Camping NSW

Dolphins & Stinky Campers at Hawks Nest Beach

On day 3 of our stay on Hawks Nest beach, we began to wonder if we smelt bad, or if it was the bag of rubbish in the ute.

Monday mornings usually start with a groan, and a strong urge to stay in bed. Instead, I woke to Mark shaking my shoulder, trying to unzip the swag, and telling me to get up because the sun was about to rise over the dunes.

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I pulled my ugg boots over my camp socks, wiped the sleep out of my eyes, and chased Mark up the nearest sand dune.

We couldn’t get a good view of the sunrise from up there, because the dunes were too high. So I ran down to the beachfront where the tide was low, and plenty of seashells were waiting for me to sort through them, to see if we could catch a glimpse of the sun coming up over the ocean.

Unfortunately, the sky was showing off with different shades of purple, red and yellow right before the sun popped up.

After filling up another plastic cup with seashells, I returned to the campsite where bacon was crackling on the frying pan, and the smell of mushrooms filled the salty air.

Mark had already cracked open a Dare Iced Coffee, which was sitting in the cup-holder of my camp chair beside the campfire.

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After breakfast, we cleaned up the campsite, and went for a very short drive to the headland.

We scrambled along the rocks, and heard a friendly American traveller call out to us, “Somebody spotted a brown snake on the headland yesterday, so watch your step.”

With that in mind, we stayed on the rocks, and avoided walking through the long grass.

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We sat and watched fish jump in and out of the waves – wondering if they were avoiding the fishing rods in the water.

We drove along the beach front, searching for the perfect stop to park the ute and watch out for dolphins, and hopefully whales in the ocean.

We grabbed the doona, and sat on the roof cage, listening to the ocean and talking garbage to one-another.

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Mid-sentence, Mark interrupted me, waving his finger in front of my face, “Milly, I see dolphins!”

I figured he was just teasing. But he wasn’t.

A pod of eight (or so) dolphins jumped in and out of water right before our eyes. It was a mixture of perfect timing, and bloody good luck.

Before we started the three hour journey home, we drove around to nearby Jimmys Beach – a small, Napisan-white beach tucked inside the Nelson Bay/Anna Bay inlet.

Despite being the middle of winter, the weather was warm, and you wouldn’t be a fool for thinking it were the start of spring.

We decided to pop our swimmers on, and with a bit of courage, waded through the clear water.

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With salty skin, and the stench that comes with camping for three days, we climbed back into the ute and started the drive home.

It wasn’t until we got half way down the freeway that we came to our first set of traffic lights in three days.

Three. Freakin’. Days.

It’s the simple things that make these little places special. And no traffic lights, or traffic, is just one of them.

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