Catherine Hill Bay to Forster – North Coast NSW Road Trip

Boomerang Beach

Catherine Hill Bay – Newcastle – Seal Rocks – Boomerang Beach – Forster

From Copacabana Beach we headed to Catherine Hill Bay to check out the old dilapidated jetty.  Catherine Hill Bay is an old mining town, in the hinterland north of the Central Coast. The jetty is massive and was used for transporting coal that was mined in the town.  The village is named after the schooner “Catherine Hill” which ran aground there on 21st June 1867.

We walked along the beach (which is dog friendly), taking in the views of the jetty and the waves rolling into the beach.  We spotted another VW up on the hill and took a closer look before heading off to Newcastle, which is where things started to go wrong…


We weren’t intending on stopping in Newcastle but about 45 minutes north of the city Etta started to loose power severly so we pulled into a camping ground to see what was going on.

After some investigation with our trusty multimeter and pulling out a few spark plugs we discovered she was running on 3 cylinders as one of her HT leads to the spark plug was not working, and the spark plug was not firing. After staying the night we headed back to Newcastle to a VW specialist.

After a well needed coffee we headed to Penfolds Automotive Services where we picked up some new HT leads from Perry who also discovered our chokes were loose! After having her recently serviced before the trip, we weren’t too impressed.  So after tightening the chokes, replacing the HT leads and Perry adjusting the mixture we were rocking again… Smooth sailing for days… Until Woolgoolga, but that’s a story for later.

Heading back on the road we journey back to the coast to what can only be describe as the most picturesque and splendid bay in all of New South Wales – Seal Rocks. On driving up the small and windy Seal Rocks Road, different slogans can be seen painted on the road itself, such as “Save Seal Rocks The Last Frontier” and “Peace and Love” these have been continually repainted for over 30 years as a protest by the locals to resist attempts by developers to commercialise the small village. Seal Rocks is a delight. But if you are going to stay here, be respectful, be quiet and take your rubbish with you!

The second beach south on the headland is dog friendly and Bandit loved getting out of the bus for a run, play and swim – well so did we!


Cruising north on our way to Forster we stop off at Blueys Beach and Boomerang Beach – a stunning piece of coast line. White sand, crystal clear waters and hardly anyone around. A bit too windy for another swim, so we breathe in the views.


We camp for the night along side Pipers Creek in Forster. A relaxing evening with stunning sunset over the water and delicious bus made dinner. Plenty of green open space for Bandit and ducks to keep him entertained!


Next we are off to Port Macquarie and beyond. . .

About Author

Freelance photographer, community arts worker, Kombi enthusiast and ocean dweller.


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