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.
After Tenterfield, we have a week before having to get to Port Stephens for the next week of golf. So we overnight at Armidale, Tamworth and Branxton.
Armidale is a town on the very popular ‘Waterfall Way’ which drives through several stunning National Parks where many waterfalls can be viewed.
Tamworth is a large city, known as the “First City of Lights”, being the first place in Australia to use electric street lights in 1888. Tamworth is also famous as the “Country Music Capital of Australia”, annually hosting the Tamworth Country Music Festival in late January; the second biggest country music festival in the world. The city is recognised as the “National Equine Capital of Australia” because of the high number of equine events held in the city and the construction of the world class Australian Equine and Livestock Events Centre, the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
Branxton is a handy overnight free camp spot very close to the wine region of the Hunter Valley.
Tenterfield is a town in the northern part of New South Wales. It is located in the New England region of NSW (named after all the Poms who migrated there in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s). 3 hours north is Brisbane and 8 hours south is Sydney.
The town is situated on the north-western part of the Northern Tableland plateau, nestled in a valley, astride the Great Dividing Range and beneath the imposing Mount MacKenzie (1,287m elevation). At the 2015 census Tenterfield had a population of 6,986.
Sir Henry Parkes delivered his Federation Speech in the Tenterfield School of Arts on 24th October 1889. The speech is credited with re-igniting the debate that ultimately led to Federation on 1 January 1901.
One of Tenterfield’s other claims to fame is as the subject of the song ‘Tenterfield Saddler’ written by famous singer songwriter Peter Allen about his Grandfather.
On to the golf, Bob and Siobhan came third in the NSW mixed betterball stroke championships held over 2 days at the Tenterfield Golf Course. Siobhan was also runner up on one of the days of golf and Bob managed a nearest the pin prize.
Time to head south into New South Wales for some more golf and R&R.
The first 7 weeks will consist of 5 weekly Veterans Golf Tournaments starting with the NSW 4 Ball Better Ball Stroke Championships in Tenterfield. Then follows weeks of golf at Port Stephens, Kew Country Club, the NSW Highlands and finishing at the Young Cherry Festival Week Of Golf.
After leaving home our first stop is a free camp just south of Stanthorpe and then on to Tenterfield.