Along the South Coast: A jaunt to Bulli by motor

Australian Town and Country Journal Wednesday 15 November 1911

BY B. A. C.

“THE South Coast of this State abounds in beauty spots, and though in a trip as far as Bulli only the fringe of Illawarra — truly called the garden of New South Wales — might be said to be touched upon, or only a portion of the natural glories of the district between Sydney and Nowra — the present terminus’ of the South Coast railway— viewed, it is with no niggard hand that Nature has bestowed upon the many places passed through, between the metropolis and Bulli, much that is beautiful, and pleasant to be-hold.

The journey by train, after passing the fast-growing residential suburbs as far as Hurstville, is from there to Bulli a feast of landscape and seascape views; but to do the journey to that well-known coal mining centre by motor affords splendid opportunity of seeing the country, and brings before the eyes some of the most beautiful scenery it is possible to imagine.

The whole of the South Coast districts, without exception, are enjoying the best season known for some years. Paddocks are well grassed, farms and orchards, with growing crops, look their best, and cattle and horses are sleek and fat, all betokening prosperous times ahead for the men on the land.

The day chosen for the motor trip broke fine and clear, with a brisk, bracing southerly wind blowing. An early start was made from St. Peters, near Sydney; with the object of breakfasting at Bulli if possible, at 8.30 a.m., and going further south. But such was not to be the case.

A fast run through Rockdale and Kogarah brought us to the punt at Tom Ugly’s Point about 10 minutes before 7 o’clock, and after being ferried across George’s River the prospects of reaching our objective in time, were fairly good.

The car was running along at a fast rate of speed, when without the slightest warning of what was going to happen, an accident that might occur to the best regulated motor occurred; An inner tube on one of the front wheels, blew out with a loud pistol-like report.

We were at this time just on the outskirts of Sutherland. With the accident all hope of having breakfast at Bulli disappeared.

All hands were quickly out of the car. The screwjack was got to work to raise it, the damaged tube was taken out, and a fresh one placed in as speedily as possible. Everything being ready the journey was resumed, all hoping that no more accidents would occur. But our hopes were not to be realised, for we had only gone about ten miles when a similar mishap, as related above, happened to the same wheel.

We were then near Waterfall. The outer cover or tyre was considered to be at fault, so it was removed, and a new one took its place. It was thought better to do this than run the risk of another blow out, especially as we had only one more inner tube left. Whether it was the defective tyre or not, it is hard to say, but at any rate, that was the last accident we had on the out journey and save for a puncture when homeward bound the trip was not further interfered with.

The delays by blow-outs, slackening of the pace so as to avoid, if possible, further mishaps, and some very bad pieces of road had, ere we resumed the journey after the second blow-out, dissipated all idea of having breakfast at Bulli.

From Heathcote to the Waterfall Hospital for Consumptives, the country passed through is most picturesque, and from the winding road the view of Woronora River is a lovely one.

Waterfall Railway Station is only 24 miles from Sydney. Waterfall has the highest elevation of any district along the coast to Nowra, being 733ft above sea level.

The sanitorium occupies an ideal and commanding position, the air being fresh and pure, and the surroundings all that could conduce to good health.

On the roadside near the hospital we had lunch. In conversation with one of the patients it was learned that there are over 180 men in the institution, the attention and treatment given being all that could be desired. Some of the buildings are fine structures, and the hospital, a substantially built series of buildings, covers a large are of ground, the situation is evidently a good one for the treatment of persons suffering with consumption, as a new wing for women is just now being built.

From Waterfall we passed on to Helensburgh, a town that, with Clifton, Scarborough, Coledale, Austinmer, Thirroul, and Bulli, is making great progress, and is in a prosperous condition.

The coal trade is brisk in the mines along the coast, and places like Stanwell Park, Austinmer, and Thirroul have come very much into favor as tourist and picnic resorts. New buildings are being erected in some of the towns, and though in some of the centres the miners’ houses passed by are primitive and unpretentious looking, others have a very comfortable appearance.

From Helensburgh to Stanwell Park the road is steep; but the vista from the roadside when approaching the latter place is a very pretty one. This view of Stanwell Park, with the water of the Pacific Ocean dashing upon the sandy beach, shows it cosily nestling in the valley below, and could not help pleasing the most exacting. It is a fairly still climb to Bald Hill, on which the lookout above Stanwell Park is situated; but the scene, looking along the coast line, showing the massive headlands and inlets, and the surf breaking upon the shore and rocks, is grand.

From the lookout down to Stanwell Park the road winds around, with a drop of several hundred feet, being fern-clad all the way. Then along a tortuous track we made our way through Clifton, hugging the coast all the way.

On one side, many feet below, is the water, and on the other, rising some hundreds of feet in the air, are immense cliffs.

After lunching at Bulli, which was reached at 1 o’clock, we made our way home via the Bulli Pass. It is so well known to tourists that a lengthy reference to it is unnecessary.

The road up the Pass on either side is lined by huge giants of the forest, raising their heads majestically to catch the sunshine, together with a profusion of ferns of various kinds, shrubs, etc., all of which add to the picturesqueness of the scene.

The view from the lookout at the top of the Pass is superb, and it would be hard to find its equal. On a fine, clear day, the districts along the coast for some miles to the south of Bulli can be clearly picked out. They look charming. The houses seemingly nestle close together, and the verdant fields and meadows, with the leafy trees of the forest below, compose a picture that the mind delights to feast upon, and never tires of looking at.

Truly the South Coast is a picturesque place, abounding in beauty spots. But the best way to see and enjoy them is a journey along the road. A motor trip such as we had was a most enjoyable holiday, and if all the roads were in good condition, though or the whole they are not bad, it would have added considerably to the pleasantness of the outing.”

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