Kempsey Homestay - Dorrigo National Park

Red Necks and a Sub Tropical Rainforest
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The House That Bill and Celestine Built on 50 beautiful rolling acres

The Neighbours

Bill took us to the veranda to meet them.   Red Neck Wallabies graze the acreage but will come down to the house for snacks which they share with feathered friends

"Watch me wallabies feed mate, Watch me wallabies feed, They're a dangerous breed mate So watch me wallabies feed"  -   With the voice of Rolf Harris ringing in our ears we did just that

Mothers With Joeys 

Alpha Male Patrick with lady friends

These  'babies' look a little too large for comfort to me, running with limbs escaping ones pouch can not be comfortable.   When these Joeys were twenty eight days old they would have crawled into their mothers pouches remaining there for at least two months but probably much longer, up to 7 months

A female wallaby can become pregnant while she still has a joey in her pouch.  If this happens, the embryo will not develop until the resident joey leaves as it could eat it's new sibling.    An exasperated mom will discourage re entry of an older joey by running off or lying face down making it impossible to return
The Garden of Eden Antipodean Style

"Merry merry Kings of the bush are we"
 
Dorrigo National Park

Climbed the waterfall route and found ourselves on an 18 million year old plateau formed by the Ebor volcano

 It was beautiful, green and fertile, and unexpected as we just took our hosts advise on where we might go for the day.  In the park we walked through a subtropical rain forest.  It was cool and lush and lovely as we made our way behind the waterfall.  We didn't see too many birds but we sure heard them

We decided we preferred our walk here to the temperate and tropical rainforest walks we took in Queensland

You have to hand it to Bill and Celestine, they know all the best  places around.  This is Trial Bay so named for the brig "Trial".   Hijacked in 1816 by convicts in a bid for freedom and sailed North by the unfortunate crew to be shipwrecked here,  the few survivors died trying to find their way back to civilization
Laggers Point overlooking the Southern edge of Trial Bay

Trial Bay Gaol Museum

 Inspired by the history of the bay and rocky headland?  Construction of the gaol was begun in 1877 but progress was slow.   Under the management of Sheriff Maclean,  111 of 124 prisoners were categorized as Licensees and thereby had the freedom to fish, swim or play sports when not working.  They could grow beards and were not required to wear prison uniform.  They were provided with paid employment and learned useful skills.  They worked a standard 36.5 hour week and their pay was banked for them 

When the good sheriff died in 1890 a less benign regime took over.  The goal closed in 1904 only to reopen in 1915 as an internment camp for German prisoners and resident "enemy aliens" interned for the duration of WW1.  It's buildings are now heritage-listed

 Smoky Cape Headland

  Named in 1770 by Captain James Cook as he saw Aboriginal fires there producing great quantities of smoke.   The headland is a a short drive or a long coastal walk from the Gaol

The Heritage listed octagonal lighthouse stands on a granite headland 364' above sea level

Although now automated the optic system is the original first order Fresnel Lens

It was designed by Colonial architect James Barnet and built in 1891.  It's keepers cottages are now tourist accommodation
North Smokey Beach from the lighthouse path, shooting into the sun

South Smokey Beach From the Lighthouse

Time to say thank you and goodbye to Bill and Celestine and their friends, Patrick, his ladies and their joeys, Leo the apple guzzling donkey, the kookaburras, maggies, lorikeets, Galahs, owls, crested  pigeons, ducks and the large grey roos, hanging around the edges of the garden and probably a host of others we did not meet, like red spiders and snakes
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