This section cruises along farmland above cliffs, dropping every so often to sandy bays and rocky beaches and is away from houses, traffic, and people. A nice way to end the walk at the southern end is to stride along Werri Beach with the surf crashing onto the shore, prowl around the rocky headlands (low tide only), pass the bathing pool – take a dip – and end at tiny little Gerringong Harbour tucked in a sheltered cove.

Looking south to Gerringong

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