Kiama's Hoddle's Track Bushwalk

Sunday, September 16, 2018
Hoddles Track Bushwalk Entrance
Hoddles Track Bushwalk Entrance
Hoddles Track Entrance
Hoddles Track Bushwalk Kiama
Hoddles Road Track Farmland
Hoddles Road Track Farmland
Hoddle's Track - Unsealed farm tracks 
Hoddles Track Private Property
Letter Boxes along the track
Hoddles Track Private Property
Walking Past Private Property and Farmland
Hoddles Track Dam and Utility Vehicle
On the right a dam with a small jetty with a rusty utility vehicle
Hoddles Track Dam and Utility Vehicle
Hoddles Track Dam and Utility Vehicle
Hoddles Track Bushwalk Kiama
Hoddles Track Kiama
Beautiful building on the left marked 'Private Property'
Hoddles Track Bushwalk Sign
After a steep incline, a T-junction with the Hoddles Track sign
Hoddles Track Illawarra Lookout
Turning left at the T-junction, to see a beautiful view on the right
Hoddles Track Illawarra Lookout
Hoddles Track
Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Reaching Barren Grounds Nature Reserve
Hoddles Track Noorinan Mountain
Hoddles Track Noorinan Mountain
Noorinan Mountain Cliff edge
Hoddles Track Illawarra Lookout
Hoddles Track Illawarra Lookout
Hoddles Track Lookout

Hoddle's Track to Noorinan Mountain. Starting Point at cnr of Hoddles Road and Foxground Road, Kiama, NSW Australia. Completed 1st Sept 2018
Wearing: Asos Top, Timberland 6 inch Boots, 5.11 Tactical Wyldcat Pants, Vans Backpack, Fitbit Versa Watch
Photos taken by myself and Hai

With 16 posts to go until 2018 is over, I decided to blog about a recent Hiking adventure instead of reaching into my photo archives. Two weeks ago Hai and I wanted to take advantage of the first day of Spring weather and hike the Hoddles Track in sleepy Kiama.

We followed the walk guide 'Hoddle's Track and Saddleback' on page 204 from the book 'Best Bush, Coast & Village Walks of The Illawarra'. Below are a few points from the "At a Glance" section:

Grade: Medium
Time: 3-4 hours
Distance: 9.5km return
Ascent/Descent: 450m / 450m
Conditions: Hoddles Track is steep and eroded; take care near unfenced cliffs

1. We parked the Jeep at the corner of Hoddles Road and Foxground road in Kiama. As you drive down Foxground road which is unsealed, the entrance isn't as obvious as I thought. We approached a open wooden fence with an old green sign overlooking farm land.

2. Hesitant at first (it looked like private property), we walked over easy hills with the path lined with kangaroos and cow's manure. It then became obvious then we were on the right path. The path stretched out towards the trees, which starts to ascends and I found myself out of breath. We then passed through gates lined with letter boxes giving us indication that we were going to pass some houses.

3. Soon on the right, we took notice of an old utility vehicle that had rusted away on top of a small hill. Next to it was a sad little dam with a tiny jetty.
We kept walking and we reached open farmland again, passing by some cows chewing on grass.

4. A lonely wooden building appears on the right labelled 'Private Property'. It looked abandoned, inside were some chairs and a few chest of drawers. However distracting us was this beautiful weathered wood bench that overlooked the beautiful sea view. As I sat down I could see joeys and kangaroos grazing at the bottom of the hill and I suddenly felt small and insignificant.

5. The track climbed steeply and through some gum trees. It really puffed us out as we took 10 minutes to reach the top. I kept muttering to myself "when is this bloody hill going to bloody end" until we reached the T-junction. A nice grassy area with a track sign that said "Hoddles Track" appeared before us and I rested to eat my snack.

6. We took the left path towards Noorinan Mountain, past a crumbling wall on our left. To our right, there is a spectacular lookout with a view of rolling hills of Jamberoo and Minnamurra that leads to the sea. We continued upward passing some marked posts painted green and the 'Barren Grounds' sign to continue upwards.

7. We veered left, and kept climbing over fallen tree trunks and up the crumbling path. Above us the cliff rocks tower. We eventually reached a stone on the ground with an arrow etched in pointing right. We suspected that a hiker was trying to indicate that you could climb the cliffs for another view. But we knew it was not part of the official path so we continued on straight.

8. We eventually reached a slightly open area with a big boulder sitting on our right. Momentarily confused on which path to take, Hai then found the path towards our left. We climbed through the narrow path flanked by grass tress and could hear the sea waves crashing. We carefully found a rock with an arrow etched into it pointing up. We climbed up and the ground became sandy. Finally we reached a rock platform with a beautiful view over Foxground and to Saddleback Mountain.

