July 20, 2018 – Day 110

Lake Cathie to Port Macquarie – 19.5 km (by bike)

We are on the traditional territory of the Biripi People

This morning we prepared breakfast in our apartment overlooking the sea; muesli and Tasmanian Greek yogurt (our favourite), scrambled eggs, toast and espresso (tea for Wayne).

It was a short ride along Ocean Drive/Pacific Dive towards Port Macquarie, becoming hillier with more traffic and narrower shoulders as we progressed.

We visited the Sea Acres Rainforest Centre, where we had coffee in the Rainforest Cafe and then walked the 1.3 km  boardwalk 7 metres above the forest floor through the canopy of the remnant seaside rainforest (much of this type of coastal rainforest has been lost to agriculture, mining or residential development.) The fifty eight signs on the walk highlighted the bewildering variety of palms, ferns, vines, eucalyptus and many other trees. We were impressed by the strangler fig which begins life as a seedling which grows on other plants (epiphyte) or on rocks (lithophyte) and can grow to a height of 60 m and nearly as wide, eventually causing the demise of its host tree.
Back on our bikes, the route took us up and down past rocky shores and sandy beaches and finally on a cycle path along the Hastings River to our hotel.
Helen joined us again after a long train and bus journey from Newcastle. She will hook up with us again in Coff’s Harbour as she begins to travel north ahead of us. We had a Michelin-worthy meal together at Bill’s Fishouse (Lonely Planet recommendation), which included Tasmanian wild salmon,  Kingfish, scallops,  fish pie,  fresh herb and greens salad, local olives and David Hook Hunter Valley Pinot Grigio.

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