A Rainy Weekend at Ocean Beach

A Rainy Weekend at Ocean Beach

Since it was granny’s last weekend in Australia, Kerry flew over from Perth and we headed away for a long weekend at Ocean Beach. Sadly the weather was not in our favour, and heavy rain was predicted for the majority of our stay. This was bittersweet, as the bushfires continued to ravage a drought-ridden Australia, and so we were badly in need of the rain.

The weekend began with a sneak trip to the airport to surprise Sharon, as she was flying in from Sand Diego. The original plan was that she’d share an Uber with Kerry, but I thought we’d surprise her. Sadly our execution was poor, and we waited, sign in hand, at the wrong exit. Awkward! But it all worked out in the end, and we did eventually surprise her.

Since there were 6 of us, and we couldn’t all fit into the ute, one of us needed to take the train. I put my hand up and spent the next two hours taking a bus and two trains, to reach Woy Woy Station. I must say, once I got out of the city, the scenery was absolutely spectacular. After crossing the Hawkesbury, the train ran along the lapping banks of Mullet Creek, and through the Brisbane Water National Park. The rivers were brown from the relentless rain, but the hillsides had come alive with massive waterfalls cutting through the trees every few hundred meters.

I got to Woy Woy Station at around the same time as the girls reached Ocean Beach Holiday Resort. This saved me the 30 minute wait for a bus to the resort, as Sharon headed over to pick me up. I did however take advantage of the brief wait to sit in a nearby coffee ship, sipping a flat white, while I watched the rain fall outside.

Our cabin was nestled away in the back if the resort, next to the safari tents (which I was not expecting to see in Australia), and amidst some vegetation. As is the norm for cabins in these resorts, our villa consisted of two bedrooms (one with a double bed and the other with two built in bunks), a toilet, a small bathroom (including a bath and a shower), and a small living area which consisted of a dining room table, a tv and couch, as well as a small kitchenette with a microwave, dishwasher, cooker top, and fridge.

Since it was raining heavily, we spent most of the afternoon settling in and playing card games. We took advantage of a short break in the rain to explore the resort, and to wonder down to the beach. Not surprisingly, the sea was rough and the water was chocolate brown. Fishing and swimming (in the sea) were clearly off the cards on this particular trip.

That evening we relaxed on our deck and enjoyed a few beers and glasses of wine. Nature seemed to be our friend as the rainbow lorikeets gathered around us, and let the girls feed them (not unlike a Disney movie). The excitement then rose as night fell, and a possum snuck onto the deck and tried to lick (or bite) granny’s leg. Nothing beat the look on her face when she realised what was going on, as she initially didn’t believe us when we told her there was a possum under her chair. Amazingly, our furry friend spent the rest of the evening with us, far too comfortable with our presence, and keeping us ever vigilant every time he approached one of our legs.

The next morning started with some indoor activities, hosted by the resort in their barn. These included sand art, a colouring competition, and various other activities with balloons. Due to the weather it was relatively quiet, which was fine for us.

The rain continued to pour throughout the morning, and the winds picked up substantially, thrashing the trees around us. I took a brief drive through the campsites, which were thankfully empty, as they were completely flooded and covered in widow makers (branches which had fallen from the gum trees). Ettalong Creek was in flood, as were the gardens of the houses lining it’s banks.

To get out of the cabin we headed for Monkey Mania in Gosford. The drive there was hair-raising to say the least, in the pelting rain and heavy winds. Brisbane Water had broken it’s banks, and the roads were flooded in many locations. At times the water was up to the car doors, with smaller cars left abandoned on the side of the road, their engines flooded.

The girls absolutely loved Monkey Mania, and spent hours playing on the slides and jumping castle, while we nibbled on a pizza and drank coffee. They also loved the go karts, as did aunty Kerry who took Katie around the track on her lap.

From Monkey Mania we headed to the shops where we stocked up on beer and wine, and purchased some indoor games, and a puzzle. The puzzle specifically proved to be a massive hit, and we spent many hours huddled around a table completing the landscape scene from Western Australia. And yes, we did complete it!

Day 3 began with a 5km jog along the beach to the entrance of Brisbane Water. Despite being a Monday, the local cafes were full, and there was no shortage of surfers in the ocean. The wind had dropped down, and there was a great swell running in the still chocolate coloured sea.

The entrance to Brisbane Water looked great, and I was already looking forward to future trips with my kayak, eager to flick a fly into the usually clear waters.

As lunch approached the sun broke through the clouds, and we rushed to the pool where we picnicked, and spent a few hours playing on the slide and in the waterfall. The girls were thrilled to be out of the cabin, and the water was pleasant enough that we could happily frolic in it while we had the chance. The only downside is that the jumping pillows had not been inflated, and were covered in water, much to Katie’s disgust.

On our last day the weather finally improved, and for the first time since we’d arrived, the jumping pillows were inflated. Katie was in her element! I sadly had to climb back onto the train, and start the long journey home. The girls meanwhile took advantage of my extra travel time to spend some time in the swimming pool, and enjoy another hour or two at the resort.

The only downside to this plan was that I only realised I didn’t have keys when I got home, and the girls were still swimming happily back at the resort, over an hour away. Thankfully, being a South African, I made a plan and managed to get my hands on my running gear, which kept me busy until everyone got home later in the day.

Despite the poor weather it was a great weekend, and I’m sure we’ll head back for a third visit, kayak on the roof, fishing rod in hand, and jumping pillows inflated.