We ate our lunch (pork rolls and cheese and bacon rolls) and then made our way back. Thankfully it was alot easier and quicker to descend the steep path, making the return trip feel alot shorter.

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For us, we had set ourselves a 2-3 hour time limit so we only completed the track up to Noorinan Mountain and back, instead of going right at the T-junction to Saddleback Mount (as indicated by our Guide book). It instead took us about two and a half hours, 5.6km return and around 11.6k steps (according to my handy Fitbit).

Hai and I were using this hike to celebrate our anniversary which was between the 2nd (our official first date) and the 5th (our wedding day date) of every month. Usually we eat out at a nice restaurant but this time decided to hike, because it had been so long since our last one. And the weather was bloody beautiful that day, reminding me that Australia is still wonderfully unique; despite our year long hiatus.
Next roadtrip/hike planned: another visit to Laurel Hill to visit the Sugar Pine Trees, with friends Betty, Erin and Jaye.


Three Williams Cafe: Celebrating Truffles Menu

Friday, September 7, 2018
Three WIlliams Sourdough Crumpet with Truffle Ricotta
Three WIlliams Sourdough Crumpet with Truffle Ricotta
Three Williams Roasted Duck Angel Pasta with Truffle
Three Williams Celebrating Truffles Menu
Three Williams Crispy Truffle Skin Chicken
Three Williams Three Cheese Sauce Truffle Waffle Fries
Three Williams Three Cheese Sauce Truffle Waffle Fries
Three Williams Roasted Duck Angel Pasta with Truffle
Three Williams Truffle Ice cream Dessert
Three Williams Truffle Ice cream Dessert

Celebrating Truffles Menu at Three Williams Cafe, 613a Elizabeth Street, Redfern NSW
Photos taken by myself, using a Canon 70D DSLR

Finally. I have the time to blog about everything I didn't have the time to while I was planning my wedding. And I'm back, baby.

As I sit here watching re-runs of Kath & Kim (great show by the way) and laughing at how bogan the characters are, I am sitting on my couch in my gym clothes editing photos that have been sitting in my computer for months.
And now that the wedding is over, I had set myself a goal - to Blog my entire backlog before 2018 is over. Then, I made a list and I wrote down about 30 promising blog post ideas.... and that scared me.

So, yes. I have to be realistic. There are 17 weeks left in the calendar year and I know my backlog will get bigger even if I kept blogging consistently. So I've decided to blog once a week (at least) until 2018 is over. And hopefully this will push me to blog passionately again. I had only written up to 30 posts over the last 2-3 years.

Three Williams Cafe
So, from the 2018 archives, I present to you: the 'Celebrating Truffles' menu by Three Williams Cafe.
A close friend of mine, Lisa had found out about this on Facebook and convinced her husband Sang,
Hai and myself to go. We both recently got married and decided we needed to splurge a little and treat our appetites.

Three Williams is tucked away in sleepy Redfern on Elizabeth Street. Inside the warehouse interior setting, it's bustling as you walk down the flight of stairs to your table and smells of freshly ground coffee.

As friends, we did the smart thing and ordered different dishes so we could share and try everything!
After perusing the menu, we settled on: Roast Duck Angel Pasta with truffle, Truffle Crispy Skin Chicken Breast, Sourdough Crumpet with truffle ricotta and honey, the Three cheese truffle waffles fries and lastly, the Ice Cream dessert on chocolate cake topped with (you guessed it) truffle.

It was clear this menu was popular as everyone around us only ate the dishes adorned with fresh truffles. My highlights were the Angel Pasta - buttery, fresh and creamy with perfectly cooked duck. And the Ice cream - what I thought would be an unusual combination turned out to be delicious. Creamy ice cream infused with truffle, sitting on layers of chocolate cake disc, oozing hazelnut cream, caramel popcorn and gold crispearls.

It was a luscious meal generous with truffle. It was well worth the trip down. Three Williams cafe is known for seasonal menus, so we knew we had to go before thy changed it up again.

It was great getting to catch up with Sang and Lisa - who had their wedding close to ours. After our meals we lingered with our coffees and we talked about the new 'territory' - that is - the married life territory.
Which I realized, as my bestie Betty calls it - "its like being on a permanent holiday".
 I have spent my days working and gymming as always, but I get to come home to my husband and a loving dog. We cook food together when we can, bicker about what to cook, or Hai cooks for me before I come home. We watch Critical Role or whatever is on TV that night and snuggle on the couch or bed. We also plan hikes, plan D&D sessions, sometimes bicker about the dishes, or bicker about clothes on the floor. But I wouldn't have it any other way; Married life is good.

Looking forward to posting another blog post next week. 16 weeks to go.




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