Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Jervis Bay

It had been a while since I had seen the sea, and the concept of Jervis Bay intrigues me. Jervis Bay Territory is actually in NSW but it belongs to the ACT, surrendered in 1915 so that the Federal capital at Canberra would have access to the sea. Thanks, you're too kind.

The territory features some beautiful beaches, disused lighthouses, fairy penguin colonies and giant sand dunes. Half of it, however, is inaccessible to the public as it is also home to the Defence Force - for example, the stunning national park is surrounded by a gun bombardment range for the Royal Australian Navy.

Unbeknownst to us, this weekend twenty-five warships and several tall ships were gathering in the bay before progressing to Sydney for the International Fleet Review. 

The ruins of this lighthouse at Cape St George are explained in a panel which states 'due to the number of shipwrecks occurring near St George, it was decided that a lighthouse was vital for the safe navigation of coastal shipping. However, egotism, laziness and insufficient research and consultation were to have dire consequences.' Between 1875 and 1885, 198 vessels were lost off the NSW coast.

This sounds like a good story! Apparently the site was chosen for ease of construction and 'without the input of any maritime experience. Even unlit, the lighthouse caused navigational problems especially on moonlit nights when the golden sandstone tower glowed in the dark. Near the turn of the century explosive charges were used to reduce the tower and parts of the keeper's quarters to rubble.'

Beware of men in flat caps around cars!
Me on the beach at Green Patch
Apparently if you feed the possums and wallabies, they become schoolyard bullies and beat up your children and steal their lunch money.
Evidence of a scribbly gum moth
The lighthouse that works - at Perpendicular Point
On the Munyunga Waraga Dhugan Trail
Stony Creek
Huskisson is a small town on the shores of Jervis Bay, but back over the border in NSW. We went there for a fish and chip supper and to watch the sunset over Currambene Creek and the Pacific Ocean.

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