Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Safari 2018 July 24th & 25th

July 24th

Iluka , Clarence River Estuary
Waters of the Clarence River Estuary

This morning we only had a short distance to travel to our next 'stop over' at Iluka which is situated on the Northern Head of the Clarence River Estuary. From Brooms Head we travelled north- west to Maclean... a Scottish town if you observed the tartan decorations along the roadsides. The Clarence River Estuary is a wide labyrinth of water ways with many islands including the large Harwood Island. This island has homes and farms on it, as well as schools and a huge Sugar processing plant. We travelled past many sugar producing properties and shared the highway with large trucks transporting newly harvested sugar to the Harwood Mill.

Anglican Church boat

To add to this we needed to drive through the massive project of re-routing and rebuilding the Pacific Highway. Unfortunately I was not quick enough to take photographs of the amazingly huge bridge being built to cross the Clarence Waterway. This large bridge was only one of many bridges being built because it is such a wet and complex waterway. This river and estuary carries a lot of water out to the ocean. It does have massively high floods from time to time so the new Pacific Highway needs to be above the average flood, strong and well made.

We have spent the afternoon exploring the area. We walked for an hour on a walking path along the Estuary with all the marinas and boats. There were fishing boats, yachts, several ferries for transporting people across the estuary to Yamba. there was one boat/barge called 'Resurrection'. This barge is owned by the Anglican Church. There are  regular Church Services conducted on the Clarence.

The ocean is not far away so we checked that out as well. Across the estuary stands a light house on the Southern Head. There is no car ferry to transport vehicles to the southern side. The only way to get close to this lighthouse is to go back to the Pacific highway and travel
the 'long way' round.

The local Fish Co-op has provided us with a delightful meal of Kingfish plus chips. A salad completed the easy and tasty meal.

A new bridge for the Pacific Highway
July 25th
 Washing day has come around again! Everything dries very easily in this warmer climate.
Our main activity for the day was to go on a 3 hour ferry cruise up the estuary to the new bridge. Near the bridge is the sugar processing plant. It was a chance to have a closer look and to take some photographs. of the massive construction work taking place to construct a new bridge as part of the newly routed Pacific Highway. It is expected to be completed in 2020. The old bridge, which we travelled on and you maybe able to decipher in the background, was opened in 1965. 
The cruise was a peaceful and interesting trip which gave us a great view of farms and buildings along the banks of the estuary. 

Sugar cane processing plant on Harwood Island

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