Sapphire Coast Tour
6 days / 5 Nights in February 2016
Sapphire Coast - based at Merimbula
Sun 21st to Fri 26th February 2016
Rob our driver and tour guide arrived in his Clarke coach at 9:15am at the Harrington Park bus stop and 16 Harrington Park Probus club members including 2 guests and 2 from Oran Park Probus joined 13 other passengers on the drive to Merimbula. We picked up the 30th passenger at Wollongong. Steve White our Tour co-ordinator was satisfied that all his efforts to ensure this 6 day 5 night, 1400km tour was finally off and running; despite a few last minute cancellations. One member’s sister turned up with a freshly broken arm that was not going to spoil her trip with Probus, while another of our members despite recent surgery, defied his surgeon to attend.
The tour was based at the Pelican Motor Inn at Merimbula where our hosts Terrie and Bruce made us more than welcome to their extremely clean and well-presented accommodation which included a well-equipped marquee for two of our tasty evening meals and a solar heated pool that was used by many Probus members including one chap who despite breaking the pool curfew hours managed to swim each morning before sun rise! A cooked breakfast served in our rooms so breakfast in bed was a very pleasant extravagance – yum.
Every day was a surprise because we all plied onto the Coach to seek new adventures up and down the Sapphire coast from Batemans Bay to Eden (Near Victoria). The Twofold Bay cruise on the “Cat Balou” Catamaran out of Eden was a perfect sailing experience with morning tea included. There were many highlights including crossing the Bay, viewing “Boyd’s Tower and Boydtown from the Bay; the fully operational Wood Chip mill and loading dock; the Navel Wharf; Whale Beach. Killer Whale museum
Everybody was delighted when
A pod of dolphins found and
escorted us around the bay.
Breakfast and Dinner were included in the tour with two fine evening meals provided by the Pelican Motor Inn. While other evenings spent at: Tura Beach Country Club; Merimbula Sapphire Club and Pambula Merimbula Golf Club all provided gourmet meals. The Golf Club at Pambula put on a spectacular show with well over 50 or so kangaroos entertaining guests with their grazing and frolicking on the green in front of the dining room windows.
The oysters were fresh and delicious from Wheelers Oyster Farm who provided a guided tour and sampling. Many purchased trays of oysters which were refrigerated and later consumed with great relish around the pool that evening.
Other days were spent exploring and hearing the history of towns at picturesque places such as: Tilba; Central Tilba; Tathra; Bermagui; Pambula. Some were gold mining towns others agricultural and only a few left with their dairy herds. All are quaint pretty historical places well worth a visit that would be enhanced with Devonshire tea or a cool beer in the local.
Big day at Mogo – hot day at Mogo Zoo, well the whole eastern seaboard was hot with newsreaders spurking of the temperature records being broken over and over! The heat did not prevent the monkeys from putting on a hilarious spectacle for all on the tour, plus it gave us a chance to sit and recover, have a cool drink and watch the young monkeys climb and swing around their play pen, a great show. Lions and other animals sought the shade while the meerkats climbed on the lap and shoulders and head of a young girl privileged to sit in their enclosure
Many on the Tour waited with baited breath for the return of Rob our obliging driver who undertook his first flight in a light aircraft – a Piper Cherokee six seater single engine craft. The Club Vice President enquired of our pilot if he had finished high school? Thought she had grandkids who looked older. The young pilot explained he had passed all his exams and instructions the previous Tuesday! And “a way we flew”; north over Tathra the lakes the turquoise ocean, golden beaches and scenic hill. Rob commented the first 10 minutes were spent on regret however he then settled down and started to enjoy the experience.
Our hosts at the Pelican Motor Inn; Rob our coach driver and indeed many on the tour commented on the complete success; friendship and comradery that was created and enjoyed by us all.
A special note here to recognise the work and effort our Tour Co-ordinator put into this, a most successful tour.
Thanks Steve White; a great tour organiser.
“Cat Balou” Owned and operated by Gordon and Rosalind Butt: Some specifications: Built in Brisbane by New wave Catamarans.
Commissioned in May 2006. Surveyed for 72 passengers + 3 crew. Capacities: Fuel 2000 Lts; Water 1000Lts Sewerage 1000Lts. Powered with
two x 330 HP Cummings Diesel motors.
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