We are hitting the road again with a quick drive from Maitland to Stockton, it’s a nice easy run, past the coal loaders on Kooragang Island, over the Stockton bridge and a sharp right hand turn into Stockton. For the next two nights, we are staying at the Stockton Beach Holiday Park. The park is situated right on the water’s edge, hosting by a stunning beach that stretches 32 km from Stockton at the southern end to Anna Bay in Port Stephens at the northern end. The day we arrive 5” waves are rolling in, and the surfers are all out checking out the waves, apparently the waves are usually not that great for surfing in Stockton, but today they’re great. Stockton Beach Holiday Park has 27 cabins in two and three bedroom configurations. They have a range of powered sites and unpowered sites for vans including eight ensuite sites. They have two amenity blocks and new modern camp kitchen. If you love a holiday park on a beach, then you can’t go past this place, and if that didn’t satisfy you, there is the Newcastle Harbour at your doorstep, where you can sit and watch an active working harbour or take a quick 3min ferry ride across to Newcastle.
We quickly position our vans on some powered sites and decide because it’s such a stunning day we are going to get out and have a look at Newcastle. Now there is a light onshore wind blowing, and the tip is if we head in to Newcastle we might see a bunch of people hang gliding and Paragliding. We might even see if we can get Macca to have a go. We head over to an amazing lookout high above Glenrock Beach and meet up with Tony from Newcastle Paragliding Tony gives us a quick instruction, and then we have to make a decision about who is going over the edge. Because there is only a light breeze Tony is not confident the wind is strong enough to lift him and Macca. The option is to come back later, or we get someone else a bit lighter than Macca to strap in. Tania, it is then. She has never done Paragliding but this girl is up for anything, and her attitude is, “what the heck, you only live once” way to go, Tania! Just quietly Macca looks relieved he is not going over the edge.cAfter getting fitted out with a helmet and all the safety harnesses, Tania and Tony are all rigged up in a tandem configuration. They get in position, and Tony inflates the large sail above them. We wait for the big run and jump off the cliff. There is none of that, a quick adjustment of the two handles by Tony and they are up and away, it’s just so graceful and effortless; there off soaring along the cliff faces of Newcastle, in front of them just blue sky and ocean. Later when Tania lands and I ask her how the experience was? She says, “it was the closest you can come to flying, completely amazing” Paragliding is such a great way to see a coastline, it docent use any power, doesn’t make any noise or emit any pollution, you just need the wind to blow and a sense of adventure. Well, we are off to a good start in Stockton and Newcastle. The place has a very nice feel to it, we know we are going to enjoy it here, there is so much more to see and do, can’t wait for tomorrow.