Reminiscing about Trips to the Highlands

This picture is from March 2014
This picture is from March 2014

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This is where we stopped again last Sunday, the 27th of July, when we returned from Burrawang. The pies we had at this famous pie shop tasted as good as ever. Caroline and Matthew liked them too. When we finished eating our meat pies Peter bought some fruit pies to take home for afternoon coffee. But first Caroline, our driver, went on a tour with us through beautiful Kangaroo Valley.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the pass:

Macquarie Pass
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Macquarie Pass is an eight-kilometre-long section of the Illawarra Highway passing through Macquarie Pass National Park. It was opened in 1898.
Macquarie Pass links the Southern Highland town of Robertson to the coastal town of Albion Park, descending the Illawarra Escarpment via a very narrow bitumen roadway, which has several single-lane sections and is mostly two lanes with double “no overtaking” lines. It is in the Shellharbour local government area.
This section of roadway is very steep, and contains a large number of hairpin bends, resulting in buses and trucks needing to reverse on some of the bends. The pass is quite notorious for accidents due to its nature, and drivers and riders are required to be cautious.
After heavy rain, the Macquarie Pass can be closed due to flooding on the top half of the pass. Cars and motorcycle riders may opt to use Jamberoo Mountain Road between Robertson and Jamberoo, while trucks are advised to use Mount Ousley Road (Southern Freeway) and Picton Road as an alternative.
The road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. The Shellharbour and Wingecarribee Councils and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority have therefore published a safety brochure entitled ‘Motorcycling Macquarie Pass.’

It is indeed very steep and has a large number of hairpin bends!

I found in my diary two occasions when we went up this pass. In July 2013 we had an outing to a Nature Reserve at Robertson and in March 2014 we went to Fitzroy Fall.

Here are just a few things worth remembering from these two trips.

Robertson Nature Reserve
Robertson Nature Reserve

The following I wrote on the 6th of July 2013:

 

It was windy and cold today, however plenty of sunshine and beautiful clear air. We thought it would be wonderful to go up to the highlands on a day like this. Driving up Macquarie Pass was no problem.

We reached Robertson and decided we would first of all have an early lunch with one of the famous Robertson pies and a cup of tea. The pies were delicious as ever. We have frequented this PIE SHOP in Robertson for over fifty years. The pies there are really special. Peter had a pepper steak pie and I had a beef curry pie. A hot cup of tea with it was lovely.

In the Wikipedia it says that the road is very popular with motorcyclists on weekends and public holidays. And so it is. At the pie shop for instance scores of motorcyclists had just arrived for a well deserved break. The eating section of the shop got pretty crowded after a while for lots of other holiday makers with children on winter school holidays had also arrived. The shop did a roaring business with their pies.

Near the railway line and near what used to be Robertson station is the little bit of rainforest which we had not been visiting for decades. Today was the day. We got ourselves reacquainted with it. There is a round-track of only about 600 m. We walked along it and felt like being in another world.

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Earlier in the morning on the way to Macquarie Pass we stopped at the Marshall Mount Dance Hall. Our daughter Monika liked to go to their dances nearly forty years ago. Looking at the hall today Peter recalled how he drove to this hall on a Saturday night to pick up Monika and her friends after the dance had finished. We noticed today also a building next to this hall which used to be the Marshall Mount Public School.

We did a little detour through the country side where we noticed some ducks crossing the road. All in all we had a lovely day on this beautiful sunny winter day with gusts of wind that felt very cold.

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On this coral tree were already some flowers appearing. Does this mean spring is not far away any more?
On this coral tree were already some flowers appearing. Does this mean spring is not far away?

In March 2014 we went to Fitzroy Falls.

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On the way to Fitzroy Falls we stopped at Burrawang.
On the way to Fitzroy Falls we stopped at Burrawang.
There were cakes to choose from.
There were cakes to choose from.
We had our coffee served outside. Some customers had brought their dog along.
We had our coffee served outside. Some customers had brought their dog along.
Happy Peter
Happy Peter
They cater for some events in Burrawang.
They cater for some events in Burrawang.

On the way back from the Fitzroy Falls we stopped at this reservoir to have a look

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I had fun reminiscing about our trips to the highlands.

 

Last Saturday in May 2014

Tomorrow is Saturday. I said to Peter: Let’s drive up to the highlands tomorrow. What for, said Peter. It’s too cold up there now. I pointed out that in the car it’s warm. For lunch we could stop at the Robertson pie shop  where we could have a delicious meat-pie and some tea.  Further on we could go along this secluded road to that secluded little village where we could have excellent coffee sitting outside on the verandah. We can put warm clothes on. Sure it should be good to sit outside for a while in that crisp fresh air! 🙂 We both loved this place, last time we were there.

I am sure our fourteen year old little car can still make it up Macquarie Pass. It just had a big service and is still going well. And Peter’s eye-sight is quite good now. He does not need to drive with glasses any more. In the past it said on his driver’s license that he needed glasses for driving. It does not say so any more. It was changed when he renewed his license the other day.

I have great memories about our last outing to the highlands. So I hope Peter can be persuaded to go on another tour like this. Why not enjoy life and drive around a bit while we still can? Indeed, why not?