Microbiologist-turned-homemaker, she is a foodie with a flair for cooking. An avid traveller and voracious reader, she also loves to paint and indulges in photography.
Published April 27th 2016
Strolling through Nature's Gallery of Art
Wanting to spend our weekend conquering a National Park that wasn't too far from Sydney, we ended up at Bouddi. Unsuspecting of our brush with the natural exhibition, we readied for a day at the beach followed by a saunter along the famous Bouddi coastal walk. Our plan was to lunch at Macmasters Beach and then drive all the way to Killcare to start our trek. My preliminary research dug up some great reviews of the long walk. But zooming in on the coastline through Google satellite map, things seemed nothing extraordinary - just an infinitesimally small section of the natural fence that divided the continent from the surrounding oceans. Nevertheless, I kept my fingers crossed for a great experience.
An arch in the formative stage (image courtesy Chetan Prusty)
Bouddi National Park is just a portion of the widely and wildly spread green coverage of Central Coast. It's a 3 to 4 hrs journey from Sydney and takes multiple transfers if you plan on taking the public transport. You can either take the train to Gosford and then a bus towards Bouddi, else, reach Palm Beach by bus and take a ferry to Wagstaffe Wharf (Pretty Beach). Driving to Macmasters Beach or Killcare Heights takes considerably lesser time, somewhere between an hour & half to two.
The shore at Macmasters is like any other Sydney beach - sun-kissed white sand and azure blue waters. Eager to explore the widely hyped coastal walk, we cut short our stay at the beach and headed for the Bouddi Costal walk trailhead at Killcare. The Scenic Road that snakes from Macmasters to Putty Beach is a tree-lined relaxed drive. The stretch turns left on to Putty Beach Drive before coming to a final halt at the Putty Beach Campground parking lot. The park entry fees are a nominal $8 per vehicle. Car stationed safely, we embarked on our much looked forward stroll. The parking lot opened to the beach.
The beach was abuzz with little happy-faced architects diligently designing their sand castles. Some youngsters and adults were busy getting their bodies baked under the April sun to achieve that perfect tan while others were active at some games or just cooling off the last summer days with a quick dip in the frothy waves. A rivulet flowed towards the end of its desperate journey to met the ocean. Crossing the slim water stream, we headed for a wooden staircase on the leftmost end of the shore. The path was well planked. On one side were the green unruly bushes and on the other, the Pacific touched the horizon with a display of blue - from azure to cerulean. Weathered rocks stood with a proud determination as passionate waves crashed at their feet willing the hard-faced stones to break away and merge with them. A colorful canvas spread out as far as the eyes could see. Such were the radiant hues of orange on the rock faces that our pace gradually slowed to a complete halt.
Great artwork stalls the beholder, commanding cessation of thoughts and inducing pure joy. The exhibition of Nature's artistry was having similar effect on us. We were hardly 500 meters from the parking area and the rock platform on our right facing the ocean had already captured us mid-stride. The sulci and gyri on the cliff head had us enraptured. The lines of oxidized iron gave a mysterious look to the rocks. And it was just the beginning. Further ahead, there were these flat headed tessellated rock heads that looked like Nature's careful masonry for us two-legged creatures to stand and admire the blue bodied ocean below. All around us there was this huge everlasting painting that evolved with time, never losing its sheen. It appeared as if Nature sat at this huge stubborn rocky canvas, carefully building the abstract work with the salty, pasty, moist ocean breeze. Decades of erosion had left huge ridges on the cliff walls through which the fervent tides blew up drenching the awestruck onlookers with a swoosh of refreshing spray.
By the time we reached Gerrin Point Lookout, which is a vantage point for spotting whales, the draw of the art exhibition behind was too strong. So rather than going any further, which would have taken us through the woodland, we retraced our steps back to enjoy the surrounding beauty and the activities of the surf below. The stretch from Putty Beach to Gerrin Point is about a kilometer but the promise it holds for photography is too great. At one point on the cliff edge we found this attractive little arch that balanced a rock at its tip.
I could have spent the whole day exalting in the admiration of the views before us. It would be a gross underestimation if I do not call it a visit to the Gallery of Nature's Art. Therefore, from me it is three thumbs up for this short walk along the Bouddi coastline.