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Isn’t it funny how things pan out. A few months ago it was time to leave the Southern Highlands ( Berrima ) and head to the coast. With the fire activity at the moment its a bit of a check every day and see what’s happening. I made the decision to head south through Bundanoon ( explored by in 1818 by Charles Throsby who had help from local aboriginals. It wasn’t long before pastellists moved in for the great land down here. Soon the town grew and it was named Bundanoon meaning deep gullies. It soon became a tourist town and even today people - like me - wander the streets looking at the old shops. ) Anyway I wanted to check out the lookouts in the nearby NP but closed due to fires and massive winds that came up that morning. By this time the dust storm had hit and visibility was down to a few hundred metres.

Headed further south towards Tallong. ( this village is now the home to the big Apple built by carl Zeschke in 1988 ). Not much in the town but found a lookout that gave stunning views down into the top of the Shoalhaven River area. Could see fires flaring across the ridges and getting fanned by horrific winds.

Decided head to Braidwood and try one of the towns home made pies and I wasn’t disappointed - in fact it was hard trying to get a park. Braidwood is a stunning town that is heritage listed and the main street is lined with century old stone buildings.

The plan was to head towards Nowra but the main road was closed due to a burnt out bridge so it was time to head along Charlies Camp Road which had seen the horrific affects of the Bees Knees Fire. It was black for miles along the dirt roads !. Eventually the dirt gave way to the tar and popped out at a little village of Nerriga - who also sustained massive losses in the fire with houses and sheds gone and the area obliterated. But this diversion was a grand one where a quick stop lead me to some old mining gear that had been saved from the fire - a 10 head stamper, farm gear and more.

For the next 50km towards Nowra the scene is the same, black as far as you can see, swirls of black soot and dust hoovering through the blackened trees, ridges and ridges of them. It has exposed some amazing rock formations BUT the loss of the flora and fauna is pretty devastating. A quick stop at the very dry Tianjara Falls - this massive curved rock wall would look stunning when the water flows freely over the top. Be one to go back too. The downhill run towards Nowra has the same scenario and shows just how close this fire came to town. Be a good time for anyone thinking of doing a trip and to spend a few dollars. Just remember get back out there - don’t let this stop you from exploring the south coast. There's plenty to see and lots to do..

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