Tag Archives: Central Coast

Patonga to Mt Wondabyne Overnight Hike

The seaside village of Patonga is one of the nicest spots on Central Coast of NSW, with calm waters, golden sand and spectacular views across the water to the Northern Beaches. If you just want to rock up, have a decent feed at the pub and enjoy the serenity, that’s great, but the area is best explored by hiking along the section of The Great North Walk that leads out of town. The views are tops, the track is well maintained, and for the more adventurous, it’s possible to make it over to Mount Wondabyne for an overnight stopover in the bush.

The track is easy to find; just follow the beach east from the pub, and you can’t miss it as it winds up into the thick coverage of the headland (but click here for in-depth directions if you’re worried about getting lost and being forced to live on tree sap and wallaby dung). It’s not long before the path offers up stunning views back over Patonga, across the legendary Hawkesbury River, and out towards Palm Beach. Warrah Lookout is around 2km from the beach and fenced, but there are heaps of other spots along the walk that offer more open views (just stay away from the cliff if you’ve spent the past four hours at the pub).

Most people turn around at this point, but if you’ve got enough provivions, the walk continues another 8km up to Mount Wondabyne (and another 120km or so up to Newcastle – you’d want more than a 600mL bottle of Coke and a bag of Twisties in your backpack to tackle that, though). It’s a good walk, crossing creeks and dipping into valleys while the cicadas sing loudly and birds flutter around in the trees. Mount Wondabyne is remote and beautiful, with a pak that offers jaw-dropping views out towards the coast.

I tried to hike to Mount Wondabyne a year ago, but had to abandon my adventure when I was caught up in a ferocious electrical storm and had to hide in a cave (and subsequently spent the night drying off on my lounge whilst watching the mid-80s sporting classic, Rudy). This time, I headed out in winds that were approaching 50km/h, because I’m an idiot. The wind was smashing in and getting worse all the time as I arrived and, to make it worse, the drought meant that the ground at the campsite was so hard I could barely pitch my tent (ladies, I swear that’s the only time I’ve had that problem). As I tried to sleep, the wind was gusting in at close to 90km/h, which was loud enough to tear me from my slumber as it tried to tear my shelter off me.

It’s possible to continue along the track and spend the next night at Mooney Mooney or Somersby, but my car was back at Patonga, so just after sunrise I retraced my steps. I was tired and grumpy after a bad night’s sleep, and things were made worse when I crossed paths with a couple of good-looking Danish sheilas who were heading up to sleep at Mount Wondabyne that night. If I’d headed up a day later, I could’ve shared a tent with them, because there’s looked quality. To lift my mood, I nipped into the pub for a quick beer… which turned into an all-day session, and I ended up having to pitch my tent in a local park to spend the night.

WHERE: Patonga, at the southern end of the Central Coast, in NSW, Australia
WHY: It’s a great spot for hiking and camping

DON’T MISS: As well as unreal views out over the Hawkesbury River, the walk provides a scenic look at historic Woy Woy tip

IF YOU’RE THIRSTY: The Patonga Beach Hotel is a beautiful old pub with a remarkable view and cold beers (just don’t expect them to be cheap)

AND IF YOU’RE HUNGRY: The Patonga chippie does great food (and also sells booze). Make sure you lead up before heading into the bush, or you’ll be eating bark for dinner

WOMENFOLK: In Patonga itself, you might be able to find a pensioner who’s up for it. Up at Mount Wondabyne, a possum might be your best bet


Closer to the Sun


Paragliding is cooler than a dog on a skateboard, and I’ve been doing a lot of it lately. Most of my airtime has been spent at Crackneck, on the glorious Central Coast of New South Wales. It’s been more fun than a threesome with Siamese twins.

I took this video on the last day of daylight savings, as the sun died on a memorable summer. I couldn’t hope to capture the fucking awesomeness of flying above Crackneck, but I hope this gives you some idea of the beauty of paragliding. Peace and fucking, homies.

Girra-kool? No, Girra-wet!

The last time I tried to go on an overnight hike above the tiny riverside village of Wondabyne, I was somewhat less than successful. Alright, that’s an understatement – I had to call my mum to come and get me because I was at risk of being flooded out. So when I set out once again under grey, stormy skies, I was probably tempting fate.

