OK, now all done and dusted. Finished it all off yesterday. And with nearly 2 weeks to spare (before my 70th)
Saturday, left at about 6.45am, for the ride south to Seal Rocks, and the Sugarloaf Point Lighthouse. The air temp became more pleasant from about 8am. Highway for about 90km (throttle locker helped), then slower local roads but some nice twisties along some lakes.
Parked, and walked about 1km to the lighthouse. Unfortunately no signs to photograph the bike near(at any of the 4 on this trip).
Whales seen soon after getting up there. A steep climb up and worth it. Chatted to a couple from Newcastle (see later) who told me the lighthouse at Nobbys Head was only open on Sundays. So I thought I may need to review that.
Then a lovely twisty road out to the highway - the day was already worth it for those.
Stopped at a favourite coffee shop/bakery, and refuelled the bike a bit later, before arriving at Nobbys Beach in Newcastle. Walked out to the lighthouse track, and sure enough it was locked up - and no clear way to get around. So, as I needed to come back this way on Sunday, that would work.
On then through suburbs and coastal towns - mainly retirees along the coast, so some slower drivers. But good roads along lakes and estuaries to Norah Head. I was already sighting whales as I walked about 200m to the lighthouse.
Time was marching on, and had a longer leg to the next and final lighthouse of the 11. So back out to the highway and throttle locker activated for the next 70k or so, heading into the big city of Sydney. And about 40km in suburbs and traffic.
Barrenjoey headland is at the end of a spit heading north of Sydney Harbour, so I was really backtracking towards home.
This is the older of the lighthouses (1881) and the only one in natural sandstone. Again a hike of about 1.5km, up a steep track. So I certainly had my exercise for the day.
Light was fading, but still enough to see a couple of whales.
From there, a trip across the northern suburbs, basically where I had already been, to an overnight stay. My wife (Jenny, Honda 125e) had been at a Toastmasters training day, and had accommodation there. That was handy!!
I was tired, after 511km of mixed riding. Just on 7 hours riding time, average about 71kph. Refuel was at 22km per litre.
Dinner at a local pub, and sleep.
Sunday, up for breakfast. A couple of good deeds for others down here, then on the road back to Newcastle and Nobbys Head. Where we were staying was on the old Pacific Highway, and gave me a great ride along the old winding and hilly highway. A very popular bike road.
Followed it all the way through, and arrived at Nobbys. Jenny was driving back, and after a later start and the main highway was about 30 minutes behind. So I headed up to the top. This was, way back, and island some 43 metres (140 feet) tall. But when Newcastle was a convict settlement, coal was found there. So it was mined and reduced to the present 27.5 metres (90 feet). And some of the rock was used to build the breakwall. The lighthouse is the oldest, built in 1854.
Notice the gun emplacement under it. Newcastle is a major port and during WW2 was considered a likely target.
Whales were already sighted by the time Jenny arrived, and she took a couple of photos for me.
So, all done. 11 lighthouses, whales at each, all by Versys, and before my 70th birthday. Tick
A late lunch and then a highway ride home. The last 80km in the dark, on a road known to have plenty of wildlife about. So eyes a bit strained. The trip back was 398km. The refuelling on this showed 25km per litre, no doubt due to less throttle use in twisties and coastal towns.
I will see if I can add a route map, especially for this leg as it had some terrific roads