By no stretch of the imagination am I the first person to love the natural beauty of Seal Rocks, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be the last.
A four hour drive north of the traffic gridlock of Sydney is one of my favourite spots on the beautiful NSW coastline. It’s a wildlife/surf/chill-the-heck-out haven and for good reason: surf beaches face a multitude of directions, the ocean seems to be overflowing with wildlife – the dolphins and whales make a habit of breaching coast to the shoreline, and one of my requirements for a ‘proper’ holiday these days – the phone reception is patchy/non-existent at best. Perfect.
Well, perfect if you haven’t persuaded your boss to work remotely that day as half the group did. I, on the other hand, had booked annual leave and enjoyed the tranquillity of settling into our amazing beach house whilst taking it turns to distract/annoy those hard at work. Someone had to do it.
Normally when we visit Seal Rocks we stay at Treachery camp site. If you never have, you should book a space ASAP, but this time round it was time to Lord it up in honour of our friend’s 40th birthday weekend. The house we had chosen will rank as one of the ALL TIME houses I will no doubt ever stay in. Click here and do yourself a favour.
It was my first 40th birthday party since I attended my Mum’s, aged eight. On that night all I remember was my parent’s friends playing a game featuring an orange (it’s not as weird as it sounds) in the hallway of my childhood home and going to bed early. Quite frankly I was hoping for more this weekend.
It also served as our longest trip to date with baby Theo. We were optimistic that four hours in the car would be achievable and the little lad kept his side of the bargain by mainly snoozing most of the way. Our side of the bargain was to leave after a feed at 5am and to obviously stop when he needed more food two hours into the journey. I don’t know about any other parents travelling with newborns but I’ve spent more time in roadside McDonalds in the past two months than maybe the past fifteen years. My pre – parenthood road trip policy to never-stop-unless-it’s-an-emergency is also already a distant memory.
So, the weekend itself was a standard mixture of surfing, eating, walking, eating, snoozing, playing guitar and trying to live exactly the same as I did before Theo was born. All of the above is fine apart from the last part. Acting this way gets you in trouble. Never, ever try to live like the greatest responsibility of your life is not around when in fact it is. You see, I got a bit excited when I arrived and immediately went surfing, then after that, I messed about with our mates and then I went surfing again and then I had a few beers etc… All this without doing enough dad duties. Poor form. I was duly reminded of this apparent lack of care and I had no leg to stand on in my defence. We even had a lawyer with us but I had no need for her counsel – I had been crap.
The great thing about having an awesome wife is tolerance when it comes to learning on the job. Having Theo was/is a life-changer but that doesn’t mean that Katie or I have all the answers straight away. (Well, she seems to have a lot more than me…) This was our first weekend away with a big group of friends and was an adjustment for both of us. Lessons were learned and we still had a great time.
On Saturday we walked the beautiful coastal path up to Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse where we watched dolphins and whales breaching. It’s one of nature’s ultimate shows seeing those majestic creatures do their thing. The fact that our son can only see about two metres doesn’t really matter – this weekend will be remembered as the first time we ever showed him these magnificent animals.
And that’s just one reason we’ll keep travelling and exploring. There’ll be a few bumps along the way, but the highs on offer outweigh the lows. Seal Rocks is one of many reasons that the NSW coastline is constantly etching a home into my heart. Go and see it. With family, with kids, with great friends.
Happy Birthday King Karl.