05 February 2012

Shark and Ray Centre, Bobs Farm, Port Stephens, NSW

Clara was a little freaked out by the huge Black Ray

This Black Ray was huge!

Neo was happy to feed and touch from the side.

At the "Kids Day Out" event, I won a prize: Family entry (2 adults and 2 children) into the Shark and Ray Centre in Port Stephens. Port Stephens is a destination I have wanted to visit for some time. Port Stephens is about 2.5 hours north of where we live.
Zoe and I feeding sharks and small rays
When we arrived, we were asked if we wanted to go into the tanks with the sharks and rays - we were told it was the only facility in the world that allows guests to enter the exhibits. Clara, Tristan, Zoe and I each donned wet suits and went in. While Dave and Neo fed them from the edge. Dave took all the photos using his phone.

It was totally awesome experience. The super large black ray rubbed itself against each of us as we stood in the water.

This Eastern Ray has a very rough back. He's hoovering my water shoe....

Tristan loved the Gummy Sharks

Tristan really enjoyed engaging with the Gummy Sharks.

It's an experience we all enjoyed. The children are already asking to go back again some day.

Shoalhaven Heads, Leisure Coast, Southern New South Wales

Clara's drawing in the white sands of Cave Beach in Booderee NP near Jervis Bay

Children enjoyed Shoalhaven Heads Beach.

We had only been as far south in Australia as Sydney. That changed on Australia Day, 26 January 2012, when we drove to Shoalhaven Heads for a 2 day get away. Shoualhaven Heads is about 2 hours south of Sydney.

We stayed in a cabin at the Shoalhaven Heads Tourist Park. It was a good place for the kids. There was a pool, climbing structures, and jumping pillow (see video). The cabin faced the river and the ocean was a short walk away.

Shoalhaven Heads Beach

Cave at Cave Beach, Booderee NP

The highlight was our day trip to Jervis Bay area. We did a short explore of Booderee National Park, which has the only botanical garden owned by aboriginal people in all of Australia. There we visited two pristine white sands beaches: Murray's Beach and Cave Beach. We also saw the ruins of an historic lighthouse. The lighthouse was brought down because sailors mistakenly identified it as one at a nearby location, then steer their boats into disaster.

Historic lighthouse brought down.

There were a lot of clouds and rain over the 2 days, but we didn't let that dampen our adventure. We will have to visit again when we will have more time to explore.

Wild kangaroos near historic lighthouse.

Dave on Murray's Beach in Booderee NP

Clara on Cave Beach near Jervis Bay