Tag Archives: Swimming

365 Places: Mollymook

Day 176: Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia

Image credit: http://www.breakersmollymook.com.au/?/attractions-and-activities/mollymook-beach
Image credit: http://www.breakersmollymook.com.au/?/attractions-and-activities/mollymook-beach

Today’s place is a little gem on the south coast of NSW with a great name – Mollymook. I first remember visiting Mollymook, when I was about 20. Not long after moving to Sydney, I travelled there for a long weekend. I remember it was a wonderful journey: a girlfriend had borrowed her boyfriend’s old VW Combie and we cruised our way down the coast on the old Princes Highway, singing along to Fleetwood Mac on the way.

The Australian Traveller website gives Mollymook a great writeup and also has some clues about how the place got its name:

It’s thought that the name Mollymook is a variation on “mollymawk”, the slang name sailors use for a type of albatross (from the Dutch mallemugge, meaning “foolish gull”.

Image credit: http://www.breakersmollymook.com.au/?/attractions-and-activities/surfing
Image credit: http://www.breakersmollymook.com.au/?/attractions-and-activities/surfing

We stayed overnight with some friends in Ulladulla and then spent the next day at Mollymook beach. I remember thinking at the time, that this beach was very beautiful and great for swimming and bodysurfing. Here is a blurb from the Visit NSW website:

Mollymook Beach is one of the South Coast’s most popular beaches. This golden stretch of sand has ideal conditions for experienced surfers, body surfers and anyone keen to learn how to surf.

Mollymook has more recently become famous as celebrity chef Rick Stein has a restaurant there – Bannisters. This restaurant is famous for fabulous seafood with an incredible ocean view. I haven’t been there yet, but it would be wonderful to experience this place.

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365 Places: Howard Springs

Day 36: Howard Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Howard Springs is about 1/2 an hours drive from Darwin and a place where many Darwin people go to relax, have picnics, go swimming and explore nature. It has swimming holes, bush walks and lots of lovely areas to just sit and relax.

The main swimming pool was formed by a low weir across the natural spring, constructed in WWII. The Enjoy Darwin website says:

The weir for the main pool was built in 1944 by the Royal Australian Engineers to improve the swimming hole to provide a recreation area for Australian and US servicemen.

Image Credit: Enjoy Darwin http://www.enjoy-darwin.com/howard-springs-reserve.html
Image Credit: Enjoy Darwin http://www.enjoy-darwin.com/howard-springs-reserve.html

It is a place of many happy memories, as when we lived in Darwin in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we would often go there with friends to relax and have fun. It was a lovely place to go swimming, relatively safe with no Salty’s (Salt Water Crocodiles), expect perhaps in the Wet Season when all of the waterholes are overflowing. One thing I remember about swimming at Howard Springs were the gorgeous water lilies that grew there. We could feel their long roots brushing against our legs, at times making me nervous that there were crocodiles. Another very clear memory was of a massive Goanna running across our picnic blanket and running up a tree.

Goanna. Image Credit http://www.abc.net.au
Goanna. Image Credit http://www.abc.net.au

Howard Springs also has the honour of being the first recreational park in the Northern Territory, in 1957 under the NT Reserves Board, now the Parks and Wildlife Service. It is home to many species of plants and animals including barramundi, turtles, wallabies and lizards. I have not been to Howard Springs for many years, but I understand there has been a lot of work done to improve the park as a recreation area.

Cycads on the walking track. Image Credit: http://www.enjoy-darwin.com
Cycads on the walking track. Image Credit: http://www.enjoy-darwin.com

Many people internationally are familiar with Kakadu and Uluru as being parts of Australia’s Northern Territory, but the NT is rich with beautiful parks with all manner of wildlife, vegetation, activities and stories. Howard Springs is just one small example.