The plan this time was to walk from Girrakool to Woy Woy, spending the night at the top of Mount Wondabyne. Yeah, that was the plan. Things started to skid towards the ditch when I was forced to spend an unexpected two hours bashing through the bush behind Kariong in a desperate attempt to find the track I was supposed to be journeying on. The trees were thicker than a diesel dyke’s pubes, and by the time I finally made it through, I was way behind schedule.

The walk across the ridges of Brisbane Waters National Park is spactacular, and bloody hard going. There are steep climbs, river crossings, and heaps of brilliant lookouts to stop at. I was starting to think that things were looking up, and that this would be a trip to remember for all the right reasons.

That’s when the storm rolled in. Thunder had been hanging around since I left home, but I thought it full of shit and didn’t bother about it. As I was passing Scopas Peak, the sky split open in front of me. I was blinded by the light from the lightning and deafened by the sound of it, and I could hear the world crackling around me. As the stench of sulfur overwhelmed me, the rain rolled in – big, fat drops that drenched me. It wasn’t just uncomfortable, it was bloody dangerous. It’s certainly the closest I’ve gone to being fried like a fat girl’s dinner.

I scarpered off the track and crawled into a cave, thanful for the scrap of shelter that the sandstone provided. I huddled in there, wet and cold, for an hour. The storm raged around me and then wandered off to bother someone else. When I was sure it was gone, I timidly climbed back out into the darkness.

With five tough kilometres of walking between me and my rest stop, I realised that I’d never make it in such  tough conditions. So, I did what any big, tough bushman would – I took a side track down to Wondabyne Station, jumped on a train, and was at home with a German stein of wine in my hand 45 minutes later! Instead of struggling through the bush and spending the night in a wet tent, I watched the acclaimed Sean Astin sports drama Rudy. It was shithouse.

A Night(mare) in Ourimbah


I haven’t had much of a chance to update Drunk and Jobless lately, for a very good and extremely sad reason. My life has recently been hit by tragedy and disappointment, after learning news that will adversely affect everything about me in the future. My hopes and dreams have been shattered, and my goals will forever go unfulfilled, as I recently received the shocking news that I’ve been refused a spot in the Aldi Testers Club.

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Fuck you too, Aldi

Obviously distraught following this callous twist of events, I packed a bag and headed into the wild, wanting nothing more to do with this open wound of a society. Unsure of where to begin my new life, far away from the heartless guffaws of Aldi employees, I remembered a conversation I’d had with Scott, one of the local paragliding bad boys.

Scott: rebel with a heart of gold

“Whenever the pigs are after me, I hide out in Ourimbah State Forest,” I recalled Scott telling me, while listing a stolen car radio on Gumtree. “Very beautiful, very remote, nobody find you there. If you need to bury body, you can do that, too. If you find my old business partner One Eyed Sanchez up there, you say hello to him for me – he can probably be found in shallow grave, tee hee!”

A fish lives in this water

As Scott is currently serving a six-year sentence in jail for participating in the white slavery trade, I was forced to find the track myself, which proved to be quite simple. It’s at the end of Ourimbah Creek Road, and after parking my car I walked through a lovely valley full of very large dogs. Fortunately, they weren’t aggressive, and allowed me to wander into the dense jungle.


The walk from Ourimbah Creek Road up to the old archery fields at the top of the hill is pleasant if not spectacular. Over the course of 10 kilometres I crossed a few streams, climbed some pretty steep hills, picked up heaps of leaches, and finally made it up to the camp grounds just as the sun was setting and the mozzies were getting mad. There’s not much left of the archery range – the targets are gone, as are the sheds and tables once used by the club – but it’s a nice place to spend a night.

My luxurious accommodation for the evening

I enjoyed a delicious hamburger for dinner and watched the footy on my stream, so while it feels like it’s in the middle of nowhere, it isn’t really. I even managed to match with a couple of good sorts on Tinder, and they were really impressed by my adventurous nature and cheeky smile. I hope to disappoint them in the near future.

Hey ladies, if you want a mouthful of meat…

The trip home took me along the same road, but this time things were very different. I was nearing the end of the track when I saw something white lurking behind a bush about 100m in front of me. I stopped and realised it was a dude in a white shirt, who popped out as soon as he realised he’d been spotted. He looked around in embarrassment, then sauntered up to me with his hands in his heavily-stained shorts. When he got close he tried to strike up a conversation, but I brushed him and kept walking – I’ve already got enough perverted mates, so I don’t need another one. The man in the white shirt appeared crushed.

Can you spot the pervert in this photo?

I assumed that was the last I’d see of him, but every time I looked back along the track I could see him hiding behind a tree and weeping. It was a pathetic sight, and I was happy to get back onto the road where there was less chance of him raping me. As I powerwalked back to my car, a filthy white van crept past me, and behind the wheel was the sicko in the white shirt. He stopped next to me and wound down the window, revealing a puffy red face streaked with tears.
“We could’ve been perfect,” he whispered, then drove off into the sunset.


Mr Flying Man


I grew up on the hill above Forresters Beach, and one of my most vivid memories from that time is watching hang-gliders cruising through the clear blue sky while I played on the sand. I never grew up dreaming of flying, but those memories obviously had an effect on me, because when I got older and awesomer I started paragliding.

Thirty years on, I was looking down on that patch of sand I used play on, hundreds of metres beneath me. My first flight from Crackneck to Forries was mindblowing, and it was sweet to watch over the town of my youth while doing something I love. It was even better to be up there with great mates.

I’ve spent more than 40 hours flying that site over the past few months, and it gets better every time I leave the ground. More often than not, landing on Bateau Bay Beach attracts a throng of awe-inspired wellwishers who can’t believe what they’ve just seen. Usually, a plucky child will push himself to the front of the delighted crowd and say, “Mister! Mister! Are you Superman?”
“Almost, kid,” I’ll say while packing up my wing. “I’m a paragliding pilot.”

Here are just a handful of the thousands of exquisite photos I’ve taken during my airborne adventures above the Central Coast.


The incredible Egyptian hieroglyphs of Gosford


I’ve always wanted to visit Egypt and see those big pointy pyramid things they have, but the locals have gone a bit mad and started killing each other, so I’ve reluctantly crossed it off my list of possible holiday destinations. Imagine my joy, then, when I found out that I don’t need to fly across the globe to get my fill of Egyptian history and culture – because there are a bunch of ONE HUNDRED PERCENT GENUINE Egyptian carvings only a few kilometres from my house. Yippee!

Life ain’t easy for a dog faced boy

The Egyptian hieroglyphs were discovered in the 1980s in a secluded section of Brisbane Water National Park, near Kariong on the New South Wales Central Coast. For decades, experts have been unable to explain how they got there – some say that a group of Egyptians settled in the area thousands of years ago and left their mark on the mossy side of a massive rock, while others reckon some drunken dickheads did it for a joke.

High fuckin’ art right here

The carvings aren’t that hard to find, and this site does a pretty good job of pointing out how to get to them (as well as providing a bit of backstory that I can’t even be bothered cutting and pasting). After bush bashing for a while and then crawling under and over a bunch of boulders, I found myself in a hidden alleyway decorated with dozens of symbols. Dog-headed dudes, eyeballs, suns, waves and other fun stuff spread out before me. It really is a weird thing to see in the Aussie bush, and I half expected a reincarnated mummy to come out from behind a tree and try to eat me.


Honestly, they look like they were cut into the rock by some bludger on his second bottle of metho, because the 80 or so symbols are mainly stick figures and other crude doodles, but then again I highly doubt the Egyptians of thousands of years ago were the most advanced artists of all time. So I’m going to say that they definitely are ridgy didge and really are thousands of years old – and the so-called experts can go fuck themselves as far as I’m concerned.

Suuuuuuuurfin’ biiiiiiiiiiird!

There’s not much else to see out there, so I soon headed home to ponder my bizarre experience. Feeling high on history and culture, I had a pizza and a couple of dim sims for dinner, so you can cross Italy and China off the list of countries I need to visit, too.

If you see these rocks, you’re heading in the right direction – the glyphs are right behind ’em
Ancient Egyptian instructions for packing a bong
He’s having a wank!
More symbols than a marching band
That is definitely a penis

Bush bashing


The Central Coast has so many brilliant places to go hiking, and I’m doing my best to strut down every bushwalking track in the area! Today I headed out to Strickland State Forest, near Narara, and hiked to an abandoned arboretum (for those who don’t have their dictionary in their hand, it’s basically a botanical garden with all sorts of trees planted for scientific study. Bring that word up in conversation with the next pretty lady you talk to!).


The tracks are easy to get to, relaxing to walk along, and provide an absolutely wonderful experience in pristine nature. The valley is full of ancient gum trees that tower above the forest floor, with some being 60 or 70 metres tall. Entire ecosystems exist among the branches of these proud giants, as birds flutter through the leaves and massive vines hang from the canopy.


The arboretum itself is also pretty cool, with all sorts of pines and ferns and other plants that you wouldn’t expect to see in the Aussie the bush. The first trees were planted there around 120 years ago and some of them are enormous now. It’s a peaceful place where the only sounds are the gentle wind in the trees and the sweet songs of the birds. There truly is nothing like the Australian bush.

And I managed to keep my trousers on the whole time, so maybe I’m finally growing up.










The triumphant return of The Naked Luchador


I’ve been as sick as the proverbial dog since getting back from Sri Lanka (who’d think that three months of drinking and making sexies with women of ill repute would have such a negative impact on my health?), so I decided to celebrate my first healthy day in three weeks by going bush. I packed my tent and a box of goon and rolled out to Watagans National Park, between Gosford and Newcastle, pitching my tent at the beautiful Gap Creek camp ground.


It’s a lovely little place to spend a night, and only 15 minutes from the Pacific Highway, so it’s the perfect place to stop if you’re heading north and don’t want to pay for a night’s accommodation. Its location means that you might have to share the place with other visitors… or maybe just a wallaby! This fella bounded over to say g’day and pose for a photo. Champion.


There’s a waterfall pretty close to the camp ground, and I love running water, so I trotted over to see it. The walk is about a kilometre, and climbs through beautiful rainforest. I’ve been around the world, but nothing is as awe-inspiring as the Australian wilderness (alright, there have been a few sheilas who have come close). With giant palms and swinging vines, it’s like travelling millions of years into the past, and is far removed from the noise and hassle of the city. I expected a triceratops to wander over, but it didn’t happen.


The waterfall itself was as dry as a lesbo at a Manpower show and not nearly as impressive as the falls I saw in Croatia, but the shadowy canyon was really pretty. I enjoyed just hanging out by the water, listening to my favourite Vanilla Ice CD and dancing. With steep cliffs on three sides, it felt like I was sinking to the centre of the earth, which was really cool.


With the sun setting I headed back to camp and whipped out my cock wine cask and got stuck in. As the light dwindled the bush truly came to life, with all sorts of bird and animal calls tearing through the night. I made myself some delicious burgers, and when I was finished those I went for a much needed slash. Unfortunately, I tripped and fell into the fire, where I was burnt to death.


After a remarkable recovery I woke up the next morning to the sound of something eating noisily outside my tent, and assumed it was a possum or a turkey munching on my leftovers. I crawled out of bed and was surprised and amazed to find my old mate The Naked Luchador hanging out under a tree, casually eating a tin of baked beans. When he saw me he gave me a thumbs-up and went back to munching his delicious breakfast.

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While I didn’t get much out of The Naked Luchador the last time I met him, he was more talkative this time. As he shovelled the beans into the mouth-hole of his mask, he opened up about his life and loves, hopes and dreams.
“I was forced to leave Tijuana by a dangerous dug cartel,” the deranged pervert wept, wiping bean juice from his chest. “In Mexico, I was hero to millions. They chant my name in the street, women throw theyself at me, but I have only one love; a beautiful woman name Charlene.

“Charlene was most famous donkey prostitute in Mexico. Big, brown eyes, fat bottom, lips made for sucking on penis. We were in love, and planned to leave Mexico forever as soon as I win major wrestling championship belt. I was preparing for match against the champion, man named Ultimo Doodle, when drug lord come to me and say they he has kidnapped Charlene. I only can have her back if I lose match to Ultimo Doodle. It very hard decision but…”

At that point The Naked Luchador was startled by a butterfly, and catwheeled off into the bush without finishing his incredible story. Oh well, maybe I’ll run into him next time I go camping…


One minute I’m camping, the next there’s a naked luchador dancing around in front of me


I went camping in Yengo National Park this week, and it was an interesting trip for a number of reasons. First up, I took a stroll out to the Circuit Flat Bridge, a short walk from where I stayed at the Mogo Campground, and which was built by convicts back in 1831. It was maybe two metres tall and spanned a creek a metre wide, so it was very impressive.


I sat in my chair drinking cask wine while listening to good music, enjoying the peace and quiet that comes with camping in the middle of nowhere. I cooked burgers and read my book and reflected on life and watched possums play.


And then, when I thought things were going to remain slow and steady and relaxing, a naked luchador showed up.

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Sorry, Rey

The demented Mexican wrestler – who identified himself as el Pervertido Desnuda, and who appeared to be struggling with the cold weather – proceeded to prance around the campground for several minutes, apparently oblivious to me sitting there. He fought imaginary opponents, shouted at trees, and flipped around like a monkey on methadone.


He seemed so talented at performing cartwheels and other acrobatic manouvres that I asked him where he had learnt his skills. He simply told me that he’d had two girlfriends who had been professional gymnasts, and I just looked at him and thought that any bloke who has had two girlfriends who had been professional gymnasts must be pretty fucking lucky. And pretty fucking cool.


Yango National Park is full of natural beauty and interesting relics of our past, but if you head out there, watch out for the naked luchador! Oh, and I saw this sign on my way out, so if the naked luchador isn’t able to update his blog (which is completely unrelated to this one), you know why!




When I was a young bloke growing up on the Central Coast of New South Wales, I was spoilt for choice when it came to awesome places to explore. Me and my mates spent every weekend checking out caves and climbing trees, following creeks and scrambling up mountains. At some point women and booze got in the way, but for a few years there every Saturday and Sunday were full of wonder.

Me and my mates would throw whatever we could into our backpacks and just walk out into the scrub, with no mobile phones or any of that crap. It seems amazing that my mother was fine with with the 15-year-old version of me swaggering out into the bush, but almost lays an egg if the 32-year-old version goes away and doesn’t get in contact with her every 24 hours.

We only camped at Narara’s Old Railway Dams once, but it’s an experience that has always stood out when I look back upon my teenage years. Brett, Charlie and me hiked into abandoned dams and pitched our tents by the water, spending the afternoon jumping into the dam’s sparkling water and spending a great night under the stars. In the morning, we woke up with drug addicts throwing rocks at us from the hills above.

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I copped one in the head, but it didn’t knock me down. The others were hit, too, as we frantically packed up our tents while dodging the missiles. When we had all our stuff in our bags, we disappeared into the bushes while the druggos hurled insults and projectiles. They thought we were gone. They were wrong.

We circled around them, our fashionable-at-the-time (no they weren’t) camo clothes making sure were weren’t seen. After half an hour we were behind where they were sitting, smoking bongs and wanking each other off (that might be an exaggeration, but it’s my story). And that’s when the counter-attack begun.

We hurls rocks at them from the bushes, cleaning the bastards up as they desperately tried to grab their bongs and get out of there. I’m as good at throwing rocks as Rosie O’Donnell is at giving men stiffies, but I sconed one dickhead between the eyes, knocking him backwards. Yes, the olden days were good, back when an enjoyable afternoon included maiming drug abusers.

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Today, I went back there for the first time in nearly two decades. Like me, the dams have changed. I picked up my brother Bubblin’ Beno and we headed out to revisit history. The original dam was built way back in 1901 to supply water to Gosford Railway Station, with a second dam constructed in 1925 to provide additional storage. After the train line was electrified in 1960, the dams didn’t have a lot of use, except as waterholes for hot and sweaty Gosfordians who were too poor to afford backyard pools.

When I visited as a kid, the dams were easy to find, but they’ve since fallen into disrepair. There’s a track off Reeves Rd, Somersby, that leads to them – just follow the pink ribbons that some kind soul has tied to the trees on the way, and try not to fall down any cliffs. Me and Ben struggled along the overgrown track for 10 minutes or so, before stumbling upon the upper dam. There are still signs of life – rope swings and ladders nailed to trees – but it’s obvious that not many people go there anymore.

After stopping to admire the impressive concrete dam wall (shit, I just read that sentence back to myself and I can’t believe I wrote it – I am getting old) we headed downstream to find the lower dam. Again, the track was as overgrown as a feminist’s armpits, but we managed to reach our destination. The lower dam was always the best for swimming back in the day, so it was sad to see that half of it was choking with some sort of reeds (no, not Lou) and the other side was basically cut off due to the impenetrable bush (no, not George W.). Still, I managed to strip off and have a dip in murky water that 50% mud, 40% tadpoles, and 10% H2O.

With Ben chomping at the bit for a Dagwood Dog and a good, long sit in his spa, we headed back to the car, leaving the abandoned railway dams to the insects and the frogs. Bloody hell, it’s a much nicer place to be when you don’t have scabby junkies trying to take your head off!