Territory Stories

The Centralian advocate Fri 7 Aug 2009



The Centralian advocate Fri 7 Aug 2009


Centralian Advocate; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Alice Springs; Tennant Creek (N.T.) -- Newspapers; Alice Springs (N.T.) -- Newspapers.; Australia, Central -- Newspapers

Publisher name

Nationwide News Pty. Limited

Place of publication

Alice Springs


v. 63 no. 22

File type



Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

Copyright owner

Nationwide News Pty. Limited



Parent handle


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Page content

34 Centralian Advocate, Friday, August 7, 2009 P U B : C A D V D A T E : 7 -A U G -2 0 0 9 P A G E : 3 4 C O L O R : C M Y K Its heavenly at Camden Haven Camden Haven is tops for boating, fishing and surfing THE folk at Camden Haven reckon the founding fathers got it wrong. It should be Camden Heaven not Haven. Its a refrain we hear time and time again as we explore this sprawling yesteryear patch of seaside and hinterland villages, all within a 30 minute drive south of Port Macquarie. After two days steeped in its attractions wending through waterways in a tinny, fishing and surfing along a swathe of beaches, watching an electrical storm from our caravan park seaside deck, trekking through mountain forests, night-prawning on lakes and trawling local weekend art, craft and produce markets weve decided to call it Heavenly Haven. And its definitely that if youre looking for an old-fashioned couples, family or group holiday. Everywhere you go and everything you do has that laid-back feel. No rush, no hard sell, no traffic lights. Were chilling out right now, here on our cabins verandah at the Bonny Hills Caravan Park, set on soaring cliffs above the crescent moon surfer-mecca Rainbow Beach. Weve shopped across the road at the handy general-bottleshop-fresh produce and meat-burger-fish shop-petrol station -store. Glasses of red vino in hand, fresh salad bowl doings and thick steaks a la blue whipped off the BBQ, we tuck in and watch the action before us, stacks of grommets on the point break, surf boat crews training, dog-walkers on the sand. As evening falls theres nothing but sand, sea, horizon and the twinkling lights of Port in the distance. The moon rises, and the ocean becomes pearl grey-silver punched with white caps. A rumble of thunder summons up an electrical light show, rolling in like fighter jets roaring overhead from the mountains out to sea, then natures fireworks of zig zag lightning. From our grandstand view its like looking at a giant panoramic 3D screen an hour-long muscle show from the heavens. Next morning dawns sunny and clear perfect for our waterway foray. We leave Rainbow Bigs or Big Beach to the surfers, heading further south to the sleepy little fishing village of Dunbogan, and the Boatshed and Marina on the Camden Haven River. You could spend an hour just looking through this fishy hardware store, including the 50-year-old price board for boat hire in shillings and pence. Ex-Sydneysiders Mike and Judy Morrison bless the day they pulled up sticks and bought in here 10 years ago. It is heaven, Mike, a sailor from way back, grins. Everyday is different on the river and the inlet. Boaties come here from all over the world, knowing weve got the safe bar entrance, the warm climate year-round and the best fishing. There are crabs and prawns in the lakes, including the Watson Taylor Lake branch of the river; bream, whiting, flathead and blackfish in the quieter waters; jewfish, taylor, snapper, rock cod and drummer from the breakwalls and beaches. Try an hour before or after any tide, and you wont come up empty. On our river run we catch all we need for tonights BBQ, along with spotting a gaggle of jabirus and a couple of little bull sharks. The Boatshed is the go-to place the only boat hire fleet on the Camden Haven River along with 10 deep water moorings and six powered marine berths for river runs. The fleet includes open runabouts, canopy, half-cabin and a barbecue pontoon for picnics, fishing and cruises. You can hire tackle, buy bait, boating products, nets, ice, diesel and outboard fuel, LPG swap-a-bottle, fishing licences and beach permits. On top you get a real feel for the area from the hospitable Morrisons. Home to the local fishing fleet, Dunbogan also has netted tidal pools and top-rate fish and chips at the general store. Theres something for everyone in the heavenly Haven. Great surf at Rainbow and Grants Beaches, family-friendly Pilots Beach at the mouth of the Camden Haven River, kayaking, canoeing and night prawning at Queens and Cathie lakes, council pools at Laurieton and Kendall, horse riding, the Lorne Valley Macadamia Farm and Cafe, vineyards; riverside cafes like Sandbar at North Haven, B&K Armstrong Oysters at Laurieton and arts and crafts at Kendall. There are a host of caravan parks, motels, B&Bs, farmstays, holiday flats and cottages in the area but were right at home in our Bonny Hills digs. Sally McMillan

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