Day 006, Friday 3 April, 2009

Distance travelled – 56.12 km
Avg speed – 14.83 kph
Max speed – 43.29 kph

Budgewoi to Stockton Beach (Newcastle)

Left at approximately 9.45am and took the road around Lake Munmorah to the Pacific Highway although we did not see the lake after leaving the caravan park.

We took the Pacific Highway all the way into Swansea. A good surface with a wide shoulder most of the way but the gradient was a steady climb until the drop into Swansea.  Stopped at Coles to buy the makings for lunch before heading across the river to have lunch in the reserve next to the boat ramp.

We arrived at the bridge in time to find it open to watercraft with very long traffic queues on both sides of the bridge. We moved to the front of the queue and then onto the pedestrian walk in the centre of the bridge. It turned out we would have been better off on the right hand side of the bridge as when we got to the other side we had to wait some 5 minutes or more for the oncoming traffic to pass before we could cross the highway to our lunch spot.

After lunch we headed of towards Newcastle. Lots of climbing around Gateshead and Charlestown before the final drop into Newcastle. Lots of traffic.

We are beginning to get rather amused by our GPS. It is set to take us the most direct route but if possible away from the main roads. In general it does its job very well but from time to time we will disagree with its recommendation. Just before the drop into Newcastle it wanted to take us along the Scenic Drive, however scenic generally means lots of curves and hills so Denise vetoed it deciding to keep to the Pacific Highway where the shoulder was reasonably good.

Needless to say after passing the Scenic Drive turn off the shoulder rapidly reduced in width as we dropped down the hill. The GPS was constantly requesting a “U-turn when possible” but there was no chance of that. As we continued to go down the hill the GPS kept adding distance to our final destination which was Nobby’s Beach. After 5 km it finally conceded we were not going back up the hill and recalculated our route.

After a break at Nobby’s Beach we headed off to the Ferry across to Stockton Beach arriving at the Stockton Beach Caravan Park.

We were both glad to be off the roads this afternoon as the traffic progressively got busier as we approached Newcastle, but interestingly disappeared as we worked our way through the old areas of Newcastle on our way to Nobby’s. The cost of the Ferry for both of us plus bikes was $4.60 and we were able to roll the bikes directly on and off the ferry without unloading anything.

Zoom into the map to see our new location.


Lake Munmorah with power station in background

Lunch at Swansea

Nobby's Beach

Another bike of interest at Nobby's Beach and it is not ours

Nobby's Beach

Newcastle to Stockton Beach Ferry

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