Monday, August 10, 2009

CENTRAL COAST - Captain Cook Lookout to Winnie Bay - HIKE - 9 August 2009

There is car parking at Captain Cook Lookout at Copacabana. The lookout isn't very impressive as trees and bushes obscure most of the view.

Walking from the carpark to the lookout there is a small track near the end of the wire fence. This track leads to Winnie Bay. It is heavily overgrown with bitou, which tends to make the track more like walking through a maze. The vegetation changes towards the bottom of the hill to native trees and bushes and eventually to cleared land dominated by grasses. While walking down the hill there are some fantastic views overlooking the ocean with shear drops to the water below and unobstructed views north to Winnie Bay, Avoca and the Skillion. The views alone are worth the walk.

Winnie Bay is a sewerage outfall, which is indicated by the sign saying don't swim and don't eat the crustaceans and don't eat the fish. I got the message. Once on the rocky beach there are headlands to the north and south. The north is an easy rock walk that can be traverse nearly as far as Avoca. The south walk only goes only a little further than the headland. The wave action here sends up plumes of whitewater and the backdrop of cliffs is very steep. A rock landing on your head is possible at a number of spots.

There are two other entry points for this walk. One is a fire trail and the other is a better maintained walking track that leads through the bush straight up the hill behind Winnie Bay. The track I followed though poorly maintained is more breathtaking.

journey time: 3 hours return

good points: views north, standing on the edge of sheer drops, isolation

worse points: lack of native vegetation.

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