Running in Jervis Bay (NSW, Australia)

We’ve taken our little family on a camper-van adventure from Sydney to Adelaide, with a few detours, and I’m making the most of the time to run some trails. This is the first of a series of posts from my holiday runs.Jervis Bay Grass Patch Beach

Our first stop was Jervis Bay, at the Booderee National Park. This is my second visit, and both times, it has been nothing short of paradise. Apart from all the wonders it offered the kids (they particularly loved the white beaches and the Botanic Garden exploring), it offered a very picturesque place to run.

We were camped at Green Patch, so my run started there, and headed up to the hill behind the campground, following the Telegraph Creek Nature Trail. From there I weaved my way back to the road via some fire tracks, and made my way to the beach where my husband and kids were playing.
Map of Jervis Bay Run

Although it was mid-May, the temperature was perfect for running, warm but not hot, and less humid than my Sydney runs. Jervis BayMost of the trails were in heavy woodland, with the occasional view to the sea. The morning sun streaming in through the trees was beautiful.

Family playingLater in the afternoon, we hung out at the beach, and I swam (well…floated) around while the kids played on the beach. If you’re in this neck of the woods, I strongly recommend spending some time at this National Park. It is more spectacular than you could imagine.

Running in Manly, (NSW, Australia)

Me at the topToday’s run was a 9.5km from Queenscliff to North Head. I had hoped to go a little further, but was running out of daylight. The views were breathtaking. The run started along the Esplanade that follows Manly Beach. Beautiful weather meant that many were out enjoying the sun and the sea and the sand.

From there, the run went along the side of the headland, lined with sculptures, to Shelley Beach. From there, I climbed up the headland to amazing views. At the top of the headland, the only way forward was through a hole in the wall. Through the stone wallLovingly decorated with a heart, the hole in the wall leads into North Head National Park, that used tooperate as the army defence point should any attacks from the sea threaten Sydney.

Within the National Park, I came across plenty of sandstone, banksia bushes in flower and mysterious paths through the scrub. My favourite was the lake right on top of the headland formed by the natural dips in the stone.

Lake on the headland

From there, I continued into the military areas, where there are a number of gun pits and the main military base. You are able to go into a lot of these areas, and it was frightening and exciting all at once. To see these monuments of history was fantastic.Gun area

This was a great run, and I strongly recommend anyone visiting the area takes some time out to explore this amazing landscape, history and culture.

Running in Northern Rivers (NSW, Australia)

My family are holidaying in Northern NSW at the moment, and while my husband took the kids fishing, I decided to try a trail. I did a fair bit of research, and found the Northern Rivers Bushwalking Club site was useful in finding local trails. After some consideration, decided to head to Rocky Creek Dam. My husband and I had picnic-ed up there about 10 years ago, and I had fond memories so thought it would be a good option to try.

When I arrived, I checked out the information board and decided to head off on the Swamp Turkey Walk which was 6km return. I’m still building my distance slowly after a minor knee injury and was looking for 5km, so that was perfect.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/f1d/58695303/files/2014/12/img_1548.jpgIt was raining when I got up this morning, but wasn’t going to be deterred, so packed some salt for the leeches, and a hat to keep the drips off my face. Not wanting to get my phone drenched, I didn’t take many photos, but there’s some excellent pictures on this blog, Travelling Type. I did manage to take this photo on the left, though.

Here’s the map, I didn’t do the full 6km, just a 5km return instead.

Rocky Creek Dam Run

The run starts by crossing the dam wall, which is always fun and heads into some rainforest. Shortly after, the run heads across the spillway of the dam (which you are only allowed to cross when the dam is not full and no water is overflowing). The run then heads into the Nightcap National Park which is a dense rainforest of fig trees, black butt eucalypts and vines.

As the rain was steady, I didn’t see much wildlife but the bird calls were incredible. I’m pretty sure I heard some Lyrebirds too, as something sounded a lot like a sheep and I wasn’t anywhere near a sheep paddock.

All up it was a great run, and I didn’t need the salt after all (although a saw a leech on my shoe as I was taking it off). There’s something very special about running in a rainforest in the rain.