Another beautiful day in paradise, Autumn warm, shorts and tee-shirts and walking shoes were the dress code for a hike up to the top of Patonga hill. A short bike ride through the village to the base of the walkway where we secured the bikes, donned the backpack and headed up the track.
The lush bush reminded me of New Zealand in the more temperate regions. Huge flowering tree palms, dense undergrowth and a green canopy of foliage protecting us from the harsh sun.
It didn’t take long but I was thankful for the personal training gym sessions I’ve had over the past few months. They really have paid off. Not feeling out of breath or wobbly legged because of the strain of climing uphill was a good feeling.
We stopped a couple of times to get out on the rock ledges to take in the panoramic views over Patonga harbour and the surrounding waters. The reserve is on a stretch of waterways called the Brisbane Waters which is also a national park.
Small groups greeted us on our way up and pointed out places to stop and be rewarded by amazing views. Part of the excitement of doing the walk was that we had been told by our camp neighbours that there were black cockatoos in the bush about half way up. Despite being on the lookout all the the way to the top, and back down again, we were disappointed. Not only were there no black cockatoos, apart from magpies and crows there were no other birds.
We walked to the top, stopped for a while at the lookout for photo opportunities and then headed back down. Continuing around the track would have taken us to Pearl Beach which meant we would have the return trip to complete leaving us little day time for the beach. The track is part of the Great North Walk.