Tag Archives: stone

Bouddi National Park, NSW, Australia

You want a hike with spectacular ocean views? Visit Bouddi National Park in New South Wales, Australia. It is located in the Central Coast area, far enough away from the Pacific Highway not to be too touristy.

We took the Bouddi Coastal Walk from Maitland Bay to Putty Beach, almost 5 KM.Screen Shot 2013-10-06 at 11.41.52 AM

The uplifting laughter of the kookaburras greeted us as we pulled into the parking lot, perhaps because we got mooned.

Even though the sign says "No Unclad Bathing" we were presented with a bare bum as we pulled into the parking lot.

Even though the sign says “No Unclad Bathing” we were presented with a bare bum as we pulled into the parking lot.

Listed as a “medium difficulty” hike, this path would be much more difficult if not for the stairs, railings, bridges and boardwalks which have been installed in recent years.


The walk down to Maitland Bay beach, 195 metres is through rugged gullies, dry eucalypt forests, gum trees, emerging spring flowers, and bottle brush bushes of all types.

gum tree sap

gum tree sap

IMG_0148 IMG_0147 Just over 1KM straight down means you have to come up again! But the very steep climb was worth the effort.

Maitland Bay, named after the shipwrecked Maitland

Maitland Bay, named after the shipwrecked S S Maitland, in the Tasman Sea of the South Pacific Ocean

A lovely deserted sandstone-coloured beach awaited us. A gentle breeze off the ocean helped me to cool off. Tessalations and sandstone formations abound. I could have spent hours photographing. Thanks to our Canadian-born guide, Rossanne Hyde, who pulled out morning tea on cue, just at the right spot!

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I was glad not to meet the huge spiders who claimed these holes as home.

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The path continued along the ridge, up and down (quite literally) for a few kilometres, deaking in and out of cool forest and dry desert type vegetation. Stunning vistas at almost every lookout.


We passed beautiful flannel flowers, Actinotus helianthi. Soft furry-down daisy-like flowers, exactly the texture of flannelette.

IMG_0192 IMG_0194 IMG_0201Breathtaking views of Lion Island and North Sydney in the distance.


viewThe path and boardwalk continues along the ridge at dizzying heights, looking down at least 50 metres to the crashing surf below.



I was just really glad there were railings along certain spots!  Apparently 30 years ago this trail had none.IMG_0261

Local brides climb all the way up here in their gowns to get photographs taken.

IMG_0239And more tessalations!IMG_0244This sandstone platform was probably one of the highlights of the hike near Gerrin Point lookout.


tessalated T-shirt to match

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As we came down the final steepest incline Putty Beach greeted us. A wide expanse of sand and surf over 1KM long.

walking on beach IMG_0289


All in all a spectacular way to spend three hours in Australia!

Start With a Stone

stone heart on beach

Reprinted from Richard Rohr,

Abraham Maslow points out in his “hierarchy of needs” that one cannot meet higher needs at any level of depth if the lesser needs are not first tended to. One cannot do an “end run” to levels of communion and compassion, for example, when one’s basic security and survival needs have not been met. As Jesus might put it, when you are “worried about many things” (Luke 10:41) you cannot have faith. When you cannot enjoy the lilies of the field or the sparrows in the sky, don’t waste time thinking you can enjoy God or respect people at any depth. So, start at the bottom if you can, and try to love a rock! If you can do that, it only gets bigger, wider, higher, deeper, and better.

History has revealed too many people who have tried to be spiritual before they have learned how to be human! It is a major problem. Maybe this is why Jesus came to model humanity for us—much more than divinity. Once we get the simplest human parts down (stop slamming doors and start loving rocks), God will most assuredly take it all from there. Get the ordinary human thing down, and you will have all the spirituality that you can handle.

Stone Heart

Adapted from Contemplation in Action, pp. 83-84

Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation