Things to do in Killcare (for people who know what to look for)
With two international travel awards tucked into our backpacks, we kick started our next travel venture bouncing off the walls with enthusiasm. Would our Airbnb host know our names, recognise our beaming smiles, or would travel writing and photographing simply be as effortless as we make it look? Rather, as we stepped out into Killcare with a checklist of a dozen places to see, having left the carefully marked map on the coffee table, we wondered how we ever got a foot off the ground.
There’s enough to do and see on the NSW Central Coast, that you could almost drop a pin on the map and start there. The little township of Killcare located on the Bouddi Peninsula, with its namesake beach facing south, overlooks the northern beaches of Sydney. Driving the 90 minutes to the Central Coast might actually be a quicker way to see Barrenjoey Lighthouse than winding through Palm Beach and trekking the climb to the peninsula. Less than 500 people call Killcare home, and a good thing too, because in any season, this pristine slice of coastline is a meditative escape.
Walking on the moon
Given that Killcare is flanked by the Bouddi National Park, the opportunities for coastal and bushland walks are plentiful. Had we have taken the time to read the oversized tourist board that clearly outlined the walking paths from Putty Beach, we might have been able to enjoy one or two. Instead, when we saw the sandstone escarpments edging the sea and the banks of palomino stone walls, we started clicking photos. For the more prepared however, the paved pathways and boardwalks will reveal a beautiful corner of the bay and bushland easily explored on foot.
Did we discover that rock?
Exploring is what it’s all about. When we looked skyward from the Killcare Surf Lifesaving Club, we saw a beautiful rocky outcrop accented on the mountain top. Surely as avid travel seekers we could find our way and with fortune on our side, maybe even a well decked lookout. So, we followed our noses up the hill, assured by the street sign “Hawk Head Drive.” Yes! That rock did have a sort-of hawk look about it and started the drive along the dirt road.
Overhead, two birds darted across our paths. As a magpie gained speed and swooped at a crow, it twisted upwards, suspended mid air on open wings. Thinking this to be a photographers perfect moment, I urged her to grab the camera. Amid my enthusiastic squeals, all I heard was “What the? I’m out of here” as I watched both the birds and her duck for cover.
We stopped, did a 360 and ventured towards the coastline. With nothing above us, and equipped with our refined sense of direction, we expected to land ourselves at the back of this newly named Hawk Rock and overlook the waterways of ocean and Hawkesbury river. See, it was all coming together so well. What we did eventually see from a distance was not the rock, or a clear view of the sea, but the car park we should have driven to with a direct pathway to the coastal lookout; later revealed to be Hawkes Head Rock.
Frankly my dear, I don’t give a…
The origin of its name “killing one’s cares” probably sums it up quite nicely. We didn’t have a care in the world, so were unperturbed to learn that one or two wrong turns had landed us in Hardy’s Bay. With a little line of cafes and stores facing the open bay, this is the spot to grab a coffee, quick bite or take a walk along the open grassy walkway or long jetty.
Despite stumbling our way, somewhat cluelessly, we still managed to find the most wonderful things to do in Killcare. In part, staying at Bells at Killcare had something to do with the experience. The generous hospitality, hidden bush cabins and sprawling winter gardens are a wonderful retreat. Especially for two over enthused travel bloggers, always in search of an adventure but finding mostly something to laugh about.