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Coasting : December 15th 2008
central coast tourism Getting Out & About > > > December-February Coastal Life 7 Q A& Reptile Park Ranger Mick Tate Ranger Mick hosts presentations at the Australian Reptile Park (phone 4340 1022) at Somersby every weekend and public holiday. Q. What’s the first thing you should do if you’re bitten by a snake? Bouddi National Park See the Coast’s natural beauty The Central Coast is blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, and much of it is accessible by car, bicycle or foot. FROM the mountains to the sea, the Central Coast offers visitors a wealth of active recreational options. The region is ringed by a series of stunning national parks to its north, west and south. Divided into two sections, Wyrrabalong National Park (phone 4358 0400) near The Entrance conserves the last significant coastal (littoral) rainforest on the Coast. Popran National Park (4320 4200) near Mangrove Mountain has spectacular sandstone cliffs and gullies and many Aboriginal sites. Steeped in history and abounding in natural wonders, Dharug National Park (4320 4200) near Wisemans Ferry has a multi-coloured sandstone landscape which protects vital clear- water tributaries. The historic Old Great North Road is an intact and spectacular example of early 19th century road-building as well as a lesson in planning gone wrong. Bordering the Hawkesbury River, just to the north of Sydney, Brisbane Water National Park (4320 4200) is a park of rugged sandstone country. Bouddi National Park (4320 4200) near Killcare has a series of small, beautiful beaches beneath forests, steep hills and cliffs. To the east is a series of golden sand beaches. If you’ve never tried it, summer’s a great time to learn to surf and there are a number of surf schools that operate over the Christmas break. Powelly’s Surf School (4382 2895) at Avoca Beach is run by former world No. 2 surfer Shane Powell, while Central Coast Surf School (0417 673 277) offers lessons at Avoca, Umina and Terrigal. Terry McDermott Surf Coaching (4399 3388) is based in Budgewoi. Old Great North Road Q. Any on-the-job mishaps that you can tell us about? A. I was once slower than a tortoise and got bitten on the rear end. Q. Most important lesson that you’ve learned on the job? A. Move faster than a tortoise and size does matter when sitting on an alligator! Q. Any tips for visitors to the park? A. Bring lots of people with you so they can verify the stories that you take away with you. A. PUT THE SNAKE DOWN! And apply the appropriate first aid,a compression bandage. If you don’t have a bandage, make one by tearing up some clothes – ideally someone elses. Q. Which native Australian animal is least deserving of its ‘‘cute’’ reputation? A. Spiny leaf insects. Boy are they ugly! I don’t like insects at all and these are the worst. Q. What are visitors to the Australian Reptile Park most surprised by? A. Me! And the level of animal contact experienced by visitors. And me! And how much fun you can actually have with your clothes on. Unless, of course, you are the person having their clothes ripped up for the compression bandage. Q. What resident of the Australian Reptile Park most impresses you? A. Tasmanian devils. They develop a similar jaw pressure to an alligator but weigh less than 10kg. Seasonal Fruit, Flower and Herb Wines Handcrafted. Limited release. TOP COMMERCIAL FRUIT WINE 2008 (Perth Royal Show) BEST WINE of the SHOW 2007 (Australian Fruit Wine Show- Hobart) FINALIST – NSW Tourism Awards 2006 Cellar Door Hours 10am – 5 pm, Wednesday till Sunday. Wattle Tree Rd, Holgate. Central Coast.NSW T.02 4365 0768 www.firescreek.com.au