SEAL ROCKS, NSW – 4 – 6 June 2021
Following on from our great family get-away a year ago down on the South Coast, I decided that this year we’d go North, and the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage at Seal Rocks with the opportunity to do some whale watching, beckoned!
There were too many of us for the Head Keeper’s cottage, so I booked one of the Assistant Keeper’s cottages too.
So, a little history behind the cottages … Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse also known as Seal Rocks Lighthouse is an active light tower that has been operating since December 1875. It was built to stand guard over the rugged and pointy Seal Rocks and Sawtooth Rocks as these were unsuitable to build a lighthouse on. The elegant light tower is one of only two light towers in Australia with an external stairway, and has been automated by electricity since 1987. The prominent white Head Keeper’s Cottage and the two semidetached Assistant Keepers’ Cottages were designed by colonial architect James Barnet, who designed major building projects such as the Sydney General Post Office, NSW Museum and Callan Park Lunatic Asylum.
Part of NSW National Parks, the cottages have been restored in keeping with their age and are very comfortable and give you a real feeling of what it would have been like to be a lighthouse keeper.
The Family: clockwise starting in the top row (L-R) my Brother Greg and wife Karen; Daughter in Law Tanya and David; me, grand-daughter Taylor and husband Ben and baby Mason, grand-daughter Teagan and baby Liam; Jimmy & Liana, Daughter-in law Mel and Audrey – Teagan’s husband Joel kindly took the photo..
Jimmy (James), Mel and my granddaughters Audrey and Liana arrived first and the kids were keen to get out the back of the Senior Lighthouse keeper’s cottage where there was a nice grassy yard to play in (bubbles were the order of the day).
Jimmy had to arrive first as he was our chef for the weekend, and he had a lot of preparation to do before everyone else arrived. It was quiet a feat catering for the extended family of vegetarians, dairy free and gluten free people. He excelled himself over the weekend, we were all stuffed by Sunday and had so many left-overs that those of us still there on Sunday evening didn’t have to cook!
Liana (L) and Audrey (R) blowing bubbles (the retaining wall at the back is original to the cottage, but we’ve no idea why it was there, or what structure it formed part of.
Good view of the lighthouse, it’s very impressive.
The beach to the south of the cottage (taken from the cottage), we took a walk along the beach on Saturday morning (photo Bailey).
The view from the front of the Senior Keeper’s cottage.
Saturday morning and we’re al out the front looking for whales (L – R, daughter-in-law Mel, Jimmy, David and baby Mason, Ben and my daughter-in-law Tanya and Audrey sitting).
The night sky (at the semaphore station by the lighthouse) taken by Bailey on Saturday night.
Bailey, Tanya and David got up on Sunday morning to film the sunrise (photo Bailey).
Sunday morning we were rewarded with whales right off the coast – we were all spell-bound.
They were really close, blowing, breaching and tail flapping!
Whale breaching – they were so close that at times we could hear them.
We then went down to the Seal Rocks beach – the water was an impressive blue.
Walking on the beach (L-R Ben, Taylor and baby Mason, Teagan & baby Liam and Joel, Tanya and David).
Huge sea anemones in the rocks on the beach.
The rocks below the lighthouse, you can see why they needed a lighthouse.
David and Ben agreed to go on a short adventure with me.
Audrey on the beach – I love this photo with the shadow – a bit arty!
Kids don’t care how cold the water is!
We were lucky enough to be in time to watch some commercial fishermen, they launched a boat (which was a jet-ski with a boat hull), from the beach which took a net out about 100m and then dragged the net back to shore. The fishermen then pulled in the net, aided by a 4WD vehicle which dragged the net to shore. Interestingly, there was a woman there with a go-pro, no idea what she was filming, or why.
The catch, they were hoping for more (Pacific Salmon, apparently only good for bait). I asked one of the helpers about why they were fishing for such a meagre catch and he indicated that he thoughted they were “bored” and fancied just “going for it”.
After the grandchildren had left on Sunday afternoon, we got another display from a whale close bye, again we were all fixated on the whales and what they were doing.
By Sunday evening, all the kids were gone, which just left my brother Greg, Sister-in-law Karen, daughter-in-law Tanya and David, it was very quiet in the cottage, so we took the opportunity to have a quite drink and a few hands of Karma!
Everyone had a great time, thank you everyone for coming and thank you so much for excelling yourself with the menu James and thank you for the Pulled Pork Joel and Teagan! It’s going to be hard to come up with a better venue than the lighthouse cottages for next year!
There’s nothing glamorous about bushwalking, caving or canyoning, but it sure is fun! If you’re an armchair bushwalker, someone looking for new adventures, or one of my friends who just wants to see what I’ve been up to, this site is for you, sign up to get email alerts now!