An hour south of home Shelly Beach is one more pristine beach along the east coast of New South Wales, Australia. The Sydney to Newcastle railway which opened in 1880 established the area as a holiday destination for city families and marked the start of what is now a sprawling settlement with an excellent supporting infrastructure.
Bateau Bay, Shelly Beach, has something to offer every member of the family. Fun for the littlies, surfing for old and young, a beach with lifeguard patrols and so much sun Vitamin D levels are pumped.
The town of Bateau Bay was named after the a flat-bottomed French fishing boats (bateaux) used in the 1800s by Chinese and European fishermen who settled into the community inhabited by the Darkinjung people (the original custodians of this part of Australia). The Darkinjung people relied on the plentiful marine life but were slowly pushed from their land to make way for what is now a sprawling slice of suburbia.
The beach. It is my favourite place to be. Once camp is set a positivity pervades our time away as routine and stressors are shrugged off and we embrace a slower pace. Our campsite is under a large flowering gum tree alive with Lorikeets who are a noisy but happy lot. They’re up before dawn and settle after dusk when their vigil is replaced by bats. There is an hour’s reprieve from bird sounds but the sounds are what make it a camp, the early wake ups to birds setting about their day.