2011 February 25 – Day 51 – Sydney to Wollongong, Australia

By 9:30 am we were checked out of our hotel and dragging our luggage a half mile down the sidewalk to the rental car agency.  We picked up an almost new white Toyota with 7,800 km on the odometer and headed out of Sydney.  The rental car people gave John good directions for a quick and easy way out of the city and we were soon driving down coastal Princes Highway on the Grand Pacific Drive.

John adjusted quickly to driving on the left side of the road.  He had driven in Britain before so the experience was not totally new.  His biggest problem was the windshield wipers which were located on the right side of the steering column and he kept turning them on whenever he wanted to indicate a turn.

We had made a tentative time line for our trip and had a couple of reservations pre-made that we needed to meet but for the most part we could meander at will; within reason.

There were several stops during the day.

First was a walk into a nice cove with a rock cliff that was a popular jumping spot for the local young people.  The rocks were carved into interesting shapes by the tidal waters and were a gorgeous gold.   There was a lovely ocean view from Otford Lookout.  And we got our first – albeit distant – look at the Sea Cliff Bridge that we would cross awhile later. There was a short stop in Helensburgh to see the Hindu Temple. The small Kellys Falls necessitated a little hike.  And the way the rocks and pathway were positioned you could hardly see it anyway – sort of similar to the sign.The Sea Cliff Bridge is a balanced cantilever bridge that joins two coastal villages, Coalcliff and Clifton.  It was completed in 2005 at a cost of $52 million.  The bridge was named by an 11-year-old school girl in a “Name the Bridge” competition in the area primary schools.  It is one of only seven off-shore parallel to coast bridges in the world.

We arrived in Woolongong and checked in to the Best Western Wollongong Golf Club Hotel.The view from our room.

After dinner we walked out to the Flagstaff Point lighthouse before returning to the hotel for the night. We had a wonderful first day for the beginning of our south coast drive.  And travelled almost 100 km (62 miles) in the process.

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