We're just back from a fabulous, week's holiday at Port Stephens, about three hours north of Sydney. A beach holiday with family is my idea of a great time. When the kids were little, we had many wonderful holidays in Port Stephens. This time Mr TMW and I went away with our youngest son and his wife.
The highlight of the trip was the Quad Bike Shipwreck Adventure Tour - the first time riding quad bikes for all of us. It really was an AWESOME experience - just under two hours riding on sand dunes and along Stockton Beach.
Stockton Beach is often used for desert scenes in movies and commercials, Mad Max being one of them. The whole area is under the control of the National Parks and Wildlife Service, so it's not a free for all. There are rules to be adhered to, both for everyone's safety and for environmental reasons.
Whenever we holiday at Port Stephens, we always stay at Dutchies (Dutchmans Bay). As it's a harbour beach, the water is usually calm and any waves are small, so perfect for young children.
It's also a very picturesque location and as with all the beaches in the area, the water is clean and clear.
I'd love to say that's me snorkelling, but it's not. This was the first time my daughter in law tried snorkelling and she mastered it almost straight away - not so me. I've tried on several occasions, but I just can't get over the fact that it feels like I'll be breathing in water. Maybe one day... LOL!!!
Many of the harbour beaches have trees and shade right down to the sand. Something I appreciate with my fair skin, not to mention it's very pretty.
We spent an afternoon exploring when the tide was out at Bagnalls Beach.
On the other side of the peninsular, are the harbour beaches. I love nothing more than walking along our beautiful, sandy beaches. Our aim on this occasion was to walk as far as the spit. When the tide comes up, the land on the right in the photo, becomes an island.
And for me, the best thing about beaches, whatever the time of year, is listening to the sound of the waves. There's something therapeutic about the sound of waves crashing on the sand, even if they're little waves like these at Fingal Bay beach.
It was FREEZING getting into the water!!! I almost chickened out entirely, but I did end up swimming at one of the harbour beaches. After the initial shock of cold, it really was lovely. I am my own worst enemy. I stretch out the agony and take ages to get into the water. A little help from Mr TMW and our son sped up the process a little.
We took kayaks with us this time, too - great exercise and good fun. It really was a wonderful holiday!!! I even managed to do some hand sewing at night. My English Paper Pieced Table Topper is almost finished - just the batting and backing to go. And I sewed more hexies into flowers.
Much as I love holidays, it's always great to come back home. First thing I always do, is walk around our garden, checking to see what's bloomed or grown while we've been away. Then I start on the unpacking. I'm about half way through. The rest can wait till tomorrow.
I did take my laptop away with me, but didn't use it a lot. I spent very little time on Facebook and Pinterest - perhaps I should do this more often, as I don't think I missed out on that much and I gained a lot of extra time.
If you've commented on one of my blog posts, I'm not ignoring you. And I didn't read any blogs while away, either. I'll be catching up this week.
If you like the look of our beaches, you might like to see photos of other beautiful beachside locations in Australia: