Bass Point and Killalea State Park – 16 February 2018

David Hufton had suggested a visit to Bass Point at Shellharbour for a photographic trip. He had been to the area before, and we had both seen it from Minnamurra Headland on one former Kiama Coastal Walk. So our plan was to visit the point and if we had time to also visit the nearby Killalea State Park.

David picked me up from his local station and we drove down to Shellharbour between Wollongong and Kiama. We visited the town for a coffee stop and were bewildered by the amazing number of cafes. We also visited the tourist office and collected some maps and brochures.

We then drove the short distance to Bass Point Reserve. To get there we had to pass an enormous excavation project – large boat harbour is being built to allow a nearby housing estate to have water access. Next we passed a huge quarry – more noisy machines.

We then entered the reserve and visited a small beach. Further out were some surfers enjoying the waves.

We walked a short way around the coast, and then drove a short way further on to a large picnic area. From there we could walk out to the rocky headland of Bass Point. On the way, we passed a memorial a shipwreck – the “Cities Service Boston”, a US tanker that ran aground in 1943.

Further out on the rocks there was a large congregation of birds – Pelicans, Cormorants, Silver Gulls, Terns and a few Oystercatchers.

At the furtherest point of the headland we observed a battle between first a Sea Eagle and a number of Ravens. Then it became two Sea Eagles and the Ravens trying to force them away. Interesting to watch.

We then walked around to Bushrangers Bay. This was a great place for a swim – the water was a perfect temperature and nice and clear. There were also some more birds around –

We then returned to the picnic area near David’s car for lunch. The last place we visited was the lookout above Maloneys Bay. It was abutting the quarry however and so a noisy, dusty spot.

We then headed back to Shellharbour and made our way to the nearby Killalea State Park. This too abuts the quarry – but on another side. It is also the home to two popular surf beaches – “Mystics” and “The Farm”. After parking, we walked down to Killalea Beach (The Farm) and along to the area behind the beach where there is a large lagoon. The map we had showed a track around the lagoon and a number of bird observation hides. We walked around the lagoon – but on a road rather than a track and didn’t find any of the hides. At one point, we left the road and walked cross country to where we thought the track must be according to the map. We found no track, but quite a few blackberries. Perhaps the track and hides are only proposed features?

But the lagoon was nice – lots of birds. We observed Black Swans, Swamphens, Various ducks, Herons, Ibis and a pair of Dotterels.

Back from the lagoon, we noticed strange bird that looked like a Kookaburra. But it was much paler. I posted some pictures on a bird website, and rather then being an albino, it has leucistism.

After completing the loop around the lagoon, we again crossed the beach and headed back the the car.

This was a most interesting day – thanks to David Hufton for suggesting it and driving down. More photos are online on my website – Bass Point here and Killalea here.

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