We are on the traditional territory of the Biripi People
We had coffee with Helen at Kembali Cafe and then left her to catch the bus back to Newcastle, while we headed down Boomerang Drive to rejoin the route on the Lakes Way. The road followed a narrow peninsula between the ocean and Wallis Lake and through Booti Booti National Park, which encompasses part of Seven Mile Beach. This beach was used by Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in 1933 as the runway for the first commercial flight between Australia and New Zealand. Seven Mile Beach was also mined for mineral sands until 1975.
At Forster, where we stopped to buy a phone charger, Lois was interrogated by a very bright little boy of 7 of 8, who was intensely curious about what we were doing: “Where are you going? Where is your home? What’s in those bags? Is that your phone (Garmin)? Is that your husband? Where are you staying tonight?…”
We had a second coffee/tea in brilliant sunshine at Beach Bums Cafe overlooking the Forster Main Beach. Nine Mile Beach was in the distance!
The path continued into Tuncurry, joining the Lakes Way again soon after. From this point, the road was busy and the shoulder uncomfortably minimal. We did find a pleasant spot just below the highway at the edge of rolling farmland of pasture and trees for a picnic of cheese, crackers, eggplant dip, apples and nougat. Eventually, we turned onto the Pacific Highway which, despite its heavy truck traffic, is a divided highway with a good surface and a wide shoulder. We were happy to finally head off across the Manning River into Taree. The name Taree is derived from “tareebit” the local native Biripi word meaning tree by the river, or more specifically, the Sandpaper Fig.