Rock Pools

Rock Pools are one of the greatest things to find and explore when hiking along the coast. They are just fantastic, especially on a hot day after you have been hiking for a few hours, and ready for a rest and cool off,  talk about refreshing. You also need to remember that they can be dangerous, some harbour little sea creatures that can bite or sting. Also keep an eye out for that freak wave, and be careful to avoid injuries and accidents.

Deep Rock Pool

Deep Rock Pools

Anna Bay Coastal Rock Pools


What are Rock Pools?

Rock pools are areas of water that are trapped in among the rocks along the coastline. These rock pools are usually filled with sea water that has been delivered during high tides or rough seas. The water fill in the holes and stay there until they evaporate. They vary in sizes and depths and water quality, they are just so much fun. Sometimes small gaps between two major rocky outcrops directly into the ocean create great rock pools and they can be very big and very deep, deep enough that you can jump into off a high cliff. The water can be quite cold and if the seas are big enough they can be very rough going,  the waves can push you onto the rocks around the edges if your not careful.

Your own Spa

However, they create an atmosphere of seclusion and luxury, a feeling of having your very own private pool or spa at the beach or in the ocean.

Under water

Under water

A sunset sets the ambience

Watching the sun rise or sunset, around or in a rock pool, is another one of those magical moments, when you are glad you got into hiking in the first place.

Sunset at the Rock Pools

Anna Bay Rock Pools


Evidence of life

Sometimes the pools contain little creatures and shells that make it even more interesting. Sea plants often grows in the shallows of the rock pools. The pictures are shallow rock pools with sea plants and life in them. These are various types of seaweed and fish and shells.

Sea Plants in shallow rock pools

Sea Plants in shallow Rock Pools

Hiking Gear

On this day it was hot and it was in the middle of summer. I wore my hiking boots and hiking socks, as I always want a good grip and protection for my feet and ankles. As I walked around the rocks I had to balance and stretch, and my feet were placed in between ledges and I was sure glad to have good sturdy shoes. Snakes and Goannas are known to hang out on the rocks, sunning themselves. I wore my sturdy hiking shorts and a t-shirt. I applied sunscreen and hat.

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Diamond Head Camp Ground.

My family and I had a weekend camping in the Diamond Head National Park, in NSW Australia. Diamond Head is on the coast north of Port Stephens and sits in Crowdy Bay National Park. It was a great weekend and this spot was just perfect for a relaxing camping experience.

The camp site

I would recommend Diamond Head camping ground to tourists, or anybody wanting the real Australian coastal camping experience. It is right on the beach and the beach can be seen from some camp sites. The camp site is in the Crowdy Bay National Park and therefore bushy. We had Kangaroos and Goanna’s wandering around our campsite the whole time, they were quite tame. The amenities are clean and suitable, though the showers weren’t hot.


We took our two room tent that is quiet big, big enough for two queen size mattresses, and room to walk and store our gear, it was very comfortable. My adult kids took their 1 man and 2 man tents and soon regretted it. At first their tents were a bit squashy and both complained of being claustrophobic, especially after they put in their small mattresses. The tents got very wet at night from the dew and condensation, and each time they bumped the walls, they got wet and the tent stuck to them a bit. Then as the morning started to heat up, the tents became very very hot, and they came out red faced, sweating and growling. Not happy. So next time we are going to take bigger tents.  

Other gear

Many people were using solar grids to provide electricity and lighting. We took our solar shower and had short but warm – hot showers.

The fire

We had our open fire and cranked it up, so that the flames were high and glowing red and orange. Of course, we melted marsh mellows and told stories. What a wonderful family connection time. The evenings were still and fresh and the stars were plentiful and clear. The moon was nearly full and provided plenty of light.

I felt safe and comfortable at this little camping ground.

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Coastal hiking the view from Tomaree Summit at Port Stephens, Australia.

Tomaree Summit Coastal Hiking

N.S.W. National Parks

My love for coastal hiking has kept me fit and healthy, in mind , body and spirit, it has been great for my over all health. One of those things I love about coastal hiking, is exploring and witnessing the spectacular natural beauty . In Australia there are many beautiful places to hike and explore. These blogs will show  you many of those spectacular little places, that are well known and not so well known.

My Love of Coastal Hiking Gets me Outdoors-

What is better than getting outside and checking out the great outdoors?  I always need to get outside,  to see as much natural beauty as I can. I find being in nature very therapeutic, it has a holistic impact upon my whole well being.  Whenever I travel or visit others, I always take the opportunity to go for a hike or walk. That means putting on my shoes and getting out there. I walk in the rain, wind, sunshine, I walk early morning or evening. I really enjoy  walking at  different times of the day, and witnessing  the changing visual impact. Going out at different times of the day can create a totally different experience, such as it can bring out different creatures and birdlife.  The daylight and the shadows create completely different images and alter the hiking experience.



The Weather – 

I certainly enjoy physical impact of the weather and how it influences the experience of a hike. I really enjoy rain, it often adds a cleansing feeling and at times a refreshing relief to a walk. The wind can be a welcomed relief, after climbing and stretching and pulling yourself up and around beautiful trails.  When I am walking through a forest, and see the sun rays beaming through the trees is just awesome. I like the physical challenges of climbing down and around a rocky outcrop is challenging and rewarding. Walking for hours along a secluded beach is very relaxing and great for stress. Walking along the coastline at sunrise or sunset is yet another one of the special experiences. Such things will take you to many beautiful sites and create spectacular experiences.

