We were quite pleased to be able to find a part of New South Wales that we had not visited before – The Illawarra Region. It is a coastal region situated about 100 Kms immediately south of Sydney and north of the Shoalhaven or South Coast region. It encompasses the cities of Wollongong, Shellharbour, the town of Kiama and the shire of Wingecarribee.
We stay right on Lake Illawarra just south of Wollongong. The striking Buddhist temple (Fokuangshan Nan Tien Temple) is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and we also look in on the impressive Kiama Blowhole where the ocean explodes through a small gap in the rocks.
The Kew Country Club is one of our favourite weeks of golf during the year. This is our fourth year at the event and we catch up with friends made on previous trips. Kew is approximately 40 Kms south of Port Macquarie and 320 Kms north of Sydney.
We stay at our normal caravan park on the same site number which is only 50 metres walk from the beach.
The golf course was in great condition due to recent rain and the results were good for Bob who won 2 runner up prizes in A Grade.
Our next week of golf is around Port Stephens at 3 different golf clubs, Pacific Dunes, Horizons and Nelson Bay.
Around 175 Kms north of Sydney and with an area of approximately 134 square kms (52 sq mi), Port Stephens is larger than Sydney Harbour. Port Stephens extends approximately 24 km (15 mi) inland from the Tasman Sea and at its widest point, it is 6.5 km (4 mi) across.
We catch up with Tom and Julie at Nelson Bay. As far as the week of golf is concerned Siobhan won the NSW Vets Golf Trophy for a great round at Nelson Bay. Friends, Frances McDonald and Jim Nixon also won prizes during the week.
Hawks Nest and Tea Gardens are 2 small towns located on the northern side of Port Stephens Bay. We stop overnight in the car park of the local bowls club for the sum of $5.50. And as we are now members we can stop there overnight for free anytime in the future. Hawks Nest was named after a large hawk’s nest in a tree on the Myall River that was used as a navigational aid by the local population. The area is renowned for its high volume of koala bears (of which we saw none!).
The Vintage Golf Club is a Greg Norman designed course situated bang in the middle of the Hunter Valley wine region of New South Wales. The facility has reciprocal rights with Pelican Waters so it was a perfect opportunity to play this quality golf course. And what an experience – the course was in immaculate condition and we had it to ourselves.