Our weekend trip to Bateman’s Bay was a really great experience. We were picked up at Campbelltown train station in a minibus that one of our professor’s drove. It took us about four hours to get to our final destination, but that drive was completely worth it. We stayed in cottages right on the beach and the first night was getting settled in and dinner! The only thing our professor asked of us is that we help cook, which we were all more than happy to help with. The first night was a barbeque of kanga bangas, chicken and burgers with some salad. Considering it was only Friday to Sunday, they bought about double the food they needed for the trip, so there were still whole packages of food left over each day. For desert, they got us Tim Tams and other cookies. Since there was no work the first night, some of decided to go out and look for kangaroos, echidnas and wombats as well as take a nice walk on the beach. Because we were so far from a town or city and there was a line of trees between our accommodation and the beach, it was pitch black without a torch. We saw plenty of the local kangaroos that just hang out by the cottages and are super tame, but not much else. It was still a fun experience to get to know the other students in our class.
The next morning we got ready for hiking and went up to the main house to make breakfast and lunch. There were king parrots and rainbow lorikeets everywhere and they were very interested in our food. We got back in the buses and drove to our first site. The first site was this beautiful old growth part of the forest which is currently still protected from logging. Here we saw just a few leeches over the whole time we were there. The second site was a part of the forest that was currently in recovery mode after being logged about ten years ago. We talked about the process and why this part was a very successful recovery of forest. The third stop was… interesting. We went to a decommissioned part of the forest that used to have a cleared walking path with educational signs, but now was over grown and falling apart. Here, every step you took there were leeches coming at you from all sides and trying to climb up your boots and on to your legs. Leech repellent did not work and the only thing we could do was keep moving to get out as soon as possible. We were all spotting each other for leeches and it was kind of scary. The last sight was an old mining area that we looked at to see the effects one the nearby river.
After that we were exhausted and went back to our cottages. We made dinner and Mandy decorated the girl’s cottage, because it was my birthday. The others found out somehow too and they got me a birthday cake, had candles and even sang! It was so sweet and I was so surprised! The final day we stopped at a site along the way home with a section of very endangered flora before driving back to the city. Overall it was an amazing trip and I feel like we really learned a lot!