Rough Coast

Rough Coast

Lower Costs than a Gym membership – 

Another thing that I really love about hiking is that it costs NOTHING! Once I have bought my shoes and gear, then I am set up. I like that there are no fees,  memberships, sweaty stinky gyms and noisy crowded areas. It’s simple, effective, challenging, rewarding and free.

trees on a beach

Trees on a Beach

Incorporating your Hobbies-

  I enjoy photography, and I will always be taking photos whilst I am hiking. Incorporating some of your hobbies into a hike is easy, such as photography, bird watching, fauna and flora research. So, here you will see some of my amateur photos of the coastline, ocean, whales, dolphins and tracks and other wildlife. I do hope you enjoy them.

Check out my website CoastalHikingGear to find all the coastal hiking gear you will need for your hiking experience.

 The Spit
To get to the lighthouse you have to cross the spit by foot, or go by boat or kayak, the lighthouse is not always accessible.
The spit is a very dangerous piece of sand, it has claimed 15 lives since the lighthouse was built. It is a stretch of sand that joins the mainland to Fingal Island. This stretch of land is covered by water as the tides come in and go out. So, if you decide to cross the spit at the wrong time, your chance of get caught in the strong currents and channels and swell is high. The spit can be very dangerous and quite unpredictable and care should be taken if you intend to cross it.

I finally crossed the spit after many years of apprehension. I wanted to explore the old relics of yesteryear, Point Stephens lighthouse and old homestead of the light keeper. Once on the island the walk is easy and straight forward. There are a few tracks to explore on the island.

Point Stephens Lighthouse on Fingal Island.
Fingal lighthouse is also referred to as the outer light as there are two lighthouses in Port Stephens, the inner lighthouse is positioned at the end of Shoal Bay beach in the harbour. The outer lighthouse was built in the 1860’s and is made of sandstone that was quarried from the Hawkesbury River and brought up by sailing ships, put onto punts and take ashore to be dragged by bullocks across the spit and up to where the lighthouse stands today. This must have been a massive task back then, 1860’s. The lighthouse was powered by a lantern and many years later a generator provided electricity, then in 1989 solar was introduced to power the lighthouse.
The Keeper’s Residence

The keeper’s residence housed 3 families. The kids (11) went to school in the lighthouse. It must have been hard work for the mums watching the kids, as there was water everywhere, rocky outcrops, snakes in the bush and ticks. Let alone the weather as it would have been a very windy place to live and at times extremely cold. Also, it is quite isolated and a long way from any help in an emergency.

The Views

The coastal views from the island are pretty amazing. You see for miles north and south and east. There are spectacular rocky outcrops and rock pools and small beaches to visit.

Worth a trek, it’s only a short walk once you have crossed the spit.
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Hiking The Annapurna Trail

Last October my friend and I joined a hiking group and started hiking the Annapurna Trail, in Nepal. The trek was a great experience, with plenty of very steep rugged goats trails with hundreds of steps.  The trail was basically like a highway for 100’s of people with their animals either going up or down the mountains. Many elderly people and women with babies used the trail everyday as their usual route. It made me realise just how lucky we are and how fantastic an opportunity it was to experience such an amazing country. The hike was certainly a work out.

Nepal’s Holy Time

We visited during Nepal’s Holy time and all of the Nepalese people headed to the mountains to offer their goats and pay their respects to the Holy Man. The Holy Man was situated in a temple on top of a very very high mountain that had its own cable car. So, goats were in the cable cars and in the buses, on the buses, on the streets, in the gardens, on the back of motor bikes, they were everywhere. The roads were congested with every single Nepalese person either going up to the mountain, or coming down and this went on for about a week. We visited the holy man and received a blessing.

Failing Infrastructure

Due to the earthquake in 2015, many country people moved into Kathmandu and other bigger towns. This had a major impact upon the infrastructure around these areas and caused blockages in all areas. There was evidence of poverty, land slides, pollution and over population. But, the people were lovely, very nice and kind, soft in nature and very helpful. The infrastructure in the city was inadequate to cope with so many people and tourists. 

Natural Beauty

Hiking the Annapurna trail showcased the natural beauty of Nepal, it was a picturesque place. The greens were green and the sky blue as blue, the houses were painted white and blue and stood out against the background. The people wore colourful clothing and married women wore red. The snow capped mountain range was something. The white snow against the blue sky was so photogenic. It certainly deserves the title of a majestic mountain range to say the least. When we were leaving Katmandu airport we could see the mountains popping up through the clouds.

Layers of Clothes

I was so glad that I had layered my clothes. The mornings  were freezing cold and cloudy, and I needed all of my layers including gloves and a beanie. Then the sun would come out.  As the warming the air and I had warmed up from climbing and trekking, so I had to take layers off.  Then the wind would pick up and it got cold again as we went further around the mountain. So it was a case of peeling off the clothes and putting them back on, throughout the day. Painful, but necessary. 

I found a video on youtube that shows most of where I went and the Annapurna Circuit